#TridentJuncture: more NATO military aggression on Russia’s borders

You’ll find more quotes from Lombardo at this RT link to ‘Ice’s melting: Will Arctic become ‘a new battlefield for oil like the Middle East’?, plus the NATO Tweets demonstrating that the ‘Practice Drills’ are afoot, as is this one from Jens Stoltenberg with this message: “Good luck to all the men & women participating in #NATO exercise #TridentJuncture, starting in Norway today. We are sending a clear message that NATO stands ready to defend our nations & preserve the peace.”  (not provocative, it is?)

As to Lombardo’s statement about the broken US promise not to send NATO into Warsaw Pact countries, in his ‘Washington’s Latest Cold War Maneuver: Pulling Out of the INF’ Melvin Goodman, counterpunch.org, Oct. 22 writes:

President Bill Clinton bears heavy responsibility for the initial worsening of the Russian-American relationship because of his expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a betrayal of Washington’s commitment to never “leap frog” over East Germany to seek new members in East Europe if the Soviets were to withdraw their 380,00 troops from the region.  Clinton invited former members of the Warsaw Pact into NATO.  President Bush worsened the situation by inviting former Soviet republics into NATO. Bush even toyed with the idea of inviting Ukraine and Georgia into NATO, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel convinced him of the heavy risk of such a decision. The conventional wisdom is that Putin is responsible for the worsening of relations with the West because of the Russian-Georgian war in the summer of 2008 and the seizure of the Crimea in 2014, but U.S. machinations in both Tbilisi and Kiev had much to do with Russian actions.”

In his Oct. 11, 2018 ‘Trident Juncture 2018 Is About to Kick Off: NATO’s Big War Games Near Russia’s Borders Never End’, strategic-culture.org, Alex Gorka describes the earlier buildup at length, noting that most of the training event will be held over NATO member Norway, but also over the skies and in the seas of  Sweden and Finland, which nations aren’t ‘officially’ members, but that:

“At an unofficial level, Sweden and Finland have already joined NATO through other groups and agreements, such as their trilateral cooperation with the US. The militarization of Norway, as well as all of the Scandinavian Peninsula and the Baltic states is being perceived by Russia as a provocation and a threat that demands a response. The Baltic states continue to request an increased military presence on their soil. NATO is stockpiling weapons, military equipment, and ammunition in the Baltic region and Poland.

There is a backstory to the Trident Juncture 2018 exercise. In early October, US Envoy to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchinson said Russia had been put on “short notice,” due to its alleged violations of the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty. She warned that the US might “take out the missiles” before they could be deployed if Russia did not back down.

He names the coming NATO ‘exercises’ in Poland (Anaconda), names a few other OpNames all in the same of “military Schengen zones.

In Gorka’s Oct. 24 Militarization of Arctic: Issue of Incredible Importance Not Given Due Attention to’, (…As the ice melts and thins more in 2018), he makes the case of Russia’s claim to off-shore fields.

“Russia has presented a 1.2 million square kilometers Arctic claim to the UN. Under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), a Coastal state may claim rights to the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles by presenting scientific proof that it is a natural prolongation of its continental margin. The Russian Coastal exclusive economic zone can be extended, giving the state exclusive rights to exploit natural resources in the seabed and the ocean. Actually, Russia sits on $8.5 trillion oil reserves.

Moscow considers the Northern Sea Route (NSR) lying east of Novaya Zemlya and specifically running along the Russian Arctic coast from the Kara Sea, along Siberia, to the Bering Strait as the water area within Russia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in accordance with Article 234 of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. This article grants all littoral states the right, within their exclusive economic zones (200 nautical miles), to pass non-discriminatory laws and regulations concerning navigation in ice-field areas. The US is a signatory but Congress has not ratified the document. Washington does not recognize the Russia’s claims and seeks to internationalize the region.

The US, Canada, Denmark and Norway have their own claims. The Arctic is believed to hold more than $22 trillion worth of resources hidden beneath the ice, including 90 billion barrels of oil and 47 trillion cubic meters of natural gas. It’s only natural for states to have disputes as long as they are addressed on the basis of international law through negotiations. But the gradual escalation of tensions in the Arctic is a fact.”

Gorka chronicles some of past NATO and US naval exercises in the Arctic Circle, the increases in NATO war games escalating, and Canada’s plans to upgrade its military in aid of a dispute over the Lomonosov Ridge between Russia and Canada.

“Russia is implementing the State Policy in the Arctic Till 2020 and for a Future Perspective. The Arctic is a source of threat to Russia. US submarine-launched ballistic missiles fired from the waters near Norway would leave the Russian military less than 15 minutes to decide if an incoming object was a threat of not, where it was coming from, and how to respond. The Arctic is the only location to enable submarine-launched Tomahawks to strike the Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) bases in the Orenburg and Krasnoyarsk regions, as well as the Urals.”

