15:19 GMT +321 February 2017
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    In this June 18, 2015,file photo flags wave in front of soldiers who take positions with their army vehicles during the NATO Noble Jump exercise on a training range near Swietoszow Zagan, Poland

    'Balance of Terror': Inside NATO’s Aggressive Expansion on Russia’s Borders

    © AP Photo/ Alik Keplicz
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    With the United States quadrupling its military budget and NATO increasing its presence in Eastern Europe, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern speaks to Radio Sputnik’s Brian Becker about the West’s new Cold War with Russia.

    "This has to do with what Pope Francis calls 'the blood-drenched arms trade.' Peace is very bad for business. War, tension? That’s very good for business," McGovern tells Loud & Clear host Brian Becker.

    "In short, the tensions, which have been artificially stoked as a result of Russia’s fully expected reaction to the coup on its doorstep in Kiev, these tensions are very good for business, and they will be very good for the generals who get another star on their lapels. It’s the military-industrial-congressional-media-security services complex on steroids."

    NATO and the US insist that their actions are purely defensive. But even if that’s true, the mere presence of anti-missile systems along Russia’s border increases the risk of conflict.

    "It’s a balance of terror rather than a balance of power, where at the first suggestion that either side was about to attack…you can’t wait 30 minutes, you have to launch right on warning or else you lose your strategic reserve," McGovern says.

    "I fully expect [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and others to authorize the kind of counter measures that would successfully defeat, or at least counter, what NATO has in mind. What the US has in mind."

    While NATO promised not to expand after the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, that is precisely what it has done.

    "The NATO summit, in its ‘wisdom,’ on April 3, said Ukraine and Georgia will become members of NATO. So, the US and NATO were thumbing their nose at Russian concerns," McGovern says. "When the [Ukrainian] coup took place, with the US and Western assistance…that forced the Russians to cope with this.

    "I have no scintilla of evidence that the people running our [The US] policy toward Russia have any basic, rudimentary appreciation of…Russian security interests which have been paramount since Catherine the Great in the 1700s."

    McGovern also addresses comments recently made by US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, in which he called Russia’s "aggression" and attempt by Moscow to be "co-equal" to the United States.

    "Clapper is simply not one to be believed," he says. "What [people] don’t know is that he was in charge of imagery analysis before Iraq. That means that the fact that he could find no weapons of mass destruction before the war is egregious. Why couldn’t he find them if they were there?

    "James Clapper should retire and go live in Florida."

    Related:

    NATO to Commence First Training of Georgian Military Units in May
    Gorbachev: Russia's Response to NATO Must be Adequate, Without Use of Force
    Merkel Wants to Send NATO Ships to Curry Favor With Erdogan
    Tags:
    russian aggression, missile defense systems, new Cold War, NATO, Ray McGovern, Vladimir Putin, James Clapper, United States, Ukraine, Russia, Eastern Europe, Georgia
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    • avatar
      michael
      I have the impression that there is no 'step by step' plan but more a series of directional scenarios which are modified as events unravel. This necessitates that the us has lost the initiative and is, as some write, reactionary.
    • avatar
      Hafez Alawi
      Russia has to be more forceful.
      Why did they not help Syrians until 2015???
      If Russian started bombing terrorists in 2013, there would be no pne of this chaid that happens now. Anglo developed Daesh in that time, trained and funded them
    • avatar
      backfromthegraav
      It does not matter 1 step by Nato in RF territory an say goodbye to Ameriscun land .... LOL
    • Is it because I am black?
      Those Americans only know how to get into the parking lot of the nearest McDonald, and this is if they are lucky.
    • avatar
      aubreydgarrett
      Clapper to Florida? James Clapper should be dragged to the nearest War Criminal Court. Just my opinion.
    • avatar
      anne00marie
      $600 billion USA defense. $60 billion Russian defense. Europe austerity programes and cut backs (scrapyards full of refurbished military equipment). Who delivers kit that can work?
    • avatar
      anne00marie
      ivanwa88, CIA media disinformation agent. Wonder what he gets paid?
    • avatar
      cast235
      They planning a war. That's why they doing that. They could train anywhere else and practice rotations. Or a boxer MUST train in the ring prepared for the fight 4 months before?
    • Ann in reply tomichael(Show commentHide comment)
      michael, I think "reactionary" is only on the surface, it's only what they want everyone else to see/think. I think they intentionally do things to get other countries to react, so they can carry out their foregone plans. NK is a prime example, and kim jung-un will pay for being young and inexperienced, and letting the US bait him.
    • Ann in reply toanne00marie(Show commentHide comment)
      anne00marie, Here's a thumbs up, since the votes are not working properly.
    • avatar
      michaelin reply toAnn (Show commentHide comment)
      sixpack6t9, one would hope so. It would be a little safer and saner if there were that 'rationality', the but for me is things like mccain, he acts irrationaly so well! Or there are the activities between the executive branch and the congress...the mind continues to boggle. :) Just thinking on this as well, considering the comments which come from nato - I didn't think that they would be such great actors...:)
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