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US Weaponizing Space in Bid to Launch Arms Race

By Finian Cunningham | Strategic Culture Foundation | December 12, 2019

While the spats between President Trump and other NATO leaders at the rancorous 70th summit garnered most media attention, barely noticed was the alliance’s announcement to make “space an operational domain”.

The move represents a grave assault on existing treaties forbidding the weaponization of space. The NATO announcement is doubly insidious because it gives the appearance of a multilateral acceptance of US attempts to open up the “final frontier” for militarization. A move which is far from acceptable. In fact, illegal, under international law.

Earlier this year, Donald Trump unveiled a new branch of the US armed forces, Space Command, separate from the Air Force. “Spacecom will defend America’s vital interests in space, the next war-fighting domain, and I think that’s pretty obvious to everybody. It’s all about space,” said Trump at a White House ceremony.

It is the first time that a new branch of the US armed forces has been created since 1947 when US Air Force was created out of the Army. The other existing armed services are the Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard. Legislation is currently going through Congress which will authorize the president’s order for setting up the new branch, to be known henceforth as Space Force.

All this is happening with barely any public debate or scrutiny. Even though it represents a dramatic escalation of military dimensions. To the existing domains of land, air and sea the United States under Trump is pushing ahead for weaponization of space. As the “war-fighting” rationale of the president makes clear, the development is explicitly about leveraging new military strike potential.

US weaponization of space has been underway for decades, going back to the “star wars” initiative of the Reagan administration in the 1980s and during the GW Bush presidency in the 2000s. However, Trump is taking the program to a whole new level by implementing a separate dedicated Space Force.

This is in spite of the existing UN-ratified 1967 Outer Space Treaty which prohibits any introduction of weapons, including nuclear weapons, into space.

“States shall not place nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in orbit or on celestial bodies or station them in outer space in any other manner,” reads the treaty, which provides the basic legal framework for international space law.

Russia and China have been consistently strong advocates for upholding the treaty.

Yet proponents of the US Space Force routinely claim that America is being threatened by Russian and Chinese advances in space military technology. It is not clear on what basis these American claims are made.

Republican Alabama Representative Mike Rogers is quoted by Space News as saying: “We have allowed China and Russia to become our peers, not our near peers and that’s unacceptable.”

But like so many other US claims about Russia and China supposedly threatening American interests, there is little or no evidence presented. The claims rely on ideological prejudice and/or a cynical lobbying service for the military-industrial complex. Going into space will convey billion-dollar contracts to US aerospace corporations.

Indeed, there is a resonance with US claims made in the 1950s and 60s of a “missile gap” which alleged back then that the Soviet Union was outpacing America’s arsenal of strategic nuclear weapons. The putative missile gap was invoked as a pretext for greatly expanding the US arsenal, thereby creating an international arms race, only for the so-called missile gap to be found out years later to be a fiction of American scaremongering. Cynically, that fiction was deliberately propagated to the American public in order to provide a tax-payer-funded pork-barrel production line for the Pentagon and the military-industrial complex.

The same process seems to be underway with Trump’s much-vaunted Space Force.

There is another strategic aspect to this American “weaponization of the heavens”. That is, to force Russia and China into an arms race which Washington calculates would be economically ruinous for Moscow and Beijing. What’s at stake here is a pivotal struggle between Russia and China’s vision of a multipolar world and Washington’s desire to be the globe’s hegemonic uni-power. If the US can break Russia and China economically then it wins this era-defining struggle. Launching an arms race is Washington’s gambit for taking down Russia and China.

The precedent is the arms race in the 1980s under Reagan which brought the Soviet Union to collapse. Because of Washington’s presumed right to print endless amounts of dollars and rack up seemingly limitless national debt, the US is wagering that it will be the last man standing in an arms race with Russia and China.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said that Russia will not fall into the trap of unleashing an arms race. At a recent meeting in Sochi with his top defense officials, Putin emphasized the imperative need to focus on efficiency in weapon systems. Russia’s latest-generation of hypersonic missiles which apparently can evade any US defense shield – despite the latter costing trillions of dollars to develop – is one example.

Nevertheless, if – and it is a big if – the US manages to develop space weaponry, the pressure will be on Russia and China to respond in kind to counter a whole new threat level. That would mean both nations diverting resources into another realm of weaponry instead of developing their economies.

The US Space Force has to be seen in the wider context of Washington unravelling the entire system of global arms controls. The US withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty in 2002 was followed by its withdrawal from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty last year. The Trump administration is moving towards scrapping New START in 2021, the third and last nuclear-arms control treaty.

There is an unconscionable effort by US governments over many years to incite a new arms race. Going into outer space is part of that effort. It is a gross violation of international law and the United Nations by the US to open up a new frontier for military dominance. And the US has utilized the 29-nation NATO alliance to rubber-stamp its criminal weaponization of space.

December 12, 2019 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

Elizabeth Warren’s “Foreign Policy”

The Automatic Earth | December 8, 2019

Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev first met in Geneva in 1985, in a summit specifically designed to allow them to discuss diplomatic relations and the -nuclear- arms race. At the time, the Soviet Union had started to crumble, but it was still very much the Soviet Union. They met again in 1986 in Reykjavik, in a summit set up to continue these talks. There, they came close to an agreement to dismantle both countries’ nuclear arsenals.

They met once again in Washington in 1987. That was the year Reagan made his famous “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” speech about the Berlin wall. Then they held a next summit in 1988 in Moscow, where they finalized the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) after the US Senate’s ratification of the treaty in May 1988.

Reagan’s successor George H.W. Bush met with Gorbachev first in December 1989 in Malta, and then the two met three times in 1990, among others in Washington where the Chemical Weapons Accord was signed, and in Paris where they signed the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. They met three more times in 1991, with one of their meetings, in Moscow, resulting in the signing of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I).

One of the most interesting things agreed on during the Bush-Gorbachev meetings was that Russia would allow Germany to re-unite after the wall came down, in exchange for the promise that NATO would not try to expand eastward.

I’ve been re-researching this a bit because it feels like it’s high time that people should realize what US foreign policy was like not that long ago. Even as it involved Reagan and Bush sr., not exactly the peace-mongers of their times. The one thing that was clear to all parties involved is that it was crucial to keep meeting and talking. And talk they did. But look at us now. When was the last summit of a US president with Vladimir Putin?

