US Troop Alert May Be Empty Threat But It Awoke Many, Americans Who Don’t Want War, Activist Says
16:09 GMT 28.01.2022 (Updated: 16:49 GMT 08.01.2023)
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US President Joe Biden’s decision to alert 8,500 forces for possible deployment in Europe could be an empty threat, however, it awoke many in the United States as the Americans do not want another war, Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space coordinator Bruce Gagnon said.
The decision on alerting thousands of troops was made just two days before Washington gave its written responses to Russia’ security proposals. A Pentagon spokesperson said on Monday that 8,500 US troops had been placed on heightened alert over the situation around Ukraine.
"First, I heard that Biden was immediately sending more troops, but then it was changed that the troops have been put on 'stand by'. So it could be an empty threat by the US," Gagnon said. "But the statement about sending the troops has woke up many people in the US to pay more attention to this issue. Americans don't want another war but with the Democrats in power many 'liberals' - who normally would not want a war - are now supporting Biden because their party is in power."
Gagnon added that, fortunately, growing numbers of Republicans are opposing war - "although some are doing it with electoral positioning in mind."
On Wednesday, US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan delivered Washington's response to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday that Russia is reviewing the response but stressed that the United States, in its response to Russia’s proposals on security guarantees, left the main question about non-expansion of NATO to the east unanswered.
"No surprise though but it is a very sad and disingenuous response by the US," Gagnon said. "It is quite clear to me that the US only has one goal in mind and that is to continue to demonize Russia internationally and to militarily create chaos on all Russian borders in order to destabilize the Moscow government. The US-UK-NATO wants regime change in Russia. They want total control of the Arctic region as the ice melts due to climate crisis."
Moscow published its security suggestions for NATO and the US in late 2021 as tensions flared high around Ukraine. It requested, in particular, guarantees that the alliance would not expand eastward. The US insists it will not allow anyone to slam NATO's open-door policy shut.
"I thought Russia proposals were rational, justified and necessary when one considers that Moscow is facing a 'Cuban missile crisis in-reverse,’" Gagnon said. "We are now witnessing US missile launch facilities in Romania and Poland, aggressive NATO war games on Russian borders, and regular naval and air force provocations along Russian borders. One can just imagine how crazy Washington would be if any country was doing this along US borders with Canada or Mexico."
Commenting on the possible development of the situation around Ukraine, Gagnon said, "We hear that some NATO members are telling the US to back off but Washington and NATO hardliners are not even listening to their own NATO member states."
28 January 2022, 13:58 GMT
"I think this confirms that the US rules NATO with an iron fist. I can't imagine that anyone in Europe wants a war with Russia," he said. "I recently heard that a petition is now being circulated in Italy to withdraw from NATO. In the end this entire situation is furthering the US-NATO 'bad image' around the globe."
When asked whether there is still a chance to stop the war and what can be done to do that, the activist said, "I think there is a chance but first we must have more voices opposing war in the US and throughout Europe."
"I don't believe that Moscow is eager to start a war but the Russian government has legitimate security concerns that any thoughtful person should acknowledge," he said. "We all must take responsibility to help stop a war that could possibly go nuclear."
The United States and its allies have accused Russia that it is conducting a troop build-up in Ukraine and plans to invade the latter. Russia has repeatedly denied the accusations, saying it does not plan to attack any country.
In addition, Russia has pointed to NATO's military activities close to its borders and the alliance’s plans to move eastward as a threat to its national security. Russia has also said it reserves the right to move troops within its sovereign territory.