NATO Picks a New Fight with Russia

Exclusive: The Obama administration and much of Official Washington have dangerously lost touch with reality, ginning up a costly new Cold War with Russia even as expensive wars continue in Afghanistan and Iraq/Syria. The latest provocation against Russia is to invite Montenegro into NATO, writes Jonathan Marshall.

By Jonathan Marshall

If insanity means trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, President Barack Obama’s foreign policy is best understood in a psychiatrist’s office. Secretary of State John Kerry’s announcement that NATO plans to expand east by inviting Montenegro to join is guaranteed to destroy hopeful prospects of renewed cooperation between Russia and Western powers over Syria.

The move follows NATO’s recent defense of Turkey’s calculated and provocative decision to bring down a Russian bomber just seconds after it may have entered Turkish air space. More important, planned expansion follows years of bad faith on the part of NATO toward Russia, led by Washington.

A map showing stages of NATO's expansion. Dark blue showing original members; lighter blue the "round one" members; aqua the "round two" members; yellow represents neutral states; and brown and red (including Ukraine), otherwise aligned. On the map, Montenegro is one of the tiny brown spots on the eastern Adriatic.

A map showing stages of NATO’s expansion. Dark blue showing original members; lighter blue the “round one” members; aqua the “round two” members; yellow represents neutral states; and brown and red (including Ukraine), otherwise aligned. On the map, Montenegro is one of the tiny brown spots on the eastern Adriatic.

NATO’s eastward expansion following the purported end of the Cold War lies at the heart of Russia’s chilly reaction to Washington’s attempts to build a uni-polar world. Many authorities agree that in 1989, Secretary of State James Baker and West German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher explicitly promised Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would not “take advantage” of upheaval in Eastern Europe by expanding toward Russia.

But it didn’t take long for the Western allies to break that promise and flex their muscles against a radically weakened Russia that had been stripped of most of its empire after the fall of the Soviet Union. In 1999, against Russian opposition, NATO absorbed the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. In 2004, it added Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Albania and Croatia joined next in 2009.

The latest move to incorporate tiny Montenegro followed a 2011 decision by NATO to formally recognize several aspiring members, including also Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia and Macedonia.

Most brazenly of all, in 2008, NATO invited Ukraine to join the Western alliance, putting Russia on the defensive. That aggressive announcement set the stage for the dangerous escalation of military tension between the world’s two great nuclear powers after the 2014 Ukrainian putsch that ousted the elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych, who was friendly toward Moscow.

There is much that could be said about the madness of Washington leading NATO deeper into needless confrontation with Russia, exactly how will guaranteeing Montenegro’s security and antagonizing the Kremlin advance U.S. interests?, but many of the keenest observations have already been crowd-sourced, so to speak, through an unlikely source: insightful comments from New York Times readers to an article on the topic, such as:

“Obama will do just about anything to prevent collaboration with Russia against ISIS, even increasing the threat of war between the nuclear superpowers.” JDD, New York

“I am completely lost. Why are we going to any and every length to alienate and threaten Russia when Russia is the staunchest ally we have in fighting against wildly violent insurgents in the Middle East who are a threat to us all? The way in which we have vilified Russia, as though only wishing another Cold War, is beyond all my understanding. Russia should be our partner now.” Nancy, Great Neck

“In the ‘poor timing’ department, it looks like we couldn’t have thought of a better way to plant obstacles in the path of improving relations with the Russians – say what you will about Putin – at a time when both sides really need the dialogue. This NATO business could have been easily postponed. Or scrapped.” Rocky, CT

“We can all rest safely, Montenegro is now firmly in our corner. It was touch and go there for a while, but now – Onward to Victory!!” Clotario, NYC

“Why do we suggest such stupid ideas. Assad is a pimple. Montenegro is a nothing regarding NATO. The enemy is ISIS and probably Turkey, but certainly ISIS. Keep your eyes on the ball. The ball is flattening ISIS. It is not to make Russia mad. How stupid can our government be? We are not fighting the Cold War of the 1960’s. Sheesh!” Dick Diamond, Bay City, OR

