NATO War Games Near Russia ‘Pushing Humanity Towards World War III’
NATO has begun its Anaconda-16 war game, calling for the largest assembly of foreign forces in Poland since World War II.
June 08, 2016 “Information Clearing House” – “Sputnik” – On Monday, NATO launched its largest war game in decades, near the Russian border, as part of what analysts call the “summer of provocation,” a bid to reignite the Cold War intended to force Moscow to starve its domestic economy to ramp up its military to meet a growing external threat.
The war game, titled Anaconda-16, will take place in Poland ahead of next month’s NATO summit in Warsaw, where officials are expected to approve permanent troops to be stationed in the country and throughout eastern Europe, to combat what they consistently refer to ‘Russian aggression.’
The 10-day military exercise calls for the participation of some 31,000 NATO troops and thousands of military vehicles, in what will be the single largest movement of foreign forces inside of Poland since World War II, rehashing painful memories for many Russians.
In June 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin sought to disarm the ‘Russian aggression’ talking point disseminated by neoconservative Beltway think tanks, pointing to the absurdity of Russia instigating a war against NATO member states.
“I think that only an insane person, and only in a dream, can imagine that Russia would suddenly attack NATO,” said Putin, adding, “I think some countries are simply taking advantage of people’s fears with regard to Russia.”
Regardless of the motives, the escalation of a NATO military presence close to Russian borders has reached a fever pitch, with the US establishing a missile-defense system in Romania and undertaking the development of a separate missile shield in neighboring Poland.
Beyond attempting to strangle Moscow’s nuclear deterrent, the Obama administration has also increased Pentagon spending in countries neighboring Russia by four-fold.
The Obama administration is not alone in its efforts to increase a rhetoric of threat. In recent months Poland has called for an influx of US troops and military aid, citing concerns that Russia may seek to invade. Germany has agreed to dispatch troops into the country for the war game, marking the first time that German soldiers have entered Polish territory since the Nazis used it as a route to invade the Soviet Union.
On Monday, Loud & Clear’s Brian Becker sat down with security analysts Daniel McAdams and John Wight to discuss the latest round of provocations on Russia’s border, and whether NATO war hawks seek more violence.
What is the purpose of the Anaconda-16 War Game?
“Well this is a series of so many NATO exercises on Russia’s borders during the summer, you can call it the summer of provocation,” said McAdams. “This is the largest of the military exercises, and is the largest movement of foreign forces within Poland since World War II, so that is very significant and it is all being sold to everyone else as a protection against Russian aggression.”
“In reality, it is NATO troops that are outside of Russia’s borders and it is absolutely a provocation, another step in trying to poke Russia in the eye,” explained the security analyst.
Is Poland important to the United States strategically?
“Poland is massively important because of the historical enmity between the Poles and Russia along with the location,” explained John Wight. “Daniel is absolutely right in calling this the summer of provocation, what we are witnessing is the recrudescence of the policy of containment that was devised after the Second World War.”
“Containment, however, is a bit of a misnomer because it isn’t a policy of containment, it is a policy of aggression designed to surround Russia politically, economically, and ultimately militarily, in order to keep Russia’s government paranoid and to apply pressure on Russia to cause it to implode internally,” said Wight, explaining the existential threat that Moscow faces from US-led saber rattling.
Is Russia a counter-hegemonic force against the United States?
“I wouldn’t say that Russia set out to be counter-hegemonic, but certain events have taken place,” suggested McAdams. “You know the famous Putin speech where he essentially said ‘We’ve had it, we’ve had enough, and we’ve taken it for a number of years,’ and this was right before Russia accepted Syria’s invitation to put down the jihadists.”
“I believe Russia has been pushed into this position, but if you talk about the early dates of the Obama administration, there was still this idea of resetting relations,” said McAdams. “Instead, what happened in the Obama administration, and it happens in every administration, in which the neocons swoop in and take over foreign policy.”
“You have people like Victoria Nuland who served Dick Cheney prior to President Obama. What on earth were they thinking by allowing somebody like this to have control of power, somebody who is a member of the Kagan neocon crime family, as the wife to Robert Kagan. This is how the neocons do it and they swallowed the Obama administration like a cancer that keeps growing,” stated the security analyst.
“The neoconservatives now have control of Obama’s Russian policy and I think they are pushing us towards World War III,” asserted McAdams.
ALSO at sea.
…the defense analyst emphasized that from a strategic perspective, such a buildup would give NATO “almost nothing” in terms of gaining an advantage against Russia.
