NATO and Russia

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Addie
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Re: NATO and Russia

#76

Post by Addie » Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:36 pm

Reuters
Russia may be helping supply Taliban insurgents: U.S. general

The top U.S. general in Europe said on Thursday that he had seen Russian influence on Afghan Taliban insurgents growing and raised the possibility that Moscow was helping supply the militants, whose reach is expanding in southern Afghanistan.

"I've seen the influence of Russia of late - increased influence in terms of association and perhaps even supply to the Taliban," Army General Curtis Scaparrotti, who is also NATO's Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

He did not elaborate on what kinds of supplies might be headed to the Taliban or how direct Russia's role might be.

Moscow has been critical of the United States over its handling of the war in Afghanistan, where the Soviet Union fought a bloody and disastrous war of its own in the 1980s.

But Russian officials have denied they provide aid to the insurgents, who are contesting large swaths of territory and inflicting heavy casualties, and say their limited contacts are aimed at bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table. ...

Taliban officials have told Reuters that the group has had significant contacts with Moscow since at least 2007, adding that Russian involvement did not extend beyond "moral and political support."


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Re: NATO and Russia

#77

Post by Addie » Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:10 pm

WSJ
Planned Russian Exercises Sow NATO Worries

BRUSSELS — Western military commanders are concerned that large-scale Russian military exercises near the Baltic states in September pose heightened risks for a miscalculation that could lead to a crisis, allied officials said.

In a move likely to further heighten tensions, the U.S. Senate on Tuesday approved Montenegro’s bid to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, an initiative Moscow has bitterly opposed. Officials of the Balkan nation have said Moscow backed a coup attempt there last year to derail the effort. Russia has denied involvement.

The exercises, which Western officials estimate will involve nearly 100,000 troops, will be the first to roll out after a new NATO force in the region reaches full strength. They will also take place at the same time as military drills by Western forces in Sweden, across the Baltic Sea.

U.S. and NATO officers have warned this year’s version of Russia’s annual Zapad exercises could create more tensions than they have in years, even recalling those that arose during the Cold War.

NATO diplomats and their Russia counterparts will hold a meeting Thursday of the NATO-Russia Council, the alliance announced Tuesday. While the Zapad exercises aren’t on the agenda, the ambassadors are expected to discuss Russia’s military buildup in the region, particularly in its Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad, and as well as details about the continuing deployment of the NATO force in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.


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Re: NATO and Russia

#78

Post by Addie » Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:12 am

Associated Press
14 charged with Montenegro coup, including 2 Russians

PODGORICA, Montenegro — Montenegro’s special prosecutor indicted two Russians and 12 other people Thursday for allegedly plotting a coup that included plans to kill the country’s former prime minister.

A high court in the capital of Podgorica said the 14 defendants — among them the Russians and two top opposition leaders — were charged with “creating a criminal organization.”

The Russians, said by the prosecutor to be Kremlin military secret service operatives, additionally were charged with “terrorism.” ...

Montenegrin authorities said they thwarted an October election day attempt by Serb and Russian nationalists to take over parliament, assassinate then-prime minister Milo Djukanovic and install pro-Russian leadership to prevent Montenegro from joining NATO.


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Re: NATO and Russia

#79

Post by Lunaluz » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:19 am

On a Tiny Norwegian Island, America Keeps an Eye on Russia



http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/on- ... id=U142DHP


:snippity: The game began in Vardo in the early stages of the Cold War with the construction of a primitive early warning radar. But instead of calming with the end of the Soviet Union more than a quarter-century ago, this perilous contest has now entered a new and, for Russia, alarming stage with the start of work in Vardo on a sophisticated new radar system known as Globus 3.

The joint American-Norwegian radar project, which will cost hundreds of millions of dollars and consume substantial amounts of electricity, has infuriated Moscow, which sees it as part of a Pentagon drive to encircle and contain Mr. Putin’s resurgent Russia. The Russian ambassador in Oslo, Norway’s capital, recently warned Norway that it should “not be naïve” about Russia’s readiness to respond. :snippity:

And the beat goes on



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Re: NATO and Russia

#80

Post by Addie » Sun Jul 02, 2017 3:19 pm

NATO Review
Russian intelligence is at (political) war

It is inevitable and understandable that we rely on mirror-imaging when looking at Russia’s security and intelligence services. The problem is that – however much there may appear to be meaningful comparisons on paper – in terms of their missions, interactions and mindsets, they are on a wartime footing.

The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) is broadly comparable to agencies such as the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), commonly known as MI6, and France’s DGSE. Its Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) is a military foreign intelligence service, again like so many NATO counterparts. The Federal Security Service (FSB) is a domestic security and counter-intelligence agency – while it is rather more carnivorous than the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Germany’s BfV or Italy’s AISI, at a pinch one might think the analogy holds.

But, if anything, a much better way of thinking of these agencies is to compare them to the British Special Operations Executive or US Office of Strategic Service of the Second World War. For they are engaged in far more than just collecting information to inform policy, and with a bias towards aggressive risk-taking that is actively encouraged by the Kremlin.

The Russian intelligence system

Russia’s security and intelligence services operate in a rather different political context that the West’s, and this gives them a radically different character. President Vladimir Putin – a former officer of the Soviet Union’s KGB and then director of the FSB – clearly regards the so-called Chekists (after the Cheka, the Bolsheviks’ first political police) as among his closest allies and most useful instruments. In 2015, on the Day of Security Service Personnel, he called them “strong and courageous people, true professionals who are reliably protecting Russia's sovereignty and national integrity and the lives of our citizens.”


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Re: NATO and Russia

#81

Post by Addie » Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:53 pm

The Hill
NATO jets intercept Russian planes near Estonia

NATO jets were sent to intercept three Russian military aircraft near Estonian airspace on Tuesday.

Spanish and Finnish fighter jets were sent to intercept the airplanes, which were identified as two MiG-31 jets and an AN-26 transport plane, according to acting NATO spokesman Dylan White.

The incident came less than a day after Vice President Pence delivered a speech in Estonia, in which he warned that Russian aggression in the Baltic States would not be tolerated and reaffirmed the United States' commitment to NATO's mutual defense pledge.


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Re: NATO and Russia

#82

Post by Addie » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:30 pm

Newsweek
U.S. Military Sends Troops to Russian Border, Officials Say They Want ‘Peace, Not War’ With Russia

Russia has accused the U.S. of violating a peace treaty between Moscow and the Western military pact NATO after the Pentagon deployed a new force in the tense Baltic region. It's the latest of several Western moves seen as provocations by Russia, which has vowed to respond.

The U.S. announced Thursday the arrival of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in a Polish NATO outpost located about 100 miles from Russia's militarized enclave of Kaliningrad. The troops are part of Washington's latest effort to bolster allied nation's against what they perceive to be a military threat from neighboring Russia. Moscow, however, has accused the U.S. and its NATO allies of undermining Russia's own security by surrounding it with hostile forces.

Vladimir Shamanov, head of the defense committee for Russia's lower house of parliament, said the country would consider adding more nuclear-capable Iskander ballistic missiles on its side of the border to deter a U.S. military buildup in the region.

"This creates prerequisites that may eventually enable them to create a certain stronghold. We will surely not turn a blind eye on this. We will take retaliatory measures," Shamanov said, according to the state-run Tass Russian news agency.


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Re: NATO and Russia

#83

Post by Addie » Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:43 pm

Daily Beast
White House Official Floated Withdrawing U.S. Forces to Please Putin

A senior National Security Council official proposed withdrawing some U.S. military forces from Eastern Europe as an overture to Vladimir Putin during the early days of the Trump administration, according to a former administration official in the room with him.

While the proposal was ultimately not adopted, it is the first known case of senior aides to Donald Trump seeking to reposition U.S. military forces to please Putin—something that smelled, to a colleague, like a return on Russia’s election-time investment in President Trump. The White House did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast's request for comment.

The official who offered the proposal, a deputy assistant to Trump for strategic planning, mused in February 2017 about withdrawing U.S. troops close to Russian borders as part of a strategy proposal to “refram[e] our interests within the context of a new relationship with Russia,” the former official told The Daily Beast, who heard this directly from the official, Kevin Harrington.

Harrington is the NSC’s senior official for strategic planning. He had neither military experience nor significant government experience before joining the White House. But he had an influential credential: as a managing director for the Thiel Macro hedge fund, he was close to Trump patron and ally Peter Thiel. Trump’s first national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, announced Harrington’s arrival in early February as part of a “talented group” ready to bring “fresh ideas to the table.”


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Re: NATO and Russia

#84

Post by Volkonski » Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:48 pm

White House Official Floated Withdrawing U.S. Forces to Please Putin

https://www.thedailybeast.com/white-hou ... ease-putin
A senior National Security Council official proposed withdrawing some U.S. military forces from Eastern Europe as an overture to Vladimir Putin during the early days of the Trump administration, according to a former administration official in the room with him.

While the proposal was ultimately not adopted, it is the first known case of senior aides to Donald Trump seeking to reposition U.S. military forces to please Putin—something that smelled, to a colleague, like a return on Russia’s election-time investment in President Trump. The White House did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment.

The official who offered the proposal, a deputy assistant to Trump for strategic planning, mused in February 2017 about withdrawing U.S. troops close to Russian borders as part of a strategy proposal to “refram[e] our interests within the context of a new relationship with Russia,” the former official told The Daily Beast, who heard this directly from the official, Kevin Harrington.

Harrington is the NSC’s senior official for strategic planning. He had neither military experience nor significant government experience before joining the White House
. But he had an influential credential: As a managing director for the Thiel Macro hedge fund, he was close to Trump patron and ally Peter Thiel. Trump’s first national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, announced Harrington’s arrival in early February as part of a “talented group” ready to bring “fresh ideas to the table.”


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Re: NATO and Russia

#85

Post by RTH10260 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:40 am

How did these people slip past McCarthy?



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Re: NATO and Russia

#86

Post by Volkonski » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:14 am

The war of words escalates. :?


NBC News

@NBCNews

JUST IN: In joint statement, U.S., U.K., French, German leaders say they believe Russia was responsible for the nerve agent attack against an ex-spy and his daughter.
8:11 AM - Mar 15, 2018


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Re: NATO and Russia

#87

Post by Sterngard Friegen » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:55 am

PS: Vlad, this is just from me. I was forced into this by my so-called allies. Whatever you do is fine with me, so keep it up. Journalists are good targets, too. With much respect, Don.



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Re: NATO and Russia

#88

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:17 am

Sterngard Friegen wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:55 am
PS: Vlad, this is just from me. I was forced into this by my so-called allies. Whatever you do is fine with me, so keep it up. Journalists are good targets, too. With much respect, Don David Dennison.
FIFY


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Re: NATO and Russia

#89

Post by Kendra » Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:26 am

Tiredretiredlawyer wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:17 am
Sterngard Friegen wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:55 am
PS: Vlad, this is just from me. I was forced into this by my so-called allies. Whatever you do is fine with me, so keep it up. Journalists are good targets, too. With much respect, Don David Dennison.
FIFY
:thumbs:

When will he tweet this news to all his base? I just looked a few minutes ago and didn't see anything.

Oh, and Maddow has a good piece on last night's episode about the nerve agent and some back history on the man targeted.



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Re: NATO and Russia

#90

Post by Addie » Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:10 pm

WaPo OpEd - Wesley K. Clark
Don’t wait for the Western Balkans to blow up again. The U.S. and the E.U. must act. ...

Today, three Western Balkan states (Croatia, Albania and Slovenia) have become members of NATO. Croatia and Slovenia have joined the European Union. Kosovo is now an independent nation. Most Americans and Europeans have mentally filed away that brutal conflict as a problem solved.

Sadly, this is far from true. Lingering political conflicts over the ethno-religious character of these nations consistently threaten to metastasize into national and regional crises, making the region a prime target for meddling by foreign powers. A combustible mix of poor governance, economic stagnation and weak democratic institutions has left a small yet significant minority vulnerable to recruitment by violent jihadists. All of this leaves the region ripe for exploitation by terrorist organizations and meddling by outsiders, including Russia, China and Turkey.

To make matters worse, the region is suffering from neglect by democracies that were instrumental in bringing the Yugoslav wars to an end. Believing that the Balkans’ democratic future lay in E.U. membership, the United States largely handed over responsibility for the region’s political, institutional and economic development to Brussels. Yet political inertia within the E.U. has kept Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia waiting in the wings. And while the United States and Europe sleep, other powers are taking notice.

The Kremlin is steadily increasing its influence. The Russians are working to foment anti-E.U. and anti-NATO sentiment. They are supporting extremist groups (one of which is under investigation in Bosnia for suspected paramilitary activities) and dispensing targeted military aid. The Kremlin has also fanned the flames of ethnic division through disinformation campaigns that pit Orthodox Christian populations against Muslims, intentionally stoking the tensions that fueled the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. ...

We have many tools at our disposal to avert the creeping destabilization in the Western Balkans. Let us ensure that we do not squander the tremendous investment we have made in this troubled region, and renew our commitment to helping these fledgling democracies to achieve their full potential.


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Re: NATO and Russia

#91

Post by Volkonski » Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:25 pm

Sputnik and Zvezda Falsely Claim Hitler’s Mein Kampf is more popular than Harry Potter in Latvia

https://www.polygraph.info/a/factcheck- ... 66375.html
On April 2, Zvezda TV and Sputnik published the false claim that Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” is more popular in Latvia than Harry Potter, the fictional school child who is the main character of a popular series of books and movies. Sputnik labeled the story “Viral.”

Zvezda based its conclusion solely on the rankings of a single Latvian website, iBook, referencing a widget in the left bottom corner of that website reading: “The Most Current Books in 7 Days.”

The Russian government news agency Sputnik also cited iBook as the source of its own list of Latvia’s“top four books,” which put Hitler’s Mein Kampf near the top and ahead of Harry Potter. Sputnik went on to point out, somewhat incongruously, that a yearly march in Riga commemorating World Two-era Latvian Nazi SS members has been condemned internationally.
Sputnik slandering Latvia.


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Re: NATO and Russia

#92

Post by RoadScholar » Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:34 pm

Kremlin lashes out after Syria attack: ‘Insulting the President of Russia is unacceptable’

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/04/kremli ... cceptable/

Umm.. uh oh? :?


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Re: NATO and Russia

#93

Post by Kendra » Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:43 pm

How will they retaliate? Release the pee-pee tape? :pray: :pray: :pray:



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Re: NATO and Russia

#94

Post by Sterngard Friegen » Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:57 pm

Kendra wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:43 pm
How will they retaliate? Release the pee-pee tape? :pray: :pray: :pray:
No. Interfere in the elections in November to return the Democrats to power. If the Republicans get even a whiff of that, Devin Nunes will be the first one crying foul and demanding a new investigation on Russian interference.



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Re: NATO and Russia

#95

Post by Volkonski » Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:06 pm

Russia could play games with the international oil and gas markets. It would hurt them too but Putin might think it was worth it.


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Re: NATO and Russia

#96

Post by gupwalla » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:37 pm

At this point, Russia's only good move is to offer its unconditional surrender.

It won't do so, of course, so we're in for some weeks or months of turmoil. That's entirely on Russia - it's not as if our President hasn't offered sufficient olive branches and chances for "speak softly" dialogue. We're now in "big stick" territory.

The good news, if you wanted it, is that this will end in the permanent, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of Planet Earth. Welcome to the end of Word War III. It's not quite as painful as you dreaded it might be. The good guys win. (Spoiler.)


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Re: NATO and Russia

#97

Post by Mikedunford » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:09 am

Ummm.....no. Seriously, WTF?

Even if the Russia-West conflict came to a peaceful end in the next few months (which is a crack dream), there will not be full denuclearization. That's colonial thinking; knock it off.

Israel has nukes (probably) because it is surrounded and vastly outnumbered by people who hate it. That will not change if Russia disarms.

India and Pakistan each have nukes because the other has nukes. Neither trusts the other, and both distrust China, which also has nukes, and all three of them have been squabbling over various parts of the Himalayas for quite some time.

And even if the various disputes over Central Asia evaporate (they won't), China and India are both still thinking about their long term relations. Between the two of them, they make up over a third of the world's population. Both are rapidly developing. And both have ambitions to reclaim their place among the world's great powers. (Europe was, as recently as the 17th century, a nest of squabbling barbarians in comparison with their empires.)

Oh, and Russia won't denuclearize unless China does, because they can't come within orders of magnitude of being able to match China's conventional forces - it's not like that border has a long and peaceful history either.

And all that is before we get to the whole "Russian unconditional surrender" thing, which won't happen for its own set of reasons. I won't get into them now, except to note that this is another area where it's vital to recognize that Western Europe and the US are far from the only important parts of the world.

Geopolitics are fucking challenging enough on their own. They become impossible when Western chauvinist blinders are worn.
Edit: typos


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Re: NATO and Russia

#98

Post by RoadScholar » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:21 am

What MIke said.

File that under "in a Perfect Wortd..." :nope:


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