Cooperation with Russia instead of escalation

Cooperation with Russia instead of escalation

Europe must not become a battlefield

rt. While every military and non-military movement of Russia, as if enlarged under a microscope, is assessed “aggressively” and is medially inflated, as currently in the case with Syria, the US and NATO, under US leadership (including some PfP States) are surrounding the country militarily. New weapons, ammunition and soldiers are brought to Russia’s borders every day. The Western European allies are nuclear equipped with the latest upgraded warheads from the US (see Current Concerns No. 25 of 29 September 2015). The future battlefield will certainly not be in the US or Washington, but apparently in Europe. It is therefore comprehensible that the United States are mercilessly driving forward their strategy of encircling, even if it is done at the expense of their “allies”.
Only a few military steps taken in the past recent months, which are known in the public are briefly compiled here in a list :

  • In Georgia, a new NATO training centre for Danish, Latvian, Lithuanian and Norwegian officers was opened. Georgia as a direct neighbour of Russia is not yet a NATO member. The Russian government protested in a futile attempt against these unofficial eastward expansion of NATO.
  • On the Black Sea, off the coast of Bulgaria, the US Marine Corps doubled its presence. Weapons and ammunition are transported via Bremerhaven by rail. The presence of warships in the Black Sea – also off the coast of Russia – has been generally strengthened. Maneuvres like “Sea Breeze” in September with the participation of German soldiers are carried out directly outside of the Russian coastal waters.
  • As part of the “Open Skies Treaty” from 2002, intended as a confidence-building measure until August, Sweden was allowed to conduct reconnaissance flights over Russia. This was granted from the Russian side.
  • Sweden has significantly increased its military spending. Amongst other things cruise missiles are being bought that are directed towards Russia.
  • Lithuania renewed its air defenses.
  • Above the Baltic Sea Region and the Baltic States aircraft of NATO have been patrolling for a lengthy period. Currently 4 German Euro Fighter and 4 Hungarian Saab JAS 39 C Gripen.
  • On the political level Japan has – against the majority of its citizens – determined its course to rearm its purely defensive army towards an intervention force.
  • Against the will of a large majority in Germany the Bundeswehr has been converted into a powerful intervention army in recent years (see Jürgen Rose: Deutschlands neue Wehrmacht. In: International. Zeitschrift für Internationale Politik. 3/2015)
  • By 2019 the US intends to have increased its Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) operations by 50%.
  • The USS Donald Cook guided missile destroyer and its three sister ships have run into the Mediterranean Sea. Together with land-based interceptor missiles in Poland, Romania, they are to serve as an early warning radar in Turkey and a command center in Ramstein (Germany) to create some kind of European protection shield.
  • •    At present one of the largest NATO maneuvre of the past 10 years, “Trident Juncture” has started in the Mediterranean Region. The new established “Super Rapid Reaction Force” of NATO will be tested.

Further examples might be added. The military pressure on Russia is being increased. The non-military operations of “hybrid” warfare are not yet included in this list, although they have been destabilising the country already for years.
The serious question arises: Where is the protest of our elected representatives here in Europe against this strategy of warmongering? Where are the European politicians from all political fields, who would reject these policies of military escalation? Are we citizens supposed to be tacitly led to the slaughterhouse?
At the same time people in Europe are kept busy with a huge wave of refugees. Their sudden appearance requires an even more detailed explanation. Additionally Germany, which actually is interested in a beneficial cooperation with Russia, is kept busy with an “automobile exhaust scandal”, which relates to one of the largest employers of the country.
In parallel, citizens have to take note of the fact that the US secret services – with the obvious involvement of German intelligent services – have spied out and are still spying out all important activities of their allies. Furthermore, the public should know that their democratic rights will be levered out by a secretly negotiated so-called Free Trade Agreement between the USA and Europe (TTIP).
Precisely in this situation, the politicians in Europe are demanded more urgently than ever, to take on their responsibilities and to carry out serious negotiations with Russia to induce a relaxation of the tense situation and even strengthen economic cooperation. To this end they might look for active support in the USA as well. Even in the US influential circles exist, which do not want a military escalation.
Any activity aiming at rapprochement or cooperation, must be supported. For instance, the Vienna talks on the question of Syria or the recent creation of a new economic platform by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP), the Association of Small- and Medium Enterprises Delowaja Rossija, the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations (OA), and the German-Russian Chamber of Commerce (AHK) are to be welcomed. Not only from an economic point of view!     •

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