In case you have been pre-occupied with the pandemic, protests and the election then you have missed the newest problematic situation developing in Central Europe…..the election and protests in the country of Belarus.
Alexander Lukashenko, often referred to as Europe’s last dictator, won a fifth term as president in October 2015, with no significant opposition candidate allowed to stand.But his next attempt at prolonging his rule was met with mass street protests in August 2020, demanding that he step down after an election that the opposition said was rigged.
A former state farm director, Mr Lukashenko was first elected president in 1994, following his energetic performance as chairman of the parliamentary anti-corruption committee.
He has managed a balancing act between Russia, his closest economic and political partner, and overtures to the West, while maintaining authoritarian rule at home.
President Lukashenko faces mass protests after the opposition says the presidential election was rigged in his favour.
Putin has said that Russian troops are at the disposal of the Belarus dictator……and just like the Cold War the US has responded by sending troops for war games on the borders with Belarus….
The US announcement of 12,000 troops leaving Germany now sees another scramble to secure US presences. Poland is reportedly keen to have a “permanent” US presence, complete with a command. They say at least 1,000 US troops will be involved.
Polish officials say the troops will be on the eastern border, and the command will manage all NATO troops on the Russian frontier. Poland has been courting a US presence for years, suggesting at times they’d joined NATO specifically for the opportunity to host US troops.
Next troops are sent to Lithuania…..
Hundreds of US troops have arrived in Lithuania to take part in military drills near the border of Belarus, adding to the mounting tensions over the disputed Belarusian presidential election. On Saturday, about a dozen Abrams tanks crossed into Lithuania from neighboring Poland.
Since the August 9th presidential election in Belarus, the US and EU have rejected the results and called for a fresh round of votes. The official results gave incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko 80 percent of the votes. Since the controversy over the election started, Lukashenko has accused NATO of building up a military force on Belarus’ borders in an effort to oust the embattled president.
The government of Lithuania insists that the exercise was pre-planned and has nothing to do with “any events in the region,” alluding to the August 9th election. The US deployment to Lithuania is expected to last until November. NATO has repeatedly denied Lukashenko’s claims of a military build-up on Belarus’ border.
Then there is the country just off the map to the East….Georgia (the country not the state)…..seems that more NATO (US) troops are needed for some reason…..
Republic of Georgia launched the Noble Partner 2020 military exercise, a war game centered around Tbilisi which will play host to 2,800 NATO troops from US, France, Britain, and Poland.
Noble Partner is meant to simulate the defense of Georgia surrounding an invasion, and is clearly built on the August 2008 Russo-Georgian War. Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, however, denies that Russia or anyone else is being targeted in the drill.
Russia is clearly bristling, however, at the presence of NATO troops in operations right on their border. Even if not directly targeted, the exercises are part of Georgia’s ongoing bid for NATO membership, something Russia definitely opposes because of proximity.
NATO largely favors Georgia as a member, but will not grant them accession so long as their claims to South Ossetia and Abkhazia remain unresolved, as this would lead to an immediate risk of a war with Russia over the breakaway republics.
Not to be outdone by NATO Russia and Serbia will go to Belarus for “exercises”….
According to the Belarussian Defense Ministry, troops from Russia and Serbia will be arriving in the country on September 10. They will join Belarus’ own military to take part in a six-day joint military exercise.
Details are still scant, but the timing of the exercise is likely to be used by the Lukashenko government to claim solidarity with the other two countries amid the ongoing protests and disputes over last month’s election.
It is unlikely that the exercises are anything to do with the protests, as multi-national exercises tend to be planned months in advance. That Russia and Serbia are not backing out may not be an insignificant sign, however.
The exercise comes not long after recent NATO exercises near the Russian frontier. Again, exercises taking place close to one another are not necessarily by design, and can simply be a coincidence because this area is the focus for both sides.
Serbia’s participation has been put on hold thanx to the interference of the EU…….
President Trump admitted Wednesday that he may have misled the public about the threat COVID-19—but he said he had good reasons. His remarks followed the release of recordings from earlier this year in which he told Bob Woodward he had downplayed the virus threat. Asked Wednesday afternoon if he had misled the public, the president said, “Well, I think if you said in order to reduce panic, perhaps that’s so,” per the Washington Post. “The fact is, I’m a cheerleader for this country. I love our country and I don’t want people to be frightened. I don’t want to create panic.” In a Feb.7 phone call, Trump told Woodward that the coronavirus is “deadly stuff” that “goes through the air.” Publicly, he said the virus was no worse than the flu and predicted that it would soon disappear.
What year is it?
All this looks like tactics from the Cold War…..are we fighting the battles from 70 years ago?
This policy is called “Containment Policy”…..but what is it?
Containment was a foreign policy strategy followed by the United States during the Cold War. First laid out by George F. Kennan in 1947, the policy stated that communism needed to be contained and isolated, or else it would spread to neighboring countries. American foreign policy advisors believed that once one country fell to communism, each surrounding country would fall as well, like a row of dominoes. This view was known as the domino theory. Adherence to the policy of containment and domino theory ultimately led to U.S. intervention in Vietnam as well as in Central America and Grenada.
Same policy…… just replace the term Soviet with Russian.
Yet another stale policy that does nothing to make the world safer and more secure.
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”