If Saturday's SITREP on the complex military situation in Syria was still a bit lengthy, this one will aim for more brevity -- and features some bullet points-style or less than a paragraph presentation of links at the end.
The True Purpose of NATO was Summed Up by Its Founding Secretary General:
U.S. Geo-economic Domination of the European Continent
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was founded in 1949. Officially, its stated purpose was to defend member states from the threat of Soviet aggression. Unofficially, General Hastings Lionel Ismay, the first Secretary General of the organization, summed up its purpose as: "To keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down." This weekend NATO is conducting its largest exercises in Central and Eastern Europe since the end of the first Cold War.
The exercise dubbed Anaconda2016 involves at least 31,000 personnel from 24 countries (there are 28 member nations in NATO). This includes soldiers from non-NATO but associated agreement countries such as Finland, Sweden, Georgia and Ukraine. It also includes a large number of fighter aircraft and B-52 bombers built during the Kennedy or Johnson Administrations (old enough to be their crews' grandfathers) dropping concrete practice bombs and mines into the Baltic Sea. There was no word on whether the BUFFs pilots also practiced dodging incoming Russian hypersonic SAMs or SU-30s like they'd see while flying close to or over Russia in a real war...
Forget a 21st Century Barbarossa by the U.S. Military That Couldn't Hold Baghdad:
Here Are the Scenarios for NATO/Russia Conflict That Worry the Russia Analyst
Our first task in this SITREP is to answer the most pressing question on the minds of RogueMoney readers around the world: does this mean a war between NATO and Russia is imminent? The answer we're confident is no, but that doesn't mean that the U.S. sabre rattling against Moscow isn't going to get worse before it gets better. Nor can we exclude the possibility, with the entire U.S./Atlanticist media and cultural Establishment throwing its weight behind Hillary Rodham Clinton or at least against her opponent Donald J. Trump for the Presidency of the United States, that another President Clinton will cross Russia's red line via a proxy or hybrid warfare attack.
Such scenarios would include a Clinton or Biden White House green-lighting a full blown Turkish invasion of northern Syria, a joint U.S.-Romanian occupation of nominally neutral Moldova to pressure or blockade the pro-Russian exclave of Transnistria, or NATO 'vacationers' and advisers joining in an all out Ukrainian attack on the Moscow-backed breakaway city-statelets of Donetsk and Lugansk.
The war psychosis of a President Hillary Clinton, manipulated by her military industrial and bankster complex handlers desperate to prop up the failing U.S. dollar by any means short of nuclear holocaust, are what we fear may come to pass in 2017-18. After that period of maximum danger, as we've told the Guerrilla, Bankster Slayer and W the Intelligence Insider, the window for U.S. military action and power projection financed by unlimited fiat dollar printing begins to close fast. Or at least that's assuming the baseline dollar collapse scenario upon which the Guerrilla has been operating for many months now...
But James, we hear some RogueMoney readers asking us from around the world, how can you be so confident that Russia will never launch an unprovoked attack on a NATO member state -- or that the U.S. itself won't directly attack the Russian Federation? The short answer is: tactical and strategic nuclear weapons have not been de-invented on either side.
The lengthier answer is summed up in a few statistics which underscore President Vladimir Putin's recent declaration that any Russian leader would need to be a madman to attack NATO and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's affirmation this week of the same.
A Lengthy Explanation of Why the U.S. Military's Apparently Huge Advantages Over the Russians on Paper Really Don't Matter in a Defensive Conflict at Moscow's Doorstep
The United States alone -- which is the single largest and dominant component of NATO -- outspends more than the next eleven nations COMBINED. The U.S. outspends China's nominal defense budget nearly 5 to 1 and Russia's (around $80 billion dollar equivalent figure) 7 to 1 every single year.
