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    U.S. soldiers stand beside a U.S. Patriot missile system at a Turkish military base in Gaziantep, southeastern Turkey, in this October 10, 2014 file photo

    US Deployment of Patriot Batteries in Turkey Threatens New Crisis

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    Retired US Army Maj. Todd Pierce claims that the US decision to send Patriot anti-ballistic missile interceptor batteries to Turkey has no military justification and may be a preparation for a manufactured incident to provoke a new crisis in the region.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US decision to send Patriot anti-ballistic missile interceptor batteries to Turkey has no military justification and may be a preparation for a manufactured incident to provoke a new crisis in the region, historian and retired US Army Maj. Todd Pierce told Sputnik.

    "Do you pick up the preparation for yet another ‘Gulf of Tonkin Moment’ here?" Pierce said on Thursday.

    Pierce was referring to the alleged clash between a US warship, the destroyer Maddox and two North Vietnamese torpedo boats in the Gulf of Tonkin in August 1964 that was used to win congressional endorsement for what became the US involvement in the Vietnam War.

    NATO is deploying missile defense systems in Turkey under the pretext of a non-existent threat of missile attacks from Syria, Russian Ambassador to NATO Alexander Grushko told Sputnik earlier on Thursday.

    Pierce said the Obama administration remained committed to finding whatever justification it needed to expand its military forces in the region with the goal of toppling Syrian President Bashar Assad.

    "That is what the Syrian war and proposed takedown of Assad is really about: rolling up any potential Russian allies," he explained.

    Pierce pointed out that deploying the Patriot systems was an unnecessary move as Turkey faced no direct threats of missile attacks.

    "Does deploying these Patriots systems in Turkey make any sense at all for Turkey's national security? Absolutely not: Who is going to attack them? Bulgaria?" he asked.

    The Patriots deployment appeared to be part of NATO’s policies to encircle Russia with increased military deployments, Pierce stated.

    "It is definitely not about protecting the Turkish people… It is directed at Russia in some way because there is no other potential opponent in the area," he continued.

    Pierce said the Patriot systems’ deployment was part of a US strategy, also employing NATO that had been operating for at least 18 years since the NATO bombing of Serbia to force it to leave its Kosovo province in 1999.

    "Since the Kosovo War with the takedown Milosevic, we have been working to subvert or overthrow any ally or potential ally of Russia with a tactical aim of weakening them, and with Russia as the ultimate target. The Wolfowitz doctrine stated that. Now we are getting closer," he noted.

    Pierce noted that long-term US strategy toward Russia was similar to the policy that the United States feared it was experiencing from the Soviet Union through the decades of the Cold War.

    "Remember when the Soviet Union seemed to be encircling us with Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Grenada? And how that angered us? We saw it there as their military aggressiveness… We took it as a threat which needed to be countered," he said.

    Current US policies of deploying increasingly large military forces and weapons systems around the periphery of Russia from the Baltics to Turkey was bound to generate those kinds of fears in Moscow, Pierce warned.


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    Patriot missile system, United States, Turkey
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