NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels Wednesday and Thursday agreed to the enlargement of the organization’s Response Force to 40,000 troops from the current level of 13,000. On Tuesday, ahead of the meeting, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced the positioning of hundreds of American tanks, military vehicles and heavy artillery pieces in the Baltic States as well as Poland, Romania and Bulgaria.
This buildup of troops and military equipment is part of a long-term reorientation of NATO directed against Russia. There is only one conclusion the Kremlin can draw from such threatening and aggressive measures: Washington and its European allies are preparing to go to war against Russia. Moscow is undoubtedly preparing accordingly.
Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak spelled out the implications of the US-NATO policy at the conclusion of NATO war games in Poland last week, declaring: “The peaceful period after the Second World War is over. We cannot defend our European way of life if we don’t do more for our defense.”
The international working class should take this statement as a dire warning. If the post-World War II period of peace is over, the build-up to World War III has begun.
At the opening of the Brussels meeting on Wednesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg disingenuously declared that NATO was not seeking “confrontation,” adding that “we do not want a new arms race.” He claimed the expanding deployment of NATO forces in Eastern Europe was purely a defensive response to Russian “aggression” in Ukraine.
“We are carefully assessing the implications of what Russia is doing,” he said, “including its nuclear activities.”