British Prime Minister David Cameron took his drive for war against Russia to NATO headquarters in Brussels, on August 4th. “Since Russia destabilized Ukraine and illegally annexed Crimea, NATO’s response has focused on reassuring our eastern allies and deterring Russian aggression elsewhere. Every ally has contributed to this response, whether with ships, aircraft or troops,” he said after meeting with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and NATO commander Gen. Philip Breedlove. “At the NATO summit we must agree how we can sustain such a robust presence in eastern Europe in the months ahead.” Cameron endorsed Breedlove’s plans for reinforcing NATO’s presence in Eastern Europe and declared that “We must also use the summit to ensure NATO is prepared to respond swiftly to any threat against any ally, including with little warning. [Calling for] a multi-national, high readiness force that can deploy quickly on exercises in the territory of an ally that feels threatened,” that would also “provide clear reassurance for any vulnerable ally and make clear to any aggressor that an attack on one would be an attack on all.”
“As we remember the devastation of World War One, our peace and security are once again being tested, now by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, and the criminal downing of Flight MH17 has made clear a conflict in one part of Europe can have tragic consequences around the world,” Rasmussen added. “NATO stands determined to defend all allies against any threat. We have taken immediate measures to strengthen our collective defense in the air, at sea, on land.”
Diplomatic sources in Brussels had already hinted to Itar-Tass at what the content of the Cameron-Rasmussen meeting would be, hours before Cameron arrived. One source said that “one of the main subjects of discussion will be the preparation of an organized conceptual response of the Alliance to new security challenges associated with Russia’s actions in Ukraine.” Two of the components of this will be increased defense expenditures by all NATO member states, and increased commitment to defending NATO’s Eastern European members by, among other things, the increase in the strength of NATO’s rapid reaction force to 25,000 troops. “Those present at the summit will, certainly, also consider a revision of further relations with Russia in the long term,” one source said. “So, this actually refers to the Alliance’s preparing a strategy of military containment of the Russian Federation,” concludes Itar-Tass.
All of this had largely been confirmed by Rasmussen, himself, in an interview published two days ago in France. In that same interview, Rasmussen also declared unequivocally that the separatists in southeast Ukraine are guilty of the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17. “NATO Secretary General decided not to wait for the MH17 crash investigation to end, but to exert pressure on it,” Russia’s NATO delegation said in a statement. “If Rasmussen had convincing evidence of the militias fault for the downed Boeing, he would provide it,” added Alexei Pushkov, the chairmain of the State Dumas Committee for International Affairs, said on Twitter. “However, he does not have anything but rhetoric.”
Cameron Continues War Drive Against Russia
British Prime Minister David Cameron has sent a letter to NATO leaders on August 1st, demanding that NATO show Russia that it “means business.” According to the Daily Telegraph, Cameron said the Alliance had “to make clear to Russia that neither NATO nor its members will be intimidated.” He said that NATO member states had to “strengthen our ability to respond quickly to any threat, to reassure those Allies who fear for their own country’s security and to deter any Russian aggression,” and that “Russia has ripped up the rule book with its illegal annexation of Crimea and aggressive de-stabilization of Ukraine” (which of course is not a NATO member).
Cameron wrote: “We must accept that the cooperation of recent years is not currently possible because of Russia’s own illegal actions in NATO’s neighborhood and revisit the principles that guide our relationship with Russia…We must ensure that NATO has the capabilities it needs to respond to changing threats,” which, he said, “requires investment.” The U.K., he went on, “is already one of four members of the Alliance to meet the target of spending 2% of our GDP on defense and I would urge other allies to make the strongest possible commitment to increase their defense spending, and to devote at least one-fifth of it to equipment and research. As our economies start to recover, reversing the decline in defense spending and investing in our defense capabilities would strengthen alliance cohesion and signal that NATO means business.”
A little more measured than Cameron but nonetheless pointing in the same direction is Gen. Sir Adrian Bradshaw, the deputy commander of NATO, who was in Washington, September 31st, where he granted an interview to AP. Bradshaw complained that if Russia were to place tens of thousands of troops along the border of a NATO member nation, as it has along the border of Ukraine, “that member nation needs to know that NATO will put the appropriate defensive presence on their territory to offset that pressure for as long as it is required,” he said. “We’re not saying they’re planning to do it, we’re not saying there are any indications that they’ve got a NATO nation in mind right now,” Bradshaw said. “But what we’re saying is that against that possibility we just need to have our forces at the right responsiveness.”