WASHINGTON, October 2 (RIA Novosti), Lyudmila Chernova - The Obama administration should be working on restoring cooperation with Moscow, instead of completely destroying already fragile relations by recklessly sending troops to the Baltic States, a historic Russian sphere of influence, a veteran American foreign correspondent told RIA Novosti Thursday.
"It is the latest move in 20 years of heedless US and NATO incursions into the traditional Russian sphere of influence in Central and Eastern Europe… US policymakers should be seeking to restore a viable relationship and renewed dialogue and understanding with Russia, not trying to destroy it," Martin Sieff said.
"The announced deployment of a small, elite US military force across Poland and the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania over the next three weeks will be an enormously dangerous and reckless move that will dangerously increase the potentially catastrophic risk of a direct clash between the US and NATO units with those of Russia," the journalist added.
The reporter stressed that the size of the force involved is derisory and that US President Barack Obama has been terribly advised on this decision.
"The conventional ground force capabilities of NATO in Central Europe are almost nonexistent, and the US Army itself has been exhausted by being recklessly committed by its political masters to 13 years of expensive, demoralizing and costly futile wars in Iraq and Afghanistan… This new decision can be easily recognized as a desperate bluff by a very bad poker player who knows he holds only a weak hand and who is terrified that he will be called out to show his cards," he said.
Sieff underlined that instead of making such reckless moves, the Obama administration should be working constructively with Russia against the rapidly emerging jihadist threat in Iraq and Syria that threatens both great nations.
The Obama administration announced on Tuesday that the so-called "Ironhorse" armed cavalry unit, with about 700 soldiers, some 20 M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks with Bradley and Stryker armored fighting vehicles, would be deployed in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland in the next couple of weeks. The decision was made to show Moscow that its "interference" in any of these states may lead to a war with the Western alliance.