The U.S. Army’s war over Russia — Pentagon insiders expose “sky is falling” hype

…in early March, Breedlove, who declined to comment for this article, told a group of Washington reporters that Russia had “upped the ante” in Ukraine with “well over a thousand combat vehicles, Russian combat forces, some of their most sophisticated air defense [units and] battalions of artillery.” The situation, Breedlove said, “is not getting better. It is getting worse every day.”

The problem with the Breedlove report, according to a senior civilian Pentagon adviser, was that it wasn’t true. “I have no idea what the hell he’s talking about,” he told me. That comment echoed statements coming from Berlin, where advisers to German Chancellor Angela Merkel characterized Breedlove’s comments as “dangerous propaganda.”

And the difference between the present situation and the Civil War example below is profound — Russia isn’t attacking the US or any European country. But the US and many European countries view themselves as at war with and practically under siege from Russia. That pathological and rabid Western worldview is of extreme danger to the entire earth, due to the weapons of mass destruction they have at their fingertips, the powerful positions they hold, and the men and women under their command.

From Politico

Top brass profess to be really worried about Putin. But a growing group of dissenters say they’re overreacting to get a bigger share of the defense budget.

By Mark Perry
May 12, 2016

During the Battle of the Wilderness in 1864, a unit of Robert E. Lee’s army rolled up some artillery pieces and began shelling the headquarters of Union commander Ulysses S. Grant. When one of his officers pleaded that Grant move, insisting that he knew exactly what Lee was going to do, Grant, normally a taciturn man, lost his temper: “Oh, I am heartily tired of hearing about what Lee is going to do,” he said. “Some of you always seem to think he is going to turn a double somersault, and land in our rear and on both of our flanks at the same time. Go back to your command and try to think what we are going to do ourselves, instead of what Lee is going to do.”

The story was recalled to me a few weeks ago by a senior Pentagon officer in citing the April 5 testimony of Army leaders before a Senate Armed Services Subcommittee. The panel delivered a grim warning about the future of the U.S. armed forces: Unless the Army budget was increased, allowing both for more men and more materiel, members of the panel said, the United States was in danger of being “outranged and outgunned” in the next war and, in particular, in a confrontation with Russia. Vladimir Putin’s military, the panel averred, had outstripped the U.S. in modern weapons capabilities. And the Army’s shrinking size meant that “the Army of the future will be too small to secure the nation.” It was a sobering assessment delivered by four of the most respected officers in the Army—including Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, his service’s leading intellectual. The claim is the prevailing view among senior Army officers, who fear that Army readiness and modernization programs are being weakened by successive cuts to the U.S. defense budget.

But not everyone was buying it.

“This is the ‘Chicken-Little, sky-is-falling’ set in the Army,” the senior Pentagon officer said. “These guys want us to believe the Russians are 10 feet tall. There’s a simpler explanation: The Army is looking for a purpose, and a bigger chunk of the budget. And the best way to get that is to paint the Russians as being able to land in our rear and on both of our flanks at the same time. What a crock.”

The Army panel’s assessment of the Russian danger was reinforced by an article that appeared in these pages two days later. The article reported on an expansive study that McMaster has ordered to collect the lessons of Ukraine. It paraphrased Army leaders and military experts who warn the Russian-backed rebel army has been using “surprisingly lethal tanks” and artillery as well as “swarms of unmanned aerial vehicles” to run roughshod over Ukrainian nationalists. While the reporting about the Army study made headlines in the major media, a large number in the military’s influential retired community, including former senior Army officers, rolled their eyes.

“That’s news to me,” one of these highly respected officers told me. “Swarms of unmanned aerial vehicles? Surprisingly lethal tanks? How come this is the first we’ve heard of it?”

The fight over the Army panel’s testimony is the latest example of a deepening feud in the military community over how to respond to shrinking budget numbers. At issue is the military’s strategic future: Facing cuts, will the Army opt to modernize its weapons’ arsenal, or defer modernization in favor of increased numbers of soldiers? On April 5, the Army’s top brass made its choice clear: It wants to do both, and Russia’s the reason. But a growing chorus of military voices says that demand is both backward and dangerously close-minded—that those same senior military officers have not only failed to understand the lessons of Afghanistan and Iraq and embrace service reform, they are inflating foreign threats to win a bigger slice of the defense budget.

