When wargames get a little too real
(INTELLIHUB) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has not yet publically confirmed exactly just how many troops will participate in this fall’s запад 2017 (Zapad 2017), but reports are saying that exercise transport has been bolstered 83 fold over 2013 numbers.
According to FMR. U.S. NATO Supre Commander and Ret. four-star General Phillip Breedlove, 200,000 troops would be a “bit alarming,” especially when reports indicate that a large number of additional railcars have been ordered to help facilitate the exercise.
Cami McCormick, CBS Radio, reported on one of Breedlove’s comments from a Senate hearing in which Breedlove said:
“The Russians have ordered 83 times… the rail cars that they ordered for Zapad [in 2013].”
But more importantly, CBS reported how the Russians claim that only 10,000 troops were deployed previously in 2013, while some experts say otherwise and feel that the number may be far higher (as many as 70,000 troops).
This year’s drill has already sparked fear. Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said that leaders from neighboring regions, like Latvia and Estonia, are worried about this year’s exercise which looks like a ‘preparation for war.’
According to a transcription, Grybauskaite, speaking for a group, said, “We are worried about the upcoming ‘Zapad 2017’ exercise, which will deploy a very large and aggressive force […] that will very demonstrably be preparing for a war with the West.”
About 4,000 U.S. troops have already been deployed to the region which some see as a counterbalance to a scheduled exercise being run with an overly aggressive posture.
It’s also important to note that U.S. Sec. of Defense James Mattis acknowledged Russia as a “principle threat” during a recent hearing, but feels diplomatic avenues should be used whenever possible to avoid any physical conflict in the future.
“I’m all for engagement but we also have to recognize reality and what Russia is up to and there’s a decreasing number of areas where we can engage cooperatively and increasing number of areas where we’re going to have to confront Russia. […] I have very modest expectations about areas of cooperation with Mr. Putin,” said Gen. Mattis.
On the other hand, warmongerers, and senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham would love to see nothing more than conflict between western allies and Russia which would assure the proverbial greasing of the ‘gears of war’ for the next 8-years. And make no mistake, McCain and Graham lust for such conflict and the thrill of pulling off backdoor deals with known terror groups like the Muslim Brotherhood.
But the question is: Will the current administration give the warmongerers the lust they want?
Putin planning to send 100K troops to Baltic border for drills? — CBS