NATO-Russia Collision Ahead?

Pat Buchanan
Pat Buchanan

USA – -(Ammoland.com)- “U.S. Poised to Put Heavy Weaponry in East Europe: A Message to Russia,” ran the headline in The New York Times.

“In a significant move to deter possible Russian aggression in Europe, the Pentagon is poised to store battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and other heavy weapons for as many as 5,000 American troops in several Baltic and Eastern European countries,” said the Times. The sources cited were “American and allied officials.”

The Pentagon's message received a reply June 16 2015. Russian Gen. Yuri Yakubov called the U.S. move “the most aggressive step by the Pentagon and NATO since the Cold War.” When Moscow detects U.S. heavy weapons moving into the Baltic, said Yakubov, Russia will “bolster its forces and resources on the western strategic theater of operations.”

Specifically, Moscow will outfit its missile brigade in Kaliningrad, bordering Lithuania and Poland, “with new Iskander tactical missile systems.” The Iskander can fire nuclear warheads.

The Pentagon and Congress apparently think Vladimir Putin is a bluffer and, faced by U.S. toughness, will back down.

For the House has passed and Sen. John McCain is moving a bill to provide Ukraine with anti-armor weapons, mortars, grenade launchers and ammunition. The administration could not spend more than half of the $300 million budgeted, unless 20 percent is earmarked for offensive weapons.

Congress is voting to give Kiev a green light and the weaponry to attempt a recapture of Donetsk and Luhansk from pro-Russian rebels, who have split off from Ukraine, and Crimea, annexed by Moscow.

If the Pentagon is indeed moving U.S. troops and heavy weapons into Poland and the Baltic States, and is about to provide arms to Kiev to attack the rebels in East Ukraine, we are headed for a U.S.-Russian confrontation unlike any seen since the Cold War.

And reconsider the outcome of those confrontations.

Lest we forget, while it was Khrushchev who backed down in the Cuban missile crisis, President Eisenhower did nothing to halt the crushing of the Hungarian rebels, Kennedy accepted the Berlin Wall, and Lyndon Johnson refused to lift a finger to save the Czechs when their “Prague Spring” was snuffed out by Warsaw Pact tank armies.

Even Reagan's response to the crushing of Solidarity was with words not military action.

None of these presidents was an appeaser, but all respected the geostrategic reality that any military challenge to Moscow on the other side of NATO's Red Line in Germany carried the risk of a calamitous war for causes not justifying such a risk.

Yet we are today risking a collision with Russia in the Baltic States and Ukraine, where no vital U.S. interest has ever existed and where our adversary enjoys military superiority.

As Les Gelb writes in The National Interest,the West's limp hand” in the Baltic and “Russia's military superiority over NATO on its Western borders,” is “painfully evident to all.”

“If NATO ups the military ante, Moscow can readily trump it. Moscow has significant advantages in conventional forces — backed by potent tactical nuclear weapons and a stated willingness to use them to sustain advantages or avoid defeat. The last thing NATO wants is to look weak or lose a confrontation.”

And NATO losing any such confrontation is the likely outcome of the collision provoked by the Pentagon and John McCain.

For if Kiev moves with U.S. arms against the rebels in the east, and Moscow sends planes, tanks and artillery to annihilate them, Kiev will be routed. And what we do then?

Send carriers into the Black Sea to attack the Russian fleet at Sevastopol, and battle Russian missiles and air attacks?

Before we schedule a NATO confrontation with Russia, we had best look behind us to see who is following America's lead.

According to a new survey by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, fewer than half of the respondents in Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain thought NATO should fight if its Baltic allies were attacked by Russia. Germans, by a 58-38 margin, did not think military force should be used by NATO to defend Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, though that is what Article 5 of the NATO charter requires of Germany.

Americans, by 56-37, favor using force to defend the Baltic States. On military aid to Ukraine, America is divided, 46 percent in favor, 43 percent opposed. However, only 1 in 5 Germans and Italians favor arming Ukraine, and in not a single major NATO nation does the arming of Ukraine enjoy clear majority support.

In Washington, Congressional hawks are primed to show Putin who is truly tough. But in shipping weapons to Ukraine and sending U.S. troops and armor into the Baltic States, they have behind them a divided nation and a NATO alliance that wants no part of this confrontation.

Unlike the Cuban missile crisis, it is Russia that has regional military superiority here, and a leader seemingly prepared to ride the escalator up right alongside us.

Are we sure it will be the Russians who blink this time?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

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eduardoMike the LimeyJeffieCarl StevensonJim Recent comment authors
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eduardo
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eduardo

look! kremlin is staging a cat and mouse tactics in european theatre, they convince India and Pakistan to join to their defensive positioning, now, what next? China, opened its strategic maneuvering in small islands in south china sea, looking for a strategic place for their advance radar and listening post, with 980 meters of airstrip, they can launch air strikes in the Philippines, Formosa Is., Malaysia, Singapore and Japan. Where are our ALLIES to give us support? Even the U. N. cannot decide of what to do relevant to incursion of their U. N. members country to other U. N.… Read more »

Jeffie
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Jeffie

This is absurd. The author assumes that the old iron curtain still exists and Ukraine is still under Soviet control. The Ukraine is a sovereign nation and is not in the Russian sphere of influence, or at least not in any sphere we or the world should recognize. The Ukrainian people as they build a democracy free of Russian style cronyism deserve our support including military material so they can exercise their right to self defense against any aggressors.

Mike the Limey
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Mike the Limey

Well said. Buchanan is out of touch with reality if he thinks doing nothing will stop Putin the criminal’s expansionist actions. Face the facts: The current scenario has clear & multiple similarities to the late 1930’s, when appeasement inevitable lead to war. Hitler himself admitted he would have backed down if his remilitarisation of the Rhineland had provoked a robust response. Instead he was met with platitudes, leading to the Austrian Anschluss, occupation of the Sudetenland, invasion of Czechoslovakia, then on to Poland & global war. Putin is a criminal & needs put in his place NOW, not allowed to… Read more »

Carl Stevenson
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Carl Stevenson

Putin will not “blink”. Obama is a limp dicked whimp and Putin knows it. The source of the coming conflict, which could likely take tens, if not hundreds, of millions of lives, is threefold. 1) Putin’s Russia is serious about its sovereignty and the banisters don’t like that he doesn’t bow down to them sufficiently like Obama does. 2) there is nothing like war to cause the kind of chaos the globalist need to get the sheeple to beg for a global government “to establish peace, security, and prosperity.” The sheeple will beg for their own enslavement. 3) the globalists… Read more »

Jim
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Jim

The Germans learned a little surprise in WWII as thousands of T-34 tanks (best tank of WWII) surprised them. I fear they are developing a weapons system that based on past intelligence, will be a huge surprise to the West–they are not dummies and Putin has put them in the same land grab back position that Hitler did just prior to WWII with his people.

John
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John

Excellent forethought.

Janek
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Janek

What about NATO-Russian collusion?