Contributed by Joe Montero
As global tensions rise, one of the major and most dangerous potential flashpoints tends to go unnoticed these days.
This is the territories bordering Russia, which are being systematically militarised and forming links in an iron chain aimed at containing of the largest countries on the planet.
Russia is reacting, by building its own forces on its side of the line.
In this context, the Kremlin last week denounced the latest United States led NATO build up in Poland. The spearhead is the US Third Armoured Brigade, which has just been deployed into the country, supposedly to replace the Second Armoured Brigade in a regular 9 month rotation. But its hardware was left behind this time and would not have been, without the personnel to operate it.
American military escalation took palace in the context of the growing ties between Russia and Belarus and a joint military exercise conducted by these two countries in mid-September and known as Zapad 2017.
This in turn, was a response to similar NATO exercises held in Poland and Sweden. The difference was that as Zapad 2017 was completely open and involved 90 international observers from 60 foreign countries.
The American action is a clear violation of the existing agreement between the two countries and other international commitments. Both sides are supposed to be required to properly inform each other about all military deployments. The deployment in Poland has been carried out covertly and the Pentagon in Washington has refused to either confirm or deny reports about a military build up. It suggests that the build up is real.
This is not a defensive posture, but one aimed at waving a stick at Russia and contradicts the claim that the NATO presence is defensive in nature.
Two well-armed military forces facing each with each side having enormous nuclear capability is a major threat to the world. Actions that increase tensions increase the level of threat and this is something that needs to be worked against.
International pressure needs to be brought on to demilitarise the territories around the Russian border and the first step in this, is to remove troops and military hardware on foreign soil. This is the road to peace.
Using military means to advance political and economic objectives needs to become unacceptable in the global community. Unfortunately, too many governments political deciders are seriously wanting in this respect and it is up to the rest of us to make the difference. Interfering and creating spheres of influence should have been left behind in the nineteenth century.
Since then, hundreds of millions of people had paid the price with their lives. The risk today is much greater and if the present course is not turned around, we may be in for a bloodbath.
The Russian border is one of the key tension points that must be resolved to avoid this fate.
Support for peace has never been so strong and exists around the world. It just hadn’t been heard loudly enough yet. We can all do something to help change this.
Artillery coming in from Germany
Video from Chacks