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NATO Preparing for Endless Conflict With Russia

We've always been at war with Eastasia

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

The latest scoop from Reuters begs for a few words:

The United States and its NATO allies are preparing militarily for the prospect that their rift with Russia could outlast President Vladimir Putin, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Sunday.

<figcaption>This. Forever.</figcaption>
This. Forever.

Carter, speaking at the start of a week-long trip to Europe, said the United States hoped Russia would return to a forward- looking course and noted areas of diplomatic cooperation with Moscow, including talks over Iran's nuclear program.

But ongoing changes to NATO's military posture, which are meant in part to deter a Russian intervention, illustrate preparations for longer lasting tensions, he said.

"The adaptations I was talking are specifically in anticipation that Russia might not change under Vladimir Putin, or even thereafter," Carter said before landing in Berlin.

A common line of argument in respectable western policy circles is "if only Putin were gone," followed by a deep sigh of regret. Apparently they have no appreciation for just how moderate Putin is when it comes to foreign policy — and how drastically different the geopolitical scene could be with someone else in Kremlin. 

Despite whatever you might have read in Time magazine, Putin is not a supreme ruler who can issue decrees on the back of a cocktail napkin. There are many different circles of influence and power in Russia which have his ear — and many would cringe at the thought of calling the United States "our western partner." And yet, this is how Putin addresses Washington. 

Putin is a stabilizing, moderate force in Russia and geopolitics. Period. The idea that NATO's relationship with Russia is being sabotaged by Putin is delusional. Putin was even open to Russia joining NATO. From March, 2000:

Acting President Vladimir Putin, in an unexpected gesture to the West, suggested in a television interview Sunday that Russia would consider joining NATO if the Western alliance agreed to treat Russia as an equal partner. 

"Why not? Why not?" Putin said when asked by BBC interviewer David Frost about Russian membership. "I do not rule out such a possibility ... in the case that Russia's interests will be reckoned with, if it will be an equal partner."

But NATO needs a permanent enemy. Just as the United States needs permanent war. As The Washington Post reported in 2011

This is the American era of endless war.

By this logic, America’s wars are unending and any talk of peace is quixotic or naive. The new view of war and peace has brought about far-reaching changes in agencies such as the CIA, which is increasingly shifting its focus from gathering intelligence to targeting and killing terrorists. Within the military the shift has reshaped Army bases, spurred the creation of new commands and changed what it means to be a warrior.

2015 — it's like Canadian Bacon meets The Shining...


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