STOCKHOLM, (BM) – The US is pursuing a “slightly schizophrenic policy.” The evidence was the Pentagon’s announcement that the United States will strengthen its presence in Europe with the help of three strategic bombers B-1 Lancer. Today, September 21, the first of them has already taken off from its base in Alaska, Robert Dalsjö, an employee of the Swedish Institute for Defense Research, writes in the Swedish SVT Nyheter, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
He argues his opinion by the fact that despite the fact that US President Donald Trump only recently decided to withdraw troops from Germany and Norway, the Pentagon is still seeking to strengthen its presence in Europe.
“All of this looks somewhat strange and probably reflects a twofold, almost schizophrenic attitude of the Trump administration towards Europe / NATO and towards Russia, as Trump is extremely friendly towards Putin and hostile towards NATO. With the Pentagon, the opposite is true,” he explained.
In late August, the United States again deployed six B-52 strategic bombers to Britain, which are capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear weapons. At the same time, they demonstratively passed over the territory of European NATO members, accompanied by allied fighters.
Meanwhile, Robert Dalhe believes that the Pentagon can send strategic bombers to Europe in such a way that Trump will not notice anything at all.
“Trump’s lack of the ability to keep attention on various issues for a long time will give the Pentagon the ability to turn such things around unnoticed by the White House,” the expert noted.
Dalhe also believes that the dispatch of bombers may be necessary in order to compensate for a major US military exercise, which was supposed to take place in the summer of 2020. It was assumed that it will be about the most significant increase in the military contingent in Europe since the end of the Cold War.
However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the maneuvers had to be canceled. Now the Pentagon wants to prove that it supports the 5th article of the NATO charter, according to which an attack on one member of the alliance is tantamount to an attack on the entire bloc.
“Trump’s tirades against NATO and his pronounced contempt for Article 5 have raised doubts among the allies, so strategic aviation can be a signal and a way to say that the United States can and still want to defend Europe,” Dalhe hopes.
United States said under what conditions will continue START-3 Treaty
US President’s special envoy Marshall Billingsley said this week that if Moscow does not agree to the US conditions to extend the START-3 Treaty until the presidential elections in the country, then if Donald Trump is re-elected, the “pay” will increase.
That is, Washington may put forward a number of conditions for renegotiating the document, which remains the only legal obstacle to starting a new nuclear race.
The American authorities may put forward new conditions for extending the Treaty on Measures to Further Reduce and Limit Strategic Offensive Arms [START, or START-3]. This will happen if Russia does not accept the US proposal before the country’s presidential elections in November this year. This was stated by the US President’s Special Representative for Arms Control Marshall Billingsley in an interview with the Kommersant newspaper.
“We view the proposal we made to Russia as moderate at this stage and very reasonable. I suppose that if Russia does not accept him, then after Trump is re-elected, the “entry fee”, as we say in the United States, will increase,” he warned, noting that the United States will have “a number of new conditions under which we will have to insist.”
He noted in an interview that at the moment “the proposal remains in force in the form” in which it was made.
“And if and when Moscow decides to show its willingness to take the path that, frankly, President [Vladimir] Putin has already discussed with President Trump many times, then we are ready. As for us, we could sign an agreement tomorrow,” Billingsley added.
At the same time, he drew attention to the fact that the United States will not extend START-3 if Moscow and Washington do not agree to the proposed agreement by February. Billingsley stressed that this agreement is not beneficial for the American side.
He noted that the United States has made a proposal, which “is about a set of different components: some of them may have a clearer structure and be accompanied by the presence of obligations to a greater extent than the agreement of 2009, and some may not be as detailed and will require further development.”
“What we are proposing at this stage is not a treaty requiring Senate ratification. But we expect that on the basis of this a framework concept will emerge, which will ultimately be transformed into a full-fledged treaty. But this future treaty – and we have made it very clear – any future treaty must become multilateral and involve China,” said the American representative.
The official added that the mention of China in the treaty is an irrevocable US position.
“Our position is that, speaking about the future agreement, we should bear in mind a trilateral agreement. After all, the more sides you include in the equation, the more complex it becomes,” he added.
Billingsley noted in this connection that the United States “is not considering a future treaty involving, for example, India, Pakistan or North Korea” countries that have unofficially nuclear weapons. “It will simply become inoperative: the more participants, the more negotiations need to be held,” the US representative is sure.
At the same time, when asked by a journalist about whether the United States is ready to take out its nuclear weapons from Europe, Trump’s special envoy answered in the negative. “We will not do this. But we are ready to discuss everything that Russia wants to talk to us about. We take the position of the Russian side extremely seriously and consider it important to conduct a professional dialogue on issues of mutual concern, as well as concern of one of the parties,” he assured.
The extension of the START-3 Treaty is on the agenda, since the agreement expires in February next year. It was signed by the Presidents of Russia and the United States, Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama, on April 8, 2010 in Prague. The agreement came into force in February 2011. The parties pledged to reduce the number of deployed nuclear warheads to 1,550 units, ICBMs, submarine ballistic missiles and heavy bombers to 700 units.
This document remains the last agreement that controls the nuclear weapons of the two powers.
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