Pentagon Steps Up Anti-Russia Rhetoric Amid Eastern Europe Buildup

Officials Rail at Russia With an Eye on Budget Boosts

With an eye on dramatically revising the timeline of what has actually happened in Eastern Europe in the past few weeks, Pentagon officials are slamming Russia with a series of allegations that Russia is building up in the region as a simple act of aggression.

Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work accused Russia of threatening further nuclear deployments in Eastern Europe as “the ultimate escalation,” and vowed to prepare US responses, while Gen. Philip Breedlove accused Russia of plotting further actions in Eastern Ukraine.

In reality, Russia’s announcements of deployments and potential redeployments in Eastern Europe have been entirely reactionary to NATO announcements in the days prior. The US has announced massive “pre-positioning” of battle tanks and artillery along the Russian border, and is pushing a NATO force of 40,000 troops to be set up right on the Russian frontier.

Even Russia’s discussion of a deployment of 40 nuclear warheads in the area didn’t come out of the blue, but came just two weeks after British officials revealed ongoing talks with the Obama Administration about deployment an unspecified number of US nuclear weapons in Britain, a move they explicitly tied to tensions with Russia.

Gen. Breedlove, for his part, has been predicting an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine, and potentially Europe ni general, for almost a solid year now, and treats every shift in deployments along the Russia-Ukraine border as a sign that the war is about to be launched.

Russia, however, seems much more interested in sustaining the ceasefire in Ukraine, and reports of Russia sending aid to the eastern rebels have come amid repeated NATO announcements of further military aid to the Ukrainian government. In this case again, Russia seems to be purely reactive, and trying to forestall a Ukrainian invasion of the ethnic Russian east by keeping the rebels formidable enough to resist.

Ultimately, the Pentagon allegations don’t hold water, and that they’re targeted so heavily at Congress suggests they are in many ways a cynical attempt to coax more funding for various pet projects out of the lawmakers by scaring them with boogeymen of generations past.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.