“The US will now have to defend Montenegro should the tiny country come under attack. How many Americans could find Montenegro on a map? This is in addition to the other 27 NATO countries that the US is currently obligated to go to war for should they come under attack. All this happens while the US has a $19 trillion debt and annual deficits of $500 billion. The US is currently fighting endless and counter-productive wars in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq while our gallant allies hold our coats. Add Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and other Asia/Pacific countries that the US is obligated to defend under current treaties. Congress has appropriated $300 billion in infrastructure spending over 5 years while trillions of dollars are needed. Yet there is always money to sustain the empire. Our priorities are so misplaced.” Jeff Clark, Reston, VA

“I’m also no fan of Russia, but the US and the West seems a lot more concerned with weakening Russia and expanding their political agendas than truly fighting ISIS and radical Islam. The world will greatly suffer for this self-centered myopia.” Peisinoe, New York

“Great, more aggression against Russia by our government and NATO that they will of course deny. There is no other explanation for them inviting a tiny powerless Montenegro with no military to speak of to join NATO other than get closer to Russia’s borders and threaten the Russians. Of course, this means more money for the military industrial complex, the usual winner. Then there is Kerry’s delusional statement about not allowing the Syrian government ‘to implode’ although it is Assad and his allies who are holding it together. Without them, Syria will devolve into anarchy like Libya with Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Sunni Extremists running everything. When will Obama wake up and join reality?” Simon, Tampa

“Russia is no saint, but in 1996 the West should have listened to the legendary diplomat and father of Cold War containment policy, George Kennan, who warned that NATO’s expansion into former Soviet territory was a ‘strategic blunder of potentially epic proportions.’ The current crisis with Russia over Ukraine came as no surprise to those of us who understand that great powers react negatively to encroachment by foreign alliances. We may think of NATO as a values-based organization devoted to peace and democracy, but the Russians see it as a threat to their security.” Adam, Minneapolis

Jonathan Marshall is an independent researcher living in San Anselmo, California. Some of his previous articles for Consortiumnews were “Risky Blowback from Russian Sanctions”; “Neocons Want Regime Change in Iran”; “Saudi Cash Wins France’s Favor”; “The Saudis’ Hurt Feelings”; “Saudi Arabia’s Nuclear Bluster”; “The US Hand in the Syrian Mess”; and Hidden Origins of Syria’s Civil War.” ]

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22 comments for “NATO Picks a New Fight with Russia

  1. Tristan
    December 4, 2015 at 2:19 am

    We must remember that this is a conflict manufactured primarily to profit a very few. Regardless of who the leader of Russia is, unless that person is an installed flunky of the Empire, that the West under the leadership of the Empire, will continue to antagonize Russia. As it is presently an obstacle to the Empires’ hubristic desire and policy for total economic domination by a very few.

    This domination requires war and the fear of war. Presently the Empire is continuing upon the path of enriching its oligarchs, the fathers of the Empire, with a passion seldom found on such a scale prior. The policies, where hubris rides shotgun, of the Empire are not to be ignored. When big money wants more, it will get more. While we may debate the effectiveness of certain policies by the Empire as failures or successes on a human level we are not discussing the same thing as those who promulgate.

    Under the guiding principle of profit we see that they are in the end achieving exactly the intended purpose. These are policies of profit by any means. And we have been living with these policies and the end result for the losers (not an oligarch, ie; most of humanity) is terrifying for the whole world (strangely oligarchs may be subject to the terrifying end as well).

    Understanding the simple designs of the Empire’s ruling class and their goals is the eyewash needed to stop accepting stupid statements such as, “Mission Accomplished” as true; the Empire’s foreign adventures aren’t the national concern of the citizens of the Homeland nor those of any civilized mind.

    Thus then, we understand that the religion of profit, unrestrained capitalism, in its ugly present unrestrained greed rising up, in so many forms; (Trade agreements which elevate corporations to supranational entities which can levee monetary fines upon nations, while these same corporations aren’t subject to any check other than the profit theoretically made and any hindrance to this.) The primary form is war and economic devastation/extraction/turmoil (See ISIS). There is to much money to be made today, and the dead are just that, so who gives a fuck?

