Another round of provocative military exercises on Russia’s border by NATO has raised fears of a nuclear war in Europe. The tensions have now reached Cold War levels despite there being no underlying ideological or territorial struggle between Russia and NATO member states.
The real winners are Western arms manufacturers who are making a killing. According to The Nation, spending on the Pentagon’s “European Reassurance Initiative” will increase from $789 million in 2016 to $3.4 billion in 2017. That’s big money for Boeing, Raytheon, Northrup Gruman, Lockheed Martin and a host of other weapons merchants looking for an enemy big enough to justify such expenditures. ISIS and Al Qaeda just won’t cut it.
NATO expansion and aggression has now put the world on the edge of oblivion for no substantial interest other than increased arms sales.
Perhaps more unsettling, hacked emails of the former supreme commander of NATO’s forces in Europe reveal a plot to undermine President Barack Obama and heighten conflict with Russia. Retired General Philip Breedlove went rogue and tried to work behind the scenes to force Obama into an even more aggressive posture with Russia, including military intervention in post-coup Ukraine.
Breedlove actually complains in an email that Obama is too concerned with starting a war, a sentiment echoed by those with whom Breedlove is communicating. In one near-surreal exchange between Breedlove and Harlan Ullman, a senior advisor to the Atlantic Council, Ullman laments, “Given Obama’s instruction to you not to start a war, this may be a tough sell.”
Despite what could arguably be called insubordination, General Breedlove never faced any discipline, though it is unknown if President Obama or anyone else was aware of Breedlove’s plotting at the time. In May, Breedlove was replaced by US Army General Curtis Scaparrotti.
While Breedlove may be gone, NATO is still doing everything it can to provoke Russia. Former Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev, who negotiated the peaceful end of the Cold War, has claimed in response to the latest round of NATO exercises that “NATO has begun preparations for escalating from the Cold War into a hot one,” and that, “All the rhetoric in Warsaw just yells of a desire almost to declare war on Russia. They only talk about defense, but actually they are preparing for offensive operations.”
With the end of the Cold War, NATO became obsolete. In order to justify its continued existence and expansion, the military organization has looked for a series of excuses and pretexts, ranging from international terrorism to now containing post-Soviet Russia. None of them can cover the stench of bureaucrats and war profiteers protecting their cash cow.
This corruption was previously somewhat benign, but is now endangering us all.