This came to mind again when I read Elizabeth Warren’s piece in the Guardian today, which made me wonder if she’s for real, if she is really as ignorant as she appears to be when it comes to foreign policy, to Russia, to Trump and to NATO. It would seem that she is, and that makes her a hazard. Not that I see her as a serious candidate, mind you, but then again, I do not see any other one either.

In her article, which reads more than anything like some nostalgic longing for the good old times when she was young, just watch her get all warm and fuzzy over the success of NATO:

Donald Trump Has Destroyed American Leadership – I’ll Restore It

For seven decades, America’s strength, security and prosperity have been underpinned by our unmatched network of treaty alliances, cemented in shared democratic values and a recognition of our common security. But after three years of Donald Trump’s insults and antics, our alliances are under enormous strain. The damage done by the president’s hostility toward our closest partners was on full display at this week’s gathering of NATO leaders in London, which should have been an unequivocal celebration of the 70th anniversary of the most successful alliance in history.

The success of NATO was not inevitable, easy or obvious. It is a remarkable and hard-won accomplishment, and one based on a recognition that the United States does not become stronger by weakening our allies. But that is just what Trump has done, repeatedly and deliberately. He treats our partners as burdens while embracing autocrats from Moscow to Pyongyang. He has cast doubt on the US commitment to NATO at a moment when a resurgent Russia threatens our institutions and freedoms. He has blindsided our partners on the ground in Syria by ordering a precipitate and uncoordinated withdrawal.

[..] he has wrecked US credibility by unilaterally tearing up our international agreements on arms control, non-proliferation and climate change. This reckless disregard for the benefits of our alliances comes at a perilous moment, when we face common threats from powerful adversaries probing the weaknesses of our institutions and resolve. Longstanding allies in Asia are doubting our reliability and hedging their bets. Russia’s land grab in Ukraine has upended the post-1989 vision of a Europe “whole, free, and at peace”. The chaotic Brexit process has consumed our closest partners, while sluggish growth and rising xenophobia fuel extremist politics and threaten to fracture the European Union.

To start with that last point, no. That “post-1989 vision of a Europe “whole, free, and at peace” was destroyed by NATO’s eastward expansion, executed in spite of US, EU and NATO promises that it wouldn’t. Moreover, you can talk about a resurgent Russia, but the country has hardly recovered economically from the 1980’s and 90’s today, and it has no designs on countries to its west.

Just look at the military budgets of the respective countries, where Russia has maybe 10% of the expenditure of the US, let alone the rest of NATO, and you get the picture. Is Russia getting more bang for its buck, because it doesn’t have to maintain a long running Pentagon-Boeing/Raytheon link? Yes, it does. But a 10 to 1 difference is still way out there. It’s not as if they spend half of what the US does, they spend just 10%.

This is because Russia not only doesn’t have to satisfy the desires and needs of Pentagon-Boeing/Raytheon, it’s also because they have no desire to conquer any territory that is not at present Russian.

Russia “annexed” Crimea through fair elections, and it knew that “we” knew that it would never let go of its only warm water port, Sevastopol. When “We” tried to take it away regardless, it did the only thing it could do. And it did it very intelligently. As for Eastern Ukraine, everyone there is Russian, whether by blood or by passport. And there are a lot of strong ties between them and Russians in Russia proper.

If Putin would have volunteered to let these Donbass Russians be shot to bits by the Ukraine neo-nazis that helped the US and EU in the Maidan coup, he would have had either a civil war in Russia, or an all-out war in the Donbass, with perhaps millions of casualties. Putin did what he could to prevent both. Back to Warren:

A mounting list of global challenges demand US leadership and collective action. As president, I will recommit to our alliances – diplomatically, militarily and economically. I will take immediate action to rebuild our partnerships and renew American strategic and moral leadership, including by rejoining the Paris climate accord, the United Nations compact on migration, and reaffirming our rock-solid commitment to NATO’s Article 5 provisions.

But we must do more than repair what Trump has broken. Instead we need to update our alliances and our international efforts to tackle the great challenges of our age, from climate change and resurgent authoritarianism to dark money flows, a weakening international arms control regime and the worst human displacement crisis in modern history.

Wait, what exactly has Trump broken in the foreign policy field? There have been dozens at the very least who have called for NATO to be disbanded, Ron Paul et al, because its sole purpose was to counter the Soviet Union, which no longer exists. In fact, when Emmanuel Macron labeled NATO “brain-dead” last week, it was Trump who defended the alliance.

And sorry, Elizabeth, but to hold Trump responsible for “the worst human displacement crisis in modern history” is just not right. That started way before he arrived at the scene. Obama and Hillary carry the burden and blame for that, along with Bush jr. and Dick Cheney. They shot the crap out of Iraq, Lybia etc. Trump only dumped a few bombs in a desert. He didn’t invade any country, he didn’t go “We Came, We Saw, He Died”. That was not Trump.

And before we forget, the military aid for Ukraine Trump allegedly held back for a few weeks had been refused by Obama for years. I’ve been wondering for ages now why the Democrats are so eager to make things up while ignoring simple facts, but I think at least it’s time to start pointing out these issues.

This is not to make Trump look better in any sense, but to try and make people understand that he did not start this thing. Though yeah, I know, it’s like talking to a wall by now. The political divide has turned into such a broad and yawning one, you can’t not wonder how it could ever be breached.

But, you know, it might help if people like Elizabeth Warren don’t ONLY talk about Trump like he’s the antichrist, or a Putin tool, if they engage with him in conversation. But sadly, it feels like we’re past that point. Like if she would even try, and I don’t know if she would want to, her party would spit her out just for trying to build a single bridge. Like Tulsi Gabbard seems to have tried; and look at how the DNC treats her.

This means revitalizing our state department and charging our diplomats to develop creative solutions for ever more urgent challenges. It means working with like-minded partners to promote our shared interest in sustained, inclusive global economic growth and an international trade system that protects workers and the environment, not just corporate profits. And it means reducing wasteful defense spending and refocusing on the areas most critical to our security in years to come.

Well, apart from the fact that we’ve seen some of those diplomats in the Schiff hearings, and they seemed like the least likely people to develop anything “creative” -other than their opinions-, and the boondoggle of “sustained, inclusive global economic growth”, it’s probably best to forget about that entire paragraph. It’s nicer to Warren too.

Alliances are not charities, and it’s fair to ask our partners to do their share. I will build on what President Obama started by insisting on increased contributions to NATO operations and common investments in collective military capabilities. But I will also recognize the varied and significant ways that European states contribute to global security – deploying troops to shared missions, receiving refugees, and providing development assistance at some of the highest per capita rates in the world.