And yes, he describes at length the breadth of what the Russian military has available  and will use in their Arctic exploration as well as the defense of their continental margin rights in terms of hardware and even clothing.  A nuclear-powered ice-breaker is under development (ptui).  He finishes with:

“The gradual militarization of the region is a reality. There are two options here. One is turning the Arctic into a hotbed where a spark could kindle a big fire. The other launching a full-fledged dialogue to address security issues related to the region. Five of the Arctic Council’s eight members are part of NATO with Sweden and Finland being the privileged partners of the Alliance. It makes the issue part of the Russia-NATO relationship. Russia’s military activities in the region have nothing to do with saber-rattling but it has to protect its legitimate interests.

The events related to the US decision to leave the INF Treaty, Syria, sanctions wars and other things in focus of public attention should not eclipse this issue of utmost importance. Cooperating with each other is the only way to maintain safety and regional order in the icy region. A coordinated regional approach to Arctic governance under the framework of the Law of the Sea Convention will build confidence and prevent militarization. The time is right for the Arctic Council to turn into a security-focused forum.”

On the other hand, this made me utterly ill when I’d read it: ‘World’s first floating nuclear power plant reaches Russia’s Arctic for maiden mission’ 21 May, 2018, RT

The rationale is sooo James ‘nuclear power’ Hansen:

“According to Rosatom, small sea-borne power units are best suited for remote areas. The plants may help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which are blamed for global warming. Power plants of this kind are able to operate without stopping or the need for refueling for up to five years. The vessels were created to make it possible to supply electricity to hard-to-reach regions of the huge country.”

What could go wrong?!?  The article ends with:

“Greenpeace has dubbed Akademik Lomonosov the “nuclear Titanic.” Various environmental protection groups sent Rosatom a letter, calling for full and unrestricted regulatory oversight of the vessel. The floating power plant will not just generate electricity for Pevek, it will be used for oil and gas exploration as Russia is pushing development further north into the Arctic.”

#TridentJuncture on Twitter

Ah, the poetry from S.Hava‏ @Air_4U

“All quiet in the camp tonight Where the soldiers lie peacefully dreaming tents in the rays of the clear winter moon as gentle night-wind through the leaves softly is creeping While stars up above w/ their glittering eyes. Keep guard for the army is sleeping” (Tweet by TridentJuncture guard Sarah Hava)

Isn’t it adorable that the logo for the exercises is a Viking ship?  NATO is proud of the fact.

(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)

6 responses to “#TridentJuncture: more NATO military aggression on Russia’s borders

  1. perhaps for posterity:

    brian cloughley writing from france weighs in on his oct. 26 ‘The Anti-Russia Cold War in the Arctic is Heating Up’, counterpunch.org

    after skewering some UK papers for their anti-russian agitprop and praising
    #TridentJuncture mightily, he quotes UK defense minister gavin williamson as having announced that ‘the kremlin should just go away and shut up’, and referencing ‘the russian aggression in our backyard’, ‘challenging us in every way’, etc….

    he writes:

    “So why does the UK declare that it has “interests” in the Arctic and that the region is “in our back yard”? How can it possibly feel threatened?
    The Arctic Institute observed in February 2018 that Russia’s “newer Arctic strategy papers focus on preventing smuggling, terrorism, and illegal immigration instead of balancing military power with NATO. These priorities suggest that Russia’s security aims in the Arctic have to do with safeguarding the Arctic as a strategic resource base . . . In general, the government-approved documents seem to have moved from an assertive tone that highlights Russia’s rivalry with NATO to a less abrasive tone based on securing economic development.”

    And economic development is what it’s all about. On September 28 it was reported that “a Danish-flagged cargo ship successfully passed through the Russian Arctic in a trial voyage showing that melting sea ice could potentially open a new trade route from Europe to east Asia.” It is obviously in the best economic interests of the European Union and Russia that the route be developed for commercial transit. To do this requires avoidance of conflict in the region.”

