Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
The growing degree of military-political rivalry between the West and Russia against the background of the preparation of a new sanctions package forces the American military and supporters of the “rigid line” in relation to Moscow to increase the pressure on Russia in the military sphere. The anti-Russian information campaigns that are constantly launched in the western press — either with the participation of notorious “hackers”, with secret laboratories on the development of psychological weapons, or with certain Russian submarines ready to cut Internet cables — aim to create permanent Russophobic hysteria and the justification of their own military preparations on the borders in Eastern Europe. The American Armed Forces, by all accounts, prepare for the expansion of their presence on the Russian borders, and besides traditional American partners and allies in the region, the American military wants to analyse the possibilities of creating advanced operational bases, including in Belarus.
The agency of defensive logistics contained in the structure of the US Department of Defense published a tender for the organisation of research into countries of Eastern Europe for the needs of material-transport opportunities for the Armed Forces. Within the framework of the contract it will be necessary to prepare for every country detailed reports in which the resource opportunities and the existence of the corresponding transport infrastructure for the accommodation of military contingents must be described. It should be noted that the Defense Logistics Agency is a sub-unit of the Pentagon directly responsible for supplying US military bases worldwide. Interest in key Eastern European countries bordering on Russia thus has a practical and technological character owing to the specifics of the activity of the agency. It should be noted that in this case the sub-unit of the US Department of Defense wants to obtain detailed information in relation to Moldova, Ukraine, Poland, Finland, and, most surprisingly, Belarus.
According to the contract, the structures of the Pentagon want to obtain information about the provision of at least five sources of the following goods and services for the needs of US Armed Forces: bottled water; warehouses of food and sources of its procuration; warehouses of textiles and ready-to-wear clothes; reserves of oil and gasoline; construction equipment and building materials (cement, concrete, gravel), and also stocks of bruno barriers (a type of a barbed wire). Besides this, the research must contain information on pharmaceutical firms and stocks of medicines in the designated territories. Also, data on the technical capabilities of the creation of base camps, including deliveries of generators, the possibility of ensuring field hygiene, washing, portable toilets, etc. must be submitted.
Within the framework of the request it is necessary to give analysis of the opportunities for the creation of material stocks and the transferal to these countries of equipment and construction equipment, especially directly to the place. The contractor is required to give a report on the condition of the roads system, waterways, airfield network, and the healthcare system, including the numbers of beds and the geographical arrangement, and also the possibilities of access to standard 20 or 40-foot containers and their rent or acquisition at the place. It is interesting that in the report on each of the aforementioned countries, matters concerning the rendering of services of translators, laboratories of food safety (with the possibility of testing of food samples) and the existence of private security firms must be outlined. It is also necessary to provide a list of at least five alternative suppliers for each item.
It should be noted that in the approved earlier budget of the US Department of Defense for 2018, among other things $4.6 billion is allocated for the containment of Russia in Europe, and another $350 million directly as military aid for Ukraine. In total, the US will spend $65.8 billion on financing US military operations, and will allocate $5.9 billion more for additional measures for the development of missile defense. And, as experts note, one of brightest “breakthroughs” in defense cooperation between the US and Ukraine became the granting of anti-tank Javelin missile systems to Kiev.
Ukrainian officials, at the same time, didn’t hide certain euphoria from the news about the start of such deliveries, which, according to figures in Kiev, are able to nearly turn the tide of the war in Donbass and to help to restrain the “hybrid aggression” of Russia. However, if to speak about the direct military presence of the US on the territory of Ukraine, then at the moment it is concentrated on the Yavorov training ground, where there are military personnel of a number of NATO countries in the role of instructors, and also within the framework of periodic joint missions as a part of Black Sea naval manoeuvres and doctrines with adjacent member countries of the North Atlantic bloc.
The military presence of the US grows in Poland, which, within the framework of the current contract, is also one of the country-objects of the research of the Defense Logistics Agency. In particular, at the end of last year it became known that the Polish side will receive the antimissile Patriot PAC-3 systems in a “3+” configuration and with 208 accompanying missiles. The US authorities took the decision to deliver to Poland “Patriot” air and missile defense systems for the total amount of about $10.5 billion. This was reported by the Ministry of Defence of the country. In Poland, which directly borders the Russian exclave Kaliningrad region, several battalion tactical groups of NATO, primarily the Armed Forces of the US, are located.
The presence of Belarus on the list of country-objects of the research of the Defense Logistics Agency of the US Department of Defence is quite noteworthy. This country, in essence, remains the only reliable ally of Russia in Eastern Europe and is closely connected to Moscow by a number of joint political and economic integration projects. Nevertheless, it is obvious that the internal political processes happening now in Belarus give certain grounds for analysts of the Pentagon to dream about advanced bases on the territory of the country.
Growing economic isolation; a stake placed on a slow injection of nationalist sentiments since recent times; the desire of the government in Minsk – balancing between Moscow and Brussels – to take an “independent” foreign policy position, including concerning Crimea and the conflict in the southeast of Ukraine — all of this, obviously, gives the grounds to make plans for the future use of the territory of the country for the deployment of foreign military infrastructure, the preparation for which we see in the research tender of the Pentagon.
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