Reuters & RT News & Sputnik News & Prison Planet – 2015-05-28 00:35:45
Amid Russia Tensions, 100 US,
European Jets Hold Drills in Arctic
OSLO (May. 25 2015) — About 100 fighter jets from the United States and eight European nations began an Arctic training exercise in the Nordic nations on Monday, a region worried by increased Russian military activity.
The exercise, based in the north of Norway, Sweden and Finland with 4,000 personnel, is meant to test cooperation among Arctic nations near Russia. It was planned before Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region last year raised regional tensions.
“The aim is to exercise and train units in the orchestration and conduct of complex air operations, in close relations to NATO partners,” Norwegian brigadier general Jan Ove Rygg, heading the exercise, said in a statement.
The exercise, lasting from May 25 to June 5, is one of the biggest fighter jet exercises in Europe this year and the second of its type after one in 2013. Plans are for exercises every second year, testing everything from shooting down airborne targets to mid-air refueling.
NATO members involved were the United States, Germany, Britain, France, the Netherlands and Norway, as well as non-members Sweden, Finland and Switzerland, which are linked to the alliance via NATO’s partnership for peace.
Russia has stepped up military activity around the Nordic and Baltic region. Incursions into airspace have especially rattled the Baltic states and Sweden last year hunted in vain for a suspected submarine in its waters.
Britain Sends Biggest Warship for
NATO Drills on Russian Border
(May 25, 2015) — Britain is ramping up its military rhetoric, sending its biggest warship for NATO drills in the Baltic, right off the Russian coast, in this latest show of force. The drills kick off on June 5 and will last for two weeks.
The helicopter carrier HMS Ocean is expected to reach Russia’s city of Kaliningrad sometime this week, carrying aboard about 80 Royal Marines who are to join other NATO troops in Poland, the Sunday Times reports.
Named ‘Baltops 15,’ the games’ objective remains, as before, to test battle-readiness and in so doing continue to voice disapproval over the situation in Ukraine. The Baltic nations believe Russia poses a military threat to Europe and are using its alleged actions in Ukraine as pretext to show off their own military prowess and push for increased NATO presence in the region.
The international fleet of vessels to take part in the games will include close to 50 warships and submarines, some of which will assemble as close as 50 miles to the Russian border, in the Gulf of Gdansk. Some other weapons featured in the games will be American B-52 nuclear bombers, which have stood for decades more as a symbol of Cold War readiness than anything else.
The little space just off the Russian city of Kaliningrad is one of the country’s most heavily guarded — housing three air bases, thousands of soldiers and the Russian navy’s Baltic fleet, as well as being home to the command headquarters for all of Russia’s air and maritime intelligence missions in Europe.
It’s also squeezed between two NATO members, neither of whom are big fans of Russia: Poland and Latvia.
The Brits, together with the Americans and others will carry out an amphibious landing near the western Polish town of Ustka — the display is set to be the centerpiece of the games. The forces will storm a beach from HMS Ocean, under cover of Apache helicopter fire.
The Sunday Times writes that regional military forces are forecasting not only Russian eyes on the exercises, but that the Russians will attempt to somehow disrupt them.
The latest ratcheting up of tensions comes amid a Cold-War low in relations between Russia and NATO. Russia’s neighbors have been using every opportunity to condemn it in comments or otherwise show disapproval.
Russia has been reacting with promises to ramp up security in Crimea.
“Naturally, we will increase our forces in Crimea because NATO countries have stepped up their activities . . . in the immediate vicinity of our borders,” said Russia’s envoy to NATO, Aleksandr Grushko, in mid-May.
He said Russia’s military boost falls in line with international treaties. “There is no ban in place prohibiting us to deploy weapons [in Crimea],” he added. His words follow NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s statement made the previous day concerning the Alliance’s plans to increase military activity on its eastern European borders, with more air and sea patrols, amid non-stop exercises.
Russia’s Air Defense Units Redeployed Amidst Snap Combat Readiness Drills
MOSCOW (May 26, 2015) — Air defense missile units taking part in Russian snap combat readiness exercises have been relocated to the Astrakhan Region to take part in the ongoing massive drills.
“Air defense missile units taking part in the snap combat readiness exercises for aviation groups and anti-air defense troops in Russia’s Central Military District have been redeployed to Kapustin Yar and Ashuluk in the Astrakhan Region,” Russia’s Ministry of Defense said. The units will be tasked with target coverage.
Additionally, over 100 aircraft are set to be deployed for the drills in the next 24 hours, according to the ministry.
The four-day drills involving 12,000 military personnel, up to 250 aircraft and 700 pieces of military hardware were launched on Monday on President Vladimir Putin’s orders.