Even adjusting for Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) and the lower salaries of Russian military personnel compared to their American counterparts, that ratio barely budges. Combining Russia and China together in one alliance as they are forming via the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and CSTO nations of former Soviet Union plus Iran still brings the overall military/intelligence spending ratio to conservatively 5 to 1. As for the overall military balance, despite Russia being able to muster far more men in exercises it conducts on its own soil near the Baltic States or Ukraine than the U.S. can field an ocean away from home, the fact remains that even NATO without the U.S. (led by Turkish, French, British and now rising again German defense outlays) outspends and outnumbers the Russian Federation's armed forces.
Of course as the former Swiss military analyst The Saker has argued, all of these numerical comparisons are often meaningless in the real world. For starters, Russia now has more strategic and tactical nuclear weapons as well as superior missiles to deliver them than the United States. And these numerical comparisons of 'NATO vs. Russian combat capabilities' all assume in an actual shooting war many U.S. NATO allies like Greece, Hungary, or even France and Germany wouldn't tell Washington to back off and use diplomacy rather than see their own soldiers bleeding and dying. Questions about whether NATO would fight to defend Turkey particularly in a scenario where the Turks provoked the Russians in Syria appear to have been answered firmly in the negative last November.
NATO is Far More Divided and Brittle Than it Appears, Should Push Come to Shooting
We know during the 1999 unprovoked NATO aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia consisting of Orthodox Christian Serbia and Montenegro, many Orthodox Christian Greek officers were disgruntled and the NATO HQs at Aviano AFB in Italy and at Mons in Belgium leaked like a sieve, either directly to the Russians or to other intelligence services (DGSE, Mossad, cough cough) known to trade secrets with Moscow. That story, along with Spanish North African and Med ports currently offering refueling to the Russian Navy for cash, is one of the many examples why we find the idea of Hungarians, Slovaks, Greeks, Spaniards, Italians or even perhaps Germans and Frenchmen dying in a war with Russia over the Baltics much less Ukraine and Moldova ridiculous.
Would most Europeans defend their own territory from an actual Russian attack which will never come? Yes. Would they fight and die for Narva (an ethnically Russian majority town on Estonia's border with the RF)? Forget it, even NATO's own commissioned polls reveal majorities of Germans and Italians won't go for that.
If Russia is a Threat to U.S. Supremacy Despite D.C. Outspending it Seven Times Over, Then Washington Isn't Getting As Much 'Bang for Its Buck' as the Russians!
In any conceivable war between Russia and NATO which naturally Washington would be the one to start, we've concluded that the U.S. would basically be fighting alongside Brits, Poles, Balts and some token contingents from Scandinavia. The rest of NATO -- plus U.S. allies like Japan and South Korea -- would stick to defending their borders or purely supportive roles. Unless of course, you want to count the mighty contributions of NATO's newest likely member Montenegro with an army smaller than a single Russian brigade. Or as The Saker sums up:
The U.S. military doesn't always get very much bang for its buck (witness the turkeys that are the F-35 or the Littoral Combat Ship), and it has a global empire of bases or at least refueling stops in over a hundred nations to maintain. The U.S. has also spent since 9/11 1.5 (and some estimates run as high as 2) TRILLION dollars on the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now Syria. Russia has bases in just nine countries, and China perhaps three or four.
That adds up to an 'edge' for Russia and China when it comes to the efficiency but not total of their defense outlays in defensive, ASAT, area denial and R&D terms. It does not mean Russia and China combined are going to be taking over the world anytime soon, nor have the Russians demonstrated any inclination in an imperial direction given the very small size (compared to their overall military forces) and limited aims of their intervention in Syria.
Mind the New Conventional 'Missile Gap': Even Further Afield than the Baltics, the U.S. is Not Ready to Fight a Conventional War with a Technological Peer Competitor Like Russia
When looking at other numbers such as combat aircraft, fighting ships or submarines, we find the balance on paper remains lopsided in favor of NATO. However, Moscow does have the edge in a few critical areas such that any NATO aggression would be met with devastating counter-strikes. For one thing, the Russians have more tactical nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them in Europe than the U.S. does. But the main issue even before any conflict would go nuclear is the one we've stated more than a few times on the RogueMoney radio show with V or W, and in our articles for this site; the Russians are simply superior to the U.S./NATO in terms of long range anti-air and anti-ship missiles, with BRICS enthusiast Pepe Escobar perhaps going overboard by saying Moscow is two or three generations ahead of the Pentagon in those key areas.
