Vladimir Putin is deploying 100,000 troops to surround neighbouring European countries, amid fears that World War 3 is about to erupt.
As the world’s attention is focussed right now on the North Korean crisis, Moscow is secretly preparing for massive war games in the next few weeks that will see 100,000 troops surround the borders of the NATO member States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog reports:
- Each are increasingly worried Putin may be interested in seizing them and putting them once again under Russian hegemony. It’s a concern I share but am concerned not enough leaders in the West do.
- If such provocations weren’t enough, Vladimir Putin has just expelled 755 American diplomats from Russia, effective September 1st.
- Putin has further “ratcheted up military provocations against NATO forces across Eastern Europe” by sending Russian warplanes to make “provocative flybys of NATO ships and aircraft,” by deploying “new military hardware to its Kaliningrad exclave, a territory nestled between the Baltic countries and Poland, which are all NATO members” and by conducting “cyber warfare attacks on the electoral processes of multiple NATO countries, including, but not limited to, the U.S., Germany and France,” according to a U.S. defense analyst writing in Newsweek.
- All this, of course, comes after decisions by Putin to invade and seize Crimea and Eastern Ukraine since 2014.
- To reassure our NATO allies that we will stand with them and honor Article V — NATO’s mutual defense pact stating that an attack against one NATO member is considered an attack against all — President Trump gave a major (and very good) address in Warsaw, Poland, on July 6th, which I would commend to your attention. Poland is a key NATO partner and one of America’s closest allies in Eastern Europe.
- On July 31st, Vice President Pence visited Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, where he addressed NATO forces and met with leaders from all three Baltic States. This was also an excellent speech which I would encourage you to listen to or read.
- Then, Vice President Pence visited Georgia, which was invaded and partially occupied by Russia in 2008, and Montenegro, NATO’s newest member, where he rightly denounced Russian
- “aggression” and “occupation.”What’s more, Congress has overwhelmingly passed — and President Trump has just signed — new economic sanctions on Russia to respond to Moscow’s efforts to interfere with American elections in 2016. The Senate vote was 98 to 2 in favor of the sanctions. The House passed the measure 419 to 3.
- At the same time President Trump is wisely continuing to press every NATO member to keep its commitment to invest at least 2% of its annual GDP on defense. Currently, only five countries are keeping that critical pledge — the U.S., Greece, Estonia, the U.K., and Poland. That said, Romania has just announced it will be the 6th country to hit the 2% mark. What’s more, Latvia and Lithuania have just announced they are dramatically increasing their defense spending and will both hit the 2% target by 2018. Other countries are beginning to step up, as well.
We need to be praying for U.S. and NATO leaders to have the wisdom and courage to bolster their forces in the Baltics and dramatically increase their deterrence against Moscow throughout Eastern Europe. We don’t want to see a scenario in which an emboldened Czar Putin feels tempted to invade anyone else.
Excerpts from the New York Times story on upcoming Russian war games:
“Russia is preparing to send as many as 100,000 troops to the eastern edge of NATO territory at the end of the summer, one of the biggest steps yet in the military buildup undertaken by President Vladimir V. Putin and an exercise in intimidation that recalls the most ominous days of the Cold War.”
“The troops are conducting military maneuvers known as Zapad, Russian for ‘west,’ in Belarus, the Baltic Sea, western Russia and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad,” the Times noted. “The drills will feature a reconstituted armored force named for a storied Soviet military unit, the First Guards Tank Army. Its establishment represents the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union that so much offensive power has been concentrated in a single command.”
The Times story added that “the move is part of a larger effort by Mr. Putin to shore up Russia’s military prowess, and comes against the backdrop of an increasingly assertive Rssia. Beyond Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election in support of the Trump campaign, which has seized attention in the United States, its military has in recent years deployed forces to Syria, seized Crimea and intervened in eastern Ukraine, rattled the Baltic States with snap exercises and buzzed NATO planes and ships.”
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