14:15 GMT +324 January 2017
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    Paratroopers of 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade depart Lielvarde Airbase (NATO), Latvia. File photo

    Putin 'Has to Respond to NATO's Military Buildup' in Eastern Europe and Baltics

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    NATO Seeks Expansion to Eastern Europe (330)
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    The Kremlin will have to respond to NATO's muscle flexing in Eastern Europe and the Baltics because Moscow sees it as a threat, Dr. Martin McCauley, Senior Lecturer at the University of London, told Radio Sputnik, commenting on the Pentagon's latest deployment to the region.

    On January 6, 87 Abrams M1A1 tanks, 20 Paladin artillery vehicles and 136 Bradley fighting vehicles arrived in the German port of Bremerhaven. The United States also plans to deploy 50 Black Hawk, 10 CH-47 Chinook and 24 Apache helicopters, as well as 2,200 personnel. The newly-arrived military equipment will be distributed across Bulgaria, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania for training, exercises and maintenance.

    "From the point of view of the risk of war [this step] increases it because NATO deploying more troops to the Baltic states and Poland will be seen as a threat by Vladimir Putin and he will respond in kind. He has to respond in kind," the analyst said. "I would expect Russia to in fact take measures to put even more troops near the borders with the Baltic states and perhaps more missiles in the Kaliningrad Region. It's a tit for tat," he explained.

    McCauley noted that this was a vicious circle, with both sides forced to increase their military presence in the region so as not to appear weak. NATO has beefed up its military presence in Europe, particularly close to Russia's borders since mid-2014. 

    The analyst pointed to the timing of the latest deployment.

    "The key thing here of course is this: why have American troops been deployed at this moment, in the middle of January 2017? Well of course President-elect Trump is coming to power on January 20 and he said that he wants to improve relations with Russia. President Obama is making this very difficult for him because he expelled 35 Russian diplomats and now he is putting troops into Poland, the Baltic states, Romania and Bulgaria. So Putin and Trump will have to discuss this," he said.

    McCauley further noted that both sides do not want tensions to morph into a war, but warned that an armed conflict could be sparked by an accident due to the sheer scale of military presence close to Russia's western borders. 

    "The problem is that at present nobody wants a war in Europe," he said. "But unfortunately wars sometimes start out of errors and small mistakes. A small mistake becomes a fire somewhere else and that escalates. That is the real danger. With all this troops in Eastern Europe being deployed and the 300,000 Russian troops in the Western sector and near the Baltic borders, the danger is that an accident could in fact inflame the situation and lead to a response from one side or the other."

    McCauley urged Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President-elect Donald Trump to come together and "wind down" these tensions.

    "The key thing between Putin and Trump is trust. There is no trust at present between Obama and Putin. They don't respect one another. So therefore the key thing is to develop trust," he said.

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    Topic:
    NATO Seeks Expansion to Eastern Europe (330)

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    military deployment, muscle-flexing, saber-rattling, military buildup, tensions, NATO, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, Baltic Region, United States, Russia, Eastern Europe
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    • Mikhas
      And he will. Russia has never been building up it´s defences as much as she does now. Lying back waiting for whatever Trump will be up to is not an option.

      The unfolding Ziocon "first strike" scenario is an existential threat no matter who resides in the White House. Trump wont be able to reverse that even if he wanted to. The military infrastructure is there and will remain there until US/NATO realize that it is futile, with S-500 Russia will be able to shield itself from incoming ballistic and hypersonic threats, be they in space or closer to Earth and Russia can still remove the US from the face of the Earth within 30 minutes.
    • marcanhalt
      "(T)his (is) a vicious circle, with both sides forced to increase their military presence in the region so as not to appear weak."

