10:10 GMT +326 March 2017
    German army tanks are lined up after the NATO Noble Jump exercise on a training range near Swietoszow Zagan, Poland, Thursday, June 18, 2015

    NATO Buildup on Russia's Borders: Mobilization for War or 'Just Business'?

    © AP Photo/ Alik Keplicz
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    The large-scale US-NATO amassing of military forces on Russia’s Western borders, NATO’s so-called “Eastern Front,” is unprecedented and creates the impression of actual war preparations, according to Professor Stephen F. Cohen, however it might also be driven by the economics of the US military industrial complexes.

    The extraordinary US-NATO build-up of military forces — on land, sea, and air — on and very near Russia’s borders, or the opening of “NATO’s Eastern Front”, as Professor of Russian studies at Princeton University and New York University Stephen F. Cohen refers to it, had no precedent during the preceding 40-years of Cold War.

    “This military buildup on Russia’s Western frontiers is absolutely unprecedented. There has never been such an amassing of hostile military force on Russia’s Western frontiers since June 1941 when Hitler invaded the Soviet Union and that’s the way the Russians see it,” Stephen F. Cohen said in his recent interview with  John Batchelor on The John Batchelor Show radio news magazine.

    Such a massive mobilization creates an impression of preparation to actual war, the professor suggested.

    “What NATO is mobilizing there is a lot more than a couple of divisions here and a couple of divisions there, some armor here and some there,” he explained.

    “We need to understand that tens of thousands of western troops will be parked now permanently, they may say that they are rotating, but they are there permanently on Russia’s borders. Along with nuclear-ready missiles, along with a lot of tanks and, above all, in Russia’s eyes, the missile defense installation,” he added.

    This is so serious, so fraught with the possibility of war, he said, adding that this NATO buildup has gone beyond the Cold War, and that Russia is only reacting in response.

    This, the professor explained, is already beyond the Cold War, where nobody dies, this is already a “pre-war” stage, and what we are witnessing is a mobilization to war.

    The world has not witnessed a development like this, “certainly not in any proximity,” since the Cuban crisis with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, Stephen F. Cohen explained.

    ‘What Aggression by Putin Warranted this New Escalation?’

    When military experts ask for the reasons behind such a huge assembly of forces, they hear one and the same answer, one which is being echoed at the highest levels. And the person who formulated the plan is the US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.

    “When asked to explain why there is this massive NATO mobilization on Russia’s western frontiers, he said because of “Putin’s aggression. That was the only answer,” the professor says.

    “Putin’s “aggression”! What “aggression” by Putin warranted this new escalation?” he questions.

    “The aggression we attributed to Putin was more than two years ago, when he “annexed” Crimea and when he began supporting the rebels in Ukraine. But so far as I know he hasn’t invaded or menaced any country since then,” he replied.

    There is this myth, Cohen says, that Putin is somehow menacing “these little Baltic States” – Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia.

    But it isn’t true, he replies. This is just warmongering propaganda that has no evidence to support it.

    “So, what Putin did 2.5 year ago, if that was an aggression, why is that we are now mobilizing in a completely different location – in the Baltic area?” he therefore questions.

    No Mainstream Opposition

    Professor Cohen also acknowledged that as these “potentially fateful” events are occurring, there is no mainstream opposition to what the US and NATO are doing or even critical questions to be asked.

    “Our political class, all across the spectrum is down with this, there is no opposition. When there is no opposition, where will they stop? And increasingly it looks like it may not stop there, but it is going to end in war with Russia,” he suggested.

    ‘The West Calls It Aggression’

    The US and NATO are escalating on Russia’s borders in a way that never happened during the Cold War, but, and it is true, Russia is escalating back, he said.

    It is also building up militarily on its side.

    “We call that aggression. But I would argue that they are reacting!!” Professor Cohen said.

    “I think that any reasonable person would say that any Russian leader in the Kremlin would have to react to what NATO is doing on its borders. Or he would be removed,” he suggested.

    And many high-ranking Russian voices, he added, are already saying that Putin is not doing enough, he is not aggressive enough to take the initiative.

    ‘How Much of That is a Sincere Anxiety About our Security?’

    Is Russia really a threat? The professor wondered.

    How much of this is just ideology? he added.

    “Is it just the Cold War ideology that never died? The Cold War wasn’t about communism, it was about Russia,” he stated.

    ‘And Then There is an Elephant in the Room, and That’s the Money’

    When a country joins NATO, the professor explained, it is militarily has to be brought up to NATO’s standards.

    Most of the NATO equipment is US-made. The new member states become a consumer for the American defense industries, which have done very well as a result of NATO expansion.

    Some people have already suggested that this  NATO expansion has been about money the whole time — it has been driven by the American military industrial complex. Is there a better way to build up your revenue than to capture a market and make it obligatory to purchase only one product.

    Lots of countries make military equipment, Cohen explained. There is some NATO equipment that is not American-made. But it is all derived from American designs.

    It is an enormous market, he added.

    “So, when you look at the buildup, you look at the money, and they [US, NATO] are quadrupling expenditure on Russia’s frontier alone,” he acknowledged.

    And this is not the only place where NATO is active. It is on the move again in the former Soviet republic of Georgia. Again, they are talking about Moldova and it involves Romani where they built this missile defense system.

    “I don’t want to say that all the decisions made regarding Russia militarily are driven by the profitability of the military industrial complex I don’t know that to be true, but what I know to be true is that billions and billions and eventually trillions of dollars are going to be profited from this expansion of NATO and it continues to expand and in particularly now with the buildup on Russia’s borders,” the professor concluded.


