- The US-NATO Military Alliance Continues Confrontation Along Russia’s Borders
by Brian Cloughley, https://www.strategic-culture.org/
The Pentagon and its sub-office in Brussels, HQ NATO, in its new billion dollar building, are intent on maintaining military pressure around the globe. The US itself is much more widely spread, having bases tentacled from continent to continent, with the Pentagon admitting to 514 but omitting mention of many countries, including Afghanistan, Syria and Somalia.
Independent researchers came up with the more realistic total of 883 bases, and examination of the current US defence budget shows that the Pentagon’s spending priorities are far from modest in regard to spreading its wings, hulls and boots-on-the-ground to maintain military domination by what Trump calls “the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth.” To this end its vast military spending programme includes:
- increasing the strength of the Army, Navy, and Air Force by almost 26,000;
- building another ten combat ships for $18.4 billion;
- increasing production of the most expensive aircraft in world history, the F-35, costing over eleven billion; and
- upgrading and expanding the triad of nuclear weapons deliverable from air, land and sea.
The US military budget for 2020 is officially $750 billion. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, total US-NATO military expenditure in 2018 was “$963 billion, which represents 53 per cent of world spending.” In striking (no humour intended) contrast, Russia’s entire defence budget was $61.4 billion, its annual outlay having “decreased by 3.5 per cent,” which even the most brainwashed western war-drummer would have to agree does not reflect the policy of a nation preparing to invade anybody.
Yet the US-NATO alliance is increasing the number and scope of military manoeuvres along Russia’s borders, and announced that “in 2019, a total of 102 NATO exercises are planned; 39 of them are open to partner participation.” The exercises include 25 land, 27 air and 12 maritime-centred groups of manoeuvres.
“Partner participation” is a disguised way of saying that non-NATO countries around Russia’s borders have been encouraged to join in all the expensive military jamborees aimed at convincing their citizens they should follow “the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth” in its never-ending conquests.
HQ NATO announced that from 8-22 June military forces of 18 nations took part in the BALTOPS naval manoeuvres which involved “maritime, air and ground forces with about 50 ships and submarines and 40 aircraft” in and around the Baltic. The NATO spokesperson said, presumably with a straight face and no hint of the wry amusement felt by independent observers, that “BALTOPS is now in its 47th year and is not directed against anyone.” Sure. And the Easter Bunny just landed on Mars.