— Rogue Money (@theroguemoney) January 14, 2017
Don't Buy the Hype, But Do Remain Wary of Any 'Russian Aggression in Eastern Europe' Just in Time for the MSM to Hysterically Use it To Try and Spoil Trump's Inauguration
— Rogue Money (@theroguemoney) January 15, 2017
While the alt media is wrong to say as they have said since 2014 that WWIII is imminent, they are not incorrect to see something ominous in the buildup of between 3 and 4,000 American troops closer to Russia on the eve of Trump's inauguration. Combined with hysterics over #RussianHacking the U.S. intel community declined to provide serious cyber forensics to support, then the ridiculous dossier put together by an ex-MI6 man designed to label Trump a Putin-blackmailed Siberian candidate, it seems what we're seeing in Poland could be staging for an 'incident' (but not an actual hot war) involving the Russians just in time for Trump to take the oath of office. What would such a staged or false flag incident look like? The Russia Analyst doesn't pretend to know (see our conclusions), but we can evaluate Obama's parting 'gift' to U.S.-Russian relations in light of our detailed studies of what the US/NATO strategy has been since the 2014 start of the Ukraine war.
The Russia Analyst would like to explain what this deployment is not. It clearly isn't preparation for a snap attack against Russian territory, including the geographically exposed westernmost exclave of the Russian Federation, Kaliningrad. The former East Prussia which the Soviets annexed for their Baltic fleet at the end of WWII is surrounded by NATO member states. If that were the case, why send vehicles, as this Newsfront translation at the StalkerZone website makes clear, with a desert rather than forest and grass camo pattern?
U.S. military men do follow orders, but they aren't lemmings. The Newsfront writer suggests the Pentagon is mostly going through the motions, recognizing that these forces aren't being sent to fight so much as show the flag and serve as bargaining chips on the negotiating table. Amateurs discuss tactics, while professionals talk logistics. Without mentioning the lack of political will to obey a lame duck Commander in Chief starting a war before he jets off to the Hawaii golf courses, we can safely exclude any type of crazy mini-Barbarossa attack using this heavily reinforced brigade before January 20. What then, besides the previously mentioned desire on the humiliated Obama's part to piss off Putin and spite Trump's proposed detente, is going on here?
— Agnia Grigas (@AgniaGrigas) January 15, 2017
Tanks You, Obama:
The 4th Infantry Division's 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team Deploys to Poland
— U.S. Army Europe (@USArmyEurope) January 15, 2017
From Sabre-Rattling in Poland to the Larger Picture of Overstretch and Bluster:
Rex Tillerson's Senate Confirmation Hearings and Hawkish Noises on Capitol Hill
As we said this is a Parthian shot, but it could be part of a larger scheme, one designed along with the acknowledged by his team '#RussianHacking' case to box the newly inaugurated Donald Trump in on Russia. Remember, Trump has called for the largest naval buildup since President Ronald Reagan took office determined to challenge the Soviets in 1980. However, the chief target of said buildup and the remarks of his Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson in Senate confirmation hearings has been China, not Russia.
Although the former ExxonMobil CEO Tillerson was pressed by failed GOP presidential candidate 'Little' (Sen) Marco Rubio of Florida to name Vladimir Putin a 'war criminal', he pointedly refused to use that term. While Tillerson wasn't showing a soft spot for Putin by rejecting the charge of having received the Russian Federation's order of friendship in 2013 from a future war criminal, neither was he bowing to the over the top neocon rhetoric either. Tillerson did say in response to a question about what President Obama ought to have done about 'Russia's annexation of Crimea', that the U.S. ought to have supported Ukraine more directly with reconnaissance flights over Ukrainian territory near Russia and the direct provision of arms to the Ukrainians. What Tillerson and the Senators failed to mention is that Obama's Pentagon has already sent unarmed drones over what Russia now regards as its sovereign airspace, and the drones were either electronically jammed into forced landings or shot down by Russian SAMs in Crimea.
