23:28 GMT +3 hours24 July 2016
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Portuguese Fuzileiros secure an area after disembarking from an amphibious transport during an exercise as part of the NATO's Trident Juncture 2015 in Troia, 100 kms south of Lisbon on November 5, 2015

NATO Invades Spain

© AFP 2016/ FRANCISCO LEONG
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Pepe Escobar
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Fresh from its thunderous humiliation by the Taliban; its “liberation” of Libya for the benefit of militia hell; and while Russia was bombing the hell out of a Salafi-jihadi/”moderate rebel” constellation in Syria, NATO – in search for a “360-degree” response to Russia - resorted to invading… Spain.

And Portugal. And Italy. The whole “central Mediterranean” for that matter. Trident Juncture – the heroic denomination of NATO’s war games – is supposed to last a very long five weeks, involving 36,000 troops, 230 military units, 140 fighter aircraft, more than 60 ships, and Humvees spectacularly bogged down on Portuguese beaches.

Oh yes; it takes a lot of effort to find those elusive, evil tapas of mass destruction (TMDs).

NATO secretary-general, Norwegian figurehead Jens Stoltenberg, ceremonially landed in Zaragoza to “observe” Trident Juncture in person, spinning there were now “many threats to the South of the alliance”. No, he was not talking about himself.  

Stoltenberg was evidently oblivious to pan-European civil society protesting his weaponized Big Brother en masse. In Zaragoza. In Rome. In Sofia. In Montenegro.

An helicopter takes part in the NATO's Trident Juncture Exercice at San Gregorio training ground near Zaragoza on November 4, 2015.
© AFP 2016/ PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU
Instead, he advanced that in early December NATO will come up with a new “southern strategy”. Essentially more patrols in the Club Med; deployment of NATO troops in “advisory” roles across Middle East-Northern Africa (MENA); and reinforced, permanent NATO military deployments all over Europe.

Trident Juncture involves what NATO calls “spearhead force”. So may the force be fit to invade not only PIGS but all points Africa as well.

Maybe we should copy DHL?

With Trident Juncture, we have a NATO invasion of some of the PIGS (Portugal, Italy and Spain) – all nasty, pejorative connotations included – essentially designed to reassure NATO’s “eastern allies” that Russia will not be able to invade them.

After all, Admiral John Richardson, the new chief of US Navy operations, had already confirmed the Pentagon is sending extra ships and submarines to deter “Russian adventurism”.

He was echoed by Gen. Adrian Bradshaw, NATO’s deputy supreme allied commander, who invoked perennial “freedom of navigation” to justify an escalation; “As we observe the deployment of more sophisticated [Russian] capabilities with considerable reach it becomes more and more important that we refresh our deterrence.”

So from now on expect a NATO “continuum of deterrence” all across southern Europe. That includes five Global Hawk surveillance drones based in Sicily that will allow non-stop spying across the Mediterranean to MENA.

Predictably, to justify Trident Juncture, Western corporate media turned up the excuse bullhorn to ear-splitting levels – from “wrong-footed US-led alliance” to “tactical surprises” by Russia – while praising NATO’s “biggest modernization since the Cold War”. Gen. Denis Mercier from France spun NATO’s new, multi-layered “deterrence” effort as, "We need to develop a strategy for all kinds of crises, at 360 degrees." Well, a few extra degrees towards the Eastern Mediterranean would pit NATO against Russia – but that’s too risky. Better try to find those tapas. 

Proverbially unnamed NATO officials were kept busy anyway spinning that Russia could deploy warships from the Eastern Mediterranean to Libya to “hamper” a NATO “effort” to support a future government of national unity. As if NATO’s “strategy” of creating a wasteland in northern Africa and calling it “victory” would qualify it for nation building.

Trident Juncture is just about – well — tapas. The full dinner takes place at a NATO summit in July 2016 in Russia-demonizing Poland. Europeans are advised to expect lots of brilliant ideas lifted from DHL and Amazon. As NATO’s Mercier indelibly put it, “We should look at what the civilian world does, to DHL and Amazon. How do they improve their logistics?"

Oh, those mysterious Russians

NATO’s cluelessness is a direct consequence of American military perplexity, as reflected in this priceless briefing by Dr. Strangelove, sorry, NATO supremo Gen. Philip Breedlove himself.

In his own words; “We cannot be fully certain of what Russia will do next. We still cannot fully discern Mr. Putin’s intent.”

