19 April 2014 — Dispatches from the Empire
On the very day John Kerry was in Geneva engaging with Russia over the Ukraine crisis, US Defence Secretary Nagel and Polish Defence Minister Siemoniak were discussing plans to deploy US ground forces to Poland as part of a US ‘re-pivot’ to Europe.
In an extraordinary indication of the grand geopolitical game that the USA/EU/NATO bloc is playing in Eastern Europe, the Washington Post has revealed that next week the US government will announce the deployment of US ground forces to Poland as part of an expansion of NATO military capabilities in Eastern Europe. The Post claims that this is in response to events in the Ukraine.
The source of the report is Polish Defence Minister, Tomasz Siemoniak, who met with US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon on Thursday, the very same day that Kerry was in Geneva supposedly engaging with Russia over the Ukraine crisis.
According to the Post, Siemoniak explained that:
‘The decision has been made on a political level and that military planners are working out details. There will also be intensified cooperation in air defense, special forces, cyberdefense and other areas. Poland will play a leading regional role, “under U.S. patronage,” he said.
But the defense minister also said that any immediate NATO response to Russian aggression in Ukraine, while important, matter less than a long-term shift in the defense postures of Europe and America. The United States, having announced a “pivot” to Asia, needs to “re-pivot” to Europe, he said, and European countries that have cut back on defense spending need to reverse the trends.
“The idea until recently was that there were no more threats in Europe and no need for a U.S. presence in Europe any more,” Siemoniak said, speaking through an interpreter. “Events show that what is needed is a re-pivot, and that Europe was safe and secure because America was in Europe.”’
The view that ‘Europe’ is currently under some kind of existential threat from Russia is propagandistic fear-mongering with no credible basis in fact. Is the Polish Defence Minister seriously claiming, in the post-Soviet era in which there are extensive financial and economic inter-dependencies between Russia and Europe, that there is a ‘Russian threat’ that requires US troops in Europe?
On the same day that the Polish Defence Minister made his startling comments, the US government continued its war of words with Russia by issuing further threats of economic sanctions.
According to Reuters:
‘The White House renewed President Barack Obama’s demands that the Kremlin use what Washington believes is its influence over the separatists to get them to vacate the premises. It warned of heavier economic sanctions than those already imposed over Crimea if Moscow failed to uphold the Geneva deal – or if it moved to send troops massed on the border into Ukraine….
“Those costs and sanctions could include targeting very significant sectors of the Russian economy.”‘
Why is the US government making such threats a mere 24 hours after the Geneva meeting. It assumes that the Putin regime somehow or other directly controls the Donbas rebels and is in a position to issue immediately effective orders to the rebels. But there is no factual basis for any of these assumptions.
Further, what about the nationalist occupations? Is Washington going to admonish the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, who claimed on Friday that the Geneva clause concerning occupations does not apply to the Maidan because it is being occupied ‘legally’?
Why is the US government continually turning up the heat on the Putin regime?
Under the current Putin regime, Russia’s unwillingness to countenance NATO operations against Syria, her opposition to the neo-liberal coup in the Ukraine, and her improving relations with the Iranian regime – including the oil-for-goods program – all mean that Russia is becoming a growing ‘problem’ for the US/EU/NATO bloc.
Russia is threatening the USA/EU/NATO bloc strategy to extend and deepen its hegemony in the European geopolitical space. This is a project that has been in progress ever since the collapse of the Soviet Bloc. It underpins the extension of NATO into the Baltic states and Eastern Europe in 1999, 2004 and 2009, the expansion of the EU into the Baltic states and Eastern Europe in 2004 and 2007, and the 2002 Berlin Plus Agreement which formalised NATO’s role as an EU military asset.
The USA/EU/NATO bloc is therefore seeking both to incorporate the Ukraine into its domain, as well as to leverage the Ukraine crisis to engineer a stand-off with the Putin regime. The aim is to bring about regime change in Russia itself as a result of a phased program of diplomatic isolation, military posturing and economic sanctions.
The intended outcome is a Russian regime that is compliant to USA/EU/NATO geopolitical goals. However, there is no indication that the Putin regime or the Russian public are about to rollover for the US/EU/NATO axis. Putin is riding high in the opinion polls.
Just how far is the USA willing to go?