US ‘not in a position right now to collaborate’ with Russia militarily ‒ Pentagon chief

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis addresses a news conference during a NATO defence ministers meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, February 16, 2017. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

… from Russia Today, Moscow

[ Editor’s Note: The word-dancing begins with the Russian engagement where the Trump administration has to play tough, to hold the Congressional hawks in line, while going through the process of finding safe steps towards building political support.

This will not be easy, but one of the carrots that Trump has put out is an unnecessary expansion of the military, as there is no real threat to justify it. He is, in effect, trying to buy the Hawks off. The navy expansion alone is ludicrous, as no other navy is a threat, and silent subs and inexpensive hypersonic missiles that can be fired from multiple platforms in swarms will be a replay of what happened to the unsinkable battleships in WWII.

Tillerson’s goal with this meeting was to keep all the president’s options open, and not make any mistakes to make the task any tougher than it already is. All that said, it is nice to see someone else who is able to make comments and make the news besides The Donald, as I have been getting so tired of hearing his endless stream of Trumpisms, with a few reasonable things mixed in now and thenJim W. Dean ]


NATO – Where creating a false need for a false threat becomes a security threat itself

– First published  …  February 17,  2017

As President Donald Trump repeatedly stressed the need to get along with Russia, two of his top Cabinet members were abroad, saying the US is ready not for closer ties until Moscow “proves” its commitment to international agreements.

On Thursday, Secretary of Defense James Mattis said at a NATO meeting in Brussels, Belgium that the US isn’t ready to collaborate militarily with Russia against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) or other threats.

“We are not in a position right now to collaborate on a military level, but our political leaders will engage and try to find common ground or a way forward so that Russia, living up to its commitment, can return to a partnership of sorts here with NATO,” Mattis said.

“Russia’s aggressive actions have violated international law and are destabilizing,” he added.

Before the US is willing to work with its former Cold War rival, “Russia is going to have to prove itself first,” Mattis said. “The point about Russia is they have to live by international law just like we expect all nations on this planet to do.”

At the same time, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was in Bonn, Germany, meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the G20 Summit. The United States’ top diplomat also stressed the need for Russia to abide by international agreements.

“As we search for new common ground, we expect Russia to honor its commitments,” Tillerson said, calling on Russia uphold the Minsk II agreement, a 2015 deal aimed at ending the fighting between Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The US and Russia did agree on a shared interest in combining efforts to fight terrorism, Lavrov said. He praised Tillerson for having “voiced readiness to support” Russian-led attempts to end the bloody civil war in Syria, which is about to enter its sixth year.

“Naturally we couldn’t solve all the problems,” Lavrov said. “But we have a shared understanding that on issues where our interests coincide, and there quite a few of them, we should move forward.”

Sanctions weren’t addressed, Lavrov said.

The Trump administration is still dealing with the fallout of Michael Flynn’s ouster as national security advisor over his misleading briefing of Vice President Mike Pence about his phone conversations with the Russian ambassador to the US. The briefing reportedly misrepresented discussions about US sanctions on Russia that led to Flynn’s forced resignation on Monday night. The White House said that the president’s trust in Flynn had eroded over the incident.

While the meeting between Tillerson and Lavrov appears not to have ruffled any feathers, the same can’t be said for relations between Mattis and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. On Wednesday, a remark by the Pentagon head about NATO needing to “negotiate from a position of strength” with Russia led to a back-and-forth between the two.

“Attempts to build a dialogue with Russia from a position of strength would be futile,” Shoigu said.

To which Mattis responded: “I have no need to respond to the Russian statement at all. NATO has always stood for military strength and protection of the democracies and the freedoms we intend to pass on to our children.”

During the closed-door meeting, Mattis also delivered an ultimatum to the NATO allies – increase their military spending, or see America “moderate its commitment” to the alliance.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also spoke about relations with the US on Thursday. Hours before Mattis’ remarks, Putin said the United States and Russia should restore communications between their intelligence agencies.

“It’s absolutely clear that in the area of counter-terrorism all relevant governments and international groups should work together,” he told Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).

