Shortly after the Obama administration began deploying American troops across Russia’s border in a number of countries, including Lithuania, some 300 U.S. Marines landed in Norway for a six-month deployment. Their Monday deployment marks the first time since World War II that foreign troops have been allowed to station in Norway.
The Marines will spend a year in total in Norwegian territory, and the current deployment will be replaced after their six-month service is completed.
Unsurprisingly, it’s doubtful Russia will view this move favorably. When questioned about the proposal to station U.S. troops in Norway in October last year, Russia questioned the motives behind such a move. As the Russian embassy in Oslo told Reuters:
“Taking into account multiple statements of Norwegian officials about the absence of threat from Russia to Norway we would like to understand for what purposes is Norway so … willing to increase its military potential, in particular through stationing of American forces in Vaernes?”
A spokeswoman for the Norwegian Ministry of Defense said the arrival of U.S. troops had nothing to do with concerns about Russia.
Clearly, that is not the case. In 2014, Norwegian Defense Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide told Reuters that Russia’s actions in Ukraine raised questions about NATO’s collective defense, stating, “[W]e are in a completely new security situation where Russia shows both the ability and the will to use military means to achieve political goals.”
Norway is Europe’s number two gas exporter after Russia and is a founding member of NATO. Despite this, relations between Norway and Russia have historically been good. In fact, the two countries were on track at the end of last year to strengthen ties even further after Norway and Finland revived economic and trade contacts with Russian ministers for the first time since the annexation of Crimea.
It is not in Washington’s interest to have a Europe that cooperates with Russia. Following the mainstream media’s dishonest hysteria over Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 presidential elections, a recent Reuters/Ipsos pollshowed more Americans now view Russia as a threat.
This fear-based mentality is exactly what the U.S. establishment wants as it allows the U.S. to encircle Russia with troops, tanks, and missiles while it keeps the military-industrial complex rolling.
Why would this be?
In a few days, Donald J. Trump will take the top seat at the White House. His unpredictability and admiration and respect for Russian President Vladimir Putin, coupled with his intentions to normalize relations with Russia, might mean the United States will lose a valuable scapegoat and enemy in global affairs. It could also mean the U.S. will have to accept defeat in Syria.
By deploying troops to Russia’s borders, including to countries Russia is set to renew relations with, the Obama administration is locking the incoming Trump administration into an anti-Russia policy he may not be able to back out of without perceivably abandoning America’s NATO allies in the region.