SOFA agreement with Baltic states quietly signed by Obama before departure clearing way for permanent US military presence

This will mean lucrative contracts for U.S. companies.

How much money was paid to secure this “agreement”, money which then disappeared into protected personal bank accounts?

From Fort Russ

-Our exercises are a warning to Russia!
– Should we beep?

March 2, 2016 – Fort Russ News
Rubaltic – Translated by Kristina Kharlova

The Baltic States have recognized the special status of the US military in its territory

By Alexander Shamshiev

The US soldiers will receive special legal treatment in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. New rules involve tax incentives, lower prices, immunity from criminal prosecution and potential conflicts with local population.

The Baltic States have agreed with the United States about status of presence of American troops on their territory.

Local media agreed in opinion that negotiations with the American party took place at an accelerated pace to wrap up before the inauguration of Donald Trump, scheduled for January 20. Previously American soldiers visited Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to participate in military exercises and short-term maneuvers. The agreements actually create a legal framework for permanent presence of US military in the three republics. This is what is expected by local authorities. “I am convinced that the presence of US forces is one of the most important factors that will make people of Lithuania feel safer in the current situation, – said Lithuanian defense Minister Karoblis, – and I hope that a permanent presence will continue in the future.” Preparations to welcome Americans are in full swing.

The authorities are actively building barracks, and investing in upgrading infrastructure at the bases in Rukla, Adazhi and Tapa, which in the spring will begin to accept the multinational battalions of NATO.

The purpose of SOFAs [Status of Forces Agreements] is to: “Protect against U.S. personnel being subject to host country criminal or civil justice systems. This is important not only to protect U.S. personnel’s rights and to vindicate the U.S. interest in exercising disciplinary authority over its personnel, but also because U.S. willingness to deploy forces overseas – and public support for such deployments – could suffer significant setbacks if U.S. personnel were at risk of being tried in a potentially unfair system. The United States also has an interest in preserving the principle that U.S. military discipline is enforced by the U.S. military justice system.” – Lsm.lv

 

NATO forces in the Baltics – 2017

Model agreements on the status of forces and amendments are an integral part of any stable presence of the US army abroad. The Pentagon has signed more than 100 agreements governing the relationship between its military and host countries. Signing a SOFA is considered a prestigious event for the allies. It means that the White house took their defense seriously. Therefore, if the agreements facilitate certain developments, in the long term in can propell Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to the level of America’s closest allies, such as Japan, South Korea and Germany.

The Baltic States promised to create a military haven with an abundance of benefits. Among them – preferential tax regime without VAT, taxes on sales and excise taxes, and special stores for the sale of goods at competitive prices. It is indicated that the receiving party does not seek to obtain “additional income” from foreign troops. This fact will certainly depress the municipal authorities and local residents, who planned to cash in on foreign soldiers. In response to the generous reception the American side agrees to strictly comply with Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian laws and not get rowdy.

But from the experience of friendly visits by NATO military incidents can not be avoided.

Guests often provoke an adverse reaction. Last year was no exception: Americans staged a pogrom in Druskininkai waterpark, tore down Lithuanian flag from the building of the prosecutor’s office in Kaunas and desecrated it; the servants of Bundeswehr beat a Lithuanian colleague at Rukla base; the British attacked a Latvian in Riga “McDonald’s” and broke his nose; Japanese seamen invaded Klaipeda, flooded bars and harassed local residents. Typically, such antics were committed in a drunken state. Defiant behavior and disorderly conduct of the military led the mayor of Ventspils Aivars Lembergs to compare them with occupants. Similar cases periodically happen in other countries – for example, in May 2016 in the Italian Vicenza 13 soldiers of the elite 173rd airborne brigade of the United States were arrested for their part in a mass brawl.

http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/03/sofa-agreement-with-baltic-states.html

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From Cold to “Hot War”? Operation Barbarossa II: U.S. military buildup in eastern Europe, the Yanks in their armoured parade

Global Research, January 18, 2017
New Eastern Outlook 18 January 2017
usa tank russia

I stated some months ago, while assembling a criminal dossier against the NATO powers for the ultimate war crime of aggression, that the build-up of NATO forces in Eastern Europe, particularly American, concentrated on the Baltic states and Ukraine, presaged hybrid war operations against Russia leading to a general war. This build up of forces and ancillary developments I termed Operation Barbarossa II in light of the remarkable similarities to the build up of forces by Nazi Germany for the invasion of the USSR in 1941 which the Germans code-named Operation Barbarossa. Events have only confirmed my views.

The degradation of American democracy continues before our eyes with the incessant hysterical allegations against Russia generally and the manipulation of Donald Trump as a device to put out even more sensational allegations, a campaign which serves two purposes; the first, to build up anti-Russian feeling in the west to war levels by accusing Russia of cyber attacks and attacks on “democracy,” the second to either justify the removal of Trump as a factor in the presidency or to force him to toe the line of the war faction and drop any conciliatory rhetoric towards Russia.

