A retired NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) general has issued a dire warning to the United States, Canada, and Europe concerning Russia's military superiority and how, should World War 3 break out with a sudden Russian territory grab across Europe, the West could easily find itself in an extremely compromised position. In fact, recently retired Supreme Allied Commander of NATO General Philip Breedlove says that Russia's refurbished and newly augmented military apparatus, with naval and air superiority over the Atlantic, would leave Europe helpless, cut off from reinforcements, and at the mercy of the Russian Federation.
The Daily Star reported earlier in the week that General Philip Breedlove, a four-star United States Air Force general and just retired as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander, was deeply concerned about NATO's lack of preparation for a possible encounter with the aggressive Russian Federation, especially in theatre of operations involving the entire European continent. In fact, Breedlove was of the opinion that Russia, with its constantly training military elements, would easily overwhelm Europe. Worse, he thinks that Russia's naval and air superiority would control sea and air lanes in the Atlantic Ocean and effectively cut off Europe from much-needed reinforcements and war materiel from the West.
"The unobstructed crossing of the Atlantic to fight a war on the land mass in Europe, I think, is a thing of the past," the general said. He, of course, was referring to the ability, although made difficult at times by marauding submarines and warships, for allies on the opposite side of the Atlantic to ship necessary supplies and troops overseas to Great Britain, Free France, and, at the time, Russia. The most successful program, as detailed by History.com, was the series of convoys offered by the United States under the Lend Lease Act of 1941 (which was actually entitled "An Act to Promote the Defense of the United States").
"We need to think about our ability to defend our capability to reinforce Europe," Breedlove insisted. The general posited that the military elements of President Vladmir Putin could operate with impunity with a quick sweep of a marginally prepared Europe. With control of the shipping lanes and air space over the Atlantic, the Russian military could effectively cut off the United States and Canada (the outlier nations in NATO that aren't European), thus creating a sphere of control, once established, over the land, air, and seas of continental Europe, the United Kingdom, and Ireland.
Breedlove warned NATO that the organization needed to improve intelligence operations that could prevent a war before it had a chance to reach actualization. Added to an enhanced state of military preparedness and readiness, NATO could better ward off a Russia that has grown very aggressive in the past half-decade.
Even more recently, Russia has annexed Crimea, entered Ukrainian sovereign territory, and as reported by TheInquisitr, increased troop strength along its border with Ukraine as well. With mounting tensions there, Russia has deployed a new military task force to the region, continued with an unprecedented series of military exercises along its European and south Asian borders, and entered into supporting position in the Syrian civil war and the multinational war against the Islamic State (ISIS) in the Middle East.
Think tanks have been sounding the dire warnings of the increased chances for small confrontations to ignite into major conflagrations, even to the point of World War 3. Last year, CNN reported that, following a number of air and sea confrontations between ships and aircraft of NATO nations and Russia, worries of some minor incident sparking World War 3 became commonplace.
Steven Pifer of the Washington-based Brookings Institution and former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine told CNN, "Given the tempo of Russian military operations over the last year, you have more interactions, more possibilities for things to go wrong."
That was prior to Russia entering the Middle East as a major supporting player. There have already been incidents that have raised tensions, as reported on by TheInquistr, with several involved nations as bases, aircraft, and convoys having all been attacked -- and all counted as a mistake by the aggressor party.
Washington think tank Atlantic Council issued a report earlier this year (covered by Inquistr) warning that Russia, using military exercises as a ploy, could sweep through the Baltic States "overnight" and "with no warning," testing NATO's resolve in the region. The report further warned that the West has a tendency to underestimate the level of brinkmanship the Russians might be willing to play, especially in territories that were once part of the the greater sphere of influence of the former Russian-dominated Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, territories that some Russians firmly believe should still be under Moscow supervision.
General Breedlove concluded in his warnings to NATO that NATO and the West were now on the defensive, something that only a new level of commitment to military preparedness could alter to ensure a more peaceful coexistence with the Russian Federation in the future. The alternative being a Russia constantly on the verge of a European invasion that the United States and NATO might not be able to stop and, if its intent is to move and dominate continental Europe, not be able to contain.
"I think, in a time and space of their choosing, they [Russia] can make things very tough for us, and we need to be able to ensure our ability to operate in those commons."
[Featured Image by Nickolay Vinokurov / Shutterstock.com]