From Fort Russ
Sputnik Germany, March 31, 2016
Translated from German by Tom Winter, May 2, 2016.
News items based on this interview are showing up on the web. We found the original. Marcel Joppa, for Sputnik.de, interviews Dr. Alexander Neu, Bundestag member from Die Linke.
The US wants to strengthen its presence in Eastern Europe with soldiers, tanks and heavy military equipment. The federal government is silent officially, but many government politicians are openly standing behind Washington. “CDU, SPD and Greens go along with brainless compliance,” criticizes Dr. Alexander Neu, who represents the Left Party Defense Committee.
MJ: Dr. Neu, the USA is locating an entire brigade of its soldiers in the east of Europe. They are supposed to rotate between different States. How do you rate this project?
AN: According to media reports the transfer is supposed to take place in early 2017 to 2018. That is, if Russia is so provocative as the Americans claim, it rather surprises me that they can let it go till February 2017. Given such a big Russian threat, as suggested by the Americans, I would have thought that it would have to be more immediate. That shows me that Russian aggression is not the basis, but that they are propounding a risk that isn’t there. They are trying to generate Russophobia in Europe.
In a statement by the Defense Department in Washington, this redeployment was a reaction to the “aggressive course Russia is on.” That sounds like an argument straight out of the Cold War.
I do not see where the aggressiveness of Russia is. One can of course argue about the Crimea, as you can create different assessments of international law. I have my own assessment, in light of the destruction of Yugoslavia by the West and the recognition of the Yugoslav states and Kosovo. After all, one can not argue one way in Crimea and another way in Yugoslavia.
The West has created this precedent itself. Also in the eastern Ukraine one has to admit: The coup did not come out of Russia, but from the West – as the elected government of Yanukovych did not want to sign the EU Association Agreement. So I do not see that the Baltic states, Romania, Bulgaria, Poland are territorially harassed or threatened in any way. So this is a very abstract and fictitious threat. One has the feeling that certain Eastern European countries and their elites, and American elites, are all of them sowing and fertilizing threat scenarios. And thus, a Russian policy of aggression Russia is suggested, but has no material basis.
MJ: The planned US troop redeployment is to include 4200 soldiers, 250 tanks and other military equipment. The upgrade in Eastern Europe will begin in early 2017. President Obama has also announced an increase in US defense spending for Europe. Where is United States foreign policy headed?
AN: The Americans obviously want to keep their anti-Russian brew simmering in Eastern Europe and Central Europe. Somehow, it is believed that you have to keep Russia at bay, because Russia will not submit itself to Western ideas. They consider that they have to keep Russia in a period of conflict, under a military conflict. For this you need obedient vassals in Europe – and they have them.
With Poland and the Baltic states, one could of course, argue that they have their own history which has shaped their views. But this justification is no longer true at the present time. And with Bulgaria and Romania it doesn’t hold at all. Those who will suffer alongside the Russians include – and Russia will naturally react militarily – will be the Bulgarian, Romanian, or even the Polish taxpayers.
MJ: The whole thing is in any case a step against disarmament in Europe. There has not been an official response of the federal government. But can you imagine how the reaction will turn out?
AN: It will not be negative. The federal government is on board in the escalation policy of US-led NATO, always. And the federal government with its Bundeswehr are an essential element of NATO’s spearhead in Eastern Europe. Here is where an escalation takes place, which Europe does not need, that also Eastern Europe de facto does not need, that Russia does not need – but that obviously our “big brother” on the other side of the pond needs.
MJ: You yourself are a member of the Defence Committee of the German Bundestag. How do they look upon the development of US foreign policy? Are they completely in agreement, or there is some concern behind closed doors?
AN: So within the other parties – the SPD plus the CDU and the Greens – I see no objections. Even amog the Greens, I see no vociferous concerns. In the CDU and the SPD they think it’s all good, what the US says. This is a transatlanticist-grouping within the policy in Berlin, and only those with a strong transatlanticist bent, can sit in the Defense and the Foreign Affairs Committee. That leaves the Left as the only party, the only fraction that represents an entirely different view. But all the other parties go there somehow with mindless conformity.