The problem appears to be that the partners don’t increase their contributions. Just this March, Germany refused to do just that. And if Berlin refuses, why would other countries spend more?

The next president must tackle our common problems using the lessons of common defense. Together, we can counter terrorism and proliferation. We can make common cause in constructing new norms and rules to govern cyberspace. We can dismantle the corruption, monopolies and inequality that limit opportunity around the world and take on the increasingly grave threats to our environment. We can and will protect ourselves and each other – our countries, our citizens and our democracies.

Now we’re getting into entirely nonsensical territory, with words and sentences designed only to make people feel good about things that have no substance whatsoever. Anyone can go there, anyone can do that.

In the meantime, the never ending investigations into Trump, Russia, Ukraine, taxes, have had one major effect: he hasn’t had a chance to have a summit with Putin. And that, to go back to how I started out this essay, is the worst idea out there. If Reagan and Bush sr. did those summits all the time, then why do we now think such summits are the work of the devil?

And yeah, we get it, we got it again last week from alleged law expert Pamela Karlan in the House, who let ‘er rip on the dangers Putin poses to all of humanity, and of course she would never trust Trump to hold any such summit because he’s Putin’s puppet.

What Pamela, and all the MSM, and the Dems, and the FBI/CIA, appear to refuse to see, though, is that Trump was democratically elected by the American people to be the only one who can have any such conversation. Karlan again talked about how Russia would attempt to attack American soil unless “we” keep them from doing that.

Now I can say that is absolute bollocks, and it is, but how many -potential- Democratic voters will recognize that at this point? They’ve been trained to believe it. That Russia wants one US presidential candidate over another, or one UK one, or fill in your country, and therefore they want to invade the US, UK, etc. In reality, Russia has plenty problems of its own, and it’s slowly trying to solve them.

The two countries need to start talking to each other again, and the sooner the better. That it will happen under Elizabeth Warren, however, is very unlikely. First because she has her mind made up about Russia, and second because the likelihood of her becoming president is very low. What do you think, is that a good thing?

If for some reason -who can tell- she would end up winning 11 months from now, do you think she’s likely to establish a peace treaty with Russia? You know, given what she wrote here? And if not, why would you vote for her? Don’t you want peace? Do you think antagonizing Putin forever is a good idea? While Russia continues to outperform America in arms development, and in just about any field? While Russia only wants peace?

Good questions, ain’t they, as we move into 2020?!

December 9, 2019 Posted by | Militarism, Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment

NATO Seeking To “Dominate The World” & Eliminate Competitors: Russia’s Lavrov

By Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge – 12/09/2019

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has charged NATO with wanting to “dominate the world” a day after 70th anniversary events of the alliance concluded in London.

“We absolutely understand that NATO wants to dominate the world and wants to eliminate any competitors, including resorting to an information war, trying to unbalance us and China,” Lavrov said from Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, while attending the 26th Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

He seized upon NATO leaders’ comments this week, specifically Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, naming China as a new enemy alongside Russia. Stoltenberg declared at the summit that NATO has to “tackle the issue” of China’s growing capabilities.

Lavrov told reporters Thursday: “I think that it is difficult to unbalance us and China. We are well aware of what is happening. We have an answer to all the threats that the Alliance is multiplying in this world.” He also said the West is seeking to dominate the Middle East under the guise of NATO as well.

The new accusation of ‘world domination’ comes at a crisis moment of growing and deep divisions over the future of the Cold War era military alliance, including back-and-forth comments on Macron’s “brain death” remarks, and looming questions over Turkey’s fitness to remain in NATO, and the ongoing debate over cost sharing burdens and the scope of the mission.

“Naturally, we cannot but feel worried over what has been happening within NATO,” Lavrov stated. “The problem is NATO positions itself as a source of legitimacy and is adamant to persuade one and all it has no alternatives in this capacity, that only NATO is in the position to assign blame for everything that may be happening around us and what the West dislikes for some reason.”

A consistent theme of Lavrov’s has been to call for a “post-West world order” but that NATO has “remained a Cold War institution” hindering balance in global relations where countries can pursue their own national interests.

NATO still exists, according to Lavrov, in order to “eliminate competitors” and ensure a West-dominated global system in search of new official enemies.

December 9, 2019 Posted by | Militarism | , | 2 Comments

NATO Summit: UK Police Block Access and Detain Ruptly Producer Under ‘Terrorism Act’

21st Century Wire – December 5, 2019

A dangerous precedent may have been set yesterday when an accredited journalist and producer for RT’s affiliate news agency Ruptly, was denied entry to yesterday’s NATO Leaders Meeting in north London – before being detained by British police under the Terrorism Act.

After being told his event press accreditation had been suddenly revoked, the video producer was then taken away and temporarily detained by UK police, where his person, belongings and equipment were then searched.

It is still unknown why the journalist was singled out by British authorities, but it seems increasingly likely that this was a case of intimidation and harassment by the British state against what it perceives to be a ‘hostile’ Russian media.

In recent years, Ruptly has developed into a leading international news wire agency, and managing to pull off a number of world exclusives including the illegal extraordinary rendition of journalist Julian Assange by British police from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London last April.

Ironically, this new incident follows on the heels of the launch of UK government’s international campaign for “Media Freedom“. In September, campaign spokesman Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, UK Minister for Human Rights, even warned his UN audience about how “the current crackdown on journalists’ across the world is a deep-rooted problem, and a rebuke to the rule of law.” Presumably, this doesn’t apply to matters at home, only abroad.

December 5, 2019 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment

NATO Wants to Dominate Not Only in Euro-Atlantic Region but Also in Middle East – Lavrov

Sputnik – December 5, 2019

A two-day NATO summit dubbed “NATO Engages: Innovating the Alliance” kicked off in London earlier in the week to mark the 70th anniversary of the organisation.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated on Thursday following the 26th Meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Bratislava that NATO wants to dominate not only the Euroatlantic region but the Middle East as well.

“NATO continues its reckless expansion, the block’s military infrastructure is moving quickly to the east, close to Russian borders. There’s a permanent fomenting of tension, accusations of aggressive intentions from the part of Russia. All this is happening amid a record increase of military budgets – the decision that was adopted during the recent summit in London,” Lavrov said.

“The facts we see demonstrate us a clear situation: NATO wants to dominate both in the Euro-Atlantic and — if we look at NATO steps in other regions of the world, particularly the Middle East — in the Middle East,” Lavrov said.

