rick rozoff

Azerbaijan and Turkey hold military exercise on Armenian border
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jun 23 2021

Azerbaijan and its “one nation, two states” big brother Turkey started tactical exercises on Jun 21 with troops from the garrison in the Nakhchivan region of Azerbaijan and from the Turkish armed forces. According to an Armenian news source the drills are being held near the Armenian border, as they frequently are, both drills in Azerbaijan and Turkey. He pledged that further aggression would be monitored and responded to, though he conceded military options could not be entertained, “given the Armenian side’s losses during the war in fall 2020 and the importance of avoiding new disasters.” Although Putin told the Moscow Conference on International Security on Jun 23, “With Russia’s landmark contribution, the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh was stopped,” it seems rather that the conflict has expanded from Nagorno-Karabakh into Armenia. Armenia is of course a member of CSTO, whose Article 4 states:

If one of the State Parties is subjected to aggression by any state or group of states, then this will be considered as aggression against all States Parties to this Treaty.

Needless to say, neither Russia nor the other members of the organization have lifted a finger to protect Armenia. Quite the contrary. On Jun 23, TASS reported a phone conversation between Putin and Aliyev, whose troops are on the territory of Russia’s CSTO ally. The two heads of state discussed Nagorno-Karabakh. According to TASS:

The Kremlin specified that the presidents reaffirmed their mutual intention to continue boosting the Russian-Azerbaijani strategic partnership.

Belarusian defense minister analyzes new military occupation of Europe
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jun 23 2021

One doesn’t have to trust the motives of a public official, doesn’t have to assume that because observations are accurate they’re also disinterested, to appreciate the veracity (at least the verisimilitude) of comments like the following from Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin at the 9th Moscow Conference on International Security today. They offer both a general/historical perspective and a fairly detailed assessment of current dynamics which is no less cogent and germane:

During the previous Moscow conference, we expressed our opinion about underlying reasons for the concept of Europe with different speeds, about the formation of the Germany-France vector and the UK-USA vector of European politics. As we expected, individual Eastern Europe countries rushed into the transatlantic embrace of American allies. Poland, the Baltic states, and Ukraine trade in their sovereignty and offer brazen Russophobia as a product. As part of the trend American troops penetrate Eastern Europe, expand the occupation zone. Eastern Europe is getting rapidly militarized. A military base is being built in Poland. US tank battalions are endlessly rotated in and out a dozen of kilometers away from the Belarusian border under the guise of protection of the Baltic states. Ukraine wants British troops stationed in the country. Meanwhile, we witness how troops and forces of third countries master the theater of future warfare near our borders. Military budgets are getting inflated. Offensive weapons are being bought in massive amounts. At the same time we see regular attempts to transform the American occupation regime in Europe. In our opinion, it is the right term for describing the deployment of American troops in Germany and Italy after WW2. The troops have been staying there since the Yalta Conference of 1945 decided on dividing territories of the conquered Hitler coalition countries into occupation zones. Mass media increasingly frequently publish projections concerning the escalation of the situation and results of the modeling of how world powers may act in various theaters of war. Nations are getting accustomed to the idea that a military clash is a normal course of events, so-called normalcy. Simultaneously new strategic ideas, warfare forms and methods are being worked out in anticipation of future military clashes. The Pentagon’s concept for global integrated multisphere operations is a case in point. The relevant charter documents are already being written on the basis of the concept and army development programs are being implemented.

US expanding global missile shield system to Asia-Pacific
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jun 23 2021

The US and its allies are building up the Asia-Pacific flank of their evolving global interceptor missile system, one which could render useless the retaliatory capacity, hence the deterrence capability, of nations targeted in a first-strike assault. The Pentagon and NATO have installed SMe-3 ABMs in Romania and will soon do so in Poland as well. They have advanced missile shield radar facilities in Romania, Turkey and Israel that cover the entire western part of Russia, including its main cities. The US also four guided-missile destroyers based at the Naval Station Rota in Spain, which shortly will expand to six. US Navy has 62 such destroyers and 22 cruisers capable of carrying the SM-3, one of which, Paul Ignatius, recently conducted a missile intercept in outer space. The 84 warships are part of the Aegis Combat System, and those in the Mediterranean Sea (and currently the Black Sea) and in Eastern Europe are part of the European Phased Adaptive Approach launched by the Barack Obama administration in 2009. The Asia-Pacific counterpart to date includes Australia, Japan and South Korea. The three layers of missile defense, from theater to continental, range from PAC-3 to THAAD to SM-3 systems. Today the Russian press agency TASS quoted Admiral Igor Kostyukov, speaking at the Moscow Conference on International Security on Jun 23, confirming that the Pentagon is intensifying the elaboration of its global missile shield component in the Pacific. Japan is the partner it is collaborating most with; a nation that has territorial disputes with Russia and China. He stated that the US Navy is equipping guided-missile destroyers in the area with SM-3 Mk IIA interceptors, which have a range of 1,000 km. He offered this alarming estimate:

By 2030, there are plans to boost the group of naval ships coping with ballistic missile defense tasks in the Asia-Pacific region from 23 to 40, THAAD anti-missile batteries from 2 to 3 and PAC-3 batteries from 12 to 16. Besides, an Aegis Ashore battery with an ammunition load of 24 SM-3 interceptors is set to be deployed. Within the framework of this activity, Washington is stepping up cooperation with Tokyo, which is rapidly creating its own ballistic missile defense system technically and operationally compatible with the Pacific segment of the US global missile shield.

That is, in effect replicating the system in Europe aimed against Russia in the Asia-Pacific region. (In Russia’s case, being boxed in from both sides. In what is hardly a revelation, the Chief of the Russian General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, spoke at the time conference as Admiral Kostyukov and said:

The dissolution of the Soviet Union has led to a change in opinions of the collective West on global security issues. It began to prioritize forming a unipolar world and achieving military supremacy, as well as using its military force to promote its own interests.

He cited the US/NATO wars against Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria as examples of what he was speaking about. The point is, however, a full thirty years after the fact, for those familiar with Aesop, who will bell the cat? Not the Russian government, surely.

US, British, Ukrainian SOF held drill on British destroyer that triggered today’s incident in Black Sea
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jun 23 2021

Interfax-Ukraine reports today that US, British and Ukrainian special operation forces conducted a training exercise abroad the HMS Defender, the guided-missile destroyer involved in today’s incident off the coast of Crimea that has given rise to a major contretemps and may well have triggered an armed incident between the vessel and the Russian air force and border guard. According to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry:

This event has once again proved that the SOF of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are capable of performing tasks on a par with their colleagues from NATO.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.