The Pentagon has shifted its military thinking when it comes to Moscow, selecting Russia’s direct neighbors in the Baltic region as the battleground, Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten (DWN) writes.
What the US sees playing out is hybrid warfare, which employs irregular troops and focuses on destabilizing the region via mass rallies as well as cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure, according to the newspaper.
The conflict in Ukraine has been used by the US as a catalyst for more preparations: “Russia’s invasion of Eastern Ukraine urged the US to dust off its emergency plans. They were pretty outdated,” former US Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and co-founder of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), Michele Flournoy, was quoted as saying.
Moscow, however, has repeatedly denied playing a role in the Ukrainian conflict. Despite repeated accusations by Kiev and its Western backers that Russia was supporting the rebelling eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Lugansk with weapons and manpower, no evidence has been presented to support the claims.
Nevertheless, since the crisis in Ukraine began, the number of war games held by NATO in Europe has surged. All of the military exercises have focused on a response to a situation in which Russia presumably takes over the Baltic region.
According to the German newspaper, a “Russian threat” has been used as an excuse to justify increased military spending in eastern European NATO countries and provide a reason for US troops to be stationed in Europe.
DWN adds that there are 40,000 US soldiers in Germany alone, with additional American tanks and artillery on their way to the Baltic States.
So far, the Pentagon has only war games in mind for the Baltic States. However, nuclear options are also being examined. Recent reports have suggested that US nuclear weapons could soon be coming to Germany, despite a 2009 decision to withdraw the old American nuclear arsenal.
Last week there were media reports that the Pentagon was reviewing and updating its contingency plans for a war with Russia for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
— RT America (@RT_America) September 19, 2015
“Given the security environment, given the actions of Russia, it has become apparent that we need to make sure to update the plans that we have in response to any potential aggression against any NATO allies,” a senior defense official familiar with the plan told Foreign Policy.
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