NATO’s not ready for World War III

NATO’s not ready for World War III

Forget the tactical nuke gap. The West’s readiness gap is a far bigger deal.

War is creeping closer to NATO’s borders. On Sunday, a Ukrainian base just 11 miles from Poland was struck by Russian rockets. It seems like a warning. If one of those missiles had traveled just a few seconds farther west, NATO — and therefore the United States — and Russia could be on the verge of war.

While we can hope that cooler heads would prevail in case of such an accident or “accident,” that’s by no means guaranteed. So, if the occasion arose, could NATO pull the trigger on a full-scale war against Russia right this moment?

The short answer is “no,” and it’s time for both armchair military strategists and lawmakers calling for escalation to realize it.

“We’re in a reassurance posture, for our allies. We’re showing we’re in the game and our commitment is still strong,” David Shlapak of the Rand Corporation, told The Week in a recent interview. “We’re not in a deterrence posture. We’re not in a credible warfighting posture.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called for a no-fly zone (NFZ) many times, and there are plenty of people in the foreign policy establishment and even Congress who want to give it to him. NATO isn’t ready to do that either.

To set up a no-fly zone, the United States would have to move hundreds of planes from bases around the world. It would take weeks to set up and couldn’t be done under cloak of darkness. The Russians would know NATO was coming, and if you knew NATO was coming, wouldn’t you take countermeasures? Wouldn’t you see an act of war on the horizon?

Even if NATO got around Russia’s plans, enforcing the NFZ would mean shooting down Russian planes. It would also mean taking out Russian anti-aircraft defenses so NATO warplanes could fly safely, according to experts who spoke with The Week. Those, of course, are on the ground, many of them inside Russian and Belarusian borders. Taking them out would involve NATO in a ground war, and the West is even less ready for that.

There are 74,000 U.S. military personnel in Europe, including the United Kingdom, Italy, France, and Spain, with the largest number (36,000) in Germany. Not all these people are front-line fighters. Many are involved in logistics, maintenance, and other tasks. There is a broader, 40,000-strong NATO response force, too, and some thousands of these troops are in the front-line Baltic nations of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania. All told, fewer than 100,000 NATO forces in Europe are even close to being ready to fight.

The Russian force brought together for the Ukraine invasion is double that, about 190,000, and total Russian forces number 900,000.

Could NATO bring a larger force to bear? You bet. But it would take months, according to Shlapak.

For NATO to truly be ready to face down Russia, at least 100,000 more troops would have to be transported to Europe from the United States, Mark Cancian, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told The Week. Weapons, equipment, and logistics would all have to be scaled up accordingly.

Once preparations were made on the U.S. side of the Atlantic, ships would have to make the 3,000-mile trip to bases in Europe like Bremerhaven, Germany, and from there they would have to be deployed wherever they were needed most.

All of this would take between two and three months, Cancian and Shlapak agreed. All of it would be visible by satellite and in every other way imaginable. Getting ready for war is loud.

When the coalition of the willing went into Iraq in 2003, it took months to build up forces on Iraq’s borders. It was obvious — everyone knew the war was coming — but the foe was so inferior, all they could do was dig in and hope the U.S. would lose interest in fighting.

That is not the case with Russia. As NATO planes approach Ukrainian borders with hostile intent, Russia’s forces can meet them, and what are the chances Russia wouldn’t strike first? If you were Russian President Vladimir Putin, would you wait for warplanes to attack you before you attacked them?

Similarly, ships crossing the Atlantic have been sunk before, and all parties have spent 80 since World War II improving their technique. Russia and NATO regularly patrol each other’s shores, ready for war — waiting for provocation. It’s fair to say hundreds of ships steaming toward Europe for a fight might be considered a provocation.

Of course, the ultimate provocation is declaring war on a sovereign and Western-friendly nation, so perhaps anything NATO and the West do is justified. And there are precedents for arming our enemy’s enemy without full-scale war breaking out (for example, the delivery of Stinger missiles to the mujahideen fighting Russia in Afghanistan in the 1980s).

But there have already been a series of provocations by the West, including sending Javelin anti-tank weapons into Ukraine by the hundreds. From the most extreme Russian point of view, this is basically NATO saying, “We are supplying weapons to kill your children.” And if, as many observers have pointed out, the Russian military isn’t living up to tactical and strategic expectations and can’t actually capture the Baltics before the U.S. can blink, Putin still has the option of going nuclear, even if it’s just on the tactical scale.