    General Smedley Butler was one who long ago pulled the curtain back. Yet such efforts such as those by Butler and others have convincingly failed. Witness our present roller coaster to Hell upon the bloody wheels of war profiteering.

  2. Abe
    December 3, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    With Putin’s designation as the United States and NATO’s political “enemy,” it may be useful to examine the German political theorist Carl Schmitt’s the influential political concept of the “friend-enemy distinction” and its implementation under the Nazi regime.

    In 1926, German political theorist Carl Schmitt wrote his most famous paper, “Der Begriff des Politischen” (“The Concept of the Political”), in which he developed his theory of “the political”.

    For Schmitt, “the political” is not equal to any other domain, such as the economic, but instead is the most essential to identity. As the essence of politics, “the political” is distinct from party politics.

    According to Schmitt, while churches are predominant in religion or society is predominant in economics, the state is predominant in politics. Yet for Schmitt the political was not an autonomous domain equivalent to the other domains, but rather the existential basis that would determine any other domain should it reach the point of politics (e.g. religion ceases to be merely theological when it makes a clear distinction between the “friend” and the “enemy”).

    Schmitt, in perhaps his best-known formulation, bases his conceptual realm of state sovereignty and autonomy upon the distinction between friend and enemy. This distinction is to be determined “existentially,” which is to say that the enemy is whoever is “in a specially intense way, existentially something different and alien, so that in the extreme case conflicts with him are possible.” (Schmitt, 1996, p. 27)

    For Schmitt, such an enemy need not even be based on nationality: so long as the conflict is potentially intense enough to become a violent one between political entities, the actual substance of enmity may be anything.

    Although there have been divergent interpretations concerning Schmitt’s work, there is broad agreement that “The Concept of the Political” is an attempt to achieve state unity by defining the content of politics as opposition to the “other” (that is to say, an enemy, a stranger. This applies to any person or entity that represents a serious threat or conflict to one’s own interests.) In addition, the prominence of the state stands as a neutral force over potentially fractious civil society, whose various antagonisms must not be allowed to reach the level of the political, lest civil war result.

    Leo Strauss, a political Zionist and follower of Vladimir Jabotinsky, had a position at the Academy of Jewish Research in Berlin. Strauss wrote to Schmitt in 1932 and summarized Schmitt’s political theology thus: “[B]ecause man is by nature evil, he therefore needs dominion. But dominion can be established, that is, men can be unified only in a unity against – against other men. Every association of men is necessarily a separation from other men… the political thus understood is not the constitutive principle of the state, of order, but a condition of the state.”

    With a letter of recommendation from Schmitt, Strauss received a fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation to begin work, in France, on a study of Hobbes. Schmitt went on to become a figure of influence in the new Nazi government of Adolf Hitler.

    On 30 January 1933, Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany. The SA and SS led torchlight parades throughout Berlin. Germans who opposed Nazism failed to unite against it, and Hitler soon moved to consolidate absolute power.

    Following the 27 February Reichstag fire, the Nazis began to suspend civil liberties and eliminate political opposition. The Communists were excluded from the Reichstag. At the March 1933 elections, again no single party secured a majority. Hitler required the vote of the Centre Party and Conservatives in the Reichstag to obtain the powers he desired. He called on Reichstag members to vote for the Enabling Act on 24 March 1933.

    Hitler was granted plenary powers “temporarily” by the passage of the Enabling Act. The law gave him the freedom to act without parliamentary consent and even without constitutional limitations.

    Schmitt joined the Nazi Party on 1 May 1933. Within days of joining the party, Schmitt was party to the burning of books by Jewish authors, rejoicing in the burning of “un-German” and “anti-German” material, and calling for a much more extensive purge, to include works by authors influenced by Jewish ideas.[

    In July 1933, Schmitt was appointed State Councillor for Prussia (Preußischer Staatsrat) by Hermann Göring and became the president of the Union of National-Socialist Jurists. He also held a professorship at the University of Berlin until the end of World War II.

    Schmitt presented his theories as an ideological foundation of the Nazi dictatorship, and a justification of the Führer state with regard to legal philosophy, in particular through the concept of auctoritas. Half a year later, in June 1934, Schmitt was appointed editor-in-chief of the Nazi news organ for lawyers, the Deutsche Juristen-Zeitung (“German Jurists’ Journal”).

