NATO To Boost Air, Warship Presence Around Russia; Netherlands May Deploy F-16s To Ukraine

Tyler Durden's picture

If there is was one way to assure a certain escalation in Ukraine hostilities beyond what has already happened, it is for NATO to do precisely what Russia warned it should not do: build up its presence in the surrounding countries. Which is why we find it somewhat puzzling that NATO announced it would do just this when as the Guardian reported, the military alliance said it would step up its presence around Russian borders to "reassure eastern European member states."

The reinforcements on Nato's eastern flank will take the form of more air patrols over the Baltic states, greater numbers of warships in both the Baltic and eastern Mediterranean, and more troops deployed in eastern Europe.


The Nato buildup will also involve the redeployment of warships, some of them now participating in counter-piracy operations off Somalia, to the Baltic and the Mediterranean. A Nato official said the details of the naval measures were still being discussed.


The Nato commander in Europe, General Philip Breedlove, said several Nato member states had offered ground troops for deployment in eastern European member states and that he would be soon making recommendations on how they should be positioned. Breedlove said that the situation represented more than a crisis, adding: "For Nato, it's bigger than that. It's a paradigm shift."

It goes without saying that to Russia this will be seen as a hostile move on behalf of the western countries, which is why Breedlove said "he had attempted to call the Russian chief of general staff, Valery Gerasimov, to explain that the deployments were entirely defensive but had not been able to reach him."

Did he at least leave a voicemail explaining why the piling up of new troops is not to be seen as an offensive meneuver?

Furthermore, that this is happening today is no accident: tomorrow is the official start of international talks on the Ukrainian crisis in Geneva, and the NATO action is a way to increase pressure on Moscow. However, as has been seen repeatedly in the past month, the Kremlin does not handly increased pressure easily and instead, usually finds a way to re-escalate on its own.

What is the thinking behind what can only be classified as a short-sighted move? "A spokesperson for the US secretary of state, John Kerry, said his primary goal was to persuade Moscow to halt its destabilising activities in eastern Ukraine, and call publicly for separatist groups to disarm and stand down."

And just in case NATO's open action is not clear, "EU officials in Brussels said the list of Russians subject to visa bans and asset freezes would be expanded by the end of the week. The US state department also signalled it would co-ordinate a further tightening of sanctions with its European partners, but not before the Geneva talks."

"Don't expect any before tomorrow's meetings," Marie Harf, deputy spokesperson at the state department, said. "But if there are not steps taken by Russia to de-escalate, we will take additional steps, including additional sanctions."


The negotiations will bring together Kerry, his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, the Ukrainian foreign minister, Andrii Deshchytsia, and the EU's Ashton. It will mark the first time the quartet has met since the Ukrainian crisis erupted in February.


In addition to one four-way encounter, Kerry will conduct separate bilateral meetings with Lavrov, Deshchytsia and Ashton. Western officials, however, cautioned that the talks were unlikely to bring a diplomatic breakthrough.


Harf said that "top of the list" of US demands would be that Russia halt what the US alleges are destabilising activities in eastern Ukraine. The US wants Russia to publicly call on separatists exerting control in cities in eastern Ukraine to disarm and stand down.

Of course, in case Russia also misses all of this because nobody could reach the Russian chief of staff on the phone, the Netherlands announced it is looking into the deployment of F16 fighter jets as Ukraine crisis air support "to try and ease the conflict around Ukraine, defence minister Jeanine Hennis told a television talk show on Tuesday night.

While there is no question of Nato military action against Russia, ‘we want to be very visible as support to our Eastern allies’, the minister told the Pauw & Witteman show.

With orange colored F-16s it will be very difficult not to be visible:

The defence minister added: "We are looking at how we can increase our air support or sea support in, say, the Baltic or the Black Sea region,’ she said. ‘We are members of an alliance for a reason and we will take our responsibilities.'Asked specifically what form Dutch air support could take, the minister said 'it could mean sending an F16.'

