Pentagon officials today came out with statements defending the recent NATO military operations along the Russian frontier, denying allegations from German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier that they amounted to “saber-rattling.”
Steinmeier had been very critical of the “tank parade” on the alliance’s eastern border with Russia, saying NATO leaders were engaged in “shrill” warmongering and arguing for dialogue with Russia to replace creating more pretexts for war.
Vice Admiral James Foggo argued that the massive operations are necessary to “deter” Russia’s “aggressive maritime expansion,” while Navy Secretary Ray Mabus rebuked the FM for criticizing an operation that the entire NATO alliance agreed was a really good idea. Foggo added that NATO wasn’t necessarily opposed to negotiations, but wanted to do so from a “position of strength.”
German MEP Rebecca Harms also condemned Steinmeier for questioning NATO operations, insisting that it was “irresponsible” to say anything in opposition to the buildup along the Russian frontier.