Speaking further, the Russian foreign minister noted that Russia has a response to all the threats posed by NATO and will ensure its security without entering an arms race.

“We have a response to all those threats that NATO is multiplying when it directly names Russia and China as targets of these threats. We know how we can respond to these threats and ensure our security without entering an arms race,” Lavrov said.

NATO held its 70th anniversary summit in the UK capital from December 3-4. In its joint statement, the allies reaffirmed their commitment to increasing investment in defence and qualified “Russia’s aggressive actions” and “terrorism in all its forms and manifestations” as threats.

December 5, 2019 Posted by | Militarism | , | 1 Comment

Putin: Russia is against militarization of space but US sees it as theater of war

RT | December 4, 2019

Russia has consistently opposed the idea of space militarization, but the actions of the US and its allies force Moscow to counterbalance this growing threat, President Vladimir Putin has said.

“Russia has always opposed and continues to oppose the militarization of space,” the president told a government meeting on military policies. Putin expressed concern over world powers increasing the capabilities of their space systems which have both military and dual-use applications.

“The US political and military leadership openly consider space a war theater,“ he said.“Developments demand that we pay increased attention to strengthening our orbital group as well as our rocket and space industries.”

Russia’s so-called orbital group is a constellation of more than 150 satellites, two thirds of which have military applications. Most of them are parts of military satellite communication systems, but Russia also has satellites monitoring launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles as well as short-range tactical missiles. This warning system was “significantly enhanced” over the recent years and tested successfully during the large-scale military drills in October, the president said.

His words, meanwhile, came as NATO finally made space its official war domain. During a summit in London on the 70th anniversary of the alliance on Wednesday, its members declared space “the fifth operational domain and committed to ensuring the security of telecommunications infrastructure, including 5G.”

However, nothing has been publicly said regarding concrete steps in this direction or decisions made in this field.

December 4, 2019 Posted by | Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

NATO’s four crises

By Jan Oberg – The Transnational – December 2, 2019

Political

NATO’s London Summit on December 3 and 4, 2019 displays the deep political crisis of the 70-year-old alliance: Only a dinner and a short meeting, no statement to be issued, quarrels among the leading military members, accusations, substantial differences on Syria and many other issues, the deepest-ever Transatlantic conflict and the usual issues of burden-sharing.

Legal

But the political dimension of NATO’s crisis is only one. There is also a legal crisis. You’ll recognize it if you care to read the NATO Treaty text – something academic and media people don’t generally seem to have done. They would then have noticed that the Alliance of 2019 consistently operates outside – indeed in violation of – its own goals, purposes and values. For instance, the UN Charter which should be NATO’s guideline has been violated on a permanent basis for decades – such as in its out-of-area bombings of Yugoslavia with no UN mandate.

The contempt shown for international law in general and the UN Charter in particular is an integral part of NATO’s existential crisis.

Moral

And, third, there is a moral dimension to NATO’s crisis. Of course, no one talks about it.

It’s the simple fact that no war that individual NATO members states or NATO as NATO have engaged in can be termed anything but predictable fiascos when judged by the alliance’s own stated goals and criteria – just think of Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria… all crystal clear moral catastrophes causing unspeakable suffering, death and destruction to millions upon millions while achieving none of the stated goals that were set to explain and legitimize these wars such as creating democracy, respecting human rights, liberating women or stopping alleged genocides.

By now, the world should have been told enough lies about NATO’s benevolent motives, policies and actions for taxpaying citizens to mobilize resistance to it.

These three crises can all be related to the response of the Western world to the demise of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact 30 years ago – i.e. to the choice to expand NATO and exploiting the weakness of Russia.

Intellectual

The last and perhaps most-hidden-of-all crisis is NATO’s intellectual crisis.

It’s now an alliance that operates in a kind of echo chamber with little, or no, sense of the realities of the world. It’s there for its own sake. When you listen to its Secretary-General – not only Stoltenberg but Fogh Rasmussen and earlier ones – you sense a level of creativity and intellectualism that reminds you of leaders who also happened to be Secretaries-General such as, say, Leonid Breznev.

Irrespective of some little objective analysis of the situation, NATO sings only one tune: There are new threats all the time, we must arm more, we need new and better weapons and we must, therefore, increase military expenditures.

And how is it legitimized?

By uttering mantras. No matter what NATO and its members choose to do, it is simply stated without a trace of argument or documentation that more money will increase four things: Defence, security, stability and peace. And be good for basic Western values such as freedom, democracy and peace.

How come – the small boy watching the Emperor would ask – that no matter what NATO has done the last 70 years, it is still maintaining that it needs more to create that defence, security, stability and peace?

What’s wrong with a system that keeps applying the same medicine decade after decade and gets further and further from achieving the stipulated goal?

Military expenditures in general – no balance and no reality check

NATO’s main enemy is supposed to be Russia. It doesn’t matter that Russia’s military expenditures are about 6-7% of NATO’s total expenditures (29 countries). It doesn’t matter that NATO’s technical quality is superior. It doesn’t matter that Russia’s military expenditures are falling year-by-year – decreased to US $ 64 billion in 2018 from US $ 66 billion in 2017. It doesn’t matter that Russia’s military expenditures averaged only US $ 45 billion from 1992 until 2018.

Only? Yes, NATO’s total budget is US $ 1036 billion of which the US stands for 649.

And it doesn’t matter that the old Warsaw Pact budget were some 65-75% of NATO’s during the first Cold War and we were told back then that some kind of balance was good for stability and peace. Today we are told that the more superiority NATO has, the better it is for world peace.

In short, reality doesn’t matter anymore to NATO.

The 2 per cent goal

And this is where the 2 per cent of BNP comes into play and reveals just how deep NATO’s crisis is. But have you seen anybody questioning this 2 per cent goal as the philosophical nonsense – or forgery – it is?

It resembles the Theatre of the Absurd to tie military expenditures to the economic performance of a country. Imagine a person sets off 10 % of her/his income to buy food. Sudden he or she wins in a lottery or is catapulted into a job that yields a 5 times higher income. Should that person then also begin to eat 5 times more?

The 2 per cent goal is an absurdity, an indicator of defence illiteracy. People who take it serious – in politics, media and academia – obviously have never read a basic book about theories and concepts in the field of defence and security. Or about how one makes a professional analysis of what threatens a country.