Nobody knows where the world goes from there. But with Putin becoming more bellicose every day, Russian forces ratcheting up brutality against civilians in Ukraine, and with the fighting coming to NATO’s very doorstep, there is every chance that we are on the verge of a true world war.

It doesn’t look like NATO is ready to fight it.

Biden Co-Opts Qatar To Finance His Plausibly Deniable Colombian Terrorist Army For Killing Russians

Russian-Ukrainian conflict: What does it mean to Qatar?

Biden designates Qatar, Colombia as ‘major non-NATO allies’ of US

[First Biden removes the “terrorist” designation from the Colombian FARC terrorist group, clearing the way to openly embrace the group for some future American-sponsored terror campaign, much like the Obama/Biden creation of ISIS in Iraq and Syria (What Is The Truth About ISIS?).  Qatar and Saudi Arabia built ISIS for Obama from the remains of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, in order to create a terrorist jihadi army, for the purpose of overthrowing Bashar Assad.  ISIS was created to fight the wars started by Obama, Biden and Hillary inside Syria and Libya, serving as another CIA-created terrorist Islamist army, just like their Al-Qaeda predecessors.

Biden then designates the Colombian narco-state as a major non-NATO ally, even though it is home to hordes of “rehabilitated” FARC terrorists, in addition to all the Colombian cocaine cartel/mafias, not to mention all of those former American-trained military “death squads”.  He chooses the Colombian mercenaries/terrorists for the mission in Ukraine because these same killers have been killing for Western interests all over the globe for the past decade.  Russia understands that the Colombian terrorists are the NEW ISIS.]

NATO: The Unspeakable Agenda of Biden-Duque

“In politics, the only true thing is what is not seen”, José Martí.

1. The geopolitical consequences of the NATO-Russia confrontation impact Our America. The implications of the military conflict in Europe will be capital for the continent. This will increase the struggle of China, Russia and the United States for political influence and markets in America. Latin America and the Caribbean will be a key territory in the global dispute, a fundamental geo-strategic space.

2. Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua constitute important States for the current geopolitical confrontation between the great powers of the world. Additionally, history shows that the Latin American and Caribbean region is considered by the world’s elites as a reservoir of raw materials. The foreign policy of imperialism, and particularly of the United States, confirms such an assertion. The armed confrontation in Europe, the consequences derived from the imposition of unilateral coercive measures against the Russian Federation, the international prices of hydrocarbons, the European energy dependency and the global problem of supply chains, place the United States and the European Union in a true energy emergency with serious economic consequences.

3. The “Provisional National Security Strategic Guide” approved by Biden defines Venezuela as a relevant State for US Military Doctrine. Venezuela’s energy potential, among other things, places the country in the order of priorities that the US has in the region. Consequently, after the conflict between NATO and Russia, Venezuela will be the center of gravity of Washington’s military planning. The official public agenda of the Biden-Duque meeting contains as topics to be discussed, among others, the “promotion of democracy and security.” Hidden under this diplomatic euphemism is the approach to the Pentagon’s military design for the region, the regional efforts against the Russian-Chinese alliance, and especially the new roadmap to end the Bolivarian Revolution. In that geo-strategic design,

4. It should be noted that Colombia joined NATO in 2018. The Armed Forces. Colombian companies have already adopted the NATO Doctrine, standardized their procedures and pursue interoperability through a “capability and training portfolio” provided by the Organization. The possible scenario assessed by the Pentagon consists of using Colombia to attack Venezuela, an issue that would allow it to take advantage of its status as a global partner of NATO, to invoke Article 5 of the Washington Treaty. The Principle of Collective Security contained in this article obliges NATO Member States to carry out military operations in the face of any attack on a State of the Organization. Consequently, a possible inter-state armed confrontation between Colombia and Venezuela would attempt to cover up US aggression. and NATO against Venezuela. This would mean a change in military tactics that could consist, instead of resorting exclusively to outsourcing the war through paramilitaries and mercenaries as has been happening in Apure, generating a casus belli with the Colombian State that allows NATO to carry out military operations against Venezuela. . In this scenario, Colombia would carry out the aggression, the border states governed by the opposition would be the first territories to join the plan, and NATO would serve to stop the military support of the allied powers of Venezuela. generate a casus belli with the Colombian State that allows NATO to carry out military operations against Venezuela. In this scenario, Colombia would carry out the aggression, the border states governed by the opposition would be the first territories to join the plan, and NATO would serve to stop the military support of the allied powers of Venezuela. generate a casus belli with the Colombian State that allows NATO to carry out military operations against Venezuela. In this scenario, Colombia would carry out the aggression, the border states governed by the opposition would be the first territories to join the plan, and NATO would serve to stop the military support of the allied powers of Venezuela.

