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WTF? - Russia Aggressively Drills on Own Territory While US Defensively Drills Abroad

The top US general in Europe, Ben Hodges, must be living in the Twighlight Zone

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

US armored forces are in the midst of conducting live fire exercises in Poland - a former Warsaw Pact state turned NATO member. More and larger exercises are planned. Normally, one might consider that a provocation. But not to worry - the commanding general of US forces in Europe, Gen. Ben Hodges, says it's purely defensive:

"This is the largest ever U.S. deployment in Poland and it's about deterrence," Gen. Ben Hodges, the commander of the U.S. Army in Europe, told NBC News. "An outright attack by Russia is unlikely, but the best way to keep it unlikely is to do what we're doing here today."

<figcaption>A US Abrams tank totally defensively and deterringly blasts away in Poland</figcaption>
A US Abrams tank totally defensively and deterringly blasts away in Poland

"An outright attack by Russia is unlikely." Yeah. What he didn't say is it's unlikely because Russia doesn't have a fricking border with Poland - except the small strip of Kaliningrad. Hardly a place to launch an invasion from. 

Poland's eastern border is with Belarus. Belarus is not part of Russia but is an independent state with it's own military and own foreign policy. Nevertheless, Belarus President Lukashenko warned NATO last summer about their idiotic provocations.

If NATO wants to force Belarus into the arms of Moscow, holding mass military maneuvers on its borders is a great way to do that. 

He watched the half-hour live-fire exercise with Polish President Andrzej Duda and many lawmakers who've been campaigning for years for a permanent U.S. presence to deter Russian troops on their border.

Sounds like Poland has great leaders - campaigning for years for a foreign military to come occupy their country. 

Hodges made clear NATO believes the threat from Russia is real.

"Russian aggression takes many forms," he said. "Cyber, misinformation, threatening other countries, Russian snap exercises. We're serious — this is not just a training exercise. It's to demonstrate a strategic message that you cannot violate the sovereignty of members of NATO ... Moscow will get the message — I'm confident of it. "

Right, so one form of "Russia aggression" is military exercises - excercises which are always held exclusively on Russian territory. Meanwhile the United States sends troops half way around the world for exercises in foreign countries on or close to Russia's borders and this is purely defensive in nature. What planet is this jack rabbit from?

The alliance's troops have been deployed across several NATO states in recent weeks; with German troops arriving in Lithuania — which was part of the Soviet Union a quarter century ago and occupied by German Nazi troops during World War Two.

British troops are reinforcing Estonia and Canadian troops have been sent to the third Baltic state, Latvia.

The message from all these vulnerable countries to Russia is the same; think twice before you make a move here; either by sending troops across the border (the ultimate red line for NATO), by cyber warfare or by inciting ethnic Russians against the Baltic governments.

Right it's Moscow which would do the "inciting" of ethnic Russians in the Baltics.  The Baltic states' polices of banning the Russian language from education, forced changing of Russian peoples' names, discrimination and physical violence against Russians and other foreigners, and "non-citizen" status for Russians in the Baltics couldn't in any way "incite" the Russian population. Why? Because Russia

At least two large NATO exercises, involving tens of thousands of troops, are planned for the summer.

Hopefully Russia won't aggressively deploy troops on its own territory to counter them. Let's hope Russia understands how close it is pushing the globe toward World War III by continually placing its borders so close to NATO's huge military exercises. 

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