It appears that this strategy is working. At his recent press conference Trump not only adopted the “Russia did it” theme but went further and stated that if people thought Hilary Clinton was going to be tough on Russia, they would soon see that he will be tougher than she ever could be. The hopes by some in the United States that Trump was going to open a new policy of dialogue with Russia have been completely shattered. But this should have been no surprise with his immediate insult to China the day after his election and with his cabinet choices and their various testimonies before Congress the past days, as they are vetted for their posts, that show his administration will use war to dominate the world just as enthusiastically as the outgoing administration.

Trump has said that it is better to have good relations with Russia and that only fools would reject that idea. But this statement is part of the general line that if Russia does not do what the US dictates then, of course, force will be used instead. On the PBS Newshour on Thursday July 12 a “former” senior CIA officer, when asked whether Trump had a point in wanting good relations with Russia, laughed and said,

“The United States should not look for good relations with any country. We should strive for one thing only, the advancement of American national interests, and if diplomacy does not work then coercion must be used.”

This is the talk of gangsters.

The world is fatigued with the circus that is the struggle for power taking place between the ruling factions in the United States. There is clearly little to separate these factions ideologically regarding foreign policy and very little regarding domestic policy. It’s just a gang war.

The use of lurid allegations against Trump to portray him as not only a willing dupe of Russia but also a target of blackmail, which allegations appear to originate with a “former” senior MI6 agent named Christopher Steele, smacks of the MI5 and MI6 plot to bring down British Prime Minister Harold Wilson in the 1970s, as they had brought down the Labour government in 1924 with the production and distribution in the press of a forged letter from Zinoviev to the British Communist Party calling for a mass insurrection in Britain. In Wilson’s case too, forged documents were put out by MI5 and MI6 with the help of the CIA, through a compliant media, to smear him as a Russian agent and he later stated that he knew of two planned military coups against him. John Kennedy was assassinated in the coup d’état of 1963 in a poisonous atmosphere generated by allegations he was “soft on communism,” that is, once again, the Russians.

Frankly, whether Trump is ousted in a coup, or by impeachment later, as the Washington Post suggested could happen, or is allowed to stay in office as a compliant front man as the other presidents have been since Kennedy was murdered, matters not; the result is the same, the continuation of a permanent war regime in the United States, that lives for, by and through a permanent state of war. The American people were brainwashed into tolerating and accepting the coup of 1963 and it would hardly be surprising if another one is carried out and tolerated when intelligence agencies, political enemies, the media and Hollywood celebrities are openly calling for a coup to be staged. Democracy? The vote? Who cares? Civil unrest? A price to pay. The result is that the preparations for war continue, and are amplified by the Trump election, which the intelligence services are using to intensify the propaganda attack on Russia and President Putin.

Meanwhile, as the media and Obama regime keep the people off-balance with the Trump scandal US military forces continue their deployments against Russia and China. The machine is in motion. In Europe the Americans have just added to the pressure on Russia with the placement of the 3rd Armoured Brigade in Poland, right on Russia’s doorstep, which Russia rightly considers a threat to its security. This is a unit that was involved as an assault force in the Normandy landings in 1944 and was used to invade Iraq in 2003. The unit is noted for its speed of attack. These forces will fan out from Poland to cover a wide front from Estonia and Latvia to Romania with tank, artillery and armoured mobile infantry units. These are not garrison or occupation troops, these are assault troops.

US Army General Scaparrotti, commander of US forces in Europe and NATO supreme allied commander in Europe, stated that the movement of this force to Poland “marks a significant moment in European deterrence and defence.” He stated,

“The European infrastructure and integrated support has enabled our forces to rapidly be ready and postured should they need to deter Russian aggression.”

Since there is no Russian “aggression” and since the Americans are continually stating that they expect Russia to engage in hybrid, that is unconventional warfare against Eastern Europe, we can be sure that these forces themselves and their specialised units will engage in false flag attacks and provocations to make it look like Russia is taking hostile action to justify the use against Russia of these and allied European forces. It is just a matter of time unless a diplomatic breakthrough occurs which appears highly unlikely, despite Russia’s diligent efforts.

At the same time it was reported on Friday the 13th that Trump’s appointed foreign minister. Mr. Tillerson stated to Congress on the 11th of January, that the US should deny Beijing access to its islands in the South China Sea. China state media responded that any such attempt would lead to large-scale war. Yet, on January 5th, just a few days before Tillerson’s statement the Pentagon announced that “ships and units from the USS Carrier Carl Vinson strike group will soon depart San Diego for the western Pacific” where US strategic B1 and B2 bombers have already been deployed on Guam, capable of carrying nuclear armed cruise missiles.

