Pentagon Chief Rejects Military Cooperation With Russia

Tyler Durden's picture

One day after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told US NATO allies they will have to pay up and meet their mandatory quota of 2% of GDP (which only 5 nations currently satisfy, among them the US and Greece), on Thursday the Pentagon's new chief also had some bad news for Russia when he rejected any kind of military collaboration with Russia, despite previous calls by Putin for the West to work with his country on Syria and other issues.

Quoted by the WSJ, Mattis said at NATO's Brussels headquarters that “We are not in a position right now to collaborate on a military level” adding that  “our political leaders will engage and try to find common ground or a way forward where Russia, living up to its commitments, will return to a partnership of sorts, here with NATO.” Prior to the meeting, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu expressed hope for cooperation but warned that “attempts to build a dialogue from a position of strength with regard to Russia are hopeless.”

Mattis’s remarks came after Mr. Putin made a plea for the alliance and other nations to cooperate with Russia. “It’s in everyone’s interest to resume dialogue between the intelligence agencies of the United States and other members of NATO,” said Mr. Putin, addressing Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) on Thursday.

The sudden chill in US-Russian relations is understandable: the Trump administration remains in turmoil over questions about the extent of Trump administration contacts with Russia, and tensions have been rising.

Elsewhere, as reported previously, the top US general, Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is scheduled to meet his Russian counterpart, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, in Baku, Azerbaijan. The meeting will mark the highest-level military contact between Washington and Moscow since 2014. Shoigu added that the Russians “await clarification of the position of the Pentagon” at the Baku meeting.

Of particular interest will be any discussion between the US and Russia on the topic of NATO expansion.

NATO has been pursuing a multinational force on its eastern flank as a deterrent over Moscow’s aggression in the region. Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the allies didn’t want to isolate Russia but still wanted “a firm predictable approach, including credible deterrence.”


He announced that alliance defense ministers had approved a plan to bolster its naval forces in the Black Sea, which is bordered by Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and other countries, and would improve military intelligence in the area.


Mr. Stoltenberg said the alliance’s standing maritime fleets would make more frequent visits to the Black Sea and step up military exercises. “It will be measured, it will be defensive and it will be no way aim at provoking a conflict or escalating tensions,” Mr. Stoltenberg said.

Understandably, Russia has taken frequent issue with operations in the Black Sea by naval vessels from nations that don’t border it.

Also of note, Russia’s military intervention in Syria on behalf of President Bashar al-Assad in late 2015 also caused friction between the U.S. and Russia, although both sides agreed to establish military communication to reduce the risk of incidents in the skies over Syria. As the WSJ further adds, "The meeting in Baku is expected to focus on a proposal pushed by senior uniformed officers at the Pentagon to improve that system. Gen. Dunford has pushed the plan, which would elevate the military contacts to a the three-star general level. Currently, the two militaries communicate by phone at the colonels’ level to share information about where each is operating.

The plan has been floated for months, but went nowhere under Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who was wary of higher level coordination with the Russian military. The proposal wouldn't likely mean the U.S. and Russian militaries would coordinate with each other or share intelligence. The system is thought to have worked well, but has had some problems. The U.S. mistakenly hit Syrian forces in Deir Ezzour rather than Islamic State targets after a Russian colonel couldn't immediately locate his American counterpart on the phone.

With US-Russian relations about to be scrutinized in the US, keep a close eye on the diplomatic exchanges between the two countries for hints on whether another chill is about to fall between D.C. and Moscow.

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PoasterToaster's picture
PoasterToaster (not verified) Feb 16, 2017 11:09 AM

That means US forces can withdraw to the homeland pending political resolution of the infighting here.  It doesn't mean they rampage willy nilly without regard for everyone in the area. 

Besides, who the fuck invited them to Syria at all?

YouJustMadeTheList's picture
YouJustMadeTheList (not verified) PoasterToaster Feb 16, 2017 11:16 AM

Just how many CRAZY IVANS is a grown man expected to endure on a daily basis?

