WOW! I’ve been writing about the NATO propaganda for over a year now, are parts of Europe slowly awakening they have little to say about US military power within the European Community? I always hoped Angela Merkel could withstand meddling by US in the self-interest of the European Union. Hope this is carried forward throughout the western European nations as the new-Europe of the Cold War era want a confrontational stance versus Russia and Putin. Breedlove is VP Biden’s man, just as is Vicky Nuland of State, the neocon representative from the State Department on the Ukraine.
It was quiet in eastern Ukraine last Wednesday. Indeed, it was another quiet day in an extended stretch of relative calm. The battles between the Ukrainian army and the pro-Russian separatists had largely stopped and heavy weaponry was being withdrawn. The Minsk cease-fire wasn’t holding perfectly, but it was holding.
On that same day, General Philip Breedlove, the top NATO commander in Europe, stepped before the press in Washington.
Putin, the 59-year-old said, had once again “upped the ante” in eastern Ukraine — with “well over a thousand combat vehicles, Russian combat forces, some of their most sophisticated air defense, battalions of artillery” having been sent to the Donbass. “What is clear,” Breedlove said, “is that right now, it is not getting better. It is getting worse every day.”
German leaders in Berlin were stunned. They didn’t understand what Breedlove was talking about. And it wasn’t the first time. Once again, the German government, supported by intelligence gathered by the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, did not share the view of NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR).
The pattern has become a familiar one. For months, Breedlove has been commenting on Russian activities in eastern Ukraine, speaking of troop advances on the border, the amassing of munitions and alleged columns of Russian tanks. Over and over again, Breedlove’s numbers have been significantly higher than those in the possession of America’s NATO allies in Europe. As such, he is playing directly into the hands of the hardliners in the US Congress and in NATO.
The German government is alarmed. Are the Americans trying to thwart European efforts at mediation led by Chancellor Angela Merkel? Sources in the Chancellery have referred to Breedlove’s comments as “dangerous propaganda.” Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier even found it necessary recently to bring up Breedlove’s comments with NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg.
The ‘Super Hawk’
But Breedlove hasn’t been the only source of friction. Europeans have also begun to see others as hindrances in their search for a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine conflict. First and foremost among them is Victoria Nuland, head of European affairs at the US State Department. She and others would like to see Washington deliver arms to Ukraine and are supported by Congressional Republicans as well as many powerful Democrats.
Indeed, US President Barack Obama seems almost isolated. He has thrown his support behind Merkel’s diplomatic efforts for the time being, but he has also done little to quiet those who would seek to increase tensions with Russia and deliver weapons to Ukraine. Sources in Washington say that Breedlove’s bellicose comments are first cleared with the White House and the Pentagon. The general, they say, has the role of the “super hawk,” whose role is that of increasing the pressure on America’s more reserved trans-Atlantic partners.
Excellent analysis by Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian Studies at New York University and of politics at Princeton University … one year ago about Russia’s position on Ukraine.
Following the briefing, The Washington Times asked Gen. Breedlove to clarify whether he intended to cancel or simply delay the training of Ukraine security forces. The general declined to refine his remarks and simply stated: “Nothing we’re doing is on automatic.”
Pentagon officials say that Gen. Breedlove declined to elaborate on his statement because, ultimately, he does not have the authority to waylay the training. That directive will trickle down from White House staff, said Navy Capt. Gregory Hicks, a spokesman for U.S. European Command.
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