“U.S. Poised to Put Heavy Weaponry in East Europe: A Message to Russia,” ran the headline in The New York Times.
“In a significant move to deter possible Russian aggression in Europe, the Pentagon is poised to store battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and other heavy weapons for as many as 5,000 American troops in several Baltic and Eastern European countries,” said the Times. The sources cited were “American and allied officials.”
The Pentagon’s message received a reply June 16. Russian Gen. Yuri Yakubov called the U.S. move “the most aggressive step by the Pentagon and NATO since the Cold War.” When Moscow detects U.S. heavy weapons moving into the Baltic, said Yakubov, Russia will “bolster its forces and resources on the western strategic theater of operations.”
Specifically, Moscow will outfit its missile brigade in Kaliningrad, bordering Lithuania and Poland, “with new Iskander tactical missile systems.” The Iskander can fire nuclear warheads.
The Pentagon and Congress apparently think Vladimir Putin is a bluffer and, faced by U.S. toughness, will back down.
For the House has passed and Sen. John McCain is moving a bill to provide Ukraine with anti-armor weapons, mortars, grenade launchers and ammunition. The administration could not spend more than half of the $300 million budgeted, unless 20 percent is earmarked for offensive weapons.
Congress is voting to give Kiev a green light and the weaponry to attempt a recapture of Donetsk and Luhansk from pro-Russian rebels, who have split off from Ukraine, and Crimea, annexed by Moscow.
If the Pentagon is indeed moving U.S. troops and heavy weapons into Poland and the Baltic States, and is about to provide arms to Kiev to attack the rebels in East Ukraine, we are headed for a U.S.-Russian confrontation unlike any seen since the Cold War.
And reconsider the outcome of those confrontations.
Lest we forget, while it was