Surely the expansion of NATO forces in the region will promptly force Russia to back down. In the off chance it doesn't, one wonders how NATO will respond if Russia instead adds some more tactical nukes to its arsenal along the Polish border. Puredly defensively of course. Will that, in turn, force NATO to back down? Somehow we doubt it.

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Squid Viscous's picture

Netherlands needs a lesson in stealth? or maybe orange is hard to see when attacking from the setting sun?

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

I have no idea why the USA and NATO are being so stupid.........................

Wolferl's picture

Wait till the Dutch send in their mountain troops. That will show ´em.

tony wilson's picture

putin needs to send some fsb to holland.

get his guys to pull all the corks out of those fucking dutch dykes flood the fucking stoned place.

ZerOhead's picture

And just when it was becoming crystal clear to both Europeans and Americans that there was no reason for NATO to exist in the 21st century...

The "money quote"...

"After the collapse of the U.S.S.R. the transatlantic alliance became irrelevant. Its purpose, famously explained Lord Hastings Ismay, was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.” All of these objectives had been met."

Manthong's picture

Gee..large, flourecent  pink circles might add to the EU version of the stealth,

Arius's picture

"because nobody could reach the Russian chief of staff on the phone"


dont joke about it ... that is serious but also troubling.  serious because if we cannot communicate how can we solve the issues; and troubling, dont these people carry a phone with them?  how much beyond are these people?  


another possibility if the call might have taken place during vodka time that is understable.

Supernova Born's picture

I can't imagine why the Russian leadership wouldn't carry their Google Android, iPhone, etc. with them everywhere they go in times like these.

Crazy Russkies.

TruthInSunshine's picture

It's not a big deal.

Obama has everything under control.

"04-16 18:45: US President Obama vows more consequences unless Russia backs down"

smlbizman's picture

leeeetttts get ruuummmble....

Carpenter1's picture

I'm in Canada. Saw our one Navy ship leaving port the other day, now who's gonna defend 3000 miles of coastline? We had it covered until a few days ago.

unrulian's picture

Hey in Halifax?

gmrpeabody's picture

" the minister said 'it could mean sending an F16."

Seriously..., as in one?  ROTFLMAO

Normalcy Bias's picture

They'd better bring the mechanics and spare parts.

markmotive's picture

Screw with Russia, you screw with China. Screw with China, you screw yourself.



Manthong's picture

You know what that f’n jet needs? LED’s on the undercarriage like the ones on the low riders that section 8 housing pays for.

crap.. I need another swig of mad dog.

BringOnTheAsteroid's picture

Obama . . . . there will be consequences.

Yeh, with all these geo-political distractions he's bound to end up in the rough more often as he can't concentrate on his game.

Manthong's picture

y'know.. that 10 km asteroid thing sounds like a good solution.

I was thinking along the lines of a galactic cosmic ray burst or dead center earth path CME, but the big rock will do the trick unless the caldera in Yellowsstone doesn't cleanse the planet first. 

palmereldritch's picture

Anyone know if there is an App out there to alert users to the spontaneous scuttling of TPTB cockroaches to their bunkers in expectation of nuclear Armageddon?  Or is it just that web cam?


gmrpeabody's picture

"Netherlands needs a lesson in stealth? or maybe orange is hard to see when attacking from the setting sun?"

Netherlands..., attacking..., surely you jest...

palmereldritch's picture

"There's only two things I can't stand in this world..."

ilion's picture

The best thing to do would be to fly an F16 up Obummers ass.

Scarlett's picture

Napoleon's boys... buried in Russia.

Hitler's boys.... buried in Russia.


This time's different, hah?

sushi's picture

Actually they will be sending an F 1.5

Oracle 911's picture

Well whatever.

But we can be sure, Russians will say a fucking big "NYET!" and close the valves on everything (natgas, crude, iron ore etc.) and dump the US$.

Normalcy Bias's picture who's gonna defend 3000 miles of coastline?

Mexicans. They'll do every job you lazy Canucks won't do at half the price!

Jreb's picture

Ouch - that hurt.

