07:35 GMT22 January 2021
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    NATO is holding its largest military exercises since the end of the Cold War, with more than 50,000 personnel from across the alliance. Critics are calling the massive show of force “insane,” as it increases the risk of armed conflict.

    "The war rehearsals, or war games, are just insane" David Swanson, activist and author, told Radio Sputnik's By Any Means Necessary on Thursday.

    Noting that it is no longer clear what NATO's true purpose is, Swanson said its exercises are "great for selling weapons; they are great for building up hostility and maintaining enemies that help sell weapons, but they risk major war. And they risk nuclear war."

    Swanson said that a petition at RootsAction.org has obtained at least 10,000 signatures calling for an end to the exercises. "The US, NATO and other countries that have joined in — Sweden, Finland, et cetera — it's madness. NATO is also planning to celebrate its 70th anniversary on April 4 in Washington, DC — a day that ought to be dedicated to Martin Luther King, Jr. Another group I work for, World Beyond War, is working on plans to protest that and celebrate nonviolence and peace rather than NATO's birthday."

    "The other message being sent by all this hostility toward Russia, according to [National Security Adviser John] Bolton over in Russia tearing up another treaty, was, ‘Don't mess with US elections,'" the writer said, chuckling. "Russiagate liberals have won."

    Some liberals may be patting themselves on the back, but "they've moved us closer to midnight on the doomsday clock," Swanson said of the Democratic wing that has embraced neoconservatives who pushed for the Iraq War like Bill Kristol.

    "We could go on being lucky for years or for decades, by which point climate change catastrophe is going to destroy us anyway, but the odds are against it. Luck doesn't hold out that long," said Swanson.

    While the NATO exercises seem to be aimed at Moscow, a retired US general also predicted on Wednesday that the US will probably be at war with China within 15 years.


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