5. Preparations for War? In keeping with NATO guidelines, the Damascus Doctrine, officially assumed since 2016, intends to prepare Colombia for a regular war. This supposes a hypothesis of armed conflict that places Venezuela as its main enemy. Indeed, Colombia is already organizing its Armed Forces. in a versatile way, it prepares them for multiple missions, it organizes Task Forces according to the peculiarity of military challenges, it structures its Joint Commands and equips them with new armored units as well as it seeks to obtain state-of-the-art combat aircraft to achieve supremacy. air, among other things. Joint military exercises, close military cooperation with the Pentagon, the US military bases around Venezuela and the deployment of its Security Assistance Brigade in New Granadan territory are part of the indications of the scenario that has been taking shape. Biden has already extended Executive Order 13962 of March 2015 where they describe Venezuela as a threat to their national security. This means that against Venezuela all options are on the table.

Biden To Send Colombian Mercenary/Terrorists Into Ukraine

[Biden has revealed the next phase in his military moves against Russia, without having to risk open war w/Russian forces over Polish planes. By designating narco-state Colombia as a non-NATO US ally in the Ukraine affair, he is showing his hand. Colombian mercenary/terrorists have been a mainstay in the American attempt to overthrow Syria, as well as providing a terrorist army to Blackwater fame Eric Prince, which he fights for the king of UAE. Do not forget that 2 shady Americans recently hired a squad of Colombian terrorist/mercenaries to capture or kill the Pres. of Haiti…surely Putin will understand that Colombian fighter in Ukraine are American sent terrorists.]

Biden announces major non-NATO ally status for Colombia

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said Thursday that he intends to designate Colombia as a major non-NATO ally, a step that will provide the Latin American nation with benefits in the areas of defense, trade and security cooperation.

Biden made the announcement as he hosted Colombian President Ivan Duque at the White House for the first time. The visit follows weekend talks between Biden administration officials and the leftist government of Nicolás Maduro in neighboring Venezuela, which has a tense relationship with both the U.S. and Colombia.

Avoiding a potentially awkward moment, neither Biden nor Duque raised the U.S.-Venezuela meeting in their public remarks. Colombia is a close U.S. ally, and Duque leads opposition to Maduro in the region,

Biden said he intends to bring Colombia into the NATO fold.

“That’s exactly what you are, a major, major non-NATO ally, and this is a recognition of the unique and close relationship between our countries,” he told Duque, who sat directly across from the president at a large table in the Cabinet Room, each leader joined by a small group of advisers.

“Colombia is the lynchpin, in my view, to the whole hemisphere,“ Biden said.

Duque said Biden’s announcement recognized “values and the principles” shared by both Western Hemisphere countries.

Back home, Duque has been criticized for not sitting down earlier with the U.S. president, his strategic partner. The two did meet briefly late last year at a gathering of world leaders for a climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland.

Duque’s visit to the White House came amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and approaching presidential elections in Colombia that will decide his successor.

When both presidents mentioned Venezuela, it was in the context of the assistance Colombia has provided nearly 2 million Venezuelan refugees who have crossed the border to flee poor economic and living conditions back home.

Duque has led regional opposition to Venezuela’s Maduro, whom he describes as a “dictator” — a characterization he repeated under questioning by Colombian journalists after his meeting with Biden. Duque recognizes opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s interim president.

Colombia’s government has questioned the military assistance Russia has provided to Venezuela and has expressed fears of possible “foreign interference” in Colombia, which shares a vast border with Venezuela, without providing evidence.

Duque has not spoken publicly about the U.S.-Venezuela meeting, and continued to hold his tongue Thursday following the White House visit.

“On the issues and details having to do with the visit (to Venezuela), I think U.S. authorities have to answer about that,” he told the Colombian journalists. “Our position with respect to the regime of Nicolás Maduro has not changed at all.”

Colombian Vice President and Foreign Minister Marta Lucía Ramírez has said the meeting “took her by surprise.”