What this means in practical terms is that U.S. aircraft carriers and even powerful SM-3 equipped AEGIS warships (to say nothing of the supply convoys across the North Atlantic or Pacific they'd be guarding) are basically sitting ducks or at least highly vulnerable in any shooting war with Russia and China -- and the Pentagon knows this. The U.S. currently has nothing that can match the S400/500 series or the high explosive or EM pulse Iskander and forthcoming Zirkon hypersonic missiles in terms of speed or accuracy.
The Russians have also demonstrated that in an actual shooting war U.S. stocks of pre-positioned equipment in central Europe would become smoldering wreckage (and many if not most air base runways cratered with their fuel bunkers on fire) after saturation strikes from hundreds of low-flying and hence hard to intercept Kalibr cruise missiles. As Putin recently observed in the context of his remarks in Greece about the NATO ABM system in Romania, Moscow demonstrated the accuracy and launch from nearly any floating or bomber platform capabilities of its medium range missiles in Syria.
Although Moscow is prohibited by the 1987 Intermediate Range Forces (IMF) Treaty from installing the Kalibrs on land, there is nothing to prevent it from cranking out hundreds per year and placing them in launch tubes on corvettes in the Black/Caspian Seas or Don/Volga River basins -- or even placing hundreds of these potent stand-off weapons on container vessels or icebreakers in the Arctic! Nor is there any technical obstacle that would prevent the Russians from quickly adding an additional stage to their Iskanders boosting their speed and range should a Hillary Clinton Administration maniacally tear up the IMF Treaty and install U.S. hypersonic rockets in Europe.
As Aging F-16s and F/A-18s Fall from U.S. Skies, the American Air Force and Navy Are Not Ready to Face the Russians or Emerging Chinese Air Forces in a Head to Head Dogfight
In the air, Russia has far fewer tactical fighters than the U.S. but its 4th generation ++ fighters like the SU-30/35 and the new MiG-35 variant of the venerable -29 are superior to the USA's F-15s/16s/18s including the Super Hornets. The forthcoming but often delayed T-50 5th generation jet is nearly a match for the vaunted F-22 Raptor, while even Russia's 4G++ jets and current generation of S300/400 SAMs would detect and shoot down the flying turkey F-35s from scores to hundreds of miles away in real combat.
Russian Quantity and Geographic Preponderance in Europe Has a Quality All Its Own
To complete this summation of why NATO commanders would be frightened of any Washington-ordered confrontation with Russia, there are two other areas where Russian numerical advantages count besides missile warfare: the VDV paratroopers, of which the Russians will soon have 72,000 (compared to the number of 82nd, 101st or SkySoldier brigade airborne in the U.S. Army, who might add up to less than half that figure) capable of deploying to Syria, Transnistria or the eastern Ukraine at 72 hours notice; and the sheer amount of armor and artillery the Russians have available. This means any U.S./Romanian force for example occupying the Moldovan capitol of Chisinau in the name of defending the country against 'the threat of Russian aggression' could quickly find itself outnumbered by the Pskov-based 76th Guards Air Assault division alone being deployed to Tiraspol on the other bank of the Dniestr river.
As We Used to Say to V's Late Friend Michael Rosecliff: Tanks You
As we'll argue in an upcoming article at this site, a similar problem of quantity having a quality all its own and the size of the 1st Guards Tank Army Moscow is building as a conventional deterrence against NATO directly intervening in the eastern Ukraine or threatening Crimea would also give U.S. or Polish generals nightmares (yes, even with the majority of the 1stGTA still made up of modernized versions of the venerable T-72 design).