Mind you considering this comment is coming from a country where the number of productive working people is grossly outnumbered by those receiving government benefits I can only say.... pot meet kettle.

It's the new nomral for us all.... sadly.

GetZeeGold's picture



Put Eric Holder and Valerie Jarrett in camo and send them to the Ukraine....the crazy bastards would never expect it.

kchrisc's picture

leeeetttts get seeeeeeelllll DC US boooooonnnnds...

zerozulu's picture

This was their display model and they had to take it out for the show.

Normalcy Bias's picture

The only problem is, that thing is set on Autopilot for US Airways' Twitter twat lady... Film at eleven!

MontgomeryScott's picture

Four words;

Boeing Uninterruptible Auto Pilot (actually, the last two words are hyphenated, but reflect the BUAP acronym as released, and equipped in every 777, and all Boeing aircraft by 2008). The 757 and 767 BUAP program was well under way before August 2001. I watched the shorts on UAL and AMD, and I should have bought in, I suppose (but then I'd be hunted as being 'with the terrrists' [or, maybe not]).

It's a pretty cool Lion graphic on the ONE F-16 they're sending, though. I wonder if it has one of those thingies that 'pings' when going in to a sea or ocean?

Antifaschistische's picture

Can I make a suggestion....since so much of this boils down to who's going to pay the Ukranian gas bills.

Instead of spending billions and billions of dollars in sabre rattling  exercises....why don't we just write out the check to the Ukranians.   Just write it out...$10 billion.  boom done.   It will save us all a lot of trouble.

BringOnTheAsteroid's picture

Crazy talk. An idea like that will cut into Haliburton's, Blackwater's and Lockheed's profits.

MontgomeryScott's picture

Well, HELL! The big M's (in the MIC) need a funding source, don't they?

IF I had a bank that could print up money and loan it to BOTH sides, and I needed to (wanted to, because I'm a greedy, avarous, arrogrant prick) make a quick PROFIT, I think I might just offer the Ruskies AND the NATO fuckers some more CASH (at easy terms), and perhaps send in some private contractors to 'destabalise' the region. a few CIA people, a few MI^'s, and a few whatever they call the SPETZNAZ now... add to it, a shortage of oil (which we control because WE loan those companies all the dollars for 'exploration'), and a food crisis (because WE own all the food producers), and throw in a few 'independence' people just to be safe... and WATCH as the Hegelian Dialectic again takes shape!

NAW, it wouldn't be any deeper than your comment makes it. Forgive me, as I yield to your shortsighted viewpoint. (sarc)

PontifexMaximus's picture

And it takes the blimp of an eye to print it.....

Franktastic's picture

won't work...they want no dollars

Seer's picture

The West's banking system never makes transactions face-to-face! (can only go through various money-laundering channels [public or private])  And if the Russians don't like that then they'll have to face war! </sarc>

Keyser's picture

If you have that kind of balance in your personal account, then have at it... Don't include the rest of us in your generous offer though as I'm down to my last billion and have to make it last... 

crazzziecanuck's picture

What are they going to say?

"If the Ukrainian military isn't going to shoot up their own people to defend Ukraine from other Ukrainians, then we, NATO, will do it for the Ukrainians on behalf of those Ukrainians who won't defend themsleves from other Ukrainians.  We will bomb and maim Ukrainian babooshki e dyeti*, Afghani-style, on behalf of the Ukrainian people to save them from the Ukrainian people.  We are white.  We are Western.  We know what's best."

*Grandmothers and children

CH1's picture

Well, NATO obviously wants a pissing contest.

Too bad that lots of 20 year old boys will be butchered in the process.

McMolotov's picture

But on the plus side, a lot of asshole war profiteers — er, freedom-loving defense contractors — get to pad their wallets. Smell the fascism!

Heil-five, bitchez.

john39's picture

worse than that... some creatures on this planet want normal civilization and specific nations destroyed.  all about power and what they want the world to look like going forward.  and yes, they would be considered insane.

ptolemy_newit's picture

maybe not insane!

selective processing and all.

Anusocracy's picture

They love the smell of fascism in the morning.