And lastly, on the propaganda front, the recent illegal seizure of investigatory material by Dutch police from Dutch journalists returning from Donetsk once again adds to the evidence that the shoot down of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 with 298 people on board in July 2014 was an action of the Kiev regime with US knowledge. I recently stated in an essay on that subject that it was a Kiev military jet that shot down the airliner, and referred to a Sukhoi 25 being used but I since been shown evidence that it was in fact a Kiev Mig-29 that was used. In any event, the NATO powers have colluded in covering up this fact in order to keep up their propaganda the Russia was behind it.

The situation is grave and the doomsday clock must be knocking on the door of midnight. Many of us have called for the anti-war and peace movements to mobilise but they are nowhere to be seen. Many of them, especially in the United States have been co-opted into supporting these wars, and the left, that is supposed to be against imperialist wars, whether the hard or the soft left, appears to be too weak to make itself felt. It seems there are too few of us in the west any more who give a damn.

But we better act now and make people give a damn or else it will be too late because as my friend, Harold Pinter, so well put it to me once at dinner in London, the world is faced with a people in love with themselves who don’t seem to care about anything or anybody except themselves and think they can commit any crime and get away with it. I can’t express the disgust so well as Harold did in a poem he once sent me that he found difficult to get published, one of several, but which is now in a short collection of his poems called War. Perhaps if there were more like him, more poems like this, read widely enough, more voices speaking out, people would react, wake up, stiffen up, get back their sense of decency and backbone. I don’t know. But I offer it to you here in the hope, perhaps naïve, that it has an effect.

God Bless America

Here they go again,

The Yanks in their armoured parade…

Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel “Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”

Swiss Airbus avoids U.S. spy plane; Russia warns U.S.– Leave your transponders ON near our borders

From Fort Russ

“It’s a Boeing RC-135 of the type that the pilots had to avoid over the Sea of Japan”
Le Matin, May 25, 2016

Translator note: A transponder is connected to a plane’s altimeter, and answers radar with two points of information: the registration and the altitude. Further, an airplane’s onboard equipment to spot other air traffic also depends on the transponders in the other aircraft. (I am a pilot, and there is a transponder in my Cessna 150.) — Tom Winter

A Swiss Airbus avoids a US spy plane

Big scare for the pilot of a jetliner returning from Japan who quickly changed altitude on seeing an unidentified Boeing. [Further translation: dived!]

 Seeing a big plane over the Sea of Japan which did not emit any signal, the pilots of an Airbus of the Swiss company had only seconds to decide to change altitude and prevent a possible collision, reports the news agency Interfax.

The Ministry of the Russian Defense has since announced spotting a US Air Force RC-135 flying in the region with its transponder turned off for a reconnaissance mission. The American crew had provided no information to air traffic controllers while flying at about 11,000 meters, the altitude of civilian flights. In addition to the Swiss aviation, a KLM Boeing-777 aircraft also had to change course.

“Because of this lack of professionalism, the US plane was running the risk of a collision,” denounced the Russian Defense Ministry, adding that they have asked officials to take steps to prevent such incidents near its border.

In January, a US spy plane was intercepted over the Black Sea by a Russian jet, and in April it was over the Baltic Sea that a US aircraft had been intercepted. Following this latest episode, the Russian Defense Ministry officially asked the United States “not to approach Russian borders without turning on the transponders to be identified by our radar.”

 

Is NATO really preparing for war with Russia?

From Fort Russ

May 21, 2016
Zavtra
Expert commentary by Leonid Ivashov
Translated by Kristina Kharlova

British retired general, who in 2014 held the post of deputy supreme commander of the allied NATO forces in Europe, sir Richard Shirreff said that a nuclear war could begin between NATO and Russia within a year if the alliance does not strengthen its defenses in the Baltic states.

According to Shirreff, it is likely that the target of the attack will be Estonia, Lithuania or Latvia, where Russia can justify a possible invasion with “protection of Russian-speaking population”. British general believes that “Russia is confident in NATO’s weakness” and, on this basis, the West needs “to prevent a possible catastrophe.” He is convinced that the confrontation will certainly be nuclear, since this is allegedly woven into the Russian military doctrine.

Earlier this week, the general published a book “2017: The War With Russia”, about fictional events, which are, as the author claims, “very likely to happen” in reality.

On February 3 the British broadcasting company BBC introduced the film “World War Three: Inside the War Room”, which presents a fictional scenario of potential conflict between Russia and NATO: after the capture of Latvian Daugavpils by pro-Russian rebels and intervention of the US-British coalition the world is on the brink of a major nuclear war from which humanity is rescued by the members of British Cabinet.

In early May, the Pentagon said that NATO could deploy four battalions in the Baltic States and Poland. On Wednesday, May 18, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that alliance command wants to deploy multi-ethnic battalions in several countries in Eastern Europe, first of all in the Baltic States.

