Tensions between the world's nuclear powers have continued to escalate and developments in the last week have World War 3 conspiracy theorists watching warily as the United States -- and, by extension, NATO -- and Russia maneuver troops and armament in efforts to extend for themselves and/or deny their adversary any kind of tactical or strategic advantage in what military experts are calling a resumption of the Cold War. The U.S. has promised troops to NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) member Poland and are negotiating placing troops in Norway. Russia, in a checking move, has deployed warships to the Baltic Sea that are outfitted with nuclear missiles.
The Independent reported earlier in the week that Russia expressed surprise at the need for Norway to station U.S. troops just a few hundred miles from the Russian border. Russia was speaking to the ongoing discussions between the U.S. and Norway whereby a contingent of 300 American troops would be stationed in Vaernes, which is located approximately 600 miles from the Russian border. The deployment is set to begin next year.
The move, according to Deutsche Welle, is part of an orchestrated strategic move by NATO to bolster its member states along Russia's border in eastern Europe. This includes troop deployments in multi-national combat groups and single nation contingents. As Inquisitr has reported, NATO has also deployed troops and armament to the Baltic States, and the U.S. has also agreed to send 900 troops to Poland.
According to CNN, the U.S. will lead a multi-nation battalion in April 2017, placing roughly 900 troops in the Polish town of Orzysz. The town is situated just miles from Russian ally Belarus and is believed to be in the primary target path of a potential Russian invasion.
The deployments are part of NATO's "Enhanced Forward Presence" program and are hoped to be a deterrent to what the West views as an increased militarism and series of aggressions on Russia's part.
"Russia has been willing to use military force against neighbors," NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday. "We have seen that in Georgia and we have seen it in Ukraine with the illegal annexation of Crimea and the continued destabilization of Eastern Ukraine. So, therefore, NATO has to respond."
The NATO deployments also come as diplomatic tensions are on the rise between the U.S. and Russia regarding the Syrian civil war. Ceasefire negotiations have been troubled and spotty as both parties have accused the other of various military transgressions. And as the Inquisitr noted in early October, Russia suddenly suspended a nuclear weapons non-proliferation treaty with the U.S. signed by both parties in 2010.
Taking a more direct and noticeable tact in response to the NATO troop deployments, Russia, according to the Reuters, sent nuclear-capable warships into the Baltic Sea to join the Baltic Fleet already there. The ships, armed with Kalibr cruise missiles, called "Sizzler" missiles by NATO, can be outfitted with nuclear warheads. At present, they are not.
In a strange twist to the American presidential election, various politicians and officials have accused Russia of orchestrating or at least tacitly approving the hacking of the accounts of the Democratic National Committee and tampering with the presidential election itself. This prompted Vice President Joe Biden to announce via NBC's Meet The Press that the U.S. was contemplating a CIA-led covert cyber security strike against Russian hackers, a statement that caused consternation within Russia's diplomatic and military spheres.
For a bit of added strangeness to the presidential race, as was reported on by the Inquisitr, 2016 Republican Party candidate Donald Trump said last week that a presidency under Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton would result in World War 3 being fought over Syria. Just a week earlier, his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, stated that electing Clinton would see World War 3 become an actuality.
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