    In July 1934, he published “The Leader Protects the Law (Der Führer schützt das Recht)”, a justification of the political murders of the Night of the Long Knives with the authority of Hitler as the “highest form of administrative justice (höchste Form administrativer Justiz)”.

    Schmitt presented himself as a radical anti-semite and also was the chairman of a law teachers’ convention in Berlin in October 1936, where he demanded that German law be cleansed of the “Jewish spirit (jüdischem Geist)”, going so far as to demand that all publications by Jewish scientists should henceforth be marked with a small symbol.

    After World War II, Schmitt refused every attempt at de-nazification, which effectively barred him from positions in academia. Despite being isolated from the mainstream of the scholarly and political community, he continued his studies especially of international law from the 1950s on.

    In 1962, Schmitt gave lectures in Francoist Spain, two of them giving rise to the publication, the following year, of Theory of the Partisan, in which he qualified the Spanish civil war as a “war of national liberation” against “international Communism.”

    Schmitt regarded the partisan as a specific and significant phenomenon that, in the latter half of the twentieth century, indicated the emergence of a new theory of warfare.

    The circularity of Schmitt’s thinking is highlighted in “Fatal attraction: a critique of Carl Schmitt’s international political and legal theory” by Benno Gerhard Teschke http://core.kmi.open.ac.uk/download/pdf/8768262.pdf

    At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the most simple formulation of Schmitt’s friend-enemy distinction was enunciated by that intellectual giant, George W. Bush, during his Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People on September 20, 2001: “Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”

    In that Schmittian fulmination known as the Bush Doctrine, the “partisan” is transformed into the “terrorist,” no longer “internal” but a truly “global” enemy to be destroyed wherever found.

    As further codified by the Obama Doctrine: the decider has the right.

    The world-ordering, planet-appropriating doctrine of American exceptionalism has no space in its Grossraum (great space) concept for a “Eurasia.”

    The very enunciation of a “Eurasian” political sphere is viewed by the U.S. and its NATO vassals as a “terrorist” act.

    Russia, China, Iran, Syria and all others associated with such “lunacy” are deemed “enemies” to be annihilated.

    • Abe
      December 3, 2015 at 10:26 pm

      The Bush Doctrine and its ideological underpinning, Neo-Conservatism and the ‘Project for a New American Century’, were articulated […] embracing the distinctly Schmittian idea of the selective transcendence of the liberal rule of domestic and international law – states of exception. This was expressed in the abrupt decline of the post-Cold War notion of global governance and its re-politicization even prior to 9/11 in a neo-authoritarian direction, captured in the discourse of empire and imperialism – full-spectrum dominance. At the horizon of this vision – derided by left Schmittians as a political apocalypse and embraced by right Schmittians as the heroic self-assertion of an American or Western community of values – looms a world without a political exterior: a militarized Pax Americana.

      […]

      neo-Conservatism reaches beyond a static friend/enemy dualism by adding an ideologically super-charged discourse of democracy and freedom promotion – redefined as polyarchy – that transcends the mere articulation of geopolitical differences to formulate a dynamic theory of American imperialism. It is neither ‘world-government’, nor a Großraum, nor a ‘spaceless universalism’, but a flexible front of the willing against the unwilling that feeds on the idea of the theatrical management and permanent mobilization of the state of exception – a war without end. The Schmittian net result during Bush’s neo-conservative presidency, sketched in the Bush Doctrine and executed in the global War onTerror, includes, inter alia, the strengthening of executive prerogatives, the doctrine of pre-emptive war, the abrogation of basic civil liberties, secret renditions and indefinite detentions, the use of torture, war crimes, the refusal to apply the Geneva Convention to prisoners of war, and the disregard of basic human rights. These measures diverge from the normal liberal conception of the domestic and international rule of law and are more in line with decisionist prescriptions for their suspension and supercession – legibus absoluta.

      — Benno Gerhard Teschke, Fatal attraction: a critique of Carl Schmitt’s international political and legal theory. International Theory (2011), 3:2, pp 200, 221.