Thus any combined NATO/Ukrainian force of sufficient power to seriously threaten to encircle Donetsk and Lugansk could itself be caught in a gigantic armored pincer move east of the Dnieper river. And it would happen fast: as in 72 or 96 hours fast, before Washington could reinforce the contingent or deny that American or Polish troops or mercenaries were embedded with the hapless Ukrainians caught in the Russian cauldron (and whose blurred faces will be appearing as POWs on Rossiya TV or LifeNews as proof NATO lied about being directly involved in combat).
As one candid but understandably anonymous Ukrainian Army officer admitted to a pro-Russian news source: if the Russian military and not individual 'vacationers' or volunteers came across in full force most of the Ukrainian Army in Donbass would surrender in two days. And this is before we even get into Russia's battlefield 'off switches' discussed by Colonel 'XYZ' or Moscow's capability to blind or jam satellites and shut down radar and radio signals, including the mysterious incident involving the USS Donald Cook in the Black Sea of April 2014.
So in conclusion: is the U.S. ready for war with Russia yet? We don't think so. Does that mean we shouldn't be concerned at all about NATO's aggressive moves towards Russia's borders? No. Does this mean also that we should trust NATO spokesmen when they insist the Alliance is peaceful and defensive in nature, after two unprovoked NATO attacks on sovereign nations (Serbia and Libya) in the last seventeen years? No way. Would Washington or even some of the American people calmly accept the shoe being on the other foot, and Russia installing S-500 'ballistic missile defenses against rogue nation attack' on Venezuelan soil, or Russian Naval and military exercises off the coast of Miami near Cuba? Hell no!
With those disclaimers and explanations out of the way for the less militarily informed members of the RogueMoney audience (that is the majority who aren't 'war nerds' like us), we turn to the SITREP links and tweets concerning Anakonda2016, NATO moves and Russia's responses:
What is Anaconda 2016? According to The Washington (Com)Post:
NATO Hype, Bravado and Propaganda --
Cranking Up the 'Russians Are Coming' Fear Train
"Sunset Over NATO" -- a piece by RogueMoney's very own @BanksterSlayer of what's really going on behind the scenes in Germany that's made NATO so desperate to demonstrate its continued relevance
Finland not as keen to sacrifice its lucrative trade and tourism ties with Russia for NATO as neighboring Sweden (Ft. Russ)
Ahead of the upcoming NATO summit in Warsaw this July, the Undersecretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia Michael Carpenter tells the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that he agrees with the RAND Corporation assessment that the Russian military could overrun the Baltic states in 60 hours or less (from the neocon money losing rag The Weekly Standard)
'Anaconda2016' Ukrainian soldiers take part in largest war game in E. Europe (Ukraine Today, owned by dual/triple citizen oligarch rat bastard turned warlord Ihor Kholomoisky)
Dragoon Ride: Seeing Medieval Poland as Europe's Sword and Shield (Foreign Policy, U.S. Army Afghanistan veteran and Ukrainian Nazi Azov/Right Sector battalion enthusiast A.H. Bonenberger)
Are these Polish soldiers readying to deal with mass casualties in combat for the Baltics -- or when President Hillary decides the Ukrainian Army needs some unannounced NATO 'help' with an attack on Donetsk and Lugansk?
Shorter version of @RussiaWithoutBS guy aka some annoying American expat in Moscow: "Look at all this NATO transparency thousands of miles from the U.S. -- unlike your Russian exercises inside Russia. Don't worry guys it's not as if any of the Polish snipers or mortar-men present here have any combat experience in Ukraine (wink nod) already. Of course, we were so transparent with Russia before we bombed the hell out of Serbia and Libya too."
