"The Failure Of This Week's US-NATO-Russia Meetings Make War More Likely"
by b
Moon of Alabama (January 13, 2022)

In the late 1990s the U.S. military-industrial-media complex lobbied the Clinton administration to extend NATO. The sole purpose was to win more customers for U.S. weapons. Russia protested. It had offered to integrate itself into a new European security architecture but on equal terms with the U.S. The U.S. rejected that. It wanted Russia to subordinate itself to U.S. whims.

Since then NATO has been extended five times and moved closer and closer to Russia's border. Leaving Russia, a large country with many resources, outside of Europe's security structure guaranteed that Russia would try to come back from the miserable 1990s and regain its former power.

In 2014 the U.S. sponsored a coup against the democratically elected government of the Ukraine, Russia's neighbor and relative, and installed its proxies. To prevent an eventual integration of the Ukraine into NATO Russia arranged for an uprising against the coup in the eastern Ukraine. As long as the Ukraine has an internal conflict it can not join NATO.

In 2018 the Trump administration withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force Treaty which had been created under the Presidents Gorbachev and Reagan to eliminate nuclear missiles in Europe. Now the U.S. made plans to station new nuclear missiles in Europe which would threaten Russia. These required a Russian response.

Meanwhile the U.S. and other NATO states have deployed significant 'training' units to the Ukraine and continue to send weapons to it. This is a sneaking integration of the Ukraine into NATO structures without the formal guarantees [emphasis added].

In late 2021 the U.S. started to make noise about alleged Russian military concentrations at its western border. There were groundless allegations that Russia was threatening to invade the Ukraine which was begging to enter NATO. The purpose was to justify a further extension of NATO and more NATO deployments near Russia.

Russia has had enough of such nonsense. It moved to press the U.S. for a new security architecture in Europe that would not threaten Russia. The rumors about Russian action in the Ukraine helped to press President Joe Biden into agreeing to talks.

After Russia had detailed its security demands towards the U.S. and NATO a series of talks were held.

I had warned that these would likely not be successful as the U.S. had shown no signs to move on core Russian demands. As expected the talks with the U.S. on Monday failed. The U.S. made some remarks that it would like to negotiate some side issues but not on the core of Russia's request to end the extension of NATO and to stop new missile deployments.

Wednesday's talks with NATO had similar results as had today's talks with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

As Russia had previously announced it will not consider further talks as there is nothing to expect from them:

Other Russian government officials made similar points:

Peskov's last remarks relate to recent noise from Finland and Sweden that they may consider to join NATO.

The U.S. had promised to send a written response to Russia's demands by next week. NATO has likewise said that it would dispatch a letter within a week's time frame. If those letters do not include substantial concessions to Russia it will have to act.

The Washington Post piece quoted above is headlined Russia ratchets up pressure on Europe, says ‘no grounds’ for further talks on security amid heightened tensions. The Post tries to frame the issues as an European and NATO problem.

However, Russia does not even talk with Europe as it is no longer relevant. The security demands are made towards the U.S. and the issues can only be solved by the White House.

Russia has spoken of 'military-technical measures' it would have to take should all talks fail.

It has now started to hint at some of the possibilities:

Russia does not need to station missiles in Cuba but it could request access for its navy to one or more decent harbors in the wider area:

The timing is interesting. As of today Zircon missiles were officially accepted for Russia's military services. Currently there are five Russian navy ships configured to carry these new hypersonic weapons with many more to come:

That speech will be as interesting as the one in 2018 (vid) during which Putin announced a number of new weapon systems which the U.S. has no way to counter. Expect more of those.

Russia may also deploy new weapons aiming at Europe:

The U.S. is building new missile sites in Poland and Romania. It claims that these are missile defense installations with the same AEGIS combat system type as used on many U.S. warships. The new AEGIS ashore installations are claimed to defend the U.S. against Iranian and North Korean missiles. That is of course bollocks [emphasis added].

The AEGIS systems uses the Mark 41 Vertical Launch System to store and fire its missiles. Those new sides, the U.S. claims, will have air defense missiles in their launch containers. However the same containers can be used to fire nuclear armed Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missiles (TLAMs). It would be very easy for the U.S. to change out the missiles without anyone noticing it.

Tomahawks have a range of 1,550 miles (2.500 km). From Poland and Romania they can reach Moscow and other Russian centers in a short time. The U.S. Defense Department says that the system in Poland will become operational at the end of this year.

At the end of last year the U.S. also reactivated its 56th Artillery Command in Europe:

It was clear that Russia would not leave that 'extremely good news' without a response.

It will likely deploy some of its 9M729 cruise missiles (NATO code SSC-8 Screwdriver), currently stationed behind the Ural mountain range, at its western border, in Belarus and in Kaliningrad. These can be nuclear armed and would cover most European capitals and NATO's headquarters.

The whole situation is a completely unnecessary mess. NATO has long lost its cold war capabilities. The European armies are just a shadow of their former selves and the U.S. military has again and again demonstrate its inability to fight. To reject Russia's demands under these circumstance is not only pure arrogance but also idiotic:

Anatol Lieven, who wrote the above, see some possible compromises. Especially U.S. pressure on the Ukraine to finally make piece with its east:

NATO's uselessness and lack of real purpose are well known:

That is something no one should want.