I seldom browse the pages of Huffington Post--to avoid a stroke--but in a rather dramatic departure from peddling those omnipotent Russkies, who are about to overtake democratic West by means of their hackers and fashion models, HuffPo suddenly published Scott Ritter's piece. You should remember Scott (I sure do) when he was one of the few loud voices who openly challenged US "intelligence" on Iraq possessing vast quantities of WMD--an act of professional and civic duty by US military officer which should be highly commended--after all, the history of Iraq debacle completely vindicated Scott. So, two days ago HuffPo, probably because of a finally dawning realization that all this Russiagate is about to take a dramatic (and catastrophic for US main-stream media) turn, as former FBI director Comey's testimony proved so amply, decided to post non-Russophobic material by an actual professional.
The article, titled NATO Would Be Totally Outmatched In A Conventional War With Russia, is long and largely to the point, but this is not purely military but policy issues which Ritter captures so brilliantly.
The fact is that both NATO and the United States have allowed their national security to be hijacked by Poland and three Baltic nations whose collective hatred of all things Russian creates an inherent tension that the deployment of NATO “tripwire” forces can only exacerbate, and never deter. Neither London, Paris, Berlin nor Washington, D.C. should permit their larger national security interests to be held hostage by a historical enmity toward Russia that exists in Poland and the Baltics, whether justified or not. NATO’s original mission was to keep the Russians from reaching the Rhine, not fight and die in the same forests and fields surrounding the Masurian Lakes district where Russian and German soldiers died by the hundreds of thousands in 1914 and 1945. Allowing the decision for a general war in Europe between NATO and Russia in 2017 to be made in Warsaw, Riga, Vilnius or Tallinn is the modern day equivalent of placing the fate of 1914 Europe in the hands of a radical Serbian nationalist in Sarajevo, with potentially similarly tragic results.
It is rather grimly ironic that this reality escapes so many in D.C. "establishment", but then again, visceral Russophobia is not just a feature (and affliction) of Polish or Baltic "elites", it is as natural and organic to large parts of American establishment, so much so that Mr.Clapper can not contain himself from calling Russians an untermench. Ritter makes a correct conclusion, though:
A recognition by all parties that America will not automatically fill the gap left by a miserly European defense establishment unwilling to match its harsh anti-Russian rhetoric with blood and steel may actually help ratchet down NATO-Russian tensions before the build-up of military forces along the Suwalki Gap, and elsewhere, reaches the point of no return, triggering a self-fulfilling prophesy of war in Europe no one wants, and no one could win.
I have nothing to add here. Just read the article.