NATO continues to escalate tensions with Russia as it plans to both shift its operational center to Norway and place nukes in Finland while having boots on the ground in Ukraine.
According to a Nov. 2 article in the Norwegian language publication Verdens Gang (VG), NATO is looking at moving its European joint command center to Norway.
Currently, the alliance’s operational center is located in Brunssum, the Netherlands, but is projected to change during the early part of 2023. Norway will be the center of attention due to its strategic geographic situation, Norway’s Defense Chief Eirik Kristoffersen told VG.
Moreover, NATO is considering having the Scandinavians rely for their national defense entirely on the northern branch of the Organization, which will be coordinated by the Joint Force Command in Norfolk, Virginia.
“Geography and military planning have a convergence. Just take a look at the map: the areas of the North Atlantic with Scandinavia, Iceland, Greenland, and the United Kingdom are a natural geographical region, so it is natural that we belong to the command in Norfolk. But in the end, it is up to the politicians to decide,” Kristoffersen stated.
“We are pleased that Joint Force Command Norfolk’s area of responsibility will include Norway. We have worked for it,” the Chief told VG.
“This meant that we placed command of the head of the Armed Forces Operational Headquarters, FOH, under Brunssum to coordinate military activity in our neighboring areas. Chief FOH now has both a national hat and a NATO hat,” Kristoffersen said.
Meanwhile, after joining the league next year, Finland has pledged to allow the placement of NATO nuclear missiles on its territory near the Russian border, a seven minute flight to Moscow, allowing the alliance the luxury of a “Nuclear Primacy” attack.
According to experts, cited by Modern Diplomacy, America’s current nuclear-weapons strategy “creates exactly what one would expect to see if a nuclear-armed state were planning to have the capacity to fight and win a nuclear war by disarming enemies with a surprise first strike.”
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This can be viewed in a sense as NATO effectively declaring war on Russia, luring Russia into pre-emptive strikes on launch sites in Finland, if conflicts should escalate that much.
An attack by Russia on Finnish targets would invoke the Northern Alliance’s Article 5 clause, which implies that the whole of the union will defend its fellow member states as soon as any of their territorial integrity is challenged.
US Boots on the Ground
Besides a new $275 million package of weapons and other aid the Pentagon granted to Ukraine last month, it has also been confirmed that US military personnel are present on Ukrainian soil at the moment, Newsweek reported.
However, State Department officials stress that American presence in Ukraine is strictly limited to weapon inspection, overseeing the distribution of weaponry, making sure the arms don’t end up on the black market or even in Russian hands.
“A small number of U.S. military forces inside Ukraine have recently begun doing onsite inspections to ensure that Ukrainian troops are properly accounting for the Western-provided weapons they receive,” a senior U.S. defense official said, Washington Post reported.
The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, assured that U.S. personnel would not operate “close to the front lines,” but maintained they are going where “security conditions allow.”
But of course, even though the White House may vehemently deny it, American personnel stationed at Ukraine army bases and weapon stashes put them in harm’s way of Russian attacks.
It forms, therefore, a serious possibility for escalation of the conflict and a further step in dragging the U.S. into a direct combat situation with Russia.