Merkel Urged To Temper NATO’s Belligerence

U.S. intelligence veterans are calling on German Chancellor Merkel to bring
a needed dose of realism and restraint to the upcoming NATO conference, which
risks escalating the dangerous new Cold War with Russia.

MEMORANDUM FOR: Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: NATO Summit in Warsaw

REFERENCE: Our
Memorandum
to You, August 30, 2014

We longtime U.S. intelligence officers again wish to convey our concerns and
cautions directly to you prior to a critically important NATO summit – the meeting
that begins on July 8 in Warsaw. We were gratified to learn that our referenced
memorandum
reached you and your advisers before the NATO summit in Wales, and that others
too learned of our initiative via the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, which published
a
full report
on our memorandum on Sept. 4, the day that summit began.

Wales to Warsaw

The Warsaw summit is likely to be at least as important as the last one in
Wales and is likely to have even more far-reaching consequences. We find troubling
– if not surprising – NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s statement at
a pre-summit press event on July 4 that NATO members will agree to “further
enhance NATOs military presence in the eastern part of the alliance,” adding
that the alliance will see its “biggest reinforcement since the Cold War.”

The likelihood of a military clash in the air or at sea – accidental or intentional
– has grown sharply, the more so since, as we explain below, President Obama’s
control over top U.S./NATO generals, some of whom like to play cowboy, is tenuous.
Accordingly we encourage you, as we did before the last NATO summit, to urge
your NATO colleagues to bring a “degree of judicious skepticism” to the table
at Warsaw – especially with regard to the perceived threat from Russia.

Many of us have spent decades studying Moscow’s foreign policy. We shake our
heads in disbelief when we see Western leaders seemingly oblivious to what it
means to the Russians to witness exercises on a scale not seen since Hitler’s
armies launched “Unternehmen Barbarossa” 75 years ago, leaving 25 million Soviet
citizens dead. In our view, it is irresponsibly foolish to believe that Russian
President Vladimir Putin will not take countermeasures – at a time and place
of his own choosing.

Putin does not have the option of trying to reassure his generals that what
they hear and see from NATO is mere rhetoric and posturing. He is already facing
increased pressure to react in an unmistakably forceful way. In sum, Russia
is bound to react strongly to what it regards as the unwarranted provocation
of large military exercises along its western borders, including in Ukraine.

Before things get still worse, seasoned NATO leaders need to demonstrate a
clear…

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