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    Washington's War Party Tries to Sell Russia as Key Existential Threat to US

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    Led by the likes of Senator John McCain and Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, the hardliners in Washington are doing their best to present Russia as the primary existential threat to the US, noted James Carden, former advisor to the US-Russia Presidential Commission at the US State Department.

    The song has remained the same for over a decade despite the fact that the sales pitch has nothing to do with reality.

    "The demonization of Russia is, at bottom, a longstanding project of Washington's armchair warrior caste, dating back to early years of the George W. Bush administration," James Carden pointed out in his article, titled "Is Russia Really ‘the Greatest Threat’ to US National Security?"

    The Obama administration did not adopt a tough anti-Russian stance as a foreign policy imperative in its first years and in general does not share the hardliners' views on Moscow to this day.

    Accordingly, the president tried to appoint those, who would not undermine the major shift in US foreign policy from lesser engagement in the Middle East to greater involvement in Asia. Military buildup in Europe was not part of the initial plan either.

    The war party must have popped champagne in the spring of 2014 when the US imposed anti-Russian sanctions and launched Operation Atlantic Resolve. This campaign is carried out under the pretext of protecting Washington's European partners, especially in Eastern Europe and the Baltics, from Russia's putative threat and alleged meddling in Ukrainian affairs.

    Obama's recent nominees for the top jobs in the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) reflect the new trend. Both Gen. Joseph Dunford, who could succeed Gen. Martin Dempsey as the JCS chairman, or Gen. Paul J. Selva, who could be named the JCS vice chairman, called Russia a threat during hearings at the Senate Armed Services Committee.

    "If you want to talk about a nation that could pose an existential threat to the United States, I'd have to point to Russia. And if you look at their behavior, it's nothing short of alarming," Dunford said last week.

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    Not surprisingly, the general is in favor of sending weapons to Kiev. All the countries, endorsing the Minsk peace process, are firmly opposed to the idea of arming Ukrainian forces, because there is only one way this could play out: more violence, more victims and more instability. The Obama administration is also against the initiative.

    Still the US hawks remain oblivious to this fact but they have plenty to celebrate regardless.

    The hardliners forced Obama to adopt a harsher stance towards Russia, the US magazine noted. They secured the unprecedented deployment of NATO's heavy weapons to Eastern Europe and the Baltics. They are getting ready to expand training programs of Ukraine's forces. And they never miss an opportunity to engage in alarmist if not militaristic rhetoric.

    For all intents and purposes Washington's war party is on the rise and they are the true threat to the US, according to the media outlet.

    "It is the war party that remains ascendant in the corridors of power, and this, because it is bringing us only one or two steps from war with Russia, is to the absolute detriment of US national security," the Nation concluded.


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    hawks, Obama administration, foreign policy, politics, Victoria Nuland, John McCain, United States, Russia
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