After the collapse of the Soviet Union Washington and NATO took a series of steps which aimed to create "an alarming imbalance in the strategic relation" between the United States and the Russian Federation, American author, researcher and strategic risk consultant F. William Engdahl notes.
"The ultimate US brute force game against her long-standing nemesis, Russia, is the creation of a 'missile shield' aimed at Russia. In 2007, George W. Bush announced Washington was going to deploy what it called Ballistic Missile Defense," Engdahl writes in his article for New Eastern Outlook.
"It was more or less the beginning of a deep and now fundamental distrust by Russia and by Vladimir Putin of Washington's honesty and her intentions. Now Moscow, in what appears a brilliant chess move, unveils a surprise response," the researcher stresses.
Despite the fact the Cold War is over, Washington has continued to push ahead with its 'NATO expansion' project. On December 13, 2001 US President George W. Bush announced that Washington was going to unilaterally withdraw from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
At the same time US Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld quietly kicked off the construction of a US Ballistic Missile Defense system.
"In 2004 Don Rumsfeld also implemented CONPLAN 8022 that again put US Air Force long-range B-52 and other bombers on 'Alert' status as at the height of the Cold War. The Commander of the 8th Air Force stated that his nuclear bombers were 'essentially on alert to plan and execute Global Strikes,' on behalf of the US Strategic Command or STRATCOM, based in Omaha, Nebraska," Engdahl continues.
"CONPLAN 8022 gave the US what the Pentagon termed 'Global Strike' — the ability to hit any point on the earth or sky with devastating force, nuclear as well as conventional," Engdahl stresses.
The third step of the Pentagon controversial military plan — a US Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system in Europe — was unveiled in early 2007.
Make no mistake: far from being 'defensive,' BMD is offensive in the extreme, the researcher points out.
It became clear to Moscow that Washington was implementing a long-term strategy aimed at encircling and potentially obliterating Russia. The Pentagon's assertions that the system is supposed to counter a threat posed by Iran and North Korea did not sound convincing.
"Missile weapons with a range of about five to eight thousand kilometers that really pose a threat to Europe do not exist in any of the so-called problem countries. And in the near future…this… is not even foreseeable. And any hypothetical launch of, for example, a North Korean rocket to American territory through Western Europe obviously contradicts the laws of ballistics. As we say in Russia, it would be like using the right hand to reach the left ear," Vladimir Putin stated at the Munich Conference on Security Policy in 2007.
"It was aimed at the one nuclear power on Earth with the sophisticated nuclear ability to launch an effective counter-strike — the Russian Federation," Engdahl underscores.
Indeed, although the Western powers reached a compromise on Iran's nuclear program with Tehran, nothing so far has changed in NATO's BMD doctrine.
In August 2015 Russia reminded Washington of its words that BMD was primarily aimed at Iran:
"We don't see any reason to continue with the program, let alone at such an accelerated pace and with a clear aim at the Russian nuclear potential," Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told journalists, as quoted by Reuters.
Still, the US and NATO continues to set up missile defense sites across Europe and in Turkey.
"Russia's government has just announced that it has developed a new 'bleeding edge' missile technology that would make the hundreds of billions in dollars that the USA has spent on encircling Russia (and China) with BMD installations utterly worthless. It's a new ultra-advanced ICBM called RS-26," the researcher emphasizes.
It's "a surprise, a brilliant form of checkmate as in chess," the American author notes.
The question then arises, whether it's time to stop pouring billions of US taxpayer dollars in the Pentagon's "military games." Doesn't mutually beneficial cooperation between Washington and Moscow make more sense?