US could go to war with Russia before January 20: US journalist
31 December, 2016
The United States is facing the real possibility of a war against Russia before January 20, when President Barack Obama leaves the White House, according to an American journalist and political analyst.
Don DeBar, a radio host and TV commentator based in New York, made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV on Saturday while commenting on the Obama administration’s recent hostile actions against Russia.
On Thursday, Obama announced a series of economic sanctions against Russia, as well as expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats, over allegations that it interfered in the 2016 presidential election through cyberattacks.
Moscow has rejected the US accusations as "unfounded," and vowed to retaliate. A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Moscow would consider retaliatory measures to the sanctions. But on Friday, Putin decided not to expel US diplomats in reprisal for the Obama administration's moves.
"I can't stress it enough -- we are facing the real possibility of a war against Russia in the next 20 days, before Trump takes over. I don't want to scare anyone but that’s what’s happening, unfolding in front of us,” DeBar said.
“It’s the leadership, whoever has the levers of power in the United States, now wants to confront Russia aggressively and under the threat of military force,” he said.
“The force even has been deployed for a better than a year and half to the borders of Russia from the Balkans to the Korean Peninsula really; and there have been war games ongoing across the front whether in the Balkans, in east Europe, or in the South China Sea,” he stated.
“Objectively speaking if one is looking at American foreign policy as being rational expression of American interests a war with Russia is insane, even looking at it from the point of view of the interests of any human being on the planet regardless of what they might think their interests are, the war with Russia is a major catastrophe,” the analyst emphasized.
“Nevertheless, there must be someone at some point at some position inside the league here that makes policy, that sees threatening Russia with war, and perhaps moving towards war with Russia as a viable strategy because it is being done openly,” he noted.
Hostile US moves against Russia
The US sanctions target Russia's FSB and GRU intelligence agencies, four individual GRU officers, and three companies who allegedly provided support to the GRU, and two Russian individuals for using cyberattacks to cause misappropriation of funds and personal identifying information.
Under Thursday's actions, the US also shut down two Russian compounds in New York and Maryland that the United States says are used "for intelligence-related purposes."
In addition, Obama announced that the State Department will expel 35 Russian diplomats, declaring them as "persona non grata". The diplomats were ordered to leave the country within 72 hours along with their families.
DeBar said that “the expulsion of 35 [Russian] diplomats from the United States this week is unprecedented. They didn’t do this during the Cuban missile crisis; they didn’t do that during the Berlin Airlift, they didn’t do that at the beginning of the Korean War.”
“This is unprecedented in history and it comes with these military deployments and exercises that I mentioned. And it also comes at a time when the American propagandized to hate Russia and Russians and Putin at a higher level – much more intensive level for sure -- because of the advances in technology, but at a higher level and more absurd level than during the Cold War,” he stated. “So the actual policy is being implemented in front of us.”
US-Russian ties at a low ebb
Relations between Washington and Moscow have been strained largely due to the Ukraine crisis. The US and its allies accuse Moscow of sending troops into eastern Ukraine in support of the pro-Russian forces. Moscow has long denied involvement in the crisis.
The ties further deteriorated when Moscow last year launched an air offensive against Daesh terrorists in Syria, many of whom were initially trained by the CIA to fight against the Syrian government.
Russia has accused the US of taking hostile actions against Moscow, and deployed nuclear-capable Iskander-M missiles to its Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad bordering Poland and Lithuania.
The Russian military has also warned the Pentagon against conducting airstrikes on Syrian military positions, noting that its S-300 and S-400 air defense systems in Syria are active.
In addition, Moscow has suspended a series of nuclear deals, including a symbolic pact to cut stocks of weapons-grade plutonium in both countries.
Former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev has warned that tensions between Washington and Moscow over Syria have reached a “dangerous threshold”
“I think the world has approached a dangerous threshold. I would prefer not to suggest any particular schemes, but I want to say: we need to stop,” Gorbachev, 85, told Russia's news agency RIA Novosti in October.
Here is today's program with interviews with Dmitry Babich and Mark Sleboda
Mark Sleboda on US Russia tensions over diplomat sanctions
What will the relationships between Russia and the U.S. look like following these sanctions and how will the incoming administration handle these changes? For more on the tensions between the U.S. and Russia over diplomat sanctions, CCTV America's Elaine Reyes spoke with Mark Sleboda, an international relations and security analyst