Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Sunday, March 08, 2015

Important Article in German Spiegel Online

Breedlove's Bellicosity

Berlin Alarmed by Aggressive NATO Stance on Ukraine


US President Obama supports Chancellor Merkel's efforts at finding a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine crisis. But hawks in Washington seem determined to torpedo Berlin's approach. And NATO's top commander in Europe hasn't been helping either.

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The battles between the Ukrainian army and the pro-Russian separatists had largely stopped and heavy weaponry was being withdrawn.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.

See the rest of this article here


Blogger erich said...

Moon of Alabama's response to the Spiegel in post "A Europe-
U.S. Divorce Over Ukraine":

"It seems that at least some European leaders now understand
that they got played by Washington and they are pushing back.
A Eurasian economic sphere is in Europe's interest. Will Obama
accept their view and turn off the hawks or will he escalate and
risk the alliance with Europe? A first sign looks positive. The U.S.
called off, on short notice, a plan to train Ukrainian National
Guard (i.e. Nazi) forces:

[O]n Friday, a spokesman for US forces in Europe, confirmed the
delay in a statement and said:

"The US government would like to see the Minsk agreement

"The training mission is currently on hold but Army Europe is
prepared to carry out the mission if and when our government
decides to move forward,"
the statement said.

3/9/15, 8:31 AM  

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