Daniel McAdams is Executive Director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. He served as foreign affairs advisor to US Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) from 2001 until Dr. Paul’s retirement at the end of 2012. From 1993-1999 he worked as a journalist based in Budapest, Hungary, including as editorial page editor of the Budapest Sun. He also served as special rapporteur for the British Helsinki Human Rights Group while based in Europe, monitoring human rights and elections on the ground in various contentious states, including Albania during the 1996-1998 civil unrest, Montenegro, Georgia, Armenia, Belarus, Croatia, and Slovakia. He was a Phillips Foundation Journalism Fellow (1998-2000) and an American Swiss Foundation “Young Leader” (2006). He can be reached on Twitter or at email@example.com
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter comes (back) to government service via the military-industrial complex. Whether in the "private” sector or in government military positions, Carter has made his fortune (and those of others) pushing an aggressive and interventionist US foreign policy.
Secretary Carter was in Berlin yesterday, pushing the idea that Germany needs to massively increase its military spending to counter what he calls "Russian aggression” in Europe. Currently Germany spends approximately one percent of its GDP on the military and Carter would like to see that amount doubled.
But Carter’s Pentagon also sent a troubling message to Germany that one hopes stems from a confused understanding of 20th century history.
Germany must "dispose of the cold war playbook,” a senior military official said, and instead should "increase [its] security role in the world, commensurate with [its] political and economic weight.”
Germany must forget the post-World War II relative balance in Europe and again assert itself militarily as the master of the European land mass, they urge. Germans, who have been flagellating themselves for more than seven decades over the sins of the monsters who seized power in the 1930s, will hopefully reject the revisitation of such a role.
Is Ashton Carter encouraging Germany to gear up for another invasion of Russia? It is unclear but implied.
In Carter’s mind, the current stand-off in Europe stems from Russia’s attempt to resurrect the Soviet Union and the Cold War. Russia is trying to "drag us back to the past,” he complained yesterday. And the US will not allow that to happen.
Asked how exactly Russian "aggression” takes shape on the ground in Europe, Carter again throws out the catch-phrase "hybrid,” which we are supposed to know means…well whatever the Pentagon and the Beltway think-tankarians want it to mean. Remember "COIN?”
…[W]e’re attentive to the hybrid aspects of potential contingencies. Hybrid meaning — I assume you know what the expression means. But so paying attention hybrid warfare, and the ability to deter that.
While condemning Russian "hybrid” aggression (although Russia maintains no major military bases outside its territory), the US-dominated NATO has announced plans to station thousands of US troops — 40,000 total — and heavy military equipment on Russia’s border in the Baltics.
Not content with a "readiness task force” or even a "high readiness task force,” Carter has announced the need for a "very high readiness task force” to counter this Russian "hybrid” aggression, and Carter intends to underscore this point by jumping aboard a US warship fresh from the largest NATO military exercise in history held in the Baltic sea.
Carter defiantly asserted that while the US does not seek a cold or hot war with Russia, it would "defend…the rules-based international order.”
Meanwhile Syria falls prey to the Islamic State after four years of US covert and overt action to undermine its sovereign government, Libya continuously descends into a new level of hell after an illegal US-led "liberation,” and, of course, a duly-elected government in Ukraine was overthrown with US backing (and cookies).
The "rules-based international order” for Carter and his neocons means that the US makes the rules and the US issues the orders.