“Defender Europe 2020” Against Russia: Cold Siege Against Kaliningrad

The announcement of the Defender-Europe 2020 gave the world, but especially Russia, a new and strange perspective on the future of international security. The drills seem to be the largest military exercises in Europe in 25 years. The countries elected to be the theater of the activities are those closest to the Russian border, causing great reactions in Russian media and their military forces.

Basically, as well known, the program states a big list of military exercises in Europe, to be conducted alongside the Russian border in the coming months. Currently, there are more American soldiers in Europe than during the collapse of the Soviet Union. This number will increase with the Defender-Europe exercises, to the incredible mark of almost 40.000 soldiers.

Russia correctly realizes these acts as a real threat. Wordlessly, Defender-Europe 2020 seems to be a “cold siege” of Kaliningrad, which will require the military recrudescence of the region by Russia, creating bad expectations on peace and security. Above all, the main question remains: is the West really interested in entering into a war with Russia? Are the European potencies willing to face a conflict of such big proportions?

The old modality of war is a practice in extinction. The total mobilization of forces does not seem to be interesting or profitable nowadays. The reasons are clear: modern technology changed war and the mechanisms of control and vigilance, in both internal and international spheres, proportionating new and more efficient forms to the world potencies to guarantee their interests. However, NATO is conducting dangerous military maneuvers that indicate a revival of this type of war.

This episode reveals the greatest fear of the West: the fortification of Russia and the geopolitical decentralization. NATO is nothing more than an instrument of the US to preserve its global hegemony and the current main target is the Russian zone in Europe. To avoid Russian expansion, the US may do everything, even not excluding war. Now, this is just a threat, an expectation; but no one knows how the coming events and their consequences may unfold.

We need to remember other signs of this aggressive position by the US, as the document Overextending and Unbalancing Russia. Assessing the Impact of Cost-Imposing Options, published by the RAND Corporation, explains. According to the document, a team of diplomats explores ways where the US can use Russia’s weaknesses to further its political and economic power. In the document, US experts suggest operations in four sections: economic, geopolitical, informational and military. The military section of the monograph states a list of measures in three areas: air, land and sea.

Defender-Europe 2020 proposes this exact plan to state a military opposition to Russia, mainly by land and sea. RAND’s document says exactly that the US should (in sea) increase military presence in the regions occupied by Russian naval force (remember here the Kaliningrad Naval Base and the Baltic Fleet) and (in land) increase the number of American soldiers in Europe, mainly on the Russian border. For the American geopolitical experts, the presence of American troops and the increase of size and scale of NATO exercises on the Russian border will send a signal to Russia, stating the real intension is to wage war if western interests are not respected.

NATOS’s program for the current year is then nothing more than the materialization of the RAND Corporation proposals published last year. This is the proof that the American government and armed forces are controlled by the bizarre ideas of a small number of scholars committed with the interests of the Deep State. The greatest interest of these people is to preserve American hegemonic power all around the world, threatening even a nuclear potency as Russia and the international legal structure of peace and security to gain this central objective.

The leading role of Russian foreign policy for the construction of a multipolar world is the unique reason for these great hate and fear against this country by the West. There is no greater danger for the US than the possibility of losing its hegemony over the whole world. This is why there are currently so many investments in mechanisms of hybrid war against targeted countries, viewed as dangerous to American hegemonic power, as we can see in the cases of color revolutions (such as Bolivia and Hong Kong), criminal attacks (the assassination of the Iranian Top General Qassem Soleimani) and now in the military provocations against Russia.

But the unipolar world is a paper tiger and its destiny is the collapse. There is no clear evidence that Europe will really engage in this program with the US. This is even more obscure now, when a critical view of NATO is gaining force in Europe, destabilizing the idea of a western military alliance. And it is possible that the US plans of war fail again.


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This article was originally published on InfoBrics.

Lucas Leiroz is a Research Fellow in International Law at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

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