At the beginning of this month, the U.S. Department of Defense media Stars and stripes has officially announced the deployment of a new military base of American Special Forces in Latvia. To be precise, it is one of auxiliary airfield for the U.S. Special Forces, which main headquarter is located in the UK. The new base is expected to expand NATO’s operations in the Baltic States.
The U.S. contributed $3.7 million to the project through the European Deterrence Initiative, the Pentagon program that funds efforts aimed at preventing Russian aggression on NATO’s eastern flank.
“This project, along with other important European defense initiatives, represents our continued commitment to our friend and ally, Latvia,” Lt. Col. Juan Martinez, a spokesman for Special Operations Command-Europe, said in a statement.
In fact, this is not a defensive facility at all. Over the past five years, the Pentagon has prepared a foothold on Russia’s borders, due to spending millions of dollars on improving military infrastructure and conducting additional exercises in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
By the way, at the moment Russia is the main military threat to NATO until at least 2030. This was confirmed in the report on the reform of the Alliance, which was published following the consultations of the foreign ministers of the Alliance.
“In the long term until 2030, Russia will remain the main military threat to the alliance,” the document says.
The propose of authors of the report is to strengthen NATO’s capabilities to counter threats from Russia, expand cooperation with Ukraine and Georgia, which want to join NATO, and increase the number of military exercises on NATO’s “Eastern flank”.
NATO has carried out an alarming number of provocations in recent years. The political decision to expand the Alliance and to include not only the Warsaw Pact countries, but also Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, which were once part of the USSR, was clearly an unfriendly act. All these actions have intensified tensions.
In addition to NATO’s increasingly active eastward expansion, there has been a sharp increase in incidents in which NATO aircraft – especially American surveillance aircraft – approached the Russian border to check the country’s air and naval defenses. Moscow has reacted angrily to this behavior, not only by intercepting these planes, but also engaging in unsafe interactions with them. In recent years, there have been hundreds of interceptions of U.S. and NATO warplanes every year, mainly in the Black and Baltic Sea regions.
Moreover, the number and scale of NATO military exercises in Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia have increased dramatically in recent years. So, in January 2020, the alliance conducted its largest exercise in 25 years. In early June, Russia offered to reduce its military maneuvers during the coronavirus pandemic if Western allies did the same, however, the NATO leadership simply ignored the proposal. In addition, an even larger DEFENDER OF EUROPE 21 military exercise is planned for 2021.
By declaring defensive missions and showing concern over the possibility of “Russian aggression”, the Baltic States are increasingly drawn into the aggressive plans of the U.S. and NATO. Thus, the leadership of these countries poses a real threat to their own populations. Indeed, in case of attack on Russia from the Baltic direction, exactly these territories will become one of the main aims for the Russian weapons.