Warfare will be one the hallmarks of the Tribulation and if the Tribulation is relatively close (as we believe it is), then we would expect to see the nations preparing for war. Indeed we see this on a daily basis, almost to the degree that we become desensitized by the process.
The 600 troops are to be sent to Poland and the Baltic states in the coming days in order to offer support to NATO allies which have expressed concern following Crimea’s accession to Russia, the Pentagon stated on Tuesday.
“I’m told they’re infantry level – infantry training exercises,” said Pentagon press secretary, Rear Adm. John Kirby in a press briefing given on Tuesday. However, he added that he couldn’t provide specifics.
Kirby pointed out that the bilateral exercises were a supplement to the standard military exercises which the countries undertake together and were because of current events in Ukraine.
“The United States takes seriously our obligations under Article 5 of the NATO alliance, even though these aren't NATO exercises,” Kirby said. “It's a very tangible representation of our commitment to our security obligations in Europe.”
Last Friday, Poland’s Defense Minister, Tomasz Siemoniak, said that this week Poland and the United States would be announcing the dispatch of ground forces to Poland take part in a two-week land-forces exercise. Some 150 soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team based in Vicenza, Italy are to begin the exercises in Wednesday after which similar exercises will follow in the Baltics.
US troops will rotate in and out of all four countries. “We’re looking at trying to keep this rotational presence persistent throughout the rest of this year,” Kirby stated, adding that exercises could potentially expand into other countries.
The measures are being taken as part of a stepped-up effort announced last week by US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in order to reassure NATO allied states.
Hundreds of U.S. troops are headed for maneuvers in Eastern Europe through year's end, the Pentagon announced, new deployments intended to reassure allies on Russia's borders as violence took a sinister turn Tuesday in embattled Ukraine.
Vice President Joe Biden, in a visit to Kiev, warned Russia to pull back its troops and abide by last week's international agreement or face the certainty of swift new sanctions. Mr. Biden also urged Ukraine's leaders to adhere to democratic principles and respect cultural differences, reassuring them, "You will not walk this road alone."
Despite Washington's efforts, tensions flared as Kiev accused pro-Russian separatists of torturing and killing two people and of shooting at one of its military planes, prompting a call by the country's interim president for a resumption of what he termed counterterrorism actions to uproot militants.
The Kremlin didn't comment on the developments but has complained that Western military moves only serve to raise tension in the region. (View hotspots along the Ukraine-Russia border in an interactive map.)
The deployments have fallen well short of demands by some members of Congress and Eastern European allies for a larger, more-permanent buildup of American forces in Europe, and for the shipment of arms to Kiev.
Privately, Pentagon officials dismiss the likelihood of a larger or permanent buildup of forces in Europe, but say they would consider stepping up the tempo of force rotations temporarily if Moscow doesn't move to de-escalate the Ukrainian crisis.
It seems the truce "deal" is well and truly dead...
- 600 U.S. TROOPS HEADING TO EUROPE FOR EXERCISES: PENTAGON
- U.S. AIRBORNE TROOPS GOING TO POLAND, LITHUANIA, LATVIA,ESTONIA
- U.S. MILITARY EXERCISES ARE IN RESPONSE TO UKRAINE CRISIS:KIRBY
- MORE MILITARY EXERCISES 'COMING THROUGH' NATO: PENTAGON
The question now, of course, is - what will Putin do in response to this action?
The head of a think tank associated with Vladimir Putin wrote the following in response to critics who liken the Russian president to Adolf Hitler and what he did so long ago: “One must distinguish between Hitler before 1939 and Hitler after 1939. The thing is that Hitler collected [German] lands. If he had become famous only for uniting without a drop of blood Germany with Austria, Sudetenland and Memel, in fact completing what Bismarck failed to do, and if he had stopped there, then he would have remained a politician of the highest class.”
