by Pepe Escobar
June 23, 2015
RT

We all remember how, in early June, President Putin announced that Russia would deploy more than 40 new ICBMs “able to overcome even the most technically advanced anti-missile defense systems.”

Oh dear; the Pentagon and their European minions have been freaking out on overdrive ever since.

First was NATO Secretary-General, Norwegian figurehead Jens Stoltenberg, who condemned it as “nuclear saber rattling.”

Then there’s Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, the head of US Global Air Strike Command – as in the man responsible for US ICBMs and nuclear bombers – at a recent briefing in London; “[They’ve] annexed a country, changing international borders, raising rhetoric unlike we’ve heard since the cold war times…”

That set up the stage for the required Nazi parallel; “Some of the actions by Russia recently we haven’t seen since the 1930s, when whole countries were annexed and borders were changed by decree.”

US will provide weapons, aircraft, forces to NATO’s rapid response force in E. Europe – Pentagon

At His Masters Voice’s command, the EU duly extended economic sanctions against Russia.And right on cue, Pentagon supremo Ashton Carter, out of Berlin, declared that NATO must stand up against – what else – “Russian aggression” and “their attempts to re-establish a Soviet-era sphere of influence.”

Bets are off on what this huffin’ and puffin’ is all about. It could be about Russia daring to build a whole country close to so many NATO bases. It could be about a bunch of nutters itching to start a war on European soil to ultimately “liberate” all that precious oil, gas and minerals from Russia and the Central Asian “stans”.

Unfortunately, the whole thing is deadly serious.

Get your tickets for the next NATO movie

Vast desolate tracts of US ‘Think Tankland’ at least admit that this is partly about the exceptionalist imperative to prevent “the rise of a hegemon in Eurasia.” Well, they’re not only “partly” but totally wrong, because for Russia – and China – the name of the game is Eurasia integration through trade and commerce.

That condemns the “pivoting to Asia”, for the moment, to the rhetorical dustbin. For the self-described “Don’t Do Stupid Stuff” Obama administration – and the Pentagon – the name of the game is to solidify a New Iron Curtain from the Baltics to the Black Sea and cut off Russia from Europe.

So it’s no surprise that in early June, the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment, in itself a think tank, hired another think tank, the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) to churn out – what else – a bunch of war games.

CEPA happens to be directed by A. Wess Mitchell, a former adviser to former Republican presidential candidate and master of vapidity Mitt Romney. Mitchell – who sounds like he flunked history in third grade – qualifies Russia as a new Carthage; “a sullen, punitive power determined to wage a vengeful foreign policy to overturn the system that it blames for the loss of its former greatness.”

Russian intelligence is very much aware of all these US maneuvers.So it’s absolutely no wonder Putin keeps coming back to NATO’s obsession in building a missile defense system in Europe right at Russia’s western borderlands; “It is NATO that is moving towards our border and we aren’t moving anywhere.”

NATO, meanwhile, gets ready for its next super production; Trident Juncture 2015, the largest NATO exercise after the end of the Cold War, to happen in Italy, Spain and Portugal from September 28 to November 6, with land, air and naval and special forces units of 33 countries (28 NATO plus five allies).

NATO spins it as a “high visibility and credibility” show testing its “Response Force” of 30,000 troops. And this is not only about Russia, or as a rehearsal in pre-positioning enough heavy weapons for 5,000 soldiers in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary.

It’s also about Africa, and the symbiosis NATO/AFRICOM (remember the “liberation” of Libya?) NATO Supreme Commander Gen. Breedhate, sorry, Breedlove, bragged, on the record, that, “the members of NATO will play a big role in North Africa, the Sahel and sub-Saharan Africa.”

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