Except from a Newsweek feature of January 27 follows commentary and links.
Several years before events in Ukraine could be employed as the pretext for what is now unfolding:
There is a…spot on the map…where most any spark could ignite a powder keg that would draw in and pit against each other the world’s two major nuclear powers and immediately and ipso facto develop into a world conflict. That area is the Baltic Sea region.
The scope of the reported operation was grossly inflated, but three of the four countries identified as commanding prospective NATO forces in the Baltic states – the U.S., Britain and Germany – are those that have led NATO battle groups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland since 2014 along with Canada.
This week plans for U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization military intervention in the Baltic Sea region gained attention after information from American State Department cables released by WikiLeaks were published in Britain’s Guardian newspaper.
Details include the alleged military defense of new NATO members Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania against Russia by nine NATO divisions composed of troops from the U.S., Britain, Germany and Poland – as many as 100,000-200,000 or more depending on the size of the divisions – U.S. and British warships and assault forces, and warplanes from the U.S. and other NATO nations.
A determination on the contingency plan, codenamed Operation Eagle Guardian, was, according to The Guardian, “taken secretly earlier this year at the urging of the US and Germany at Nato headquarters in Belgium.”
“If you speak about U.S. reinforcements in the Baltics, of course, that’s possible, that’s what Russia actually insists the United States should not do if they take seriously Russian demands for guarantees for the security of the Russian Federation,” Evgeny Buzhinskiy, a retired Russian lieutenant general who serves as chairman of the Russian Center for Policy Research and vice president of the Russian International Affairs Council, told Newsweek.
“In that case, of course, Russia will reciprocate by stationing troops along the border in Kaliningrad, in the Western military district,” he added. “I don’t think that’s in the interests of Europeans.”
Nor, he argued, would it be in the interest of the U.S. if the Biden administration sought to de-escalate mounting tensions on the continent.
Such a U.S. deployment, Buzhinskiy said, would only make sense “if the United States wants to just increase tensions, put the continent on the brink of war, which may lead to very serious consequences, and not only for Europeans, but for the United States, because if the fighting between Russia and NATO starts, it will lead to global catastrophe.”