Venezuela recently announced a military deployment on the border to combat what it said are Colombian armed groups.

Both Biden and Duque denounced the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with Biden saying it was not just a threat to Ukraine but to “peace and stability” everywhere. He commended Duque for the strong stance he took against the invasion, including Colombia’s vote in the U.N. General Assembly to condemn Russia’s actions.

Duque has spoken out against Russia and pledged support for the international humanitarian response and the “corresponding sanctions.”

The war, which has entered its third week, is a “very horrifying moment for the world” that must be condemned “with a very strong sentiment,” Duque said.

“Nothing justifies the bloodbath that we have been seeing continuously over the news in the last week,” he emphasized.

According to the State Department, U.S. law allows the designation of “major non-NATO ally” status for friendly countries, providing them with certain benefits in the areas of defense, trade and security cooperation. It’s a symbol of close ties.

However, such countries are not entitled to the same security guarantees as full-fledged members of the NATO alliance. NATO member countries agree to defend each other if one comes under attack, but that protection does not extend to a major non-NATO ally.

Duque’s visit comes shortly before a possible change in government in Colombia. It will hold presidential elections on May 29 and leftist candidate and Duque rival Gustavo Petro leads in the polls. Presidents in Colombia are limited to one, four-year term.

Petro has said he has other priorities and Colombia should not interfere in the invasion of Ukraine but focus on resolving internal problems with illegal armed groups.

Associated Press writers Astrid Suarez in Bogotá, Colombia, and Josh Boak in Washington contributed to this report.

Israeli Gas Is NOT A Viable Supplier For Europe

[The Israeli gas is 4 miles down, high-pressure, high-heat, high sulfur content…Israel isn’t even using it, at the time.]

Israel’s High-Pressure Leviathan Gas 4 Miles Down and Too Costly To Develop

Peter Chamberlin

Israel is having problems trying to profit from the Mediterranean gas field that it has been trying to steal from some of its neighbors.  Drilling has been stopped since May 3, 2012 (SEE:  Leviathan Oil Well Drilling Postponed) by Noble Energy’s “Homer Ferrington” rig, which had been working in the Leviathan gas field.  Drilling stopped because of the unexpected high gas pressures encountered at the greatest depths.

Development of high-pressure gas, or “sour gas” (high sulfur content plus high pressure) requires deeper wells (new deep-drilling rig has been held-up in S. Korea until late next year) and extra facilities for reducing the pressure and lowering the sulfur content of the gas, in addition to the missing infrastructure that will be needed to be built for moving the gas from the Mediterranean to Israel, or to LP gas facilities, for shipping the product elsewhere.

As things now stand, Israel will “face a natural gas shortage from 2015.”

In addition to the drilling problems, there have also been legal hang-ups (court challenge to monopoly ownership of Leviathan), as well as financing difficulties in acquiring partners.  The major oil companies are afraid to invest in Israel, for fear of pissing-off the Arabs.  Even companies like Dutch giant Shell will only consider investing in gas and oil exploration through third party partners, like Woodside Petroleum (Shell holds 23% of Woodside stock), which is allegedly a conglomerate composed of Chinese, Texas and Australian interests, in order to have deniability about any investment which might develop.

According to this interview in MoneyWeek, with Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, he claimed in 2006 that he “owned Woodside Petroleum,”  The Woodside Energy company is currently at the center of an international spy scandal after having just acquired drilling rights off East Timor.  That acquisition is at the center of an international stink storm that is now being generated by govt. leakers.  A cloud of suspicion hangs over the drilling contract which may have relied upon insider information, obtained through espionage conducted by Australian spy agency ASIS, Australian Secret Intelligence Service  (SEE:  Australia’s Timor Spying Scandal. More Whistleblowers Emerge).

Here we have a very clear example of a national spy agency serving the interests of the corporations, confirming the evidence that Steve Kangas died for to bring it to the Internet.  Steve died of a gunshot wound to the head in the home offices of conservative leader Richard Mellon Scaife.  Mr. Scaife was Kangas’ favorite research subject (SEE:  The Origins of the Overclass).  His focus was upon exposing the nexus between the CIA and the rich and powerful and the corporations which they owned.

Are NSA spies acting as mentors to other intelligence agencies, manipulating them to align their interests with theirs, to facilitate their search for insider information for the big oil companies and corporations?