With top Pentagon’s expert on Russia warning that Moscow is poised to use nuclear weapons against NATO allies, U.S. military officials are now further escalating the tensions between Washington and the Kremlin by considering to send even more troops to Europe.
While top U.S. Army General recently said that Russia can destroy the U.S., it does not seem like U.S. military officials reviewed all the possible consequences of the proposal to deploy more troops across Europe to deter the threat of aggression by Russia.
Furthermore, American defense officials are poised to counter the Russian threat with beefed up military drills aimed at countering possible direct military confrontations with Russian troops in Europe and the Middle East, where Moscow conducts its large-scale military operations.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that proposals for the deployment of American soldiers in Europe were made over the weekend during the Reagan National Defense Forum at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
The U.S. armed forces currently has two infantry brigades stationed in Eastern Europe, with the total number of about 7,000 troops. One more brigade rotates in and out of Europe on a regular basis. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, who recently said Russia can easily destroy the U.S., told The Wall Street Journal that he plans to push forward the proposal to send U.S. attack helicopter units, artillery brigades and more rotating brigades to Europe.
Such plans would take “a couple of months” to realize, according to Gen Philip Breedlove, the supreme allied commander of NATO. Funding to increase the number of U.S. troops based in countries neighboring Russia will be included in a budget request sent to Congress in 2016, according to the Journal.
Russia threatens global order – U.S. Secretary of Defense
The report about the proposed troop increase comes a day after U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Russia poses a great threat to the international order and U.S. global dominance.
Carter said Russia is conducting “challenging activities” at sea, in the air, in space as well as in cyberspace, and added that Moscow was “violating sovereignty in Ukraine and Georgia and actively trying to intimidate the Baltic states.”
Political and military analysts noted that Carter’s remarks were perhaps his strongest remarks about U.S. former Cold War enemy ever since becoming Pentagon chief this past February. However, Carter said that the White House does not seek a “cold, let alone a hot, war” with Russia, nor does the U.S. seek to make Russia an enemy.
“But make no mistake; the United States will defend our interests, our allies, the principled international order, and the positive future it affords us all,” he said.
NATO risks unleashing a nuclear war with Russia
It was also reported by The Journal that the Obama administration had issued a warning to some military officials in recent weeks to bring down the harshness of their comments about Russia.
“I fear that as we are dealing with Russia in Syria, the eyes are off [Eastern Europe],” Gen. Breedlove told The Wall Street Journal in an interview published late Sunday. “Why would we want our first negotiations on how we cooperate to be in Syria and then possibly allow the eyes of the world to accept what happened in Crimea?”
Last week, The Journal reported that some 4,000 NATO combat troops will be stationed in countries neighboring Russia. In Poland and the Baltics of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, there will be from 800 to 1,000 soldiers stationed during the coldest tensions between Moscow and Washington since the end of the Cold War. The NATO’s decision has a high chance to escalate the risk of a war in Europe and a military confrontation between the world’s two largest nuclear powers: the U.S. and Russia.
And a nuclear war involving the U.S., NATO and Russia “would probably spell, if not the end of humanity, the end of any possibility of a comfortable future for humanity,” as reported by ValueWalk, citing Press TV’s interview with Don DeBar, U.S. political analyst.
“The challenge here is to deter further aggression without triggering that which you are trying to deter,” Gen. Milley told the Journal. “It is a very difficult proposition.”
NATO cannot counter Russia because of these four factors
NATO was surprised to learn about the new capabilities of the Russian armed forces, according to The Huffington Post. The news website lists four factors why Russia has surpassed NATO in the arms race.
The first one is that Russia is always ready to start sudden large-scale military drills involving tens of thousands of its troops, while NATO members require 2-year preparation for this kind of maneuvers. Russia regularly conducts military exercises similar to Trident Juncture-2015, which is NATO ongoing largest military drills in over a decade.
The second one is Russia’s military capabilities, which have become alarming for NATO’s strategists. The Huffington Post refers to the example of Kalibr missiles, the launch of which took place in the Caspian Sea and was watched by NATO on footages. NATO militaries are especially concerned that, being stationed in the Mediterranean Sea, such missiles can target even Berlin.
The third one is the consistency and the team spirit of Russia’s armed forces compared to NATO’s military units and brigades, which consist of troops from 28 members.
The fourth one is NATO’s inability to counter Russia in certain regions. Russia’s military capabilities do not let the Alliance to provide military aid to its allies in certain areas of the world.