- Russia Does Not Exclude Possibility Of War With NATO
by Tyler Durden, http://www.zerohedge.com/
Just days after the conclusion of Russia’s largest military exercise ever (which US military chiefs believe broke ‘observer rules’) and NATO’s massive war games, Pravda reports a recent Russian Defense Ministry report says that Russia is preparing for the possibility of a military conflict with NATO countries.
While Russia’s defense ministry said the Zapad exercises would involve 12,700 Russian and Belarusian troops, about 70 aircraft, up to 250 tanks, 200 artillery systems and 10 warships; Military.com reports that the U.S. Army’s commander in Europe says Russia broke up its Zapad war games with Belarus into parts to avoid having international monitors watch the weeklong exercises last month.
Lieutenant General Ben Hodges said Monday that the two countries deployed “way over 12,700” personnel, the limit beyond which Europe’s OSCE security organization should be allowed to send observers. Hodges said: “My guess is that there probably were over 40,000 service members.” He told reporters at NATO headquarters that Russia and Belarus “broke it up into all these little exercises” but that “these were all connected, because this was a whole of government effort.”
Meanwhile, what the NATO commander forgot to mention is that just days before the dreaded Russian “Zapad 2017” exercise was set to begin, NATO’s own Steadfast Pyramid 2017 military exercise kicked off in Latvia on Sunday, with 40 senior commanders from NATO states, as well as Finland and Sweden. They are expected to train how to “plan and conduct operations” amid the bloc’s buildup in the region.