12:10 GMT +321 January 2020
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    The Pentagon's warning that the Russian armed forces have accelerated activity around the globe might cause just a slight smile, expert in political and military affairs Brian Cloughley notes.

    US high-ranking military officials' recent commentaries regarding Russia's capability to cut America's undersea data cables should be regarded as an attempt to add more fuel to the fire of anti-Russian propaganda, former Australian defense attaché to Islamabad, author and expert in political and military affairs Brian Cloughley stresses.

    "It is obvious that in the event of a conflict Russia would do its best to destroy enemy undersea communications cables, just as its adversaries would try to do the same, but this wasn't the point of the article, which somewhat lamely went on to admit that "there is no evidence yet of any cable cutting." Of course not. The cable story was only a lead in to the deeper intention of the piece which was to add to the drumbeat of anti-Russian propaganda," Cloughley pointed out in his article for Strategic Culture Foundation.

    The expert noted that the Pentagon officials are pushing ahead with the idea of Russia's accelerated activity around the globe. However, such an assumption may cause just a quite smile: it is the US, not Russia, who has deployed over 600 military bases around the globe.

    Cloughley called attention to the fact that Washington has Special Forces troops in at least 135 countries.

    Indeed, Special Operations Command's (SOCOM) commander General Joseph Votel elaborated in June 2015 that "approximately 11,000 special operators are deployed or stationed outside the United States with many more on standby, ready to respond in the event of an overseas crisis."

    "This increased focus is because 'Russia is looking to challenge us wherever they can,' which is an intriguing assertion from a man with 11,000 knuckle-dragging 'special operators' swaggering round the world," the expert noted with heavy irony.

    The US military officials' assumption that Russia has sought to demonstrate a "much longer reach" for its military forces in Crimea and Syria is no less ludicrous. While Crimea is a historical part of Russia, the distance from Russia's southern city of Sochi to Syria's Aleppo is just 800 kilometers or 500 miles, Cloughley underscored.

    Remarkably, the distance between the US and Syria is more than 8,000 kilometers.

    "Is it the US from its military bases all around the Middle East and its thirty-ship Mediterranean fleet? Or is it Russia, with two bases in Syria and six other bases outside its borders?" the expert asks.

    Cloughley cited the interview given by Russian President Putin in June 2015 to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

    "The aggregate military spending of NATO countries is 10 times, note — 10 times — higher than that of the Russian Federation," President Putin underscored, adding that Russia is "not expanding anywhere; it is NATO infrastructure, including military infrastructure that is moving towards our borders. Is this a manifestation of our aggression?"

    All the accusations of some phantom menace posed by Russia to the rest of the world spread by Western media outlets are completely groundless.

    On the other hand, when Russia sent its Air Force to Syria in response to the official request of the legitimate Syrian government, Washington and its NATO allies rushed to express their growing "concerns" regarding "civilian deaths" in Syria caused by Russian airstrikes. Curiously enough, they had not provided any evidence to confirm their allegations.

    However, the devil is always in the details. The ink had hardly dried upon Washington's statement when a US Air Force AC-130 gunship blitzed a hospital in Kunduz city, Cloughley noted. The infamous attack that lasted from 2:08 am to 3:15 am claimed the lives of 22 people, including 12 staff and three children. More than 30 were injured, more than 30 were missing.

    "So much for playing a role in global affairs. It is unfortunate that when the world's indispensable nation extends its reach, it extends to destruction of hospitals. But it is all in the best interests of accelerated activity," Cloughley concluded with a touch of bitterness.


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    NATO, NATO military presence, Russian threat, US military bases, moderate Syrian rebels, NATO expansion, airstrike, The Syrian war, Pentagon, Vladimir Putin, Crimea, Syria, United States, Russia, Kunduz
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