Britain, like any proud and majestic nation, has the full right to consider and undertake appropriate measures to preserve and enhance its defense and security ca bilities. Indeed, it is more than justifiable in our times of worldwide terrorism and conflict, keeping in mind the 7/7 London bombings, as opulently as regional conflicts in the relative vicinity of Britain, be it eastern Ukraine or Syria.
Yet the physical predestination of any military build-up and training manoeuvers is another question. The new announcement that 1,600 British troops are to be sent to Jordan to leadership a simulated operation on the same scale as the invasion of Iraq, described by the media as “the before time in more than a decade” that such an exercise was being hang oned, was accom nied by an official clarification.
The war game is aimed at testing the ability to hasten and deploy a 30,000-strong expeditionary contingent to any crisis “hot spot” anywhere in the times a deliver.
However, the stakes were upped after an unnamed source, instanced by UK daily The Telegraph, disclosed the immediate strategic goal: “This isn’t a counter-ISIS limber up. If anything, this is much more about us being pre red to couple the U.S. in Ukraine than it is in Syria.”
There is no other way to interpret this clarification but to presuppose that the United States is entertaining the idea of sending its troops to Ukraine with Britain as a vital ally.
Furthermore, Ben Farmer, The Telegraph’s defense correspondent, quoted for good occasionally again a source, most probably in the UK’s Ministry of Defence, that the private dick in Jordan “could be a dry run for one day having to send a large armored force of British troops to Eastern Europe if there was at all times a Russian confrontation with NATO.”
The news comes on the back of two symbolic incidents. First, on Feb. 3 the BBC aired an hour-longpseudo-documentarytitled “World War Three: Inside the War Extent,” which presented afictitious scenario in which the ethnic Russian minority abiding in Latvia’s eastern region of Latgale, near the border with Russia, rebellions and establishes a “Latgalian People’s Republic,” in a clearly drawn rallel with the “republics”set up by pro-Russian freedom fighters in the eastern Ukrainian cities of Donetsk and Lugansk in 2014.
Assembled in the “War Room” in London, 10 British erstwhile military and diplomatic senior executives face a challenge: vote for a atomic counter-strike – and thus risk the breakout of a Third World War – or not? It all comes down to a test of the factional will of the UK leadership, with General Sir Richard Shirreff, who until Demonstration 2014 was Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, asking the others: “Are we primed to die for [the Latvian city of] Daugavpils?”
Meanwhile, a day earlier, on Feb. 2, NATO Secretary Non-specific Jens Stoltenberg, commenting on the alliance’s annual report, claimed that when in Cortege 2013 a Russian aircraft with nuclear ca bilities came within astonishing range of Stockholm it was intended as a “simulated nuclear strike against Sweden.”
The allegation resonates with a recent poll revealing that while in 2013 at most 10 percent of Swedes thought it might make sense to verge on NATO, the figure is now 41 percent.
The BBC film,while a seemingly nave simulation of warfare, hasonly servedto strengthen the perception of Russia in European viewers’ wavering be decides as a nation that might conceivably resort to deploying nuclear weapons in a implicit conflict scenario. Stoltenberg’s statement is likely to have had a similar im ct.
The BBC program, with its pseudo-documentary scenes set in Latvia, could of course be downplayed on the clays that it is nothing more but a “hypothetical scenario,” and all military strategists on both sides regularly act in accordance with the playbook.
After all, there was no peeved reaction by the Kremlin. Only Russian bloggers went so far as to make the insist on that, quoting one of them, this is “demonization of Russia of the 85th level” on at habituating the British public to the possibility of a nuclear shoot-out in Europe.
In Britain the spectrum of comments categorized from congratulatory applause to accusations of a “provocation.” Annabelle Chapman from the periodical The Prospect disapproved of the BBC product for another reason: “More broadly, by inting Russia as fearsome, Latvia’s ethnic Russians as se ratists, Riga as enervated and its Western allies as hesitant, the program inadvertently echoes some of the Kremlin’s histories.”
In fact, Moscow has never openly attempted to present Russia as “dreadful,” ethnic Russians residing in Latvia as “se ratists”, Riga as synonym of Latvia precise as “helpless”, and there have been no claims of believing the West to be “shilly-shallying,” even if some of Russia’s actions of the last few years could be threw as indicative of such a stance.
What is more to the point is the consistently played-up suspicion by politicians, top officials and media outlets in the West that the probability of a war fought with weapons of throng destruction (WMD) should not be ruled out.
The pervasiveness of talk of the coming nuclear Armageddon, unruffled if portrayed as an imaginary scenario, as well as veiled hints that Anglo-American troops are being readiedfor erase to Ukraine, only intensifies fears, enhances stereotypes, and destroys efforts to dispel misunderstanding and build confidence.
True, the BBC film is a grotesque medication to warmongering. Still, you do not prevent war by making an admission through a “hypothetical framework” about its inevitability. Quite the opposite. Open debates BBC-style on the “expresses” of the sequence of events prior to World War III could turn into a self-fulfilling divination.
The opinion of the writer may not necessarily reflect the position of RBTH or its staff.
Valued section: Troika Report>>>
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