If military expenditures are meant to secure a country’s future, do the threats that this country faces also vary according to its own GNP? Of course not! It is a bizarre assumption.

Decent knowledge-based defence policies should be decided on the basis of a comprehensive analysis of threats and contain dimensions such as:

What threatens our nation, our society now and along various time horizons? Which threats that we can imagine are so big that we can do nothing to meet them? Which are such that it is meaningful to set off this or that sum to feel reasonably safe? What threats seem so small or unlikely that we can ignore them?

What threats are most likely to go from latent to manifest? How do we prioritize among scarce resources when we have other needs and goals than feeling secure such as developing our economy, education, health, culture, etc.?

And, most importantly, two more consideration: What threats can be met with predominantly military means and which require basically civilian means? And how do we act today to prevent the perceived threats from becoming a reality that we have to face – how do we, within our means, prevent violence and reduce risks as much as possible.

All these questions should be possible to answer with the new mantra: Just always give the military 2 per cent of the GNP and everything will be fine?

The MIMAC

MIMAC is the Military-Industrial-Media-Academic Complex – the vested interests of small elites in symbiosis with governments which run on and benefit from bizarre standards like the 2 per cent goal.

One purpose of that goal is to make serious, empirical and relevant threat analysis irrelevant. It’s a perpetuum mobile – a way of securing that MIMAC always gets what it needs, no matter what the consequences are for thosee who pay it all, the citizens and their tax money.

Imagine that Russia disappeared from the earth tomorrow. And NATO would quickly find some other “enemy” by which to legitimate that it anyhow needs also 2 per cent of your BNP in the future. At least!

NATO Titanic

It’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg two days ago announced this mind-boggling news, swallowed by media as the most natural thing of the world in need of no questions – read it on NATO’s homepage:

Ahead of the meeting of NATO Leaders in London to mark the Alliance’s 70th anniversary, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Friday (29 November 2019) gave details of large increases in Allied defence spending. Mr. Stoltenberg announced that in 2019 defence spending across European Allies and Canada increased in real terms by 4.6 %, making this the fifth consecutive year of growth. He also revealed that by the end of 2020, those Allies will have invested $130 billion more since 2016. Based on the latest estimates, the accumulated increase in defence spending by the end of 2024 will be $400 billion. Mr. Stoltenberg said: ‘This is unprecedented progress and it is making NATO stronger.’

Read it carefully: NATO’s military expenditure increase 2016-2020 is US $130 billion – that is twice as much as Russia’s total annual budget!

There is only two words for it: Madness and irrationality. Madness in and of itself and madness when seen in the perspective of all the other problems humanity must urgently find funds to solve.

The total regular UN budget for the year 2016-17 was US $5.6 billion. That is, NATO countries spend 185 times more on the military than all the world does on the UN.

Do you find that sane and in accordance with the problems humanity need to solve? This author does not. I stand by the word madness. There exists no rational academic, empirical analysis and no theory that can explain NATO’s military expenditures as rational or in service of the common good of humankind.

*****

The world’s strongest, nuclear alliance is a castle built on intellectual sinking sand. It’s a political, moral, legal and intellectual Titanic.

The only armament NATO needs is legal, moral and intellectual. And unless it now moves in this direction, it deserves to be dissolved.

The inverse proportion between its destructive power and its moral-intellectual power is – beyond any doubt – the largest single threat to humanity’s future.

This challenge is at least as serious and as urgent as is climate change.

Perhaps it is time to stop keeping NATO alive by taxpayers’ money and start a tax boycott in all NATO countries until it is dissolved or at least comes down to – say – one-tenth of its present wasteful military level? Not to speak of its bootprint destruction of the environment…

December 2, 2019 Posted by | Militarism | | Leave a comment

When Did Ukraine Become a ‘Critical Ally’?

By Pat Buchanan • Unz Review • November 15, 2019

On hearing the State Department’s George Kent and William Taylor describe President Donald Trump’s withholding of military aid to Ukraine, The New York Times summarized and solemnly endorsed their testimony:

“What clearly concerned both witnesses wasn’t simply the abuse of power by the President, but the harm it inflicted on Ukraine, a critical ally, under constant assault by Russian forces.”

“‘Even as we sit here today, the Russians are attacking Ukrainian soldiers in their own country, and have been for four years,’ Taylor said. ‘I saw this on the front line last week; the day I was there a Ukrainian soldier was killed and four more wounded.’”

Kent compared Ukrainian resistance to Russia’s intervention on the side of the Donbass secessionists to “our own Minutemen in 1776.”

“More than 13,000 Ukrainians have died on Ukrainian soil defending their territorial integrity and sovereignty from Russian aggression. … American support in Ukraine’s own de facto war of independence has been critical.”

Kent went on:

“The American colonies may not have prevailed against British imperial might without help from transatlantic friends after 1776. In an echo of Lafayette’s organized assistance to General George Washington’s army and Admiral John Paul Jones’ navy, Congress has generously appropriated over $1.5 billion over the past five years in desperately needed train and equip security assistance to Ukraine…”

“Similar to von Steuben training colonials at Valley Forge, U.S. and NATO allied trainers develop the skills of Ukrainian units at Yavoriv near the Polish border, and elsewhere. They help rewrite military education for Ukraine’s next generation, as von Steuben did for America’s first.”

“One would think, listening to this,” writes Barbara Boland, the American Conservative columnist, “that the U.S. had always provided arms to Ukraine, and that Ukraine has relied on this aid for years. But this is untrue and the Washington blob knows this.”

Indeed, Ukraine has never been a NATO ally or a “critical ally.”

Three decades ago, George H.W. Bush implored Ukraine not to set out on a course of “suicidal nationalism” by declaring independence from the Russian Federation. Despite constant pressure from Sen. John McCain and our neocons to bring Ukraine into NATO, wiser heads on both sides of the Atlantic rejected the idea.

Why? Because the “territorial integrity and sovereignty” of Ukraine is not now and has never been a vital interest of ours that would justify a U.S. war with a nuclear-armed Russia.

Instead, it was the avoidance of such a war that was the vital interest that nine U.S. presidents, from Truman to Bush I, secured, despite such provocations as the crushing of the Hungarian Revolution in 1956 and the building of the Berlin Wall.

In February 2014, the elected pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown by U.S.-backed protesters in Maidan Square, cheered on by McCain. This was direct U.S. intervention in the internal affairs of Ukraine. Victoria Nuland of the State Department conceded that we had dumped billions into Ukraine to reorient its regime to the West.