“Judge for yourself: Russia’s [K-300P] Bastion-P anti-ship coastal defense complexes are equipped with Onyx missiles. These Mach 2.6 supersonic missiles are highly maneuverable, with a complicated flight route, are able to climb to 15,000 meters, and then swoop down to an altitude of only 10-15 meters above sea level. They are difficult to detect against sea waves using radar. When the first missile locks on to its target, it transmits the information to others. In this way, Onyx missiles effectively distribute targets between one another.”
What’s more, Alexandrov noted, “the Bastion is capable of striking enemy ships at long range – nearly 300 kilometers. Add to this the fact that with the help of the Monolith-B radar station, the system is capable of obtaining over-the-horizon target designation,” (making it capable of detecting targets at ranges of hundreds or thousands of kilometers beyond radar horizon).
“In effect, Bastion complexes cover a significant area of the Black Sea. In any case, we can say that NATO ships will not be able to come close to Russian shores. At the same time, we have the Su-24 supersonic attack aircraft, already deployed in Crimea. They are capable of carrying cruise missiles, and able to hit targets all the way to the Turkish Straits.”
“Finally,” the analyst recalled, “the Black Sea also has several Russian Warszawianka-class submarines equipped with the Kalibr sea-based cruise missile. These are also capable of raking the entire Black Sea with fire.”
Ultimately, Alexandrov emphasized that he is convinced that NATO is not capable of establishing superiority in the Black Sea. “NATO can puff itself up as much as it wants, but the balance of forces will remain in our favor. In fact, by deploying a naval group to the Black Sea, NATO puts it at risk of a strike which would destroy these ships” in the event of war.
“And so, we need to react to the alliance initiative calmly. It’s another thing if NATO began butting in on our territorial waters. And here we will have to do something: to displace NATO ships, our ships may have to ram them,” the analyst said.
Incidentally, Russia’s Black Sea Fleet already has experience with that maneuver:
The USS Caron literally getting pushed out of Soviet territorial waters by the SKR-6 Mirka-class frigate. The USS Yorktown was also pushed out by the frigate Bezzavetny, suffering minor hull damage and being forced to return return to port for repairs.
Asked by Svobodnaya Pressa what NATO’s strategic goal might be, given that they must realize that any new Black Sea naval group cannot threaten Russia strategically, Alexandrov emphasized that what the alliance is trying to do is “to exert military and political pressure on us; to intimidate us and limit our activity. But I will repeat that we have nothing to worry about: from a military-strategic point of view, NATO’s actions can change very little.”
For his part, defense analyst and Captain First Rank Konstantin Sivkov insisted that the creation of such a fleet would be a violation of the Montreux Convention. “Even during the Soviet period, when the countries of the Warsaw Pact dominated the Black Sea, NATO hesitated to deploy ships to the Black Sea,” the analyst said.
“If NATO takes this step now, it can be regarded as a flagrant violation of international law, and even as an act of military aggression against Russia – with all the corresponding consequences,” Sivkov added.
Asked about the number and class of ships most likely to join such a flotilla, the analyst predicted that it will “most likely consist of frigates and submarines,” given that “larger ships would find themselves cramped and useless in an area the size of the Black Sea.” As for their numbers, he predicted that “at first, the flotilla will probably be small; but then it can be built up to 12-13 ships.”
In Sivkov’s view, if NATO goes ahead with the deployment, Russia will have to respond by increasing its own naval arsenal in the area.
For his part, Major-General Vladimir Romanenko, the former head of the coastal defense troops of the Soviet and Russian Black Sea fleets, recalled that for warships of non-Black Sea area states, the Montreux Convention imposes significant restrictions.
“The total tonnage of warships of non-Black Sea countries must not exceed 30,000 tons, with a period of stay not exceeding 21 days. It’s not exactly clear how NATO plans to get around these restrictions,” Romanenko noted.
Accordingly, the officer suggested that “NATO plans at present look like an attempt to deliberately create tensions [to Russia’s] south. At the same time, by my estimations, any NATO squadron, in combat conditions, would not survive any longer than 5-7 minutes.”
“It’s another matter that the alliance’s policy is forcing us to pause and think: It seems that in the present circumstances, the Black Sea Fleet is becoming our outpost in the southern direction. Over the years that Crimea was in Ukraine’s possession, the Fleet’s defense capabilities decreased significantly, and now, it appears, they need to be strengthened in terms of ships, aircraft and naval defense syst