13:36 GMT +301 October 2016
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    US army and Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers walk as a NATO helicopter flies overhead

    ‘Provocative’ NATO Build-Up Threatens Remaining US-Russia Ties

    © AFP 2016/ WAKIL KOHSAR
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    The decision by the US Department of Defense to boost spending on confronting Russia in Europe and fighting the Islamic State elsewhere will provide no military benefit whatsoever, former US Chief of Naval Operations science and policy advisor Theodore Postol told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The proposed boost in NATO-related spending is "a provocation that builds on the ‘original sin’ of NATO expansion, which led to the predictable breakdown of relations between Russia and the West," Postol stated on Wednesday.

    On Tuesday, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced the Defense Department will spend 50 percent more in fiscal year 2017 on its fight against the Islamic State and will request $3.4 billion in its fiscal year 2017 budget to support NATO allies in Europe.

    "The deployment has absolutely no military benefit in terms of NATO’s ability to defend allies in eastern and central Europe," Postol, who is also Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology and National Security Policy, added.

    He noted the increased US military commitment in Europe was built upon "a remarkable dissembling" of a 1997 agreement between Russia and the West that heavy weapons and troops would not be sent to locations near Russia’s borders.

    "In all, these actions will do nothing more than cause quite reasonable Russians to conclude that the United States and NATO will say anything, and seek to justify anything they want to do, regardless of its merits or its negative consequences for Europe’s collective security," Postol warned.

    The new US policy, Postol argued, would backfire and increase the dangers of war in Europe rather than deter it.

    "From my point of view, these actions simply demonstrate that NATO is a larger danger to itself and Western Europe than it is to Russia."

    The US government currently maintains that the 1997 agreement with Russia has not been violated because Washington is "rotating" troops through its forces in European countries rather than keeping them on station permanently, but this was a specious argument, Postol said.

    "By this definition, the United States has no presence in Iraq or Afghanistan, or for that matter anywhere else in the world where we have substantial deployments of American forces."

    Far from increasing trust and confidence in the United States around the world, such justifications destroyed US credibility, Postol maintained.

    "This remarkably dishonest interpretation of an existing agreement should indicate to every country that deals with the United States that our government cannot be trusted at its word."

    Postol concluded that regrettably, the planned US build-up would further polarize the two main thermonuclear powers.

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    US Department of Defense (DoD), NATO, Ashton Carter, Russia
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    • michael
      I would have thought that the polarisation was easily seen in the non military activities of the us. It can't really be added to.
    • cast235
      Russia should do what Soviets did. Just go by the business and ignore them. Denounce everything they do . Take it to U.N.
      Open Russia's own int organizations. A PACE, OSCE. they just spying and doing propaganda and planning unification with E.U , with CIS EEU members.
      Look how Belarus have sanctions.
      Signing E.U deals. You DON'T do that..
      You open a mall, and just be at others malls. Your mall will bankrupt.
    • jemfinch1
      President Obama should be listening to people like Mr. Postol, however, his actions as America's supreme commander certainly make it clear he isn't. Why is the US blowing all of it's money on these insane power plays? Does it really have to maintain total hegemony over the entire planet?

      I grow dizzy just speculating on the good which could be done with those hundreds of billions of defense spending dollars in places like Flint Michigan, where American poor people can get nothing better than poisonous water to drink and cook and bathe with.
    • barlow
      "the Defense Department will spend 50 percent more in fiscal year 2017 on its fight against the Islamic State..."
      These are the key words. It's all about defense contracts. The Department doesn't care if the bombs land on vacant desert land. The only purpose is to use up the bombs and order a few million more so as to increase the manufacturers' profits. Greed is the driving force in this false war.
    • Jet fuel can't melt steel beams
      It doesn't treathen it was never aimed to be good towards Russia.
    • Marc Nonnenkamp
      There is no more need for NATO to exist. There should be a comprehensive security agreement and economic zone of free trade from Lisbon to Vladivostok, from the North Cape to Italy and from the Arctic Circle to Mainland China.
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