However, there is little evidence as long as Trump is President and not Mike Pence that this will happen, and Tillerson as Secretary of State in any case would not be in charge of defense or weapons provision policies. It's true Congressional hawks could try to force President Trump's hand in supplying the Ukrainians with 'defensive weapons', but Trump as the chief executive has great leeway in enforcing the will of Congress on that subject, and Trump could stop the deal by simply demanding that the dead broke oligarch-run regime in Kiev, not American taxpayers, pay for any Javelin missiles. Therefore we can chalk Tillerson's statements about Russia up to the need to appease his super hawkish hosts, not unlike soon to be sworn in Secretary of Defense James Mattis calling Russia first, then China second the chief threats to U.S. security.
Is William Engdahl Right to Warn of a Kissingerian Divide and Conquer Strategy to Peel Russia Away from Her Alliance With China and the (Former) BRICS? The Early Signs Aren't Encouraging for American dīvide et īmpera in Eurasia
Since the Russians and Chinese are essentially joined at the hip in terms of energy economics if not defense industries, there is very little prospect that active confrontation with either will not redound on opposite sides of the planet. Nor can the U.S., being the power forced to project force thousands of miles from home, actually sustain a war with the world's largest economy and most populous nation simultaneously with confronting a Russian Federation that's quietly achieved nuclear parity with the USA.
Regardless of whether Rex Tillerson is sincere or simply telling his super-hawkish Senate confirmation hearing questioners what they wish to hear about the South China Sea, the prospect of dividing the Russians from the Chinese before conquering either Eurasian giant in the form of direct hostilities or the neocon fantasy of forcible regime change remains remote. Ironically, many leftist trendies, D.C. Establishment globalists and Ukrainian trolls keep pretending the Sino-Russian nexus isn't a real thing when they slam Tillerson for being too soft and untrustworthy on Exxon's business partner Putin, while being too harsh with the Chinese.
Perhaps Democratic-media complex hypocrisy when it comes to warmongering against the Russians instead of the Chinese can be explained by ignorance of the Moscow-Beijing axis, the recent '#RussianHacking the election' hysteria, or just plain Social Justice Cold Warrior loathing of Russia as a historically white Orthodox Christian nation. Or maybe it's just because Wal-Mart shelves aren't stocked with goods that say 'Made in Russia' on them and the Fortune500 has more to lose from a real Cold War with the Chinese than they do from a Cold War 2.0 in Europe.
Either way, thanks to team Obama's neolibcon arrogance and incompetence, the strategic nightmare U.S. empire builders have sought to avoid since the late 1940s and successfully scuttled during the 1960s with the Kissinger-spearheaded Sino-Soviet split nexus has become a seemingly immutable fact. There just isn't a whole lot the U.S. can offer the Russians to fully abandon the Chinese, and vice versa.
— JeanNicolas Beaumont (@JeanBeaumont) January 14, 2017
As my friend The Saker writes:
No Matter How They Posture, NATO is Not Ready for the Type of War Russia Would Fight
As we've also written several times here at RogueMoney over the last several months, a great deal of NATO's posturing is a bluff. There's no evidence that Russia has any intention of attacking a NATO country, and Putin has told European media and anyone who will listen that the Russians would have to be insane to attack the Alliance, given the vast gap (on paper) between Russia's forces and NATO's nominal troop strength (much of which beyond the US Army, as we've said, exists on paper or among 'weekend warrior' reservists in Europe). While Russia stands accused of 'aggression' against Georgia in 2008 and now Ukraine, since 1999 NATO has attacked not one, but two sovereign nations Serbia and Libya.
The Serbs consider themselves and are considered by the Russians to be their south Slavic Orthodox Christian brothers, as well as historic brothers in arms against Ottoman Turkish, Hapsburg imperial and Nazi occupations. Naturally, every time the Russia Analyst reads another hack writing, "in annexing Crimea, Russia has for the first time since WWII changed borders in Europe by force" with the illegal 1999 U.S./NATO aggression against and occupation of Kosovo inside the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia omitted, we know we're reading someone incapable of considering the NATO push towards Russia's borders through Russian eyes. Meaning acknowledging how utterly unprepared the U.S. military is after years of fighting insurgents in southwest Asia to face a modern foe whose technology matches or exceeds what the US Army can field, fighting in greater numbers much closer to his Motherland than the American soldier.