  3. Fred
    December 3, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    Hope much are you getting paid to write this Putinist agitprop?
    This crap is so transparently Kremlin-sourced it’s pathetic.
    You should be ashamed of yourself.

  4. Abe
    December 3, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    U.S. and European diplomats say they see the admission of Montenegro as a signal to Moscow that it doesn’t have a veto over further NATO expansion.

    Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that if Mr. Stoltenberg took the initiative to convene the NATO-Russia Council, the formal mechanism for the alliance to talk with Russian officials, Russia would meet with the alliance. He said Moscow had a lot of questions for NATO about how existing agreements were being violated, a reference to an agreement by the alliance not to permanently base substantial numbers of troops near Russia’s border.

    “The most important thing is not to allow stepping away from the crucial principle placed at the basis of our relations with NATO, the principle of equal, indivisible security, when no one in the Euro-Atlantic should strengthen their security at the expense of impinging on the security of others,” he said.

    Last year Russian President Vladimir Putin signed treaties to annex the breakaway region of Crimea. While the alliance suspended “practical cooperation” with Moscow in retaliation, the alliance didn’t formally suspend dialogue.

    Still, the growing tensions over Ukraine froze broad talks between the alliance and Moscow. The NATO-Russia Council hasn’t met since June 2014.

    NATO officials took pains to make clear that holding political talks with Russia didn’t mean that the alliance would seek to ease pressure on Moscow over Ukraine.

    Gen. Philip Breedlove, the supreme allied commander, said that “we have not taken our eyes off Ukraine” and that there were many actions Russia needed to take to restore Ukraine’s internationally recognized border and adhere to the cease-fire in the country’s eastern Donbas region. Russia’s actions in Ukraine, he said, have to be part of any discussion with Moscow.

    The invitation to Montenegro was the first move to expand the NATO alliance since 2009, when two other Balkan countries, Croatia and Albania, were admitted.

    The decision leaves other aspirants, most notably Georgia, in the cold. NATO was poised to admit Georgia to the alliance in 2008, but Russia’s invasion derailed those talks. While Georgia has been far more active in NATO missions than Montenegro, many in the alliance believe admitting Georgia is impossible while Russia occupies a portion of the country.

    “On all levels, Moscow has always noted that the continuing expansion of NATO, of the military infrastructure of NATO to the east, can only lead to retaliatory measure from the east, from the Russian side, in terms of guaranteeing the security and maintaining a parity of interests,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday, official news agencies reported.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said NATO was not a threat to Russia. He said it would be “a great mistake to react adversely” toward Montenegro. “Countries have chosen of their own free will to want to join NATO to be part of a Europe that is whole and free and at peace,” Mr. Kerry said. “NATO is not a threat to anybody….It is a defensive alliance.”

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/nato-invites-montenegro-to-join-alliance-in-first-expansion-since-2009-1449044863

  5. Abe
    December 3, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    almost all politicians in contemporary Balkans have plenty of financial “skeletons” in their respective luxury closets, so that they are not all that difficult to keep on the short leash.

    However, starting about two years ago, but intensifying after the outbreak of the violent confrontations in Ukraine in early 2014, the Balkan geopolitical chessboard suddenly became much more complex. Not only did the Chinese government institutions and banks begin to be active in financing various large-scale infrastructure projects in the Balkans, but also the Russian government started to comment publicly on internal political developments in various Balkan countries. In many respects, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs began to play the role reserved since the end of the Cold War only for the U.S. State Department. This could hardly go unnoticed in Washington and Brussels and became the cause of an increasing concern.

    […] the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Milo Djukanović, directly accused the Russian government of assisting the opposition protests in the country. Most observers interpreted Djukanović’s claim as a Machiavellian strategy to get support and sympathy from NATO and the U.S. despite the documented abuses of the corrupt, authoritarian regime he has been running for more than 25 years. Djukanović’s accusations received a stinging rebuke from Moscow. In fact, having read the original statement of the Ministry in Russian, I can say that I have not seen such a strongly worded statement issued by the Russian government against another state’s leader since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    It appears that the decision-makers in Brussels and Washington noticed the same thing and, as a result, decided to initiate the on-going diplomatic initiative in which the visits of high-level officials play a crucial role. That is the context in which the visits of Stoltenberg and Biden should be placed.