U.S. Army specialists place incoming round detecting/counterbattery fire directing radars along contact line as Ukrainian Army continues to shell Donetsk outskirts. What happens when the first one gets killed by indirect 'combined Russian/separatist' fire? What if that's already happened and the first U.S. KIA in Donbass was listed as having been killed in Afghanistan or in a training accident instead? (Ft. Russ)
Mission Accomplished: Maintaining Washington's Death Grip on Europe Via NATO Pressure on the EU to Maintain the Anti-Russia Sanctions at a Growing Cost to Europeans (While Hypocritical Uncle Sam Imports Russian Rocket Engines)
Why the U.S. Needs Russian Rocket Engines to Spy on Russia (actual headline by Bloomberg)
The Political Message Behind NATO's Wargame in Poland by Col. Austin Bay (USA ret.) (NY Observer)
EU member states foreign ministers (cattle prodded by the U.S.) agree to extend sanctions against Russia for another six months (Sputnik Intl)
NATO Bloopers, Follies and Tragedies
A Polish citizen has been struck and killed by a NATO supply convoy for the exercise (Ft. Russ)
The British press and NATO hyped the successful intercept and tracking of a Russian submarine --that was operating on the surface with a tugboat through the English Channel! (NextNewsNetwork/Gary Frianchi)
Anaconda 2016 Drills Aim to Justify (Bloated) U.S. Military Spending (Sputnik Intl)
The National Interest (published by the Nixon Center): U.S. Overextended, Cannot Defend All of its Allies Adequately
While NATO focuses (post)Western media on its military exercises and upcoming annual meeting in Poland, Washington quietly announces over the weekend that U.S. troop deployments in Afghanistan will be extended (@MicahZenko)
Miscellaneous Rumors of War with Russia Articles
Belarussian President for Life/strongman Alexandr Lukashenko says Belarus' military will fight shoulder to shoulder with Russia if NATO attacks (The Saker blog)
"A Russian Warning" about the dangers of nuclear war with Moscow by The Saker, Dmitry Orlov and Eugenia V. Gurevich
The Saker's latest interviews with TheDuran's Peter Lavelle and Catherine Austin Fitts
The Saker blog contributor 'Scott' warns of a staged Gleiwitz-style incident in the Baltic states, involving Ukrainian Russian-speaking provocateurs dressed up as 'little green men' invaders (see related: Failed NATO Invasion of Moldova update by 'Scott')
Silencing America as It Prepares for War (John Pilger, The Unz Review)
Rehearsing for WW3 (The Ron Paul Institute)
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts.com: Frustrations of Telling the Truth
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: What Pushes Us Towards War with Russia (Katehon)
Germany Preparing for War with Russia (Eric Zuisse, The Duran)
5 Reasons Washington Has Already Decided to Go to War with Russia (Eric Zuisse, The Duran)
Katehon (Alexander Dugin's think tank funded by 'God's oligarch' Russian Orthodox Christian philanthropist Konstantin Malofeev) warnings about a potential NATO blitzkrieg against Russia here, here, and here
Russian pilots are not only practicing carrier landings on land in Crimea but also how to take out NATO's ABM system in Poland and Romania using air-launched cruise missiles (translation from Izvestia by The Greanville Post)
After withdrawing the type from combat in Syria, the Russian Air Force is upgrading its fleet of SU-25 ground attack jets to make them more survivable against modern MANPADs (Southfront)
U.S.-Russia Info-war -- There Will Be No BRICS(A) for Now:
New Wall St/Washington Stooge Argentine Govmt Takes Down RT in Argentina
Spy vs. Spy stuff:
Modern Day 'Swallows' and 'Ravens' Operating in the Bos-Wash Corridor? Regardless of 5Eyes Wizardry, Russia and China Still Have the Edge Over the U.S./NATO in HUMINT
Bill Clinton buddy and convicted pedophile and pimp to the rich and globalist connected Jeffrey Epstein is importing his girls from Russia now (NY Post Page Six). An interesting question for 'W the Intelligence Insider' and others: how many of these Russian gals aren't so dumb after all and are reporting back to the SVR on which U.S. politicians or corporate moguls are using them at Epstein's behest? How much kompromat does Moscow center (Yasnevo) have on globalist pedo-rings from the UK to the United States and within the EU as well?
Aaaaand, someone stole Jordan Belfort, aka The Wolf of Wall Street's luggage during his recent visit to Kiev: