PUBLISHED: 7:37 PM 1 Feb 2017

Merkel Has Just Deployed Tanks To Russian Border, NATO Screaming To HALT As War Pops Off

Germany has deployed tanks to Lithuania to shore up the defense against the Russian threat.

Germany has deployed tanks to Lithuania to shore up the defense against the Russian threat

Germany has deployed tanks to Lithuania to shore up the defense against the Russian threat.

Germany has deployed tanks to Lithuania to shore up the defense against the Russian threat

Germany has deployed tanks to Lithuania to shore up the defense against the Russian threat. This is the latest in a series of NATO moves to define Europe as off-limits to Russia. While Europe can barely manage its migrant crisis, it is difficult to imagine the EU going to war anytime soon.

However, NATO is unmistakably telling Putin that if Russian aggression’s do not subside, then war is the inevitable answer. But, what does it all mean, and how far will the starring actors go in this drama being played out on the world stage?

On Monday, thousands of soldiers and heavy weaponry from the U.S. entered Poland, the Baltic states and southeastern Europe. This actually comprises the single largest military maneuvers in Europe since the Cold War.

The NATO operation is known as “Atlantic Resolve” and it is meant to convey a sign, in particular, of the U.S. commitment to maintaining peace in Europe.

But, the U.S. troops only make up part of the overall, international NATO strategy. Now, combat units are parked all along Eastern Europe’s borders with Russia, and Merkel has just sent tanks and a battalion of several hundred soldiers into Lithuania, north of the so-called Suwalki Pass.

Now, combat units are parked all along Eastern Europe’s borders with Russia

Now, combat units are parked all along Eastern Europe’s borders with Russia

The Suwalki Pass is the 65-kilometer corridor that connects Poland and Lithuania by land and it is considered to be NATO’s Achilles’ heel when it comes to defending the Baltic States. NATO now has twenty-eight member nations in the Western alliance. It is currently rotating four battalions of 3,000-4,000 troops throughout northeastern Europe.

Still, the entire operation is repeatedly portrayed as moderate and defensive. All the military movement is aimed at maintaining peace.This is not meant as an aggressive move, but rather as a show of its readiness to defend NATO member nations in the event of any Russian aggression.

As the German tanks move into Lithuania this week, there are reports of Russia antagonizing NATO by using cyber attacks, fly-bys through NATO skies, and maintaining its territorial incursions.

Moscow denies it harbors any aggressive intentions towards NATO member nations

Moscow denies it harbors any aggressive intentions towards NATO member nations

Apparently, NATO and Russia once agreed that no NATO forces would ever be deployed along Eastern Europe’s borders with Russia. Of course, NATO now says the exact size of the prohibited troop movement was never specified. Curiously, Germany and Merkel have been silent this week, choosing instead to speak softly and carry a battalion of tanks into Lithuania.

In NATO, the more vocal member nations, like Poland and the Baltic states, are nervous about Russian incursions. It was their pleas that set NATO into motion, and now it is spiraling into one of those international military deployments that had a clear end, but as yet has no clear ending.

Moscow denies it harbors any aggressive intentions towards NATO member nations. In fact, Russia says the same thing about NATO that NATO says about Russia. Each claims the other wants to threaten its defenses. Each claims the other is not to be fully trusted as a matter of policy. So, it is no surprise that as the NATO deployments surge, the Russian military presence also grows along the Russian border.

The strengthening of NATO on its flank, and the planned deployment of troops in Poland and the Baltic states, began in early January 2017, with the arrival by boat in Germany of armored and US military equipment. At that time, NATO planned to send 4,000 soldiers as well as airplanes, tanks and artillery to Poland, then to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Now, the deployment into Lithuania is transpiring as Merkel has sent in the tanks.

All of this NATO activity is still taking place in response to Russia after its invasion of Ukraine and its annexation of the Crimea in March 2014

All of this NATO activity is still taking place in response to Russia after its invasion of Ukraine and its annexation of the Crimea in March 2014

Although this deployment is presented as part of a purely defensive strategy, it nevertheless irritates Russia. NATO maintains that its forces pale in comparison to the 330,000+ soldiers that Russia has positioned near its western flank, since last May.

All of this NATO activity is still taking place in response to Russia after its invasion of Ukraine and its annexation of the Crimea in March 2014. Now, we are witnessing the latest event in a long series of retaliative and defensive moves. Major maneuvers between U.S. and Polish forces are now taking place, and there are still more planned in the works.

Will there be an all-out military war erupting between the EU and Russia? Without a doubt, there is a tension brewing just underneath the diplomatic surface that demands some type of resolution. This NATO activity begs the question of who is in charge, and who is afraid of whom? Furthermore, this present tension was unforeseen only a short time ago.

Remember the Obama reset with Russia? Back in 2008, things did not seem so bad. In his second debate with Mitt Romney in 2012, Obama rebuked Romney for saying that Russia was our greatest threat to security.

Maybe Obama did not realize that he was insulting Putin by summarily dismissing him as a threat. One thing is for sure: no American leader will ever again state publically that Russia is no threat and smile wryly as they say it. It seems that ever since Obama made that crass remark, Putin has done everything possible to revive his reputation as the leader of an evil empire.

We should probably have no illusions about the political goals of the EU, Russia, and the U.S. There is currently so much turmoil, we really have no way to gauge the outcome of the NATO build-up. However, whatever the outcome of the NATO maneuvers turns out to be, the chances are that it will be determined in large part by President Trump, because he did not get elected to take a back seat in world affairs.

Obviously, the consensus of the world order is changing. For years now, what was considered acceptable was actually being dictated by a liberal elite class. The cultivated, the rich and the educated, who, for years, conducted the course of world affairs in unquestioned, neoliberal ways have just received their 2016 wake-up call.

Now, 2017 promises to bring a new breath of fresh air to the U.S. and world affairs – and yes, even to NATO. The days of fantasy, when the liberal, cultural establishment could ride roughshod on the backs of the silent masses, as they aimed for a borderless world where everyone is beautiful, are coming to an end.