    […] Biden’s statement at the summit echoed the unabashedly expansionist spirit now under the increasing strain from both Russia and China. He admitted that the region was “of extraordinary significance” for the U.S. which should be interpreted to mean that the U.S. and NATO would protect their geopolitical gains using any and all means at their disposal. The implication is that, in case it becomes necessary, this may also include the long-favored method of the “regime change” as well as the violation of the democratically expressed will of the majority. This strategy has already been put into practice in Montenegro where the majority of the population does not want NATO membership and yet the government of Milo Djukanović, in tight coordination with the embassies of several NATO states and the U.S.-based lobbyists, has been trying to shove it down their throats for years.

    However, the most revealing statement at the summit was made by another new-Cold-War warrior against Russia, former Prime Minister of Poland Donald Tusk, now in the position of the President of the European Council (the figurehead EU President). He spoke more concretely about the “Euro-Atlantic” (NATO) future of the region than about its integration into the EU, even though he did express the opinion that all of the Balkans would eventually be invited in. If we disregard Tusk’s bureaucratic platitudes, the picture that emerges is that the EU expansion has definitely stalled and that those Balkan countries left out on the other side of the “Fortress Europe” should begin thinking about political alternatives. Otherwise, the augmented NATO militarization of the Balkans is imminent and, in the context of the deep economic and social crisis brought about by the anti-humanist neo-liberal model, this will likely lead to the flare-ups of violence all across the region.

    Stoltenberg in Belgrade, Biden in Zagreb
    By Filip Kovačević
    http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2015/11/30/bfp-exclusive-stoltenberg-in-belgrade-biden-in-zagreb/

  6. Abe
    December 3, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Dr. Filip Kovačević discusses the current anti-government protests in Montenegro against corrupt Prime Minister Milo Đjukanović who has been in power for 25 years.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7Q584DaOn8

    Đjukanović petitioned NATO to accept Montenegro in the bloc and has blamed Moscow for the protests while using false flag tactics. The people say he has destroyed the economy and jobs and want change.

    Kovačević is a geopolitical author, university professor and the chairman of the Movement for Neutrality of Montenegro.

  7. Abe
    December 3, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    Senate Bill 2277 https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/2277/text was submitted to the 113th Congress on 1 May 2014.

    Titled the “Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014,” the bill was proposed by right wing Republican Senator Bob Corker, and has been cosponsored by a significant number of prominent Republicans in the Senate.

    The new bill presumes U.S. aggression in Eastern Europe to be defensive in the face of Putin’s “expansionism” and “imperial ambitions.” In reality, the bill uses the conflict in Ukraine as a convenient pretext for the expansion of NATO, continued militarization of Eastern Europe, promotion of corporate oil and gas interests, and much more.

    S2277 directs the President to:
    (1) implement a plan for increasing U.S. and NATO support for the armed forces of Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia, and other NATO member-states; and
    (2) direct the U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO to seek consideration for permanently basing NATO forces in such countries.

    It also directs the President to submit a plan to Congress for accelerating NATO and European missile defense efforts.

    In addition, S2277 directs DOD to assess the capabilities and needs of the Ukrainian armed forces. It authorizes the President, upon completion of such assessment, to provide specified military assistance to Ukraine:
    (1) provide Ukraine with information about Russian military and intelligence capabilities on Ukraine’s eastern border and within Ukraine’s territorial borders, including Crimea; and
    (2) ensure that such intelligence information is protected from further disclosure.

    S2277 also provides major non-NATO ally status for Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova (during the period in which each of such countries meets specified criteria) for purposes of the transfer or possible transfer of defense articles or defense services.

    The bill directs the President to increase: (1) U.S. Armed Forces interactions with the armed forces of Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia; and (2) U.S and NATO security assistance to such states.

    S2277 outlines a comprehensive blueprint for U.S./NATO aggression in Europe and Eurasia.

  8. jaycee
    December 3, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    Britain just slashed 12 billion pounds from social and infrastructure budgets in the name of austerity, and then announced the exact same amount would be used to purchase new weapons systems and naval ships to counter the “Russian threat”.
    Rather than insanity, this is a calculated program to continue the transfer of wealth into the greedy hands of a few “monied interests”.