To Vladimir Putin, the Kyiv coup meant the loss of Russia’s historic Black Sea naval base at Sebastopol in Crimea. Rather than let that happen, Putin effected an uprising, Crimea’s secession from Ukraine, and the annexation by Russia. In eastern Ukraine, the pro-Russian Donbass rose up in rebellion against the pro-NATO regime in Kyiv.

Civil war broke out. We backed the new regime. Russia backed the rebels. And five years later, the war goes on. Why is this our fight?

During the Obama years, major lethal aid was denied to Ukraine.

The White House reasoned that arming Ukraine would lead to an escalation of the war in the east, greater Russian intervention, defeat for Kyiv, and calls for the U.S. to intervene militarily, risking a war with Russia.

Not until Trump became president did lethal aid begin flowing to Ukraine, including Javelin anti-tank missiles.

So where are we?

Despite dramatic depictions of Ukraine as our embattled ally, Ukraine has never been an ally. We are not now nor have we ever been obligated to fight for its sovereignty or territorial integrity. Efforts to bring Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia into NATO have been repeatedly rebuffed in the United States and by our European NATO allies.

Kent and Taylor are honorable men. But they are career diplomats of the Department of State and veteran advocates of a foreign policy that sees Russia as an enduring aggressor and Ukraine as a fighting ally entitled to U.S. military assistance.

They have, in the old phrase, gone native. They champion the policies of yesterday and the embattled countries to which they are accredited and to whose causes they have become converted.

But Trump was elected to overturn the interventionist policies America has pursued since the century began. He was elected to end Cold War II with Russia, to reach a modus vivendi as Reagan did, and to extricate us from the endless wars into which Presidents Bush and Obama plunged the nation.

Copyright 2019 Creators.com.

November 15, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 1 Comment

Willy Wimmer: ‘We are on a path of war again’

RT | November 9, 2019

Three decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, one of the symbols of the Cold War, Europe remains divided because it chose confrontation over a common future, Willy Wimmer, Germany’s former State Secretary for Defense believes.

Germany is marking 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall – a symbol of division, perhaps, not just for Germans but for all Europeans, who saw the continent split between the Western and the Soviet bloc. The wall’s destruction has since turned into a symbol of German reunification. Yet, Europe itself has failed to achieve the genuine unity that was a dream of the people who tore it down back on November 9, 1989.

Wimmer is a long-term member of the German parliament and the former vice-head of the OSCE Assembly, who also was a high-ranking official with the German Defense Ministry at the time of reunification and oversaw the integration of West and East Germany’s Armed Forces.

He believes that instead of striving for a “Common House” uniting all the European nations, the politicians drew new lines in the sand, setting their nations on a path to fresh conflict. The hopes that filled the hearts of the people following the end of the Cold War have been ultimately dashed, he said, while calling the present European and NATO policies towards Russia a “disaster”.

Below are some more of his thoughts on the issue, which he shared with RT.

Anglo-Saxon ‘division’ strategy instead of Gorbachev’s ‘Common House’

The reason for the new Cold War is absolutely clear. If we had followed the policies of [the last Soviet leader] Mikhail Gorbachev, [former German Chancellor] Helmut Kohl and even [the former US President] George H. W. Bush, we would have entered an era of cooperation. It is for this reason that I mention the “common European House” – the big idea of Mikhail Gorbachev.

It is a kind of Anglo-Saxon policy not to have cooperation on the European continent – mainly between the Russians, the French, the Poles and the Germans. They want to have a line of confrontation in this area and therefore are against all promises. [As a result] NATO was extended to the East.

I was responsible for the organization of the German Armed Forces on the German territory following reunification. We did not want foreign troops in former East Germany. We did not want to have British or French troops there; we wanted to have only German ones. We wanted to explain to the world that there was no desire to enlarge NATO up to the new borders with Russia that were created in 1992.

It was against all the ideas we had after reunification. What is happening now is some kind of Anglo-Saxon policy that was created even before WWI. We are on the path of war again. That is so much against the will of our people.

This is also against the will of the Dutch, the French, the Spanish and the Italians. We see it as a disaster that a US president that is willing to cooperate with the Russian President Vladimir Putin – President [Donald] Trump – has to face such a disastrous policy organized by the US deep state, which is against our national interests and the national interests of all other western Europeans.

“The remains of the Berlin Wall are not only the symbol of German reunification or the end of the division in Europe. It is a symbol of missed hopes and forgotten expectations when it comes to the great idea of Mikhail Gorbachev to help build a common European House.”

As long as we live, the German people will remember with great gratitude the Soviet Secretary General and its leader, as well as the Russian population. We always said that a key for German reunification was in Moscow. Moscow handed it over to us and therefore we have to face responsibility for the future.

Links to Russia re-established

The role of Mikhail Gorbachev is still akin to that of a saint to the Germans. People in Germany like Mr. Gorbachev and they like his idea of a common European House. We see it as a disaster in Germany that, together with NATO, we are preparing some kind of a common European battleground again.

Gorbachev is a kind of a hero for Germans. I travel a lot in all parts of Germany and when I come to the Eastern part I see another big issue for them. For 20 years after unification, it was very difficult to talk to them about the Russians and their relationship to Russia. They almost ignored such talk because of the past.

But, when you now come to Rostock, Dresden or Leipzig they are learning Russian again, they go to theaters to watch Russian performances and listen to Russian music. They have re-established their links with Russia, and if they could do what they want to do, they would be the big economic partners of Russia these days.

Things have really changed for the Russian Federation and with regard to Russia. People in Dresden, Saxony’s capital, are absolutely proud that Russian President Vladimir Putin once served there. That is the reality these days, despite what the mainstream media say.

November 9, 2019 Posted by | Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

Deep State on the National Security Council: Colonel Vindman Is an ‘Expert’ With an Agenda

By Philip Giraldi | Strategic Culture Foundation | November 7, 2019

The current frenzy to impeach President Donald Trump sometimes in its haste reveals that which could easily be hidden about the operation of the Deep State inside the federal government. Congress is currently obtaining testimony from a parade of witnesses to or participants in what will inevitably be called UkraineGate, an investigation into whether Trump inappropriately sought a political quid pro quo from Ukrainian leaders in exchange for a military assistance package.