***

Comment by Leonid Ivashov (General-Colonel, president of the Academy of Geopolitical Issues, International Journalism professor at MGIMO) :

Leonid Ivashov

One of the most important questions of our time is whether NATO is really preparing for an open war with Russia, and the alliance has already found the place where it starts, or is it a game of nerves, verbal and declarative, but, in fact, not dangerous fuss?

This isn’t horseplay, but serious preparations for war. And not only in the region of our North-Western borders, but along the entire perimeter of Russia. And the start of active preparation for the military phase was triggered by the “National Security Strategy of the USA”, which was adopted in February last year. It stated that there is no multi-polar world, because there is no alternative to American leadership. This whole “Strategy” is riddled with phrases like:

  • We will defend our interests from a position of strength
  • We will conduct combat operations anywhere in the world
  • We will act outside of international law and so on…

And the main target of these military preparations is Russia. And all because Russia is slowly but consistently changing the world. Turned Eurasia towards itself, began to develop relationships in Eurasian, and other regions. The Shanghai cooperation organization, CSTO, Eurasian economic union, the group of BRICS countries – all this is created on the initiative of Russia. That is, the Americans are loosing the lead. Their global domination today in fact is melting. And the goal of the United States – to pin down, and even to crush Russia, as they do with those smaller countries that try to resist. That’s all: the goal of global West is to stop the independent foreign policy of Russia.

With regard to Russian threat. I would advise NATO generals to calculate the ratio of personnel of the armed forces of NATO countries, equipment and qualitative characteristics. They clearly show that it is NATO that is creating shock troops, which threaten Russia, conducting exercises: military-air, naval, ground. Regularly in the Baltic sea area BALTOPS exercises are conducted, during which they practice strategic airlift of US troops from American territory. And that the Baltic States scream that Russia is going to conquer them – first, we don’t need them. And even if they beg to join Russia or for the rapprochement with Russia, there is no need to hurry, they should not be accepted. Such countries are always better to have as an enemy than an ally or part of Russia. However, we must defend the Kaliningrad region, and not only by military means, but also with soft power. There, unfortunately, Germans and Poles are more active than our officials from Russia.

Lets look were around our borders NATO is now most active? Eastern European countries, which joined
NATO and the EU, became the weakest European link. Americans are now using them against Europe and against Russia. The same Poles: whatever the Americans tell them – they salute, and say: “Yes, sir!”. This also applies to missile defense system, and strengthening of the naval component of Poland in the Baltic sea region. Now supposedly the Poles are asking the Americans to open a military base.

Look at Romania: Americans patched the holes on the old Romanian ships, and now actively use them in the Black sea region, deployed some F-22s, modern combat aircraft.

The Balts have nowhere to go: they say yes to everything, as long as America supports the current political elite in power, and fills its pockets.

These are completely dependent countries – the countries of Eastern Europe. Sometimes Hungary, the Czech Republic try to resist, particularly in relation to anti-Russian sanctions, but they are immediately threatened with a coup, anti-government rallies, accused of corruption… The Americans got a strong hold over Europe, including Western, through the instrument of weak Eastern Europe. South-East Europe is also pitted against Russia. The Balkans have always been the military fuse of Europe, and today Americans are trying to turn it into a powder keg. In fact, the accession of Montenegro to NATO has already been decided, however, God help if the whole of Montenegro collects two battalions. So there is no military gain here, but Montenegrians are the destroyers of the Orthodox Slavic world. Milo Djukanovic is, in fact, the Western, Pro-American agent, and the task of the West is to destabilize not just the Balkan region but the entire Orthodox Slavic space. The people of Montenegro, of course, are against NATO, against quarrel with Russia, with Serbia, but no one asks the people, and demands for a referendum are just rejected. The same difficult situation, on the brink of civil war, is in Macedonia.Republika Srpska within Bosnia and Herzegovina is subjected to coup attempts for elimination from political arena of the popular president Milorad Dodik.

And Serbia itself is stretched, either you join NATO and then the EU, or you will live in a blockade, as today. For Serbia to apply for EU membership, it is necessary to recognize Kosovo’s independence, and in the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia Kosovo is its integral part, but it is forced to do so.

In a prosperous at first glance Croatia we see growing social tension: rallies and protests are commonplace. So the Balkans are again on the brink of internal turmoil with a threat of external military intervention.

Will the Balkans become the stage for a local conflict, which will eventually grow into global? It is unlikely to turn into a global conflict, because today’s Russia will not militarily interfere. The West will just break the Serbs, so that the Serbs, as Bulgarians now, will unquestioningly obey their masters from Washington and Brussels.

Today we are observing an attempt to transform the Orthodox-Slavic world into some semblance of present-day Ukraine.

http://www.fort-russ.com/2016/05/is-nato-really-preparing-for-war-with.html