Migranyan’s comment, published in a Russian newspaper, has received quite a bit of attention, both because of his position and for its chilling content. There is no doubt that Hitler crossed a line in September 1939 when he invaded Poland, finally forcing Britain and France to go to war. (Maybe Migranyan remembers that the Soviet Union also invaded Poland.) Up to then, Hitler had mostly satisfied himself with collecting the lands of German-speaking peoples — Austria, the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia, etc. — although Poland also had a substantial German minority.
If something like this is what Putin has in mind — gathering Russian-speaking people under his rule — then Migranyan seems to be saying: What’s the big deal? What he does not mention, though, is that by 1939 Hitler was already engaged in killing Jews, dissidents, communists, homosexuals and, that year, the mentally and physically feeble.Kristallnacht, a government-sanctioned pogrom, occurred in 1938; the Nuremberg laws, depriving Jews of their civil rights, were promulgated in 1935; and Germany was rapidly re-arming, in violation of its treaty obligations. It was, way before 1939, an outlaw state vigorously engaged in murder.
For anyone, least of all a think-tank director, to overlook this record is frightening. Maybe, though, Migranyan did not overlook it. Maybe he was simply reciting a fact: What Hitler did to his own people disturbed the West but did not stir it to action. Indeed, many argued that Hitler had a point: Germans belonged in Germany. As for the Jews, they were often blamed for their own plight.
You hear similar arguments now about Putin and Russian-speaking peoples: Crimea is Russian. Eastern Ukraine is Russian. Maybe some of the Baltic states are Russian, too. Who knows?
Still, what are we to make of Migranyan? He did not write in a vacuum. The Kremlin isstifling dissent. The Russian foreign minister is either lying with abandon or blithely passing lies on — or both. So-called green men, troops with their faces shielded and their identifying insignias missing, have circulated through eastern Ukraine, as they did in Crimea. Ukrainian and some Western intelligence agencies identify them as Russian, even down to providing the names of certain individuals. These are similar to the techniques Hitler used to provoke intervention in neighboring countries. He was forever coming to the rescue of embattled German minorities.
President Barack Obama’s trip to Asia this week will be dominated by a country he’s not even visiting:China.
Each of the four nations on the president’s itinerary is involved in territorial disputes with an increasingly assertive China. And years of military spendinggains have boosted the capabilities of the People’s Liberation Army faster than many defense analysts expected, casting a shadow over relations between China and its neighbors and sparking doubts about long-term prospects for the U.S. presence in the Pacific.
“There are growing concerns about what China is up to in the maritime space,” said Bonnie Glaser, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “There’s a widely held view in the region that the U.S.-China relationship is tipping toward being much more confrontational.”
Obama arrives today in Japan, the start of a weeklong journey that also will take him to South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines. On display throughout will be the challenge of managing the uneasy relationship with China, the U.S.’s No. 2 trading partner and an emerging rival for global influence.
Danny Russel, assistant secretary of state for East Asia, in February labeled China’s claim to almost all of the South China Sea, hundreds of miles from its shoreline, as “inconsistent with international law.”
Admiral Harry Harris, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, told an Australian audience on April 9: “I am concerned by the aggressive growth of the Chinese military, their lack of transparency, and a pattern of increasingly assertive behavior in the region.”
The statements signaled mounting U.S. alarm following China’s establishment in November of an “air defense identification zone” in the East China Sea, which overlapped with Japanese and South Korean airspace.
China’s growing strength in recent years has spawned a welter of territorial conflicts. The most serious involve uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, which Japan controls as the Senkakus and China calls Diaoyu.
Palestinian terrorists operating out of the Gaza Strip on Monday fired seven rockets into southern Israel. One of the projectiles narrowly missed a synagogue packed with worshippers on the final day of Passover.
Police said that at least two of the rockets landed in the battered southern Israel town of Sderot. One caused damage to a residential street just outside a local synagogue.
Addressing a post-Passover celebration, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon issued a stern warning to Hamas:
“Even today, our enemies rise up to destroy us, and we see that the IDF responded immediately, to send a message to the other side: this will not be overlooked. We hope that Hamas and other [terror] organizations get the hint, accept the message and keep Gaza calm. If not, they should know that we will act on it.”
Post a Comment