New Cold War Heating Up – Sabers Are Rattling

Aaron Kesel – April 1, 2019

U.S. and Russian tensions are picking up, and several geopolitical moves have been made in the past week with much of the press mum on what’s happening between the U.S. and Russia over Venezuela and Ukraine.

Last week, the Russians sent troops into Venezuela with the speculatory number being a total of 100 soldiers deployed. Auspiciously, immediately after this, the U.S. Air Force deployed six nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to Europe to send a “message to Russia,” Real Clear Defense reported.

The U.S. Air Force is carrying out “theater integration and flight training” out of London’s RAF Fairford station, which will help prepare airmen to use the base as their forward operating location for bombers in Europe, the Air Force said last week.

“Training with joint partners, allied nations and other U.S. Air Force units contributes to our ready and postured forces and enables us to build enduring and strategic relationships necessary to confront a broad range of global challenges,” the Air Force said.

Meanwhile, simultaneously the U.S. Air Forces Pacific also launched B-52 bombers from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Air Force Times reported.

The Kremlin accused the U.S. of escalating tensions by flying its B-52 bombers near its border. Russia’s Defense Ministry further claimed it prepared two Sukhoi SU-27 fighter jets to intercept a U.S. aircraft before it changed its direction, Reuters reported.

Trump administration national security adviser John Neocon Bolton threatened Russia for sending in troops into Venezuela, stating that any move to expand operations there would be considered a “direct threat” to international peace, Reuters reported.

“We strongly caution actors external to the Western Hemisphere against deploying military assets to Venezuela, or elsewhere in the Hemisphere, with the intent of establishing or expanding military operations,” White House national security adviser John Bolton said in a statement.

“We will consider such provocative actions as a direct threat to international peace and security in the region,” Bolton added.

Almost immediately after this, Russia flew its own Tu-154M aircraft over several military installations in California and Nevada such as Edwards Air Force Base and Fort Irwin National Training Center, including Area 51, as part of the Treaty on Open Skies agreement, The Drive reported.

This also came after U.S. President Donald Trump’s loose-lipped statement that “Russia has to get out” of Venezuela and “all options are open” in ensuring that Russia withdraws from the socialist nation. It also followed comments just one day after Elliot Abrams, Washington’s envoy to Venezuela, threatened that “the Russians will pay a price” for allegedly helping prepare the country with S-300 surface-to-air missile defense systems for combat.

The Russian government response is that U.S. plans for regime change; Moscow has been thwarted since it has sent in its military, and the U.S. is nervous, MSN reported.

Other things to note: both Russia and the U.S. have pulled out of the INF Treaty which governs the two nations not using nuclear weaponry. The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, banned land-based nuclear missiles in Europe during the Cold War. This followed a month after with Russia running a drill flying two of its nuclear-capable strategic Tu-160 bombers over the Caribbean Sea and Venezuela during a 10-hour training mission, presumably in response to U.S. threats to withdraw from the treaty with Russia, WSBTV reported. The U.S. claimed that Russia’s 9M729 cruise missile breaches the INF treaty, Activist Post reported.

Russia also tested its “Avangard” hypersonic weapons and an underwater nuclear-capable drone that Activist Post reported Putin had teased.

Russia further plans to build a base and a military presence in La Orchila, Venezuela, also presumably in response to the U.S. suggesting it will pull out of the INF treaty,  according to TASS.

According to military envoys, Russian authorities have made a decision (and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro did not object) to deploy strategic aircraft to one of Venezuela’s islands in the Caribbean Sea, which has a naval base and a military airfield. Ten years ago, Russian experts and Armed Forces commanders had already visited the island of La Orchila, located 200 kilometers northeast of Caracas. Venezuelan laws prohibit the setup of military bases in the country, but a temporary deployment of warplanes is possible.

“We’ll finish building infrastructure in 2019 to accommodate air defense radar units and aviation guidance points on the Sredny and Wrangel Islands, and on Cape Schmidt” in the Russian Arctic, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said according to France 24.

Activist Post previously reported that U.S. and Ukraine were in “close discussion” with Washington to supply another cache of lethal weapons for Kiev’s fight in eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin told reporters Nov. 18, a day after a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington. This came after Moscow rammed and shot at Ukrainian Navy ships allegedly for invading its territorial waters in the Kerch Strait near Crimea, hitting two vessels and injuring six crew members.

In October, President Trump cited China’s potential expansion as a reason the United States should consider quitting the INF treaty.

“If Russia’s doing it and if China’s doing it, and we’re adhering to the agreement, that’s unacceptable,” Trump said after a rally in Nevada.

China has called for a calm between Russia and the U.S. taking a role of easing relations urging the two nations for constructive dialogue.

“[T]his treaty plays a significant role in easing major-country relations, promoting international and regional peace, and safeguarding global strategic balance and stability,” Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in a statement on the ministry’s website.

China is opposed to the U.S. withdrawal and urges the U.S. and Russia to properly resolve differences through constructive dialogue … China opposes the multilateralization of this treaty. What is imperative at the moment is to uphold and implement the existing treaty instead of creating a new one.

Those war drums keep beating louder and louder with no signs of slowing down that growing rhythm, which if we aren’t careful could lead to a “global catastrophe.” As for Venezuela, it’s up to the will of the people; hate or love Maduro it’s not my fight or yours, it’s theirs. But one thing is for sure: a person who proclaims himself to be president (Juan Guaidó) without a single vote from the people and has an extensive history of involvement with regime change trainers shouldn’t be president — that’s certainly not a healthy way to view democracy. All three superpowers — Russia, China and the U.S. have financial and military interests in Venezuela.


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