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German newspaper BILD gets inside US-NATO-Nuland planning session

Posted on Fort Russ

General Breedlove tells US diplomats and select members of Congress what Ukraine needs.
The Bild headline:
“Cold Feet” “Bullshit,” “Angst”
What US Politicians REALLY think about the Germans in the Ukraine-crisis
February 19, 2015
Translated from German by Tom Winter
Munich — While a bloody war rages in eastern Ukraine, the next dangerous conflict is breaking out in the Security Conference, a diplomatic battle of nerves centered on the question whether the West ought to supply armaments to the regime in Kiev. The opponents are actually allies: the USA against Europe,  and Germany in particular.
Behind the soundproof doors of the conference room in the Bayerischer Hof hotel, the Americans speak about Germans in rather derogatory terms.
Friday evening a bit after 7 p.m. on the sixth floor of the luxury hotel, according to BILD’s sources, American four-star generals, diplomats, and high-ranking US politicians held a frank discussion in a “briefing room,” and held forth about the Germans.
“Defeatist,” is what a US Senator called German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, because she no longer believes in a Kiev victory. The phrase “German defeatist,” according to our information, was often heard in the room.
Defense minister Ursula von der Leyen, (here with NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg) counts as a defeatist among the US diplomats since she no longer believes in a victory of Ukraine against Russia.
Obama’s top diplomat for Europe, Victoria Nuland, called the Chancellor’s trip to Putin, “Merkel’s Moscow thing.” Another US Foreign office type spoke of the Europeans’ “Moscow bullshit.”
And US Senator John McCain talked himself into a rage: “History shows us that dictators always take more, whenever you let them. They can’t be brought back from their brutal behavior when you fly to Moscow to them, just like someone once flew to this city.”
Merkel’s diplomatic initiative in the Ukraine crisis stands at the center of American anger. Reason: the Americans don’t believe that Putin can’t be made to back off without a massive push, and the Europeans have no wish to build up a greater push.
“They’re afraid of damage to their economy, counter-sanctions from Russia,” said Nuland. Another US politician: “It’s painful to see that our NATO partners are getting cold feet.”
Obama’s close confidante Victoria Nuland is the one who set the tone for her American colleagues at the prelude to the evening: “We can fight against the Europeans, we can fight with rhetoric against them.”
Several US politicians appeared to have hesitations about weapons supply to Kiev. One asked whether it was only a tactic, a false promise to get the Europeans to put more pressure on Putin. “No, it’s not a tactic to push the Europeans,” answered Nuland dryly. “We’re not going to sent any four divisions into Ukraine, as the Europeans fear. It’s only a relatively moderate delivery of anti-tank weapons.”
“But what will we tell the Europeans if we really decide on delivering weapons,” asked one Congressman. “What’s our story then?”
NATO Commander General Philip Breedlove was there. He answered: “We’re not on a footing to deliver so many weapons they could defeat Russia [!!! —tr] That’s not our goal. But we have to try to raise the battlefield cost for Putin, to slow down the whole problem, so sanctions and other measures can take hold.”
Again top diplomat Nuland, who speaks fluent Russian and served as Dick Cheney’s security advisor took it up: “I’d strongly urge you to use the phrase ‘defensive systems’ that we would deliver to oppose Putin’s ‘offensive systems.’”
General Breedlove clarified for the US politicians, what an actual arms delivery would look like. “Russian artillery is by far what kills most Ukrainian soldiers, so a system is needed that can localize the source of fire and repress it. Ukrainian communications are disrupted or completely swamped, so they need uninterceptible communications gear. Then I won’t talk about any anti-tank rockets, but we are seeing massive supply convoys from Russia into Ukraine. The Ukrainians need the capability to shut off this transport. And then I would add some small tactical drones.”
NB: These planned weapons and systems are so technically demanding that US soldiers would probably have to train the Ukrainian army. Thus the USA would be intervening with their own troops in the conflict.
There hasn’t been this much conflict between Europeans and Americans since the Munich Security conference of 2003, shortly before the beginning of the Iraq war. In the morning Chancellor Angela Merkel travels to Washington to US President Barak Obama. The two have much to discuss…
Translator’s note: This material is visible throughout the German press, and it all comes back to this article in Das Bild, and the source for this Bild article had to be German Intelligence. The German press is full of praise for their peace-making Chancellor, and apparently the Chancellory is committed to making Minsk II a success. Further, this item removes, and was doubtless intended to remove, any doubts about NATO being a US instrument. Also to be noted here is a complete zeroing out of the five or six million Russian-speaking inhabitants of Lugansk and Donetsk; they don’t exist, it’s just Russia. 