On the military analyst side, both the RAND Corporation and at least some commanders like Col. Douglas Macgregor, Lt. Gen H.R. McMaster and retired Army Gen. Robert 'kill Russians' Scales have challenged the 'Amurica, we're invincible' brainwashing that politicians like Sens. McCain, Cotton and Rubio have accepted without question since the first Gulf War:
'Artillery is a god of the battlefield': How the U.S. Army is Playing Catch-Up with the Russians Massed Fires, Drone Jamming and Electronic Warfare Capabilities
Those who doubt the above assertion that the U.S. military is unprepared to fight a technological peer level competitor, or who think the Russia Analyst is simply showing a pro-Putin or pro-Moscow bias can ask themselves this: where was the political will outside of Sen. John McCain's offices for Obama to actually send American ground troops immediately after the Russian military secured Crimea, much less to fight alongside the Ukrainian military and volunteer battalions in the Donbass?
Notwithstanding Mr. Tillerson's statements of what he or a President Trump might have done, the best Obama could muster in terms of actual foreigners willing to fight for Kiev were Polish mercenaries and some Eurotrash 'volunteers' of the SS flag waving Azov Battalion. There are real military reasons for that, besides just a lack of political will -- just as in Syria, the U.S. military didn't want to find out the hard way what going head to head with the Russians would look like. Whereas the Russians might have been easier to geographically isolate far from their Black Sea Fleet home bases in Syria, in Ukraine the opposite is the case...it's the U.S. that is trying to prop up a regime with a shaky fighting force far from home.
In the Donbass, Russia is fighting by proxy, after a brief summer of 2014 intervention involving massed artillery/rocket strikes on its front doorstep and historic territory. That the Atlantic Council funded 'open source' hack Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat considered the 'evidence' of Russian massed fires versus the Ukrainian Army he and a British agronomist by training presented in late 2016 as a major scoop over two years after the battles tells you all you need to know about the willfull ignorance many Atlanticists cling to when it comes great power war. Namely, that Americans don't have the stomach to mass mobilize and accept a draft to fight wars of choice against Russia or China or take the kind of casualties that such conflicts would entail, if by some miracle such a war did not go nuclear within days:
In an August 2016 article most neocons probably didn't read and if they did would dismiss as alarmist nonsense, retired Army Lt. Gen. Robert Scales (who became infamous in Russia for calling on Fox News for the U.S. to help the Ukrainians 'kill Russians' regardless of the cost in dead Ukrainians or American advisers) discussed what the Russian Army or more accurately a few Russian regulars and the 'Northern Wind' artillery/armor corps did to the hapless Ukrainian conscripts encircled near Saur Mogila in late July/early August 2014. Most disturbingly for the neocon worldview, Scales states bluntly in an actual war the Russians could and would do the same to the mighty U.S. Army as well:
Scales goes on in his August 2016 article for The Washington (Langley Com)Post to deny that the Russian Army is qualitatively superior to the U.S. The Russia Analyst certainly would not even try to make that argument, it's an apples to oranges comparison -- both are fruits but they taste and serve very different purposes. As my friend The Saker writes the Russian Army is simply not set up to fight more than 3 to 500 miles from home on land, much less deploy overseas like the American Army. What the Russian military is capable of doing is crushing Ukrainian and in the worst case, NATO forces on its doorstep (but the latter won't happen because NATO ultimately is backed up by American and British tactical nuclear weapons):
Even allowing for Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) differences in servicemen's salaries and benefits, the U.S. outspends Russia on military at least eight times to one, and in pure dollar terms including the bloated 'intelligence' agencies budgets ten to one. Instead of a side by side comparison, we merely assert that the U.S. Army as presently constituted is NOT equipped to fight a slugfest with the Russians near their borders. And because the Russian Army is not going to invade say, France or Newfoundland, that is the only type of fight even remotely possible. Now that Donald J. Trump is about to be inaugurated President, the chances are rapidly approaching nil -- unless something happens to Mr. Trump. As the writers over at Zerohedge including former Reagan Assistant Treasury Secretary Dr. Paul Craig Roberts have said, that is not an insignficant possibility now that Trump seems to be openly confronting the Cold War 2.0 waging dirty Deep State.
