Recent satellite images indicate that Russia has built up military sites in Kaliningrad, Russian territory sandwiched between Lithuania and Poland.
The satellite images revealed changes around a bunker facility in Baltiysk, on the Baltic Sea near the Polish border.
A June 18 Federation of American Scientists report also took note of the Russian military improvements in the area: “During the past two years, the Russian military has carried out a major renovation of what appears to be an active nuclear weapons storage site in the Kaliningrad region, about 50 kilometers [31 miles] from the Polish border.”
A report in the Polish daily Rzeczpospolita last November cited Polish general Jaroslaw Strózyk, a former NATO deputy intelligence chief, who said that Moscow would use the presence of U.S. missile defense installations in Poland to justify basing missiles within range of the U.S.-built bases.
During the Cold War, when the Soviet Union was realistically seen as a potential threat to Western Europe, NATO was established to deter such a threat. When the USSR supposedly dissolved, NATO should have been dismantled as well. Instead, NATO has been expanded to include many former Soviet-allied Warsaw Pact nations, including Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic (formerly part of Czechoslovakia).
NATO represents an ultimate example of the sort of entangling alliance that our nation’s founders warned against. The NATO treaty states that if an armed attack occurs against one of the member states, it should be considered an attack against all members, and other members shall assist the attacked member, with armed forces if necessary.
Now, the United States and Russia are lining up military installations on opposite sides of the Polish-Russian border, like so many chess pawns. One can only speculate about whether these forces will deter or provoke a future conflict.
Photo of Russian military near Kaliningrad: AP Images