Destabilizing war drill exercises from NATO and, in response, from Russia are the order of the day. The more drills, the likelier one side is going to make a major mistake
This article originally appeared at lobal Economic Trend Analysis
Russia Threatens Denmark
In addition to the drills which we will discuss momentarily, the Financial Times reports Russia delivers nuclear warning to Denmark.
Russia has threatened Denmark with a nuclear strike if it takes part in NATO’s missile shield, in some of the most incendiary comments yet directed at a member of the military alliance.
Russia’s ambassador to Denmark wrote in a newspaper opinion piece that the Nordic country had not fully understood the consequences of signing up to the NATO missile defence programme.
“If it happens, then Danish warships will be targets for Russia’s nuclear weapons. Denmark will be part of the threat to Russia,” Mikhail Vanin wrote in Jyllands-Posten.
Mr Lidegaard indicated in August that Denmark would fit one or possibly more frigates with a type of radar that would allow the ships to be used in the NATO missile shield.
Russia Targets NATO With Military Exercises
In a totally one sided article, Stratfor moans Russia Targets NATO With Military Exercises.
Russian military exercises, the latest in a series across the country, have taken on a threatening posture. While the most recent installment is not the largest exercise Russia has conducted, the areas involved and the forces included seem to have been deliberately chosen to send a warning to NATO; the exercise itself seems to simulate a full-scale confrontation with NATO through the forward deployment of nuclear armed submarines, theater ballistic missiles and strategic bomber aircraft. Strategic weapon systems, including assets that are part of Russia's nuclear capabilities, have also been deployed to locations near NATO's borders.
According to Russian statements, the snap exercise, which was not announced before it began March 16, will last five days and will involve some 45,000 servicemen, around 3,000 vehicles, more than 40 surface vessels, 15 submarines and 110 aircraft. The more notable systems involved are the Iskander mobile theater ballistic missiles and fighter aircraft that are being deployed to Kaliningrad, Tu-22M3 long-range strategic bombers that are being deployed to Crimea, and ballistic missile submarines that have been sent to sea with protective escorts.
NATO Holds Military Drills in Estonia
The Russia snap exercise began on March 16. On February 25, the Telegraph wrote NATO and Russia Hold Rival Military Exercises on Estonian border.
Russian and NATO troops took part in rival exercises on either side of the Estonian border on Wednesday, highlighting fears that the tiny Baltic state could be the next target of the Kremlin’s territorial ambitions.
NATO forces put on a show of strength within yards of Estonia’s Russian border, with armoured personnel carriers, tanks and 1,300 Estonian soldiers forming a military parade. The parade, which also included 100 troops from Britain and other European nations, followed warnings from David Cameron on Tuesday that the Baltics could be next in Russia’s sights for a Crimea-style annexation.
The parade took place in the snow-bound Estonian frontier town of Narva, where a majority of residents are ethnic Russians. The choice of location was a pointed warning to Moscow, which regards the Russian community there as de facto evidence that Estonia is part of Russia’s “back yard”.
The Kremlin responded with its own military drills, sending 2,000 paratroopers into Russia’s western Pskov region, which borders both Estonia and neighbouring Latvia.
Note that it was Russia who responded in Estonia. NATO held exercises first.
US Tanks Arrive in Latvia for NATO Drill in Poland, Estonia, Lithuania
On March 9, the Pontiac Tribune reported US Tanks Arrive In Latvia For NATO Drill With Poland, Estonia & Lithuania.
Om March 18, Newsweek reported NATO Intercepts 11 Russian Jets as War Games Continue
Lithuania has intercepted the largest group of Russian military jets near allied airspace this year, in the early hours of this morning, as Russia continues its snap military exercises in the Baltic, Arctic and elsewhere.
The increasing number of unannounced Russian military drills near its Baltic neighbours, combined with Russia sending jets into airspace close to its European neighbours has prompted concern from defence officials on the continent before. Lithuania and Estonia’s defence ministries have previously said such tactics could allow Russia to redeploy forces on their borders.
Drills for Me but Not Thee
On March 21, RT wrote Drills for me but not for thee: NATO launches war games near Russian border.
Despite being quick to condemn Russian military manoeuvers, NATO is conducting wide-scale war games in the Baltic states and creating a “line of troops” across Eastern Europe. The US denies a double standard, but records and transcripts suggest otherwise.
Thousands of US troops and hundreds of tanks have poured into Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in the past two months as part of an operation dubbed “Atlantic Resolve.” In February, 140 NATO vehicles and 1400 troops swept through Narva, a mere 300 meters from the Russian border.
Just last week, Washington pushed Vietnam to prevent Russian aircraft from refueling there.
“We have urged Vietnamese officials to ensure that Russia is not able to use its access to Cam Ranh Bay to conduct activities that could raise tensions in the region,” one State Department official told Reuters, on the condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, in the first three weeks of February, the US Navy flew its latest surveillance aircraft from bases in the Philippines over disputed islands in the South China Sea. The P-8 Poseidon is equipped with the latest sensors and electronics in the US Navy arsenal, and can “pack a serious punch,” according to one US military analyst.
When asked why the US was condemning Russian exercises inside Russia, State Department press official Jeff Rathke told RT no such statement had ever been made.
“Wouldn’t US and NATO maneuvers on Russian borders, at a time when the West and Russia are at odds over the crisis in Ukraine, also raise tensions?” asked AP diplomatic correspondent Matt Lee.
“We would disagree with that,” replied Rathke.
Russia announced a massive surprise military drill earlier this week, putting forces all over the country on high alert and conducting exercises in the Baltic Sea, Black Sea, the Arctic and the Far East. The ongoing snap check of the military involves about 76,000 troops, over 10,000 vehicles, 65 warships, 16 support vessels, 15 submarines, 200 warplanes and helicopters.
The Daily Coin comments Principles Please? US Lauds NATO Drills But Calls Russian Ones Provocative
Principles in Reporting
What about principles in reporting?
RT, unlike Stratfor and Newsweek at least mentioned some military exercises of both Russia and NATO.
I am not here to defend any of these actions. My belief, as stated upfront, is that these war drill exercises are destabilizing. The more the drills, the more likely one side or the other is going to make a major mistake.
If anything, it appears US hawks are itching for a war with Russia. The US and Europe have already waged economic war on Russia, with round after round of sanctions. Those sanctions have hurt Europe as badly as Russia.
- No one "wins" in economic warfare
- No one "wins" in nuclear warfare
Sadly, It's entirely possible the former leads to the latter with all these drills as the prelude.