    “In January China described its Arctic strategy, “pledging to work more closely with Moscow in particular to create an Arctic maritime counterpart — a ‘Polar Silk Road’ — to its ‘one belt, one road’ overland trade route to Europe. Both the Kremlin and Beijing have repeatedly stated that their ambitions are primarily commercial and environmental, not military.” It couldn’t be plainer that Russia and China want the Arctic to be a profitable mercantile trade route, while continuing exploration for oil, gas and mineral deposits.”
    he asks rhetorically ‘guess who doesn’t want china and russia to prosper?’
    “To develop the Arctic requires peace and stability. It would be impossible to reap the benefits of the new sea-route and potentially enormous energy and mineral riches if there were to be conflict. It is obviously in the best interests of Russia and China that there be tranquility rather than military confrontation.”

    and ends with:

    “The US-NATO military alliance is preparing for war in the Arctic, and is deliberately provoking Russia by conducting massive hi-tech maneuvers ever-closer to its borders. But the Pentagon and its sub-office in Brussels had better be very careful.”

    via RT today: “A Russian diplomat has both confirmed and denied what US war hawks have been calling out. Moscow is indeed preparing for war, he said – just in case the US starts one.

    Speaking at the UN on Friday, Andrey Belousov, deputy director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department of Nonproliferation and Arms Control, said that Russia is indeed readying itself for war, so it can defend its people against American aggression”Belousov’s words came after a Russian draft resolution to reinforce the INF Treaty, which bans intermediate-range nuclear weapons, was overwhelmingly rejected at the UN First Committee. “Most of those who voted against were supporters of the INF Treaty. I don’t understand their position,” Belousov said. Among those who voted down the draft were the UK, Germany, France, and, of course, the US.

    Washington’s decision to scrap the Cold War-era agreement alarmed both Europe and Moscow, which warned it would”make the world a more dangerous place” and vowed retaliation.” so…wtf?
    from andrei akulov, strategic culture:

    ““The US-announced withdrawal from the INF Treaty is a hot topic and will remain such for a long time. This is a game-changing decision, but the evolution of land-based surface-to-surface systems also impacts the contemporary warfare providing the armed forces with new capabilities, including strikes at shorter- and medium ranges without using missiles covered by the INF. Organized by the Association of the United States Army, the AUSA 2018 expo took place from October 8 to 10 at the Walter E.

    Washington Convention Center in Washington DC. It was a mega-event to showcase the weaponry, which is to be used by the United States against peer adversaries – Russia and China. It demonstrated how rapid is the development of such weapons and how little attention media coverage it attracts.

    (aimed at russia and china, israeli lethality technology)

    Long-range precision fire is a priority to alter the ways contemporary battles will be fought. According to the Long Range Fires Cross Functional Team, “the joint force needs surface-to-surface fires capable of firing at strategic ranges to defeat near-peer integrated air defense systems.”
    akulov describes the new systems at length, then:

    “Actually, with such systems in place, the INF Treaty would lose its relevance even if in place.”

    • gadzukes, though; have you ever read at the reactionary die welt? brrrr.

      in fact, once i’d twigged to the true meaning of the photo on my ‘we gave peace a chance’ i’d grabbed there, i realized that they’d really meant that the INF treaty was about ‘peace…against threats from moscow’. slooooow brain wd.

      but to say the truth, i’d remembered your having mentioned fort russ, and when i’d dialed the site in…there were quite a few articles there i hadn’t trusted. but as an aggregator site, that’s likely so in many such. gads, i don’t even like a lot of pieces at the ‘New’ consortium news much any longer.

      oh, and which ‘new targets’ did you have in mind? suggestions?

      • Actually I don’t. Just offered it as food for thought.
        Yes, my comments do get caught in Ian’s confirmation trap.
        To be honest I’m barely commenting anymore; it’s a struggle.
        Comments only satiate the author of the comment and nothing else, IMO.
        Knowing that it seems a bit vain to continue…

        • interesting, i’d thought maybe you were on the ‘approved list’; many must be in order to keep commenting there.

          but i will say that the paul kagame genocidaire piece i’m working on won’t be any sort of hit, and yet…i’m compelled to bring it. i’ve been slashing out whole swathes to shorten it, but depressing? arrrrgggghhh!

  2. please remember that the people doing these things are also the people that are too lazy to remove their multi-trillion dollar planes from the path of a hurricane.

    it’s that time of the month where, more so than usual, everyone I know is completely consumed by worrying about money cuz of rent. this is not behavior control, trauma-based conditioning. oh no. it’s “natural market forces”.

    not the peeps at the Washington Convention Center. eyes bulging with fat, as the bibbel says. that defense news journo is just drooling over the chance to wrap her mouth around so many new fancy words some PR prick came up with to “explain” the new “doctrine”. funny how the new ” doctrine” invariably involves throwing more $$ at the military. when the last gen shit in the school system doesn’t “work,” schools don’t get more money. they get to “compete,” to “race to the top.” but when the military’s (or CIA’s or Fed Reserve’s or…) last gen stuff don’t work, they get upgrades. unlike the schools, they are having problems cuz they haven’t yet bought all the next gen shit yet.

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