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    war profiteering, NATO buildup, profits, business, war, Cold War, NATO, Stephen Cohen, Baltic Region, Europe, Russia
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    • avatar
      One can just imagine the Russian War Department saying, 1 hyposonic missile to Brussels, 2 for London, 4 Washington and a few to the Northern states like Sweden.
    • avatar
      When they sensed your soft reaction they make their moves. Make without fear and without respect of Russia. Now it is every Russia responsibilty to shoulder the response in order to bring back peace.
    • avatar
      If NATO attacks Russia the fate will befall them as it did to Napoleon, Hitler,the Russians are one unit the NATO coalition of countries will fall apart even at the USA warmongers hint at war.The Russians are not stupid they know exactly what these nutters are doing they are not going to reveal their defence/ attack plans, to say they are soft in their reactions to this build up is stupid.
    • avatar
      Cohen doesn't understand that when Carter says "Putin's aggression" he is only mouthing propaganda line? He means of course "Putin's independence".
    • support
      It may seem counter-intuitive but to my mind based on past dynamics in the region, the NATO forces are there to constrain Poland from pushing off to start WW III all on their own more than anything else, a sort of "Keeping an eye on them to keep them from doing anything stupid" exercise in military baby-sitting. Most Poles think they are as astutely positioned as they were in 1920 when there are no more Pilsudski's nor Paderewski's walking this Earth anymore.
    • avatar
      It is all about the money! That's how the US pays off part of its debt.
    • avatar
      It is very interesting that no easter europe countries, like Poland, Romania, ... think about Russian action in event of conflict and count the possible consequences for their country or people.
      For example, in the event of war, it is logical to expect that Russians will try to anihilate threat comming from the missile defence installation, with most probably hipersonic low yeald nuclear warhead. To ensure efficiency they will probably use more then one of this weapons.
      So, I think that it is better for then to stay out from this fight, couse they will suffer the most.
      The war will be on their theritory, not on american's.
    • FlorianGeyer
      NATO became a beast without a purpose in Europe after the USSR folded. Since then NATO has evolved into a US plaything outside Europe. All the conflicts NATO have been involved in for the furtherance of 'Western Democratic Values' have ended in a total disaster for the citizens of the 'un-democratic ' nations involved.

      Today the NATO officers are essentially looking for a reason to exist in a world where the US and NATO have become the aggressors and who use terrorists as proxies to create death and chaos. NATO then say that they are needed to stop the death and chaos , when in fact its all about the US $.
    • avatar
      Who would have thought that a massive military buildup on your borders is a preparation for war? If one were preparing for a shower then a towel & soap would be prudent; if one is preparing for war then guns and bullets are the commodities. Yes Russia this is real, perhaps a spiritual cleansing with Russian soap (missiles) are what these dirty boys need? Let them go home clean & sanitized so that they will not need cleaning for many centuries.
    • Mystic-One
      Edgar Cayce was asked when Christ would return to usher in God's kingdom here on earth. He replied, "When those that are his make the way clear."

      He also stated that 'Russia would be the hope of the world."

      Russia is acting like a Christian Nation. Defense over first strike. Remember God and his kingdom will rule in the end and those that follow his laws and precepts will triumph over evil.
    • Angus Gallagherin reply toMystic-One(Show commentHide comment)
      Mystic-One, this is very true and its the basis of our beliefs. Russia rose again and this is a sign God has not deserted us.
    • Mystic-Onein reply toAngus Gallagher(Show commentHide comment)
      Angus Gallagher, Amen, my friend and may his Kingdom come sooner rather than later. Bless you and yours.
    • avatar
      ivanwa88, USSR did not defeat Hitler. The allies did, of which USSR was part. If all Hitler had to do was to defeat the USSR, it would have been accomplished by 1942. There were many Russians who joined Hitlers units, cause they could see that the Germans were there to liberate them from the evil Jew-Commis.
    • avatar
      I'm disgusted that not one of Europes talking heads Is speaking up for the silent suffering majority and telling the US neocon nutcases to back away from Russia and China.
    • avatar
      in answer to the headline's question; it's just stupidity.
    • avatar
      1. Build up is to put fear in the Russian population to overthrow Putin.
      2. To create a false flag and have troops ready at border for immediate invasion.
      3. To test Russian reaction and identify unknown Russian weapons.
      4. A diversion to other world events.... South America? Africa?

      Russia should think of one move that will counter all problems.
      Is it military, political, economics, a combination or something else.
    • avatar
      This is why I suggest Russia should help china in the south china sea. USA wont try any tricks if both are united. I recommend you bring Pakistan and India into this alliance. It is high time India realized that Russia was their true friend not USA. In unity you will show strength. Also nobody like USA in Asia and middle East except Israel.
    • avatar
      I do not want it !!! but i think humankind will nuke them-self sooner or later with all above comment. it will be .... once upon a time, there was a Humankind...
    • avatar
      in reply toLâm(Show commentHide comment)
      LamLam, I will answer . My opinion is the Humankind was till now not Humans. The Humankind will first then Humans when the dimwited and sickness USA vanished from our blue planed. When I see or hear the Name USA I could to puke. The USA can only exist on our planed through the 80% idiods dimwited and Alkohol sickness creature. If we not had this 80% sickness creatures, the USA could not exist longer as a week
    • avatar
      What these NATO countries and in particular the US fail to grasp is that they are dealing with very experienced and talented leadership that treat these threats as being infantile to say the least.
      When Obama lifted Vietnams arms embargo - what was China's reaction, it was to invest even more heavily in the new silk road
      NATO's build up, Putin doesn't react beyond saying that it's a provocation and laughs off the threat of a third world war
      Reminds me of the old saying; "does the moon listen to a dog howling at it" so it must be very frustrating for the US warmongers whose threats are treated as the ranting of people who are too stupid to even be worth listening to, let alone respond in kind
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