      Where did McCauley go to finishing school? Vassar? He sounds like a little girl who sleeps with the lights on. Or, could be be another "guest columnist" that writes for the CIA? What he is forgetting is the ass-whooping Russia gave NATO in Syria. WARNING! DON'T tease the beat unless you bring a honey pot.
    • Angus Gallagher
      Martin McCauley was in the Soviet Union when this new generation of vicious Russophobes like Anne Applebaum were in diapers.
    • Mitach2002
      It's just the terrorist American government looking for more war.
      Think of the peace if America was gone.
      Imagine.
    • NATOisEVIL
      And when they get tired of showing of to the Russians, they can just turn the tanks the other way and capture Europe. Easy as stealing candy from a child. Europe is invaded.
    • cmat.wolfgang
      That this may escalate:

      "A small mistake becomes a fire somewhere else and that escalates. That is the real danger. With all this troops in Eastern Europe being deployed and the 300,000 Russian troops in the Western sector and near the Baltic borders, the danger is that an accident could in fact inflame the situation and lead to a response from one side or the other."

      is not necessarily a problem of the USA, the baltics is not the backyard of the US.
      The worst what could happen is that those Baltic countries are being wiped out.
      And since 90 percent of US citizens wouldn't even know where these countries are it won't be on front page.
    • landauroj
      The western countries and puppet of the USA want the Russian to use resources to this useless irritation of NATO. I have said that Russian should not bother about this irritation. I have also said that Russia must make it very clear to the USA that any brake of hostilities in Europe with NATO, will be responded with huge amount of nuke missiles directed to the USA country and all those places that have been identified as potential points of threat to Russia and its allied. The USA wants that Russia play silly war games with NATO in order to identify possible holes in the Russia missiles defence.
    • kasivasantha
      build a astra around US in the friends countries. TIT for TAT is tghe logic
    • maxxus
      Nonsense, there is no need at all for Russia to respond in kind to NATO's 'Art of War' play pretend bluffs. McCauley, "analyst", is predicting exactly what the west wants to see. Smother the Baltics with love (economic and otherwise). Plus apologize over and over again for Stalin's crimes against these countries. Don't fall for NATO's trap.
    • ivanwa88
      In the immediate sense there is a huge exaggeration in the response from posters essentially why? Obama has sent troops to mainly give Porky a woody even if it only lasts for 3 seconds to keep at it!
      Obama despite the obvious futility in trying to pressure Russia is doing what the ruling elite asked of him "to keep the pressure cooker at fever pitch irrespective of who wins the election that is your job"

      Of course there is always at least 5 objectives in any elite based decision for most people in normal life its 1 or 2 such ramifications of if Trump orders the tanks back he faces a storm of protest from media backing the 'Empire' the mainstream media will have front and back page features with disgusting put downs of Trumps administration.

      I could go onto 4 and 5 but im sure everyone gets the picture.
    • ivanwa88
      In summary it is a licensing arrangement with Empire media to give them the ammo to destroy Trumps administration rather than a real provocation to engage Russia in a battle let me assure you NATO forces bar a handful are not at all interested in coming into conflict with Russia in fact I will predict right now NATO will have a mutiny on its hands if it orders an invasion if Russia invades that's a different matter and well NATO knows.
    • FightForTruth
      Putin is not the least concerned about any threat, from any border. The only worrisome issue here is how the US military has had this habit of making "mistakes" every single time they move. Make a mistake here, and there will be no one left to exchange apologies lolol
    • FightForTruth
      Putin is not the least concerned about any threat, from any border. The only worrisome issue here is how the US military has had this habit of making "mistakes" every single time they move. Make a mistake here, and there will be no one left to exchange apologies lolol
    • siljvn9
      I have been saying that here for a loooong time, and what I find it strange is that, the authorities in Russia seem not to see that. I remember in mid 90s when a Russian General said "NATO was surrounding Russia, Mr Putin sacked him, one year later Russia was bushed out from Georgia and lost its military base there. There is one say that: if you want to get rid of cancer on one foot, catch it off to not wait until it spread to the whole leg. That is exactly what is happen in Est of Europe. Russia has had very good chance to sort the problem in Ukraine, instead keep asking for Europe and US to do so. Mr. Putin keeping saying it army force is for defence only, Russia should has learnt from the WWll when they have to defend the country, so it is better you neutralise the threat that have to defend yourself later. But Russia is not doing anything like this now, it is leaving NATO built up to the limit, then they cry high.
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