Orc from Mordor's picture

For good or for evil, we continue to educate Europe. We have held the post of instructor for more than a century and a quarter now. We were not elected to it, we merely took it. We are of the Anglo-Saxon race. At the banquet, last winter, of that organization which calls itself the Ends of the Earth Club, the chairman, a retired regular army officer of high grade, proclaimed in a loud voice, and with fervency,

“We are of the Anglo-Saxon race, and when the Anglo-Saxon wants a thing he just takes it.”

That utterance was applauded to the echo. There were perhaps seventy-five civilians present and twenty-five military and naval men. It took those people nearly two minutes to work off their stormy admiration of that great sentiment; and meanwhile the inspired prophet who had discharged it–from his liver, or his intestines, or his esophagus, or wherever he had bred it–stood there glowing and beaming and smiling, and issuing rays of happiness from every pore–rays that were so intense that they were visible, and made him look like the old-time picture in the almanac of the man who stands discharging signs of the zodiac in every direction, and so absorbed in happiness, so steeped in happiness, that he smiles and smiles, and has plainly forgotten that he is painfully and dangerously ruptured and exposed amidships, and needs sewing up right away.

The soldier man’s great utterance, interpreted by the expression which he put into it, meant, in plain English–

“The English and the Americans are thieves, highwaymen, pirates, and we are proud to be of the combination.”

Out of all the English and Americans present, there was not one with the grace to get up and say he was ashamed of being an Anglo-Saxon, and also ashamed of being a member of the human race, since the race must abide under the presence upon it of the Anglo-Saxon taint. 

swmnguy's picture

I highly doubt the Europeans need Americans to give them any lessons in savagery.

WTFRLY's picture

I can smell the Israel from here

froze25's picture

Haven't heard anything about Syria lately have we, because we are working with Russia now covertly (same as before, Military was feeding the Russia Intel on targets behind the CIA and Obozo's back). I am sure ISIS is getting it's collective ass kicked and that is why the media is silent.

Stainless Steel Rat's picture
Stainless Steel Rat (not verified) froze25 Feb 16, 2017 11:33 AM

No one but Nixon has the anti-Commie cred to actually go to China.

The media have won their escalate-tensions-with-Russia battle.

This is #losing.  You gotta fight if you want to win, Mr. Trump.

Troy Ounce's picture


Who the fuck is this Pentagon chief to have an official opinion on politics?

A military coup or STFU

CheapBastard's picture

Dissolve ZATO and bring our boys (and money) home.

kavlar's picture

TRANSLATION: Nothing will change with Russia; Trump or no Trump.

SWRichmond's picture

Headline of this ZH post is click bait.  He said no such thing.  He said "the politicians have some work to do", and it wouldn't have been appropriate for him to say anything else.  Trump makes policy.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

The first person to publicly declare the 'need' for war with Russia gets sent to the frontline, and then asked their opinion one final time.

charlie303's picture
charlie303 (not verified) SWRichmond Feb 16, 2017 9:02 PM

General Mattis has claimed to be a Spiritual Warrior Monk - is he?
He should say something about the case for Peace.

AKB0048Fan's picture

Most of the Bible is a crock of shit that is NOT the word of God... according to Deuteronomy 18: 20-22.

It plainly says how to recognize that which is NOT the word of God: the prophecy must come true within the lifespan of the prophet. If the prophet dies without their prophecy having come true, then that is PROOF that it was not the word of God. It clearly says this. has spoken it presumptuously, presume to speak, means exactly the same thing; surely that prophet shall die.

Nevertheless, most of what follows Deuteronomy in the Bible is false prophesy from false prophets who died without their prophesies ever coming true, and Deuteronomy clearly states that it is not the word of God.

20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, surely that prophet shall die.’

