01:49 GMT +320 August 2019
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    US Army armament crew specialist Michael Mayo, from Florida, loads the rocket pod of an an Apache AH-64D attack helicopter also armed with Hellfire missiles at left

    Hellfire Missiles, C-130Js: Pentagon Wants to Saturate Europe With Weapons?

    © AFP 2019 / ROMEO GACAD
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    NATO Seeks Expansion to Eastern Europe (362)

    The US Department of Defense plans to sell weapons, including Hellfire missiles and GMLR rockets, to France, Finland and the United Kingdom at a total cost of $880 million, with a non-existent threat from Russia used to validate at least one of the sales.

    France wants to purchase two C-130J transport aircraft, two KC-130J refueling planes and turboprop engines, as well as associated equipment, including missile warning systems, radar warning receivers, etc. The US will also provide support, test equipment and training.

    The UK is expected to receive 500 AGM-114R Hellfire II Semi-Active Laser (SAL) missiles and associated equipment, while Finland will obtain 40 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) M31A1 Unitary and GMLRS M30A1 Alternative Warhead Rockets in Pods.

    France and the UK will use weaponry purchased from the US for the sub-Saharan Africa campaign and against ISIL respectively.

    Lockheed C-130 Hercules
    © Sputnik / Vladislav Ushakov
    Lockheed C-130 Hercules

    Arms sold to Finland are meant to "improve the security of a friendly country" and its "capability to meet current and future threats," as the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency put it in the press release.

    "Finland will use this enhanced capability to strengthen and secure its national borders," the press release added. It did not name the threats Helsinki might face but was surely referring to Russia.

    The deals have not been closed yet but they all received the required authorization.

    For Pentagon, the proposed sales of equipment and support "will not alter the basic military balance in the region." In fact, they will since they are part of a large-scale campaign which has already seen the US and NATO buildup their military muscle in Europe using a non-existent threat from Russia as a pretext, as the press release clearly shows.

    Moreover, the North Atlantic Alliance is actively courting its partner nations, like Sweden and Finland.

    On Tuesday, while on a visit in Sweden, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called for greater defense cooperation between the alliance, its Nordic allies and partners, as well as the Baltic nations. He named Russia's military activity from the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean as one of security challenges which NATO has to address.

    Moscow, as well as many foreign officials and experts have repeatedly stated that Russia poses no threat to any nation, whether it is a NATO member or not.

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    US, NATO Deadliest Military Operations
    NATO Seeks Expansion to Eastern Europe (362)


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    NATO, saber-rattling, arms deal, weapons, Hellfire II, Lockheed C-130 Hercules, United States, Russia, United Kingdom, Finland, France
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