Atlantic Resolve — continuous NATO war games on Russia’s western, southern borders

Washington and NATO control the narrative. Here, Lt. Gen. Hodges meets with “defense writers”, and tells them the spin.

Was he able to talk about diplomacy with a straight face?

From Rick Rozoff

U.S. Department of Defense
March 19, 2015
Army Commander in Europe Details Assurance Efforts
By Jim Garamone


WASHINGTON: Thirteen months after Russia began its occupation of Crimea, the United States and its European allies must remain steadfast against the threat such actions pose, the commander of U.S. Army Europe said here this week.

Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges told the Defense Writers Group at a March 17 breakfast that the Russian action of illegally annexing Crimea from Ukraine and its continuing threat to the eastern part of Ukraine is a game-changer on the continent.

Atlantic Resolve Enables Cooperation

…Hodges told reporters to think of Atlantic Resolve as a continuous series of exercises, with American troops operating with troops in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, demonstrating America’s commitment to the defense of these NATO allies. Later this month, Atlantic Resolve exercises will expand to include Bulgaria and, later in the year, Romania, he said.

An airborne battalion from Vicenza, Italy, will jump into Romania and link up with a Stryker squadron coming by rail from Vilseck, Germany, Hodges said. “That will begin the introduction of [Operation Atlantic Resolve] into the south,” he added.

U.S. Army Europe also is working with countries in NATO’s Partnership for Peace program, including Georgia and Ukraine. Beginning next month, troopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade will train Ukrainian Interior Ministry troops, and in May, U.S. paratroopers and tankers will exercise in Georgia, Hodges said.

Using Diplomatic, Economic Pressures

Reporters pressed Hodges on whether the United States should provide weapons to Ukraine. He said he can see both sides of the argument, but that the focus should not be on the weapons decision. “The focus should be on what is the desired end state, and can we get there using diplomatic and economic pressures and support,” he said.

On Minsk eve, Kiev refuses most terms, refuses to freeze conflict, asserts America can “thrash Russia”

by George Eliason, February 9, 2015
Posted on Global Research

According to the BBC on Febuary 9th President Barack Obama: ”The possibility of lethal defensive weapons is one of those options that is being examined.” What this means is if the Minsk talks fail, the US will supply lethal heavy weapons openly to Ukraine if Russia does not get into line with western policy.

Kiev, which has openly denied Russia is invading or sending regular troops into the conflict is now giving Russia an ultimatum. In October I traveled through the Donbass region and did invasive passport checks on soldiers. My findings agree with Kiev on this point.

There are no Russian military units or regular soldiers in the region. I interviewed Spanish volunteers. I spoke with Chechens, Afghanis, Russian citizens, and Cossacks. They are private citizens that have family here or have come to fight fascism so it does not spread further into Europe or Russia.

Even in the face of this According to the BBC Obama further stated “Russia had violated “every commitment” made in the failing Minsk agreement, he added, after talks with the German chancellor on a new peace deal.”

President Obama is under tremendous pressure from the combined Eastern European Caucus on Capital Hill to make this happen. For the nationalists the largest threat to them hasn’t been American democracy as it should have been, and should be. It has been Russia that has taken the lead in this and suffered the most for it.

On February 10th the Deputy Head of the Poroshenko Administration, Valery Chaly released these statements.

“Every decision concerning outcome of the upcoming meeting (Minsk) has been made already. Kiev unilaterally rejects all proposals for federalization, the expansion of the DNR an LNR to their administrative borders, and granting rights of broad autonomy.

The only thing that Kiev is ready to agree to is abolish duties between Russia and Donbass at their borders and indulge Donbass in the use of the Russian language.”

By taking any and all negotiations off the table, Poroshenko’s government has effectively rendered the Minsk talks and agreement worthless.

Taking a Stick To Russia’s Putin

Speaking for Poroshenko’s administration, Chaly went much further by saying under no circumstances will the conflict be frozen. In an ultimatum to Vladimir Putin’s government in Russia he boldly said “If Putin does not accept these terms the “West will thrash Russia! Russia will pay a high price, and among the serious consequences resulting from Russia’s lack of obedience would be an escalation of the conflict.”

How can Poroshenko’s Kiev escalate the conflict more than openly attacking civilians with banned weapons and destroying entire towns? The Ukrainian governments crimes against humanity in front of the world is what frames this conflict. This escalation can only mean drawing Russia into the conflict further, well beyond the diplomatic cover and humanitarian aid Russia is currently providing Donbass today.

This hit’em with a stick diplomacy is part and parcel to Ukrainian ultra-nationalist ideology. Diplomacy can only be conducted with a weapon pointed and your “enemy” crushed.

Heavy NATO weapons such as the Paladin artillery system and tanks are used in the arena already. The Ukrainian military has no training or experience on these systems. Will American troops fight for the openly nationalist Ukrainians? To date by the current reckoning well over 100 American mercenaries are buried here. Two US army military trainers were reported killed near Mariupol last August training Azov Battalion.

In one of the few articles to openly show the stark realities for Donbass the BBC in a congratulatory piece showed how much Ukraine is receiving for weapons and aid from private donors. It then compares the level of support Russia gives Donbass which according to the pro-junta BBC is minimal humanitarian aid.

Ukraine sealed off Donbass from getting medicines and foodstuffs from the west. Now it is demanding Russian do it from the East. It also demands that Russia take responsibility for weapons it is not sending. The twisted side politically is that Ukraine and the west want Russia’s Putin to take responsibility for decisions made outside his own country by the leaders of DNR and LNR who have clearly shown that while cooperative with Russia, Novorossya will be its own country. Vladimir Putin has also made it clear Novorossya does not have a future being absorbed as part of Russia.

Russia’s Response to the Ultimatum

As I sit writing this, the Kremlin has responded to both the ultimatums and the threat of US heavy weapons shipped openly to the conflict area. Simply, “we will respond to the US sending weapons with diplomacy.”

If Kiev was telling the truth about a Russian invasion through MSN all this time then US and EU troops are about to come in direct contact and conflict with them. This most dangerous of lies may eventually solve the problem of people not knowing where the Donbass conflict is. Should the worlds Titan countries go head to head, the Ukraine war, with Kiev’s lies, manipulations, war crimes, and eventual escalated attacks on Russia itself, may find its way to your own backyard.

For the American way of life, a crossroads has appeared in front of us. The decision about which road we should take will have profound effects on who we are as a country. If we are a great people we need to rely on and restore democratic principles.

If we sit by that decision is being made by neo-liberals and neo-cons for us today. In that case America will be remembered as a once great country that lost itself in both self-absorption and a nation that lost faith in its people. It became a people managed by its government. It is the most horrible of epitaphs.