On the Possibility of One More Failed Ukrainian Offensive Coinciding with Inauguration Day
While terrible for the people of Donbass and the Ukrainians, the Ukraine war seems to have very little potential to expand into a broader conflict, if only because Russia doesn't view occupying the Ukraine as worth the effort, and the Ukrainians are too militarily incompetent and/or demoralized to achieve significant breakthroughs against Donetsk and Lugansk without direct NATO fire support. Since no NATO nation has acknowledged the presence of their advisers in the Donbass 'ATO' combat zone (even though a few have been spotted there) much less indicated a willingness to have their soldiers bleed and die alongside Kiev's, we can safely conclude that the escalation will be localized and limited to how long the UAF can sustain an offensive before it peters out in heavy casualties and scorched vehicles.
The recent ballyhooed by Kiev's Twitter trolls attack on the Svitlodarsk salient near Debaltseve was yet another example of how UAF assaults quickly bog down in the face of Novorossiya Armed Forces (NAF)/Donetsk/Lugansk People's Republic resistance -- which is also the result of superior intelligence and Kiev's inability to effectively conceal from NAF sympathizers as well as daily Russian satellite and drone reconnaissance the movement of larger than company-sized units. Oligarchs like Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko may still be willing to throw the lives of Ukraine's young men away, but that doesn't mean thousands of them are willing to die in one big push on Donetsk or Lugansk, much less face the Russians in direct combat across the Perekop isthmus into Crimea. There is evidence that the Ukrainians are gathering tanks and artillery tubes for an attack around Inauguration Day, but this offensive is likely to end like all the rest since August 2014 -- in Kiev's defeat.
By the grace of God, Trump's election appears to have taken the prospect of a direct U.S.-Russia clash of arms in Syria or a US/NATO invasion of Moldova to assault the pro-Russian exclave of Transnistria off the table. But that doesn't mean there aren't neocon fanatics still making contingency plans for aggression against the Russians if Trump can somehow be removed, either through impeachment or via the JFK method. Nor have the Russians, in spite of their public enthusiasm for Trump, ceased to modernize their military and ground forces for some of the worst case scenarios.
What Obama's Parting Troop Deployment Could Be Staging for -- a Border Incident?
One concern the Russia Analyst has as we approach the final hours of Barack Hussein Obama's presidency is that some Army commander will receive the order to send his desert camo painted tanks to Poland -- or perhaps one of the Baltic states' -- border with Kaliningrad. That way, if some Ukrainian spetsnaz infiltrated into the Russian exclave launch a 'little green men' false flag attack on a police station or some other similar objective, the Americans will be nearby to magnify the global outrage effect and immediately start the impeachment talk in Congress upon Trump's inauguration.
— Ravi Batra (@RaviBatra) January 16, 2017
Fortunately the scenario of Russian infiltrators invading by stealth and creating an uprising among 'ethnic Russians in the Baltics' has been, if you'll pardon the pun trumpeted by the BBC in their early 2016 'docu-drama' depicting such a contingency. Meaning the Russian Ministry of Defense and the Federal Security Service (FSB) responsible for guarding Russia's borders have had several months to come up with contingency plans to reach their counterparts quickly and diffuse such a Gleiwitz-style provocation executed by operatives infiltrated to the Russian side of the border. In particular, the FSB will be keeping a close eye on Kaliningrad oblast towns near the Polish border such as Mamonovo and Gogolevo this week and in the months to come as American troops visit the NATO post at Elblag, less than 75 kilometers or an easy hour's drive way on the E28 highway, for the presence of any fit military age Ukrainian males who might play dress up and pose as Russian spetsnaz infiltrators.
— Poland MOD (@Poland_MOD) January 14, 2017
— Sputnik (@SputnikInt) January 15, 2017
— Rogue Money (@theroguemoney) January 15, 2017
We also know from American LaRouche PAC member Harley Schlanger's sources in Germany that he mentioned during a recent RogueMoney Radio interview that American and Russian military commanders have been in contact via hotlines to avoid provocations or incidents in Syria like the U.S. bombing of Syrian troops at Deir Ezzor last September that was cynically used by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter to scuttle any joint American-Russian targeting of militants. There are also supposed to be hotlines from the Russian MoD direct to NATO headquarters in Brussels and U.S. European Command (EUCOM) HQ in Stuttgart, Germany. But it would likely be prudent of the Russians to set up direct lines to the commander of the 4th Infantry Division and its 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team -- just in case somebody does something stupid or a convenient for the neocon crazies 'incident' should happen on the eve of Trump's inaugural.