This weekend the Pentagon announced changes to military training protocols, with an eye toward preparing troops to go “anywhere.” The ramp-up of the American war machine, during a time of relative peace, marks the latest shift by the Obama administration to a position to the right of George W. Bush’s foreign policy, in the waning hours of the former’s final term in office.
In recent months, the US has expanded military spending along the Russian border to prevent a threat for which there is no evidence; that Moscow will invade NATO members along its eastern border, a charge that Russian President Vladimir Putin has consistently denied.
"I think that only an insane person, and only in a dream, can imagine that Russia would suddenly attack NATO. I think some countries are simply taking advantage of people’s fears with regard to Russia. They just want to play the role of front-line countries that should receive some supplementary military, economic, financial or some other aid," said President Putin one year ago, amidst renewed rumblings by the American military establishment of the specter of 'Russian aggression.'
An increasing US military presence around the world has focused recently on containing China, with President Obama offering a deluge of concessions to Vietnam, including dropping a five-decade arms embargo, as well as appealing to Japan by apologizing for America’s World War II atom bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Along with promoting a regional counter alliance to blunt China’s ambitions, the US has had several heated exchanges with Beijing over the South China Sea, with the Obama administration accusing Chinese President Xi Jinping of militarizing the disputed Paracel and Spratly Islands.
In addition to reigniting the Cold War, the US has increased its military presence in South Korea, incited the unstable North Korean regime of Kim Jong Un to accelerate its nuclear program, as well as converting the entire Middle East and North Africa into an expanding zone of endless war.
With the ouster of Muammar Gadhafi, Libya became a failed state and fertile ground for Daesh violence. In Syria, the US continues to arm rebels seeking the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad with heavy munitions, knowing that these arms end up in the hands of al-Nusra and Daesh. Regional conflicts rage on and are recently taking on expanded life, especially in Iraq and Syria. There are also ongoing Saudi atrocities in Yemen undertaken with a fresh supply of next-generation US weapons.
Having declared war in a substantial majority of the world, the Pentagon now calls for training soldiers for combat "anywhere," seeking to undertake a systematic program of small, remote deployments throughout the world, per a Defense Department statement.