Special Report: Scott Anthony / FNN
NATO HAS MILITARY RAPID RESPONSE TEAMS IN PLACE WHILE PRESIDENT PUTIN MAKES CLAIM HE CAN TAKE KIEV IN TWO WEEKS IF HE WANTS
In a rather harsh stance against threats to the East (Russia) and South (ISIS) Secretary General Rasmussen made it clear, that NATO is already in a position to respond to further aggression in both theaters.
While it was the sincere hopes that the 2010 Russia-NATO Summit meeting was productive and was going to pave the way for NATO-Russia progress to work together as "Partners" it is now clear that Russia, has no intention of honoring the commitments it made in 2010. Specifically, Sec. Gen. Rasmussen stated that he was disappointed with President Putin and Russia's government; Evidence has mounted in forms of actions, documents and other intelligence, that since 2010, Russia has viewed NATO and NATO countries as "Adversaries" rather than partners, and is now showing by their actions, that there is no intention to work with NATO to resolve the Russia / Ukraine crisis.
NATO, has been taking a diplomatic route as its primary course of action up until 9/1/2014. However, at the Wales Pre-Summit press conference, the Sec. General made clear that at this time, NATO and it's partner nations, have developed a "Rapid Readiness Response Action Plan" which does include significant (but non-disclosed) military assets ready to take either defensive or offensive action wherever it's needed in the Russia / Ukraine region.
Such assets include ground troops, multi-purpose troops, special forces, Air and Naval assets and significant artillery positioned in key areas. The exact number and locations of these military assets for obvious reasons, were not discussed in detail.
In addition, new military bases will be opened in key strategic areas including the nation of Georgia, which has recently also felt some of the bite of Russia and President Putin. Georgia however, is a NATO ally and therefore, is afforded the full protection and backing of NATO and all NATO allies.
What could have been solved at one time by diplomatic means, is obviously being ratcheted up as a "Rapid Response Action Plan" is meant, by design, to deploy significant military assets in a rapid fashion to commence military action against aggressors of NATO allies. The Secretary General made it clear, Russia was and has been the aggressor against Ukraine and other nation-states surrounding Russia's borders, and at this time, the window for diplomacy appears to be coming to a rapid close, leaving military options the last viable method to get President Putin to reconsider his policy on Ukraine.
We are looking at the most volatile period with Russia and the West / NATO since the Cuban Missile Crisis according to some in the US Government. Unnamed officials are stating that it is inevitable that a military showdown, despite what President Obama and other top-ranking military advisors have said publicly, is imminent. The military action, will fall under the umbrella of NATO, thereby avoiding any military conflict being termed "US vs. Russia" directly, even though the U.S. is a key NATO member.
On a curious side note, the Secretary General did not attempt to address why France, a long-standing NATO ally, was recently documented as selling "Helicopter Landing Ships" to Russia, a move that is counter-intuitive to NATO's stance and current policy against Russia. The Secretary General stated that if there are specific questions regarding that sale of arms to Russia, to direct those questions to France directly.
The NATO Summit in Wales this week, is anticipated to be the final "battle plan" session prior to any military action against Russia and ISIS, which is also on the docket during the Summit. Of concern during the Summit in Wales will be overall security from terrorist threats which the Secretary General stated he has full confidence in the UK hosts in their ability to detect and deter any potential terrorist threats either to the Summit directly, or to surrounding areas.
President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia reportedly told a European official that he could “take Kiev in two weeks” if he wanted to, adding a new dimension to the tensions building in Ukraine as Russian forces become more involved in the fighting there. These comments were not denied by the Kremlin, although they were reportedly "taken out of context." Regardless, such rhetoric is hardly helpful during a time where tensions just appear to be getting heated up by the hour rather than settling down.