Putin’s remarks came after reports surfaced that US intelligence officials may have kept sensitive information from Trump due to concerns of potential leaks stemming “from the president’s repeated expressions of admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his call during the presidential campaign for Russia to continue hacking the emails of his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

Mattis appeared to share those concerns on Thursday, specifically mentioning alleged Russian interference in elections.

“There’s very little doubt that they have either interfered ‒ or they have attempted to interfere ‒ in a number of elections in the democracies,” Mattis said, although he declined to explicitly name the US as one such country. The defense secretary previously called Russia the number one threat to American security.

A third high-ranking official, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford, met with met Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia Valery Gerasimov in Azerbaijan, where they discussed the current state of the military relationship between the United States and Russia. It was the first meeting on this level since January 2014, when General Martin Dempsey was the chair of the Joint Chiefs.



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  1. Proof the Donald is sans superpowers. He is now in a deep sleep. F him where he breathes. One is for truth, or one is not. Pick your path. All paths will cross in time.
    Donald, did you fail to consider your own mortality? One does not enter the arena without accepting one may not come out alive. That’s the divide between a man, and a shill. Choose your path. The historians await.. The difference between ok, and great. Right now your ok. For the moment.

  2. Is there no more possibility to create a new enemy to justify the big NATOD military budget ? Doesn´t the threat from outer space, Project Blue Beam work as they want ? Or Rough Nations or Asteroid threat ? So they must create new threats everytime peace breakout threatens earth.

  3. The true mark of an Oligarchy is control of the military for corporate interests on behalf of a select few. The Pentagon should be solidly behind the people and represent the interests of the “at large” populace. Therefore, it makes no sense to have a General 3 years retired, connected to major MIC corporations, making defense decisions for the corporations and not the people. The people of Russia and US would jointly agree on cooperation immediately and order their respective forces to make it so. The corporate interest is making it look harder than it is. Without the power of referendum, the people have no voice. Without the public interest, military is rogue. Not one person or penny should support it.

    • “The people of Russia and US would jointly agree on cooperation immediately and order their respective forces to make it so.”

      Absolutely. Only a fool wants an unnecessary conflict with Russia. Russia has offered to cooperate with the West on many occasions and sometimes bent over backwards, like inviting the USG to the ceasefire discussion in Syria, which they by no means had to do and which turned out to be a big mistake. I’m sure the populace of both nations would much rather cooperate, but instead the warmongers intend on dragging the world through the mud, again. They ruin life on this planet and I hate them for it.

  4. Thanks Jim.

    “Before the US is willing to work with its former Cold War rival, “Russia is going to have to prove itself first,” Mattis said. “The point about Russia is they have to live by international law just like we expect all nations on this planet to do.”

    That is the summit of hypocrisy. As if the USG cares about following international law. What about all the countries they have aggressively invaded and stomped on, especially in the last 15 years, killing untold thousands of civilians? The USG has no right to talk about the rule of law. It’s impossible for them to do it, without being a total hypocrite. Besides, what is mattis even talking about? What instances of Russia violating international law is he referring to? Is he referring to the feeble and pathetic conspiracy theories presented daily by the USG and MSM? Allegations don’t count for anything, unless they are proven. He does realize that holding an internationally recognized referendum is not a violation of international law, right?

    • I think it’s possible that Mattis and the thugs at NATO see Trump as a threat to their massive, unnecessary budget. In order to justify keeping the thugs around and the money flowing in for the maintenance of their 800 worldwide bases, they always need an enemy. So, they invent one that doesn’t exist out of Russia. Their always flapping their gums about Russian aggression, but as far as I can tell it’s all weak allegations, not proven facts. MSM is always citing “anonymous sources” for their stupid conspiracy theories and accusations. How convenient it must be for them, to spout the most unbelievable jargon imaginable as if it’s gospel truth and provide no sources to allow the public to do a follow up. We’re just supposed to trust them? There’s a simple saying that GW Bush somehow managed to butcher, it goes “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” How many times will these A-holes drag us through the mud, before the public demands some real answers?

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