Media disinformation: Russia invades Ukraine. Again. And again. And yet again … using Saddam’s WMD

The Anti-Empire Report #134

By William Blum — Published November 19, 2014

“Russia reinforced what Western and Ukrainian officials described as a stealth invasion on Wednesday [August 27], sending armored troops across the border as it expanded the conflict to a new section of Ukrainian territory. The latest incursion, which Ukraine’s military said included five armored personnel carriers, was at least the third movement of troops and weapons from Russia across the southeast part of the border this week.”

None of the photos accompanying this New York Times story online showed any of these Russian troops or armored vehicles.

“The Obama administration,” the story continued, “has asserted over the past week that the Russians had moved artillery, air-defense systems and armor to help the separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk. ‘These incursions indicate a Russian-directed counteroffensive is likely underway’, Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said. At the department’s daily briefing in Washington, Ms. Psaki also criticized what she called the Russian government’s ‘unwillingness to tell the truth’ that its military had sent soldiers as deep as 30 miles inside Ukraine territory.”

Thirty miles inside Ukraine territory and not a single satellite photo, not a camera anywhere around, not even a one-minute video to show for it. “Ms. Psaki apparently [sic] was referring to videos of captured Russian soldiers, distributed by the Ukrainian government.” The Times apparently forgot to inform its readers where they could see these videos.

“The Russian aim, one Western official said, may possibly be to seize an outlet to the sea in the event that Russia tries to establish a separatist enclave in eastern Ukraine.”

This of course hasn’t taken place. So what happened to all these Russian soldiers 30 miles inside Ukraine? What happened to all the armored vehicles, weapons, and equipment?

“The United States has photographs that show the Russian artillery moved into Ukraine, American officials say. One photo dated last Thursday, shown to a New York Times reporter, shows Russian military units moving self-propelled artillery into Ukraine. Another photo, dated Saturday, shows the artillery in firing positions in Ukraine.”

Where are these photographs? And how will we know that these are Russian soldiers? And how will we know that the photos were taken in Ukraine? But most importantly, where are the fucking photographs?

Why am I so cynical? Because the Ukrainian and US governments have been feeding us these scare stories for eight months now, without clear visual or other evidence, often without even common sense. Here are a few of the many other examples, before and after the one above:

  • The Wall Street Journal (March 28) reported: “Russian troops massing near Ukraine are actively concealing their positions and establishing supply lines that could be used in a prolonged deployment, ratcheting up concerns that Moscow is preparing for another [sic] major incursion and not conducting exercises as it claims, US officials said.”
  • “The Ukrainian government charged that the Russian military was not only approaching but had actually crossed the border into rebel-held regions.” (Washington Post, November 7)
  • “U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove told reporters in Bulgaria that NATO had observed Russian tanks, Russian artillery, Russian air defense systems and Russian combat troops enter Ukraine across a completely wide-open border with Russia in the previous two days.” (Washington Post, November 13)
  • “Ukraine accuses Russia of sending more soldiers and weapons to help rebels prepare for a new offensive. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied aiding the separatists.” (Reuters, November 16)

Since the February US-backed coup in Ukraine, the State Department has made one accusation after another about Russian military actions in Eastern Ukraine without presenting any kind of satellite imagery or other visual or documentary evidence; or they present something that’s very unclear and wholly inconclusive, such as unmarked vehicles, or unsourced reports, or citing “social media”; what we’re left with is often no more than just an accusation. The Ukrainian government has matched them.

On top of all this we should keep in mind that if Moscow decided to invade Ukraine they’d certainly provide air cover for their ground forces. There has been no mention of air cover.

This is all reminiscent of the numerous stories in the past three years of “Syrian planes bombing defenseless citizens”. Have you ever seen a photo or video of a Syrian government plane dropping bombs? Or of the bombs exploding? When the source of the story is mentioned, it’s almost invariably the rebels who are fighting against the Syrian government. Then there’s the “chemical weapon” attacks by the same evil Assad government. When a photo or video has accompanied the story I’ve never once seen grieving loved ones or media present; not one person can be seen wearing a gas mask. Is it only children killed or suffering? No rebels? Continue reading