21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’

22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken; the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously; thou shalt not be afraid of him.

I am merely posting an effective anti-spam measure that will likely put an end to the "Biblicism Institute" {LOL} spamming once and for all. He should be moving on to greener pastures soon.

Perimetr's picture

Anybody here think that there is any way to use the political process in the US to end the endless wars?

Now we move in a relentless path towards Armageddon.

wren's picture

Rock and hard place.

Trump is between a rock and a hard place. Fixing the national economy while trying to build foreign relations and his biggest enemy being the Federal Reserve and its ownership.

End the Fed, crush the banking cartel, return to a real money monetary system, end the wars over the Petro Dollar, build the wall, crush the Mexican drug cartels through monetary actions and policy. Then we can start thinking about global peace. But there will be no peace as long as the banks own the world and take a cut out of our prosperity.

Mountainview's picture

Russia and Turkey are deciding on Syria in their Astana talks. Mattis has to go there before any useful involvment of US force. But maybe US should sort out their part in Iraq first.

swmnguy's picture

What?  You folks don't believe Europe has a history of the most extreme violence?  Christ on a stick, people, read a fucking book.

SWRichmond's picture

wait...replying to yourself by asking a question?

jesus, I'm confused.

Fathead Slim's picture
Fathead Slim (not verified) SWRichmond Feb 16, 2017 3:52 PM

Wait and watch. He calls himself an asshole sometimes.

SmackDaddy's picture

Wtf is all that supposed to mean.  For the record, it was the Normans who conquered the Saxons you fuckwit.  And it was those same Normans who brough joos to Albion.  So really they were just the muscle.  It HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE JEWS!

ich1baN's picture

Hey You soviet comrade... your gene stalk is utlimately more closely related to Anglo-Saxon than anything else. Go back 10,000 years and you are a cousin... it might pay dividends to not vilify your most related relative b/c one day those 20 million muslims living in your country (yes there are 20 million muslims in Russia) are going to be the grand majority and they don't take too kindly to the melanin (or the cultural Christian background) that makes up you and my skin color.

And it appears you failed history class. Where do you think the ideals of Liberty espoused in much of the West's constitution came from? Liberty was an Anglo-Saxon conception just as much as it was Roman (pre-emperor days). Where do you think the idea of individual and religious liberty ultimately came from that revolutionized the stranglehold the Pope had on the world.... Martin Luther..... yea let's not remind everybody what happens when we follow your CCCP ideals to their maxim... oh wait, we already tried that. Over 150 million were murdered in less than 60 years following a Godless communist ideology.

Fathead Slim's picture
Fathead Slim (not verified) Orc from Mordor Feb 16, 2017 3:50 PM

Wait a minute, WTF has an Anglo-Saxon's taint got to do with anything?

Yog Soggoth's picture

Well, you are dumb enough to think that two recent, already mixed up war tribes constitute and represent all white skinned peoples. Maybe we'll all get lucky and a Basque  will beat the crap out of you for being stupid. You must be a Millenial. That would be your only excuse for being that bad at history.

BennyBoy's picture


Why the fuck is Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu making the most sense?!

Our military lives in the fantasy "If we can invade and kill a million defenseless arabs in Iraq

we can invade and kill anybody". Stupid fucks.

greenskeeper carl's picture

More like "we haven't been able to conquer a backwards country full of low IQ peasants with antiquated weapons, so we should have no problem fighting another first rate military armed with weapons equal to ours and a nuclear arsenal"

Got The Wrong No's picture

They haven't wanted to win a war since Vietnam. Feeding the War Machine is all that matters. Greed, Profit and Power = Death and Poverty  

Idaho potato head's picture

How many grown men would go under the moniker "Mad Dog" oy vey.

BarkingCat's picture

He is a marine. They are not known for being smart.

I have known a few marines and all were about as intelligent as a dog and with many other dog like characteristics. 


