May 21, 2016
Expert commentary by Leonid Ivashov
Translated by Kristina Kharlova
British retired general, who in 2014 held the post of deputy supreme commander of the allied NATO forces in Europe, sir Richard Shirreff said that a nuclear war could begin between NATO and Russia within a year if the alliance does not strengthen its defenses in the Baltic states.
According to Shirreff, it is likely that the target of the attack will be Estonia, Lithuania or Latvia, where Russia can justify a possible invasion with “protection of Russian-speaking population”. British general believes that “Russia is confident in NATO’s weakness” and, on this basis, the West needs “to prevent a possible catastrophe.” He is convinced that the confrontation will certainly be nuclear, since this is allegedly woven into the Russian military doctrine.
Earlier this week, the general published a book “2017: The War With Russia”, about fictional events, which are, as the author claims, “very likely to happen” in reality.
On February 3 the British broadcasting company BBC introduced the film “World War Three: Inside the War Room”, which presents a fictional scenario of potential conflict between Russia and NATO: after the capture of Latvian Daugavpils by pro-Russian rebels and intervention of the US-British coalition the world is on the brink of a major nuclear war from which humanity is rescued by the members of British Cabinet.
In early May, the Pentagon said that NATO could deploy four battalions in the Baltic States and Poland. On Wednesday, May 18, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that alliance command wants to deploy multi-ethnic battalions in several countries in Eastern Europe, first of all in the Baltic States.
Comment by Leonid Ivashov (General-Colonel, president of the Academy of Geopolitical Issues, International Journalism professor at MGIMO) :
One of the most important questions of our time is whether NATO is really preparing for an open war with Russia, and the alliance has already found the place where it starts, or is it a game of nerves, verbal and declarative, but, in fact, not dangerous fuss?
This isn’t horseplay, but serious preparations for war. And not only in the region of our North-Western borders, but along the entire perimeter of Russia. And the start of active preparation for the military phase was triggered by the “National Security Strategy of the USA”, which was adopted in February last year. It stated that there is no multi-polar world, because there is no alternative to American leadership. This whole “Strategy” is riddled with phrases like:
- We will defend our interests from a position of strength
- We will conduct combat operations anywhere in the world
- We will act outside of international law and so on…
And the main target of these military preparations is Russia. And all because Russia is slowly but consistently changing the world. Turned Eurasia towards itself, began to develop relationships in Eurasian, and other regions. The Shanghai cooperation organization, CSTO, Eurasian economic union, the group of BRICS countries – all this is created on the initiative of Russia. That is, the Americans are loosing the lead. Their global domination today in fact is melting. And the goal of the United States – to pin down, and even to crush Russia, as they do with those smaller countries that try to resist. That’s all: the goal of global West is to stop the independent foreign policy of Russia.
With regard to Russian threat. I would advise NATO generals to calculate the ratio of personnel of the armed forces of NATO countries, equipment and qualitative characteristics. They clearly show that it is NATO that is creating shock troops, which threaten Russia, conducting exercises: military-air, naval, ground. Regularly in the Baltic sea area BALTOPS exercises are conducted, during which they practice strategic airlift of US troops from American territory. And that the Baltic States scream that Russia is going to conquer them – first, we don’t need them. And even if they beg to join Russia or for the rapprochement with Russia, there is no need to hurry, they should not be accepted. Such countries are always better to have as an enemy than an ally or part of Russia. However, we must defend the Kaliningrad region, and not only by military means, but also with soft power. There, unfortunately, Germans and Poles are more active than our officials from Russia.
Lets look were around our borders NATO is now most active? Eastern European countries, which joined
NATO and the EU, became the weakest European link. Americans are now using them against Europe and against Russia. The same Poles: whatever the Americans tell them – they salute, and say: “Yes, sir!”. This also applies to missile defense system, and strengthening of the naval component of Poland in the Baltic sea region. Now supposedly the Poles are asking the Americans to open a military base.
Look at Romania: Americans patched the holes on the old Romanian ships, and now actively use them in the Black sea region, deployed some F-22s, modern combat aircraft.
The Balts have nowhere to go: they say yes to everything, as long as America supports the current political elite in power, and fills its pockets.
These are completely dependent countries – the countries of Eastern Europe. Sometimes Hungary, the Czech Republic try to resist, particularly in relation to anti-Russian sanctions, but they are immediately threatened with a coup, anti-government rallies, accused of corruption… The Americans got a strong hold over Europe, including Western, through the instrument of weak Eastern Europe. South-East Europe is also pitted against Russia. The Balkans have always been the military fuse of Europe, and today Americans are trying to turn it into a powder keg. In fact, the accession of Montenegro to NATO has already been decided, however, God help if the whole of Montenegro collects two battalions. So there is no military gain here, but Montenegrians are the destroyers of the Orthodox Slavic world. Milo Djukanovic is, in fact, the Western, Pro-American agent, and the task of the West is to destabilize not just the Balkan region but the entire Orthodox Slavic space. The people of Montenegro, of course, are against NATO, against quarrel with Russia, with Serbia, but no one asks the people, and demands for a referendum are just rejected. The same difficult situation, on the brink of civil war, is in Macedonia. Republika Srpska within Bosnia and Herzegovina is subjected to coup attempts for elimination from political arena of the popular president Milorad Dodik.
And Serbia itself is stretched, either you join NATO and then the EU, or you will live in a blockade, as today. For Serbia to apply for EU membership, it is necessary to recognize Kosovo’s independence, and in the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia Kosovo is its integral part, but it is forced to do so.
In a prosperous at first glance Croatia we see growing social tension: rallies and protests are commonplace. So the Balkans are again on the brink of internal turmoil with a threat of external military intervention.
Will the Balkans become the stage for a local conflict, which will eventually grow into global? It is unlikely to turn into a global conflict, because today’s Russia will not militarily interfere. The West will just break the Serbs, so that the Serbs, as Bulgarians now, will unquestioningly obey their masters from Washington and Brussels.
Today we are observing an attempt to transform the Orthodox-Slavic world into some semblance of present-day Ukraine.