The drills are meant to help the military prepare for the Tsentr-2015 strategic exercises. The war games set to be held in September are expected to be the largest of the 4,000 military drills scheduled to take place in Russia throughout 2015.
Meanwhile, Sweden, Norway and Finland along with other European nations and the United States take part in massive fighter jet drills, dubbed the Arctic Challenge Exercise 2015. The war games, held in close proximity to the Arctic Circle, involve some 115 aircraft, including tanker aircraft and 3,600 personnel. They will last until June 2, 2015.
Swedish Diplomat Criticizes
Arctic Challenge 2015 Military Exercises
STOCKHOLM (May 26, 2015) — One of Europe’s largest fighter jet drills, the Arctic Challenge Exercise 2015 involving Sweden, Norway and Finland along with other European nations and the United States has come under criticism of former diplomat Sven Hirdman Monday in his opinion piece on the Sveriges Television AB.
The second bi-annual Arctic Challenge Exercise 2015 in northern Sweden, Norway and Finland kicked off Monday and is due to wrap up on June 2.
With Norway as a lead nation, the fighter jet drills involve some 115 aircraft, including tanker aircraft and 3,600 personnel, from the US, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
The ACE 2015 operational theater is divided between northeast Norway’s Bodo Air Station, northern Finland’s Rovaniemi Air Force base and northwest Sweden’s Kallas.
All three of the High North locations are in close proximity to the Arctic Circle, a high-interest region for Russia, the United States, Canada, Denmark and Norway.
Backers of the exercises in Sweden have argued on the eve of the drills their usefulness for the country’s international cooperation, adding their particular importance in the wake of what is perceived as a threat to EU and NATO members’ security from Russia.
Hirdman, who served as Sweden’s ambassador to Russia in the early 2000s, disagrees with these assessments and believes they are mistaken.
Arctic Challenge Exercise drills began in 2009 on the basis of Sweden’s Nordic Air Meet and Finnish-Swedish cross border training.
“The Russian-Ukrainian conflict is rooted in the Soviet Union. There are no objective reasons that Russia would consider acts of aggression against the EU or NATO. Instead of playing war with NATO in Northern Europe, the government should work for detente between the power blocs.”
Senior NATO Official: “We’ll Probably Be at War This Summer:
“If We’re Lucky, It Won’t Be Nuclear”
Paul Joseph Watson / Prison Planet
(May 26, 2015) — A senior NATO official told former NSA intelligence analyst John Schindler that the world would “probably be at war” sometime this summer.
“We’ll probably be at war this summer, if we’re lucky it won’t be nuclear,” the official told Schindler last week.
John Schindler @20committee
Said a senior NATO (non-US) GOFO to me today: “We’ll probably be at war this summer. If we’re lucky it won’t be nuclear.” Let that sink in.
2:04 PM – 20 May 2015
Although the tweet was re-tweeted over 400 times, the comment garnered no mainstream media attention whatsoever, which is odd given that Schindler is a former US Naval War College lecturer and is known to have many high level military contacts.
Although not specified, the reference was almost certainly in relation to growing tensions between the United States and Russia.
One analysis of the comment suggests it may have been a “deliberate “leak” from NATO sources, to emphasize how serious the situation is.”
Earlier this month NATO launched its biggest ever wargame exercise on Russia’s doorstep. Moscow responded by conducting “provocative” wargames in the Mediterranean Sea in coordination with the Chinese PLA, the first ever naval drill involving both superpowers.
NATO powers are also taking part in one of Europe’s largest ever fighter jet drills from today, with the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Finland, Norway and Sweden all involved in the 12 day exercise.
Tensions are also building between the US and China, with The Global Times, a state media outlet owned by the ruling Communist Party, today warning that “war is inevitable” if Washington doesn’t halt its demands that Beijing stop building artificial islands in the South China Sea.
“If the United States’ bottom line is that China has to halt its activities, then a US-China war is inevitable in the South China Sea,” the newspaper said. “The intensity of the conflict will be higher than what people usually think of as â€˜friction’.”
Last week, CNN revealed how China’s Navy has repeatedly issued warnings to US surveillance planes flying over the South China Sea.
Billionaire investor George Soros also cautioned last week that the planet was heading towards a third world war as a result of a potential economic collapse in China.
Noting that Beijing may need to rally its population around an external threat to avoid an internal collapse, Soros said that, “there is a real danger that China will align itself with Russia politically and militarily, and then the threat of third world war becomes real.”
In a People’s Daily editorial last September, Chinese PLA Professor Han Xudong also warned that Beijing should prepare itself for a third world war which could arise out of the conflict between the United States and Russia over Ukraine.
Paul Joseph Watson is the editor at large of Infowars.com and Prison Planet.com.
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