General Curtis M. Scaparrotti, the head of America’s European Command spoke before a US Senate subcommittee and delivered a statement worthy of Dr. Strangelove.
The script transcript of his remarks is something straight out of the early 1950s.
General Scaparrotti made the wild claim that Russia is the enemy of Europe, Ukraine, Georgia and perhaps most astonishingly of all, an enemy of Turkey.
In reality, Turkey is pivoting away from NATO and the EU and in terms of trade and diplomatic cooperation, is looking increasingly to Russia as a partner. This is happening in spite of the totally divergent goals between Ankara and Moscow in Turkey. Nevertheless, Turkey is one of the key participants in the Astana Peace Talks while the US has no official role.
Furthermore, the chief adviser to Turkish President Erdogan has said that Turkey may ‘accidentally’ fire upon US troops in Syria during Turkey’s protracted war with Kurdish forces. Yet Turkey is scared of Russia according to General Scaparrotti? It makes no logical sense. But nor does the following statement he offered,
“Today we face the most dynamic European strategic environment in recent history,” he said in his testimony. “In the east, a resurgent Russia had turned from partner to antagonist as it seeks to undermine the Western-led international order and reassert itself as a global power.
“Accordingly, we are adjusting our plans, our posture, our readiness to remain relevant to combat the threats we face…In short, we are returning to our historic role as a war fighting command”.
“Russia’s posture is not a light force, it’s a heavy force.
In order to have the posture that is both credible and of the right composition, we need more armoured forces… to make sure that we do have a force of enough size that enables us to deter Russia.
Five or six years ago, we weren’t concerned about being ready (for combat against Russia) today….That has changed.”
Scaparrotti further stated that Russia is not a partner but an ‘adversary’. This entirely contradicts Donald Trump’s campaign mantra that Russia is not the enemy but that ISIS is and to that end, Russia could be a potential partner for the US in the fight against the barbaric Wahhabist terrorist group.
Of course, Russia does have a modern, large and dynamic army and it is also true that geographically Russia is and always has been on Europe’s Euroasian border. But how this automatically means that Russia is an enemy of Europe is anyone’s guess. Russia actually has fewer strategic or economic interests in Europe than it did during the late-modern Tsarist period, the Soviet period or in the 1990s and early 2000s.
EU sanctions have hurt European agricultural produces far more than they’ve hurt Russia which has become increasingly self-sufficient in addition to importing warm weather products from countries that have a better trading parity with Russia anyway. Such countries include Turkey and Serbia.
Europe needs Russian gas far more than Russia needs European agriculture. Russia invading Europe is as fanciful as China invading Russia or Canada invading the United States. It simply makes no sense in the real world.
Now watch General Scaparrotti deliver his address with a straight face.
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