The prepared opening statement by Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, described as the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council (NSC), provides some insights into how decision making at the NSC actually works. Vindman was born in Ukraine but emigrated to the United States with his family at age three. He was commissioned as an army infantry officer in 1998 and served in some capacity in Iraq from 2004-5, where he was wounded by a roadside bomb and received a purple heart. Vindman, who speaks both Ukrainian and Russian fluently, has filled a number of diplomatic and military positions in government dealing with Eastern Europe, to include a key role in Pentagon planning on how to deal with Russia.

Vindman, Ukrainian both by birth and culturally, clearly was a major player in articulating and managing US policy towards that country, but that is not really what his role on the NSC should have been. As more than likely the US government’s sole genuine Ukrainian expert, he should have become a source of viable options that the United States might exercise vis-à-vis its relationship with Ukraine, and, by extension, regarding Moscow’s involvement with Kiev. But that is not how his statement, which advocates for a specific policy, reads. Rather than providing expert advice, Vindman was concerned chiefly because arming Ukraine was not proceeding quickly enough to suit him, an extremely risky policy which has already created serious problems with a much more important Russia.

Vindman apparently sees Ukraine-Russia through the established optic provided by the Deep State, which considers global conflict as the price to pay for maintaining its largesse from the US taxpayer. Continuous warfare is its only business product, which explains in part its dislike of Donald Trump as he has several times threatened to upset the apple cart, even though he has done precious little in reality. Part of Vindman’s written statement (my emphasis) is revealing: ”When I joined the NSC in July 2018, I began implementing the administration’s policy on Ukraine. In the Spring of 2019, I became aware of outside influencers promoting a false narrative of Ukraine inconsistent with the consensus views of the interagency. This narrative was harmful to US government policy. While my interagency colleagues and I were becoming increasingly optimistic on Ukraine’s prospects, this alternative narrative undermined US government efforts to expand cooperation with Ukraine.”

Alexander Vindman clearly was pushing a policy that might be described as that of the Deep State rather than responding to his own chain of command where it is the president who does the decision making. He also needs a history lesson about what has gone on in his country of birth. President Barack Obama conspired with his own version of Macbeth’s three witches – Rice, Power and Jarett – to overthrow the legitimate government of Ukraine in 2014 because it was considered to be too close to Moscow. The regime change was brought about by “mavericks” like the foul-mouthed neocon State Department officer Victoria Nuland and the footloose warmonger Senator John McCain. Vice President Joe Biden also appeared on the scene after the “wetwork” was done, with his son Hunter trailing behind him. Since that time, Ukraine has had a succession of increasingly corrupt puppet governments propped up by billions in foreign aid. It is now per capita the poorest country in Europe.

Washington inside-the-beltway and the Deep State choose to blame the mess in Ukraine on Russian President Vladimir Putin and the established narrative also makes the absurd claim that the political situation in Kiev is somehow important to US national security. The preferred solution is to provide still more money, which feeds the corruption and enables the Ukrainians to attack the Russians.

Colonel Vindman, who reported to noted hater of all things Russian Fiona Hill, who in turn reported to By Jingo We’ll Go To War John Bolton, was in the middle of all the schemes to bring down Russia. His concern was not really over Trump vs. Biden. It was focused instead on speeding up the $380 million in military assistance, to include offensive weapons, that was in the pipeline for Kiev. And assuming that the Ukrainians could actually learn how to use the weapons, the objective was to punish the Russians and prolong the conflict in Donbas for no reason at all that makes any sense.

Note the following additional excerpt from Vindman’s prepared statement: “… I was worried about the implications for the US government’s support of Ukraine… I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens and Burisma, it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained.”

Vindman’s concern is all about Ukraine without any explanation of why the United States would benefit from bilking the taxpayer to support a foreign deadbeat one more time. One wonders if Vindman was able to compose his statement without a snicker or two intruding. He does eventually go on to cover the always essential national security angle, claiming that “Since 2008, Russia has manifested an overtly aggressive foreign policy, leveraging military power and employing hybrid warfare to achieve its objectives of regional hegemony and global influence. Absent a deterrent to dissuade Russia from such aggression, there is an increased risk of further confrontations with the West. In this situation, a strong and independent Ukraine is critical to US national security interests because Ukraine is a frontline state and a bulwark against Russian aggression.”

The combined visions of Russia as an aggressive, expansionistic power coupled with the brave Ukrainians serving as a bastion of freedom is so absurd that it is hardly worth countering. Russia’s economy is about the size of Italy’s or Spain’s limiting its imperial ambitions, if they actually exist. Its alleged transgressions against Georgia and Ukraine were both provoked by the United States meddling in Eastern Europe, something that it had pledged not to do after the Soviet Union collapsed. Ukraine is less an important American ally than a welfare case, and no one knows that better than Vindman, but he is really speaking to his masters in the US Establishment when he repeats the conventional arguments.

It hardly seems possible, but Vindman then goes on to dig himself into a still deeper hole through his statement’s praise of the train wreck that is Ukraine. He writes “In spite of being under assault from Russia for more than five years, Ukraine has taken major steps towards integrating with the West. The US government policy community’s view is that the election of President Volodymyr Zelensky and the promise of reforms to eliminate corruption will lock in Ukraine’s Western-leaning trajectory, and allow Ukraine to realize its dream of a vibrant democracy and economic prosperity. The United States and Ukraine are and must remain strategic partners, working together to realize the shared vision of a stable, prosperous, and democratic Ukraine that is integrated into the Euro-Atlantic community.”

Alexander Vindman does not say or write that the incorporation of Ukraine into NATO is his actual objective, but his comments about “integrating with the West” and the “Euro-Atlantic community” clearly imply just that. The expansion of NATO up to Russia’s borders by the rascally Bill Clinton constituted one of the truly most momentous lost foreign policy opportunities of the twentieth century. The addition of Ukraine and Georgia to the alliance would magnify that error as both are vital national security interests for Moscow given their history and geography. Vindman should be regarded as a manifestation of the Deep State thinking that has brought so much grief to the United States over the past twenty years. Seen in that light, his testimony, wrapped in an air of sanctimoniousness and a uniform, should be regarded as little more than the conventional thinking that has produced foreign policy failure after failure.

November 7, 2019 Posted by | Deception | , , | 1 Comment

Kremlin Says US Silent on Future of Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty

Sputnik – November 5, 2019

MOSCOW – Russia has not received any indication from the United States that it is ready to discuss the future of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.

“There are no advancements on START, no signals from the Americans, no signals about being ready to begin discussing an extension of old modalities or new modalities. It is a long process, and, of course, we will inevitably enter a zeitnot [race against the clock]. If the silence continues, we will enter a period where it will be impossible to agree on some new realities of the arms control”, he told reporters.

