NATO Strategy: Use Small European Countries as Proxies for War with Russia

NATO may be working on a long-term strategy to create military blocs within Europe that would antagonize Russia and act as a bait for a larger US intervention.

While small, together the Eastern and Northern European countries could cause significant geo-political problems to Russia when NATO builds-up their military power

Mon, Jun 8, 2015
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This is an excerpt from a longer article of Andrew Korybko, a prominent political analyst and Russia Insider contributor.


Romania and Bulgaria are the two official members of the Black Sea Bloc, but they aren’t its only components.

Shadow NATO members Moldova and Georgia round out the rest of the bloc, and all together, they occupy the western and part of the eastern reaches of the Black Sea.

Eric Draitser wrote a thorough report about US naval strategy in this region and the latest anti-Russian provocations that it partook in with Georgia. This explains the importance of the trans-Black Sea area and justifies the inclusion of Georgia into the larger Eastern Balkan pro-NATO concept.

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Moldova, for its part, is an ideologically and politically divided land narrowly presided over by a pro-Western elite that wants to accelerate the Euro-Atlantic colonization of the country. Yet, pragmatic Russian-oriented citizens and the frozen Transnistrian conflict are currently standing in the way.

When one adds the Black Sea Bloc of Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, and Georgia to the Viking (Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway) and Commonwealth Blocs of Greater Scandinavia (Poland, Lithuania and “Shadow NATO” member Ukraine) a startling realization occurs – Pilsudski’s Intermarium "cordon sanitaire" has finally been created.

Stratfor’s George Friedman, who has advocated its revival, describes it as a belt of anti-Russian states stretching from the Baltic to the Black Seas, which is the pure geographic definition of the interlinked Viking-Commonwealth-Black Sea Bloc. This Intermarium allows NATO to form three separate fronts against Russian interests, targeting it from the Arctic/Baltic, Eastern Europe, and the Black Sea.

As an incidental strategic touch, however, it is the Black Sea Bloc, the weakest and least integrated of the three, that could ultimately destabilize Russian interests the most.

This is because it threatens two important Russian-affiliated outposts, Transnistria and the security of Balkan Stream’s central peninsula corridor through Macedonia.

The Indirect Approach

The Viking and Commonwealth Blocs directly target Russian territory or its overall border security, but the Black Sea Bloc’s intended victims are not immediately adjacent to Russia, and one of them (Macedonia) doesn’t have any direct connection to its military security.

By destabilizing Transnistria and Macedonia via the ambitions of Greater Romania and Greater Bulgaria (whether de-jure or de-facto), NATO hopes to chip away at the international security and stability architecture that Russia has built, aiming to score "cheap shots" while it’s still able to do so. Here’s how it looks more in-depth:

Transnistria

This self-declared independent republic is narrowly positioned alongside the Dniestr River and smudged between Moldova and Ukraine.

Russia retains a contingent of around 1,500 peacekeepers there, which while serving as a deterrent against Moldovan aggression for the past two decades, inversely may become a temptation for multilateral Moldovan-Romanian-Ukrainian aggression under NATO’s Lead From Behind supervision.

In the contemporary context, the whole point of the Ukrainian Civil War was to draw Russia into a strategic entanglement from which it couldn’t extricate itself, thereby creating a 21st-century repeat of Brzezinski’s 1980s Afghan trap.

If Transnistria were to fall victim to the combined aggression mentioned above (its already being blockaded) and ominously warned about by The Saker in his must-read analysis, then Russia would find itself in an extremely unfavorable military and strategic situation that could be disastrous to extricate itself from, but much to the delight of Brzezinski and his acolytes.

Macedonia

The Central Balkan country is the lifeline for Balkan Stream, but it’s facing two-pronged destabilization from Greater Albania (the West Balkan/Adriatic Bloc) and Greater Bulgaria (the Black Sea Bloc). Concerning the latter, Macedonia’s historical 20th-century stalker hasn’t eased off its obsession with the country and still wants to enforce its soft (and perhaps hard) influence on its people. This goal overlaps with the US’ own, since it wants to apply as much pressure on Macedonia as possible to get it to abandon Russia’s geopolitically revolutionary pipeline project.

Impoverished Bulgaria doesn’t even have to play a conventional role in this scenario, since all it needs to do is offer its soldiers up as "bait" to create a false-flag pretext for a larger NATO intervention.

Albania might be the loud, yapping dog of war when it comes to Macedonia, but it’s "unassuming" Bulgaria that poses the greatest threat since not many are aware of its hegemonic intentions over its neighbor. Thankfully Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov recognized this fact and called Sofia out on it, which drew attention to its designs and may have thwarted any planned provocations that could have worsened Macedonia’s domestic turmoil.

Exception: Crimea

Unlike Transnistria and Macedonia, Crimea and Sevastopol are part of Russia’s sovereign territory and direct jurisdiction. But just like those two aforementioned areas, they too are under threat of indirect destabilization, albeit way more long-term.

Romania and Bulgaria, as Black Sea littoral states, aren’t subject to the restrictions of the Montreaux Convention that mandate a temporary and limited naval presence for non-regional states’ vessels (such as those of the US).

The significance here is that the US can build up these two state’s naval forces in order to create a proxy navy that won’t ever realistically compete with its Russian counterparts, but could turn out to be quite a nuisance for them if left uncheck and allowed to grow, especially if they establish regular sea lines of communication with Georgia (e.g. between Constanta and/or Varna and Batumi).

The other indirect threat to Russia’s newest federal units comes from Romania’s missile defense cooperation with the US.

In itself, a single facility in the country poses no threat to Russia’s nuclear deterrent, but as with the Polish situation, Moscow is concerned that it could grow into a network of bases and/or become a front for offensive weaponry directed against it. Combining the previous threat, missile defense infrastructure could also be integrated into naval units, which would give the system a mobile platform and increase its threat assessment vis a vis Russia.

In either case, Russia’s forces in Crimea would be under a strategic threat, with the US having neutralized some of their capabilities and therefore adjusting the balance of military power (if even still largely to Russia’s favor, the relative shift is against it).

The forecasted timeframe in which the Black Sea Bloc’s naval and missile defense components begin to actually threaten or inconvenience Russia is at least a few decades away, but still, these emerging strategic difficulties must be recognized beforehand in order to prevent them from reaching their peak efficiency in the medium-term future.

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