When you have an attack dog, blind obedience is great.

ich1baN's picture

Except for the fact that Mattis doesn't like that moniker and he also has a 6,000 book volume that he's read throughout his life... he's pissed away more knowledge than you'll ever learn. 

His statement isn't categorically anti-Russian... we obviously can't link up with Russia right now b/c we have too many in our intel community willing to sabotage a Constiutional Republic.... can you imagine the completely screwed up operations that would occur if we went full-bore ahead together if Yemen was a foreshadowing.... Just CALM down, it will take some time. Mattis' is a helluva a lot smarter than anyone commenting on this board. 

I've met several Marines a lot smarter than anyone in investment banking. 

charlie303's picture
charlie303 (not verified) ich1baN Feb 16, 2017 9:53 PM

General Mattis does not like his nickname.

Vid 1:50:08

He is obviously a very capable, very intelligent, very experienced man.
But is he a force for Peace?

soyungato's picture

Be careful, there are Russians everywhere. Look, there is one under your bed.

lucitanian's picture

Deep State Vs. United States? What are the odds?

Bill of Rights's picture

Russia Russia Russia all day 24 /7 where was all this noise when the Clinton's were making secret backroom deals with Russia the last several years?


Fucken ridiculous and nothing more than your typical distraction.

bowie28's picture

Yea interesting contrast:

Leaks about HRC with clear evidence of multiple felonies and treasonous ties to Russia and many other countries - all focus on who leaked and none on content of leaks.  No demands for resignations or investigations.

Leaks about Flynn call to Russian Ambassador, no evidence of anything illegal - all focus on alleged crime and no concern for who leaked.


The only thing I want to hear now is a report that DOJ is proceeding with indictments on multiple congressman and IC traitors.  We need a massive purge of CIA, NSA, Congress including many prosecutions with all evidence made public.  That's the only solution and is urgently needed.


Fathead Slim's picture
Fathead Slim (not verified) bowie28 Feb 16, 2017 3:46 PM

McCain, Schumer and Graham should be the first 3 handcuffed. I'll bet the volume goes way down as soon as they're arrested.

HRClinton's picture

My deals with Russia were just private business deals.

I was not trying to bring Russia into the Fold.  They stand in the way of our resource companies, our defense contractors, and our financial system. "Not good", as some would say.

Putin must go, and Russia must be liberated, so that private investment can improve things for its people, and allow for a more diverse and global culture.  I agree with my good friend George Soros and his friends on all this.

cheech_wizard's picture

And some people deserve to be fed feet first into a wood chipper.

Standard Disclaimer: Because I want to record their screams and then send that tape to all the news and intelligence agencies. See, there is a cure for evil in this world.

Lumberjack's picture

Global warming wore out its welcome...

chunga's picture

Trump has to be very careful not to alienate his base, the ONLY friends has, many of whom have been seeing through this idiotic "anti-russia" hysteria for quite some time.

HRClinton's picture

Is this why he is having a Rally in Florida?

Ignatius's picture

Trump is stuck in not having a political background where he can draw on people and relationships to fill key posts, so his strength is also his weakness.  His problem is that his counter-establishment policies are receiving fierce resistance from the various entrenched lobbies.  He needs to huddle quickly and figure out a workable strategy, otherwise he's toast.

swmnguy's picture

What's worrisome is that the "fierce resistance from the various entrenched lobbies" seems to have come as a surprise.  Now is not the time to come up with a workable strategy to deal with them.  That time was last summer.

Ignatius's picture

You're right, but at this point it's what he's facing today.

East Indian's picture

"No battle plan survives contact with the enemy"

DownWithYogaPants's picture

Not to mention just handwaving away the challenge of getting elected is not exactly an argument.  Last summer was about getting elected.

And there is no good strategy other than educating the people to throw off their Private Central Banker's yoke.  That takes more than a day.

chunga's picture

Time is very important because his enemies are trying to start an avalanche.