And that perplexity in itself reflects the Pentagon’s deadly mix of ire and impotence. Take US Army Chief of Staff General Mike Milley, blasting at the Defense One summit in Washington that Russia is “aggressive”; “adversarial to the interests of the United States”; a violator of “the Westphalian order” since 2008 by “invading sovereign nations”; and in sum – fully subscribing to the latest US military doctrine — an existential threat.

Breedlove/hate at least admitted the Pentagon’s perennial obsession with (supposed) Full Spectrum Dominance, projected way beyond   Europe towards MENA and deep into Africa; “Most of the forces we have in Europe are also dual-hatted to Africa Command. While they are stationed in Europe, their focus is on AFRICOM missions on the continent. In this way, EUCOM is supporting across that seam into AFRICOM.”

And yet the number one issue in MENA remains Syria.

The Pentagon is deploying a dozen F-15C Eagle fighters to Turkey’s Incirlik base. The official spin is to “ensure the safety” of “NATO allies”, which should be translated as “protecting” US and other Coalition of the Dodgy Opportunists (CDO) allied jet fighters from… Russian jet fighters.

Theoretically the F-15Cs will be “escorting” the odd CDO attack planes that bomb ISIS/ISIL/Daesh once in a blue moon. Rubbish; the F-15Cs carry only air-to-air weapons. And their pilots are trained to only shoot down enemy aircraft.

The notion that the Pentagon would dare declaring its own no-fly zone over northern Syria to protect a gaggle of “moderate rebels” from Russian and Syrian Arab Army (SAA) bombing is preposterous. What next? “Red” fighters against “Blue” fighters on air-to-air combat? As much as he’s cornered by a neocon-infested Pentagon, Obama is not suicidal. Still, the wondrous plot of two divergent coalitions in Syria – the CDO versus the “4+1” (Russia-Syria-Iran-Iraq plus Hezbollah) — keeps thickening.

Adding to Pentagon freak out, Russia has sent missile systems to Syria, on top of fighter jets, bombers and helicopters, as Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev told the Komsomolskaya Pravda. As Bondarev and other Russian military officials have kept mum on what sort of missiles, the Pentagon assumes they are the deadly accurate S-300 surface-to-air missile systems. Oh dear. Better scrap that Pentagon no-fly zone.

So it’s easy to see why the Pentagon and NATO are so dejected. It’s so much safer to keep looking for those elusive tapas of mass destruction (TMDs). And then go for a deterrence siesta.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

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NATO, invasion, Jens Stoltenberg, Italy, Portugal, Spain
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  • mzungu Thomas Buschmann
    Western nations watching how they are being militarily occupied by the US and protests are lame at the best. It appears we don't deserve freedom from foreign domination.
  • Stephen McCourt
    This is the European version of the Jade Helm military exercises in the USA. If the C.I.A cannot fully control the elctions and the Spanich,Portugese and Italians vote the wrong way, N.A.T.O will be mobilised to put down the riots.
  • hopscotch64
    Informative, entertaining, and accurate. Thanks.
  • choticastile
    Gotta love Pepe! -- Jeez, he takes the Micky out of the Empire of Chaos and its satellites every time and in such a clever and comical way, that he always brings the laugh of the day -- no matter how serious the subject matter. Thank you sir!
  • Eudoxia
    Nothing beats Pepe's indispensable humor when it comes to delivering words of mass destruction to the impeccable human rights record of the US! If you want to see something truly outstanding check out the latest Armed Services Committee Hearing with the good ole boys, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran McINsane along with his sidekick Graham grill Carter and Dumbsford on their ME strategy (oops they don't appear to have one LOL)

    www.c-span.org/video/?328955-1/secretary-carter-general-dunford-testimony-middle-east-strategy
  • Eudoxia
    Nothing beats Pepe's indispensable humor when it comes to delivering words of mass destruction to the impeccable human rights record of the US! If you want to see something truly outstanding check out the latest Armed Services Committee Hearing with the good ole boys, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran McINsane along with his sidekick Graham grill Carter and Dumbsford on their ME strategy (oops they don't appear to have one LOL)

    www.c-span.org/video/?328955-1/secretary-carter-general-dunford-testimony-middle-east-strategy
  • Jimmy
    The world governments, including the UN & NATO, have certainly gone insane. No wonder Henry Kissinger, the idol of the NeoCons said that, "Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.” God help us,...
  • tony p
    NATO has to have a mythical enemy for its survival.
  • in reply totony p(Show commentHide comment)
    tony p, like any totalitharian institute
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