Peskov stressed the complexity of such talks and refrained from providing a precise time frame for negotiations.

The statement comes after Beijing stated that it saw no reason to engage in trilateral disarmament negotiations with the United States and Russia, especially since conditions for such an arrangement do not exist.

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent in September a proposal to leaders of several countries, including NATO members, to introduce a moratorium on the deployment of INF Treaty-covered missiles in Europe and other regions. Later, NATO confirmed that it had received the letter, but did not consider this proposal credible.

On 2 August, the US withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which banned all short-medium (310–620 miles) and intermediate (620–3,420 miles) range ground-launched missiles, citing Russia’s alleged violations of the pact as its reason for exiting.

In early 2019, US President Donald Trump floated the idea of drafting a new arms control agreement between Washington, Moscow and Beijing.

The New START agreement was signed in 2010 by then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his US counterpart at the time, Barack Obama. It is currently the only arms control agreement between two countries that is still in force. It is set to expire in February 2021, and so far Washington has shown no inclination to extend it.

November 5, 2019 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | Leave a comment

Is the ‘Greater Albania’ Project Aimed Against Russia in the Balkans?

Preševo Valley, Serbia.
By Paul Antonopoulos | October 28, 2019

A project for Greater Albania – conspiracy or legitimate? According to a 2010 Gallup Balkan Monitor report, 83% of Albanians in Albania supported the idea of a Greater Albania, with 81% and 53% of Albanians in Kosovo and North Macedonia respectively supporting such an ambition.

The ultimate goal? To have Kosovo and the Preševo Valley in Serbia, southern Montenegro, Epirus in Greece and western North Macedonia into a single Greater Albanian state. Although this may not be official policy of the Albanian Republic, it is ingrained into the Albanian mythos. The very idea of a Greater Albania has roots in the 1913 Treaty of London that left roughly 40% of the Albanian population outside the newly established Albanian country. This has been something that the U.S. could weaponize against Russian influence in the Balkans.

Despite the heroics of Albanian national figure and anti-Ottoman guerrilla leader Gjergj Kastrioti, more commonly known as Skënderbej, the Albanians became loyal Ottoman subjects and were used as colonists in more restive and disloyal areas of the empire, especially those inhabited by the Serbs, Bulgarians and Greeks. They often became a majority over the initial inhabitants, like what happened in Kosovo and western North Macedonia.

Although the idea of a Greater Albania may seem like an exaggerated conspiracy, to the Serbian people this is anything but. The Serbian mythos finds itself in the 1389 Battle of Kosovo, where despite their courage, Serbian Prince Lazar Hrebeljanović was martyred and his forces routed by the Ottoman invaders. Although the Serbs achieved sovereignty over Kosovo with the downfall of the Ottoman Empire, the region had already become an Albanian majority on Ottoman orders to weaken Serbian identity to the region.

Kosovo became an autonomous region of Serbia after the establishment of socialist Yugoslavia in the aftermath of World War Two and retained its Albanian-majority. The 1990’s proved this was always a weak point of Serbia. With the U.S. sponsoring the violent destruction of Yugoslavia in the early 1990’s, the status of Kosovo was left unresolved, culminating in the terrorist-led war against the Yugoslav state (in which Serbia was the successor of) in 1999.

The terrorist ethnic-Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), with the backing of NATO and the Albanian Republic, defeated Yugoslav forces. The United Nations and NATO assumed control of the territory, which eventually declared independence in 2008. Since then the region has become a heroin ‘smugglers paradise,’ and a hub for human trafficking, organ harvesting and arms trafficking.

It is for this reason that in an interview on Saturday, the former Serbian Chief of General Staff, General Ljubisa Dikovic, discussed the project for a Greater Albania. Dikovic believes that the area of ​​the Balkan Peninsula cannot be peaceful because of unresolved issues like Kosovo.

“There can easily be big problems if things get out of hand. I hope that there will be enough wisdom and intelligence and that everyone will do what we do, in terms of strengthening security, cooperation and trust. I am free to say that we are in the lead because I do not see on other sides showing desire to build peace. After all, the issue of ‘Greater Albania’ is a matter of the highest security risk. We can ask why this is happening now with Albania and [North] Macedonia? It might be waiting to create a ‘Greater Albania’,” Dikovic said.

His comments come as the economic situation in Kosovo continues to deteriorate and becomes even more reliant upon foreign aid and donations from the unilateral behaving U.S., their former Ottoman masters in Turkey that had gifted lands to them hundreds of years earlier, and Germany who effectively rules the European Union.

The former military man’s comments also come as Serbia leads Exercise “Slovenian Shield 2019” with Russia. Although some Slavic tribes broke off and headed south into the Balkans sometime at around 600AD, they maintained their Slavic kinship with the Russians and shared Christian Orthodox faith, ensuring Serbia has always had a pro-Russia view. Albanian expansionism has therefore become a natural ally of the U.S. to limit Russian influence in the Balkans.

However, this begs the question then why strong efforts for Albanian independence in Greece, Montenegro and North Macedonia has been weak in comparison to those in Serbia. Greece has been a long-time loyal NATO member, with the exception of the disintegration of Yugoslavia, and therefore does not pose a threat to U.S. hegemony in the Balkans, protecting Greece from destabilization efforts via Albanian expansionism. Although Montenegro and North Macedonia also share Slavic kinship with the Serbs and Russians, as well as the Orthodox faith, they have proven to have Globalist ambitions, wanting to join NATO and the EU.

Serbia remains the only anti-EU/NATO state in the Balkans that is overwhelmingly pro-Russia. It is for this reason that Dikovic wants to renew compulsory military service, stating: “One should not gamble and think that there will be no conflict and risk. It is not only up to us, but we must have an answer to everything.”

Although the overwhelming majority of Albanians want a Greater Albania, it is unlikely to be achieved with Washington’s backing in Greece, Montenegro and North Macedonia as they do not pose a threat to U.S. hegemony in the Balkans, but rather serve it, while not encouraging Russian influence in the region. As Serbia is a pro-Russian island in a hostile region, it will continue to be targeted by Albanian expansionism with U.S. backing. Will this drive for expansionism violently spill over into the Preševo Valley? That remains to be seen.

Paul Antonopoulos is a Research Fellow at the Center for Syncretic Studies.

October 28, 2019 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 2 Comments