By Jason Michael
We have been hearing a good bit of what Trump may or may not have been up to while holidaying in Moscow, but as we get further from the front page headlines it becomes more apparent that the bed wetting saga is a smoke screen for a real war.
Amidst news coverage of PEOTUS Donald Trump’s eventful evening in the presidential suite of Moscow’s Ritz Carlton hotel going into hyper-drive – a night of shenanigans equalled only by Prince Harry’s trip to Vegas – other, more serious, news has been slipping under the radar. In late October the Lithuanian government, a NATO member since 2004, issued a public information booklet detailing what citizens were to do in the event of a Russian military invasion. Since Trump signalled his reluctance to honour the US’ treaty obligations to NATO last year if other member states didn’t start pulling their weight Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have drastically increased their defence budgets – making the Baltics the region with the highest growth in military spending in the world. It is clear that they are taking the threat of Russian aggression seriously.
While we were all either laughing at BuzzFeed’s “unsubstantiated” report on a security leak concerning Trump and leaks of another kind or smirking at the content of the dossier itself the United States was busy deploying 3,500 boots to Poland and increasing its already significant presence in the Baltic States. In response to this the Russian Foreign Ministry has upgraded its language of “concern” at the US’ intervention to the less diplomatic phraseology of the US posing a “threat to [Russia’s] national security.” This may well be a simple matter of Obama firing a parting shot at Putin in retaliation for Russia’s alleged involvement in the hacking of Hillary Clinton’s email accounts during the presidential election, but with both Estonia and Latvia being home to a sizeable ethnic Russian minority – similar to that of Ukraine – and given Putin’s form for overt expansionism, the possibility of Russia overrunning these countries cannot be ruled out.
Vladimir Putin – whether he was behind the hack on the DNC or not – has been busy making overtures to useful people within the incoming new guard of Europe and America’s political right. It is in this regard that we should, as Paul Mason has pointed out, be paying closer attention to Donald Trump. Indeed he may not be the best person for the highest political office in the world; what with his attitude towards women and his less than adequate political experience, but this is not the most important issue at stake. What we should be asking is whether or not he is a Russian agent. As much as this takes us down the dark paths of the Manchurian Candidate, it is a real possibility – and if this is true then his presidency spells the end of Western peace and security.
By effectively removing the United States from the balance of power created by the North Atlantic alliance, there are few serious obstacles standing in the way of Putin securing access to the Baltic and the Atlantic by re-annexing at least Estonia and Latvia. Sadly we no longer live in a reality where this suggestion is outlandish. It has its perfect precursor in the invasion and annexation of the Crimea – another strategic move directed to securing Russian access to the sea. Poland, being a US nuclear ballistic missile outpost, may well be too much to chew for even the most ambitious of Putin’s plans – but then Poland is surplus to requirements if all he is looking for is his place in the sun.
Estonian FM: ‘Russia is a threat for security in Europe’