  9. Bart
    December 3, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    After reading “Bloodlands” I saw that neither Germany nor the CCCP were angels, but do the NATO members have no appreciation for what the Red Army and Soviet citizens did and suffered?

    • Abe
      December 3, 2015 at 4:08 pm

      After reading “War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War” I saw that neither Japan nor the USA were angels. (Not to mention American and British bombings of Germany and other Allied actions in the European theatre of war.)

      But the United States still has no appreciation for what other nations’ militaries did and what other nations’ citizens suffered.

      “The Good War” was a total victory for American propaganda.

    • Father Grigory
      December 5, 2015 at 10:24 am

      Synder, eh?

      I think those two critiques should be read back to back:

      http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/09/hitler-holocaust-antisemitism-timothy-snyder/404260/

      This is pretty interesting but notice how Timmy is off-handedly throwing out lies about Putin and Iran during the interview as if they were truths “everyone knows” that do not even brook any further discussion.

      And then:

      https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/09/timothy-snyders-lies/

      “In Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands, Hitler and Stalin are one and the same. And the partisans — Jewish fighters included — only encouraged German crimes.”

  10. Bill Bodden
    December 3, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    But it didn’t take long for the Western allies to break that promise …

    It never does.

    • Antiwar7
      December 3, 2015 at 3:07 pm

      “As long as water flows, or grass grows…”.

  11. Al Renneisen
    December 3, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    Morning in America, again. The neocons and liberal interventionists continue to push a worldview based on a bipolar world. They believe we should continue to push to destabilize Russia, as we have done in so many other places with such great success. And, yes, we will be able to effectively control all the nuclear weapons Russia has. But the real threats we face — transition to a non-carbon based economy, radical, nihilistic ideologies in a world awash in weapons, the frailties of a centralized cyber economy — cannot be met by thinking in terms of a world that no longer exists. We cannot even send our kids to school safely, or drive under that bridge that is crumbling, or afford proper medical care or college for our children. We have been here before. Read Kennedy’s “The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers.” The US Congress is ready. Defunding Planned Parenthood is, obviously the first step. Morning in America. Wake up.

  12. Bob In Portland
    December 3, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    Maybe this is the time for Russia offering all Donetsk citizens Russian passports and Russian protection.

  13. Eddy
    December 3, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Rubbish. NATO doesn’t force anyone to apply to join., so why does Montenegro want to join? Because it is scared of Russia, like all of eastern Europe – look at history to see why. Ukraine will eventually join NATO and even Luka would love to join too if he thought the could get away with it because he doesn’t trust Putin manufacturing a dispute with Belarus just to deflect attention from problems at home. Russia cannot veto sovereign choice period.

    • Antiwar7
      December 3, 2015 at 1:12 pm

      Montenegro thinks Russia will invade it? That is so delusional, that if you really believed that, i would doubt your sanity.

      More like Montenegro wants the power of the US to back it in any dispute it may choose to have. But why should we give that? What do we get in return?

      • Precisely
        December 3, 2015 at 1:53 pm

        This air of invincibility that comes with NATO membership is what drives Poland and the Baltic states to repeatedly poke the bear for no reason other than to antagonize Putin and the Russians. So much political posturing in Eastern Europe is grounded in nothing but ancient ethnic animosities. Any one of these hot-headed countries (and there are others like Turkey and its neighbors) could provoke an incident that would require the US to initiate World War III. The whole scheme is madness. If Poland, Lithuania or Turkey wants a war with Russia, let the damned fools duke it out on their own.

    • El Tonno
      December 5, 2015 at 9:45 am

      > Luka would love to join too

      Pfff…. HAHAHA.

      Belarus is more “Russian” than Ukraine. If anything, It would rejoin Russia.

    • Marko
      December 8, 2015 at 10:51 pm

      Eddy, you have no idea what you are talking about. Montenegro is a Serb country, but a different kingdom. They have very old, deep ties to Russia spiritually and culturally. Djukanovic is a western stooge, a criminal. He should be deposed before this shame smudges the honor of Montenegro.

Comments are closed.