On May 16, just before I was interviewed for The Critical Hour (click above), Putin addressed Finland’s and Sweden’s plans to join NATO, using words far milder than had most expected:
“Russia has no problems with these states. There is no direct threat to Russia in connection with NATO’s expansion to these countries.”
Then, the kicker:
“But the expansion of NATO’s military infrastructure to these territories will certainly evoke a response on our part. We will see what it will be like based on the threats that are created for us.”
So Who’s Already Got ‘NATO’s Military Infrastructure’?
The interview with The Critical Hour, provided an opportunity to underscore what the Russians seems to fear the most – the emplacement of what they call “offensive strike missiles” in sites near Russia’s border. In other words, THAT kind of “military infrastructure”. For several years Putin has complained that so-called “ABM” sites already completed in Romania and almost complete in Poland can be converted overnight into launchers for “offensive strike missiles” – Tomahawk cruise missiles, for example, and, later, hypersonic ones.
A major concern, of course, is warning time; that is, the shrinking minutes from the missile launch to target.
After Presidents Biden and Putin talked by telephone on Dec. 30, 2021, the Kremlin readout included this:
“Joseph Biden emphasized … that Washington had no intention of deploying offensive strike weapons in Ukraine.”
No one challenged that readout at the time. Does anyone know why/how that that key point made by Biden fell into the cracks? We are talking here about one president’s direct personal assurance to the other. The key role played by trust (or distrust) can hardly be exaggerated.
The short video clip below from 2015 provides a sense of how frustrated Putin has been, in trying to get people (in this case Western journalists) to put themselves in his shoes. The two-and-a-half minute segment – from minute 10:20 to 12:55, below.
It takes a unanimous vote by all 30 NATO countries to accept new members. So one big question is whether Turkey’s President Erdogan will relent and acquiesce in Finland and Poland joining the alliance. Hard to predict, but my guess is that NATO will sweeten the pot enough for Erdogan that he will let himself be bought off. I referred the interviewers to a Tweet I had posted earlier in the day, suggesting that, even though Turkey once faced down the U.S. (on Iraq), I would not bet much on Erdogan facing down the immense pressure on this one. But who knows?
Will Turkey’s Erdogan be bought off on Finland & Sweden membership in NATO? 19 years ago when Turkey saw the US/UK March of Folly into Iraq for what it was, it summoned the guts to say NO to an axis of attack from the north. Smart money says he’ll let himself be seduced this time.
— Ray McGovern (@raymcgovern) May 16, 2022
This originally appeared at RayMcGovern.com.
Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. His 27-year career as a CIA analyst includes serving as Chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and preparer/briefer of the President’s Daily Brief. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).
13 thoughts on “Putin: If Finns, Swedes Get NATO ‘Military Infrastructure,’ We’ll Respond”
May 18, 2022 Ukraine War: Evidence of new attacks in the Donbas region
Sky News’ Special Correspondent Alex Crawford is in Bakhmut, a town in the heart of the Donbas region in Ukraine where evidence of new attacks are cropping up.
Good video. It shows why the Russians will never win in Donbass. They are turning the people against them. Even if the Russians suceed in beating down the Ukrainian army, there will be a guerrilla movement that will bleed the Russians to death until the Russian mothers call their sons home, like in Afghanistan. It is sad seeing Putin destroying his country as well as the Ukraine. The only questions is how long will it take for the Russians to leave Ukraine.
Not true. Russia has huge support in Donbas. After being shelled by the Ukraine army and the Azov battalion for 8 long years, resulting in 14,000 dead, how could there be otherwise.
If Russia has support, it will be manifested and the war will be short. If Russia can’t pacify the Donbas or anywhere in the Ukraine except Crimea, then they will not be able to withdraw until they give up. We will see.
The 14,000 casualty figure includes civilians and fighters from all sides over a period of eight years. Three months of Putin’s war has already killed multiples of that figure. Once again proving that wars are almost always worse than the casus belli.
Putin’s demands were justified. But the war was not. He had alternatives. Putin is doing exactly what the US wants him to do. The war has been a strategic disaster for Russia and humanitarian tragedy for the Ukraine. And the seige of Mariupol turned Russian speakers against the Russians and made the Azov thugs look like heroes. Putin’s victory at Mariupol reminds me of Santa Ana’s victory at the Alamo. The Russian invasion is likely to build suppoirt for Nazism in the Ukraine.
Darth Vlad is proving once again that the path to the dark side is very easy. The temptation to cross the line to darkness is strong. Not to mix metaphors, but there is a lot of wisdom in the prime directive. I wish Putin had talked to Xi before he invaded Ukraine.
The people of the USA and the nations that are its partners in war crimes should take the same stand against their nations to end the forever wars and forever war crimes and bring down their leaders. When Biden was a senator during W’s presidency, he authorized the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. When he was Obama’s VP, the war in Afghanistan continued, the war in Iraq ended only to restart along with a war in Syria, Obama sent drone strikes to Pakistan and some other places and bombed Libya and lied by saying there was genocide going on there. Obama called the war in Afghanistan “The Good War”.
Biden is wreaking havoc in Somalia, causing tension with Russia over Ukraine, causing tension with North Korea over its nuclear weapons and causing tension with China over the Pacific Region and says he will take action against China if it establishes bases in the Solomon Islands.
I completely agree. Since WWII the US and its NATO allies have been the greatest cause of human misery in the world. In 1967 I decided that the US president should be impeached for war crimes. I have held to that position for 55 years. Russian imperialism is not as much of a threat to the world as US imperialism. And Russia has often opposed US/NATO imperialism. But Russia and Ukraine have an 800 year history of Russian imperial domination over Ukraine. Much like England and Ireland. Putin’s war is an attempt to reassert Russian imperialism. The Maidan coup was a bad thing. But so was the Taliban in Afghanistan. Still the Soviet and Russian interventions were imperialist wars that united those countries against the invaders.
One nuke could take out Helsinki
A couple of well place bunker busters.
Insinuating support for a nuclear strike on an anti-war site. Incredible.
May 20 2022 Battle For Ugledar: Russian Frontline Under Fire
Our team was have made it to the frontline near Ugledar which has just been taken control of by Russian and DPR forces less than a week ago. In this special report, you see what the real situation is near the battle for Ugledar.
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