U.S. Plan to “Expand the War Beyond Ukraine”: NATO Buildup in Finland Puts Hostile Anti-Russia Army on Putin’s Doorstep

By Mike Whitney – Global Research

The Biden administration has settled on a plan to expand the war beyond Ukraine by deploying combat troops and lethal weaponry to 15 military bases in Finland. Whether the deployment will include nuclear-armed ballistic missiles is not yet known, but the threat to Russia’s security is serious all the same. One can imagine what Washington would do if Moscow chose to build 15 fully equipped and operational military bases on the US-Mexico border. The US would swiftly eradicate the threat through force-of-arms. No one doubts this. The question is whether Putin will pursue the same course of action as the US or dillydally until the threat becomes too menacing to ignore. This is from an article at The Defense Post:

The Finnish Parliament on Monday unanimously approved a defense pact with the United States, which will allow enhanced US military presence and storage of defense material in Finland…. Aimed to strengthen Finland’s security and defense capabilities, the agreement comes after the Nordic country joined NATO in April 2023….

Finland’s relations with neighboring Russia, with whom it shares a 1,340-kilometer (830-mile) border, have become increasingly tense after Finland joined the alliance last year.

The deal gives the United States access to 15 military bases in Finland and enables the presence and training of US forces, and prepositioning of defense material in Finnish territory. It also strengthens cooperation between the two countries in crisis situations. Russia says it will respond to Finland giving U.S. access to basesThe Defense Post

Washington’s so-called “enhanced US military presence” in Finland does not serve any national interest or provide any material benefit for the American people. It is a clear provocation designed to intimidate Russia and expand the war beyond Ukraine. Not surprisingly, it replicates the same conditions that triggered the conflict in February 2022, that is, it installs NATO’s military infrastructure in locations that pose an existential threat to Russia’s survival. Russia cannot be expected to live with hostile military bases and missiles on its doorstep any more than an ordinary man can live with a gun pointed to his head. Putin must respond in order to defend his country’s national security. On Wednesday, a spokesman for Russia’s foreign ministry issued the following statement:

“I can only confirm that Russia will not leave unanswered the NATO military build-up on our border, which threatens the security of the Russian Federation,” Deputy Spokesman Andrei Nastasin said.

“We will also take the necessary measures, including of a military-technical nature, to counter aggressive decisions by Finland, as well as its NATO allies,” he added. Russian Foreign Ministry: Moscow will respond to Finland giving US access to bases, ibc.group

Clearly, the Biden administration has no interest in Finland other than using it as a forward-operating base in the West’s war on Russia. In effect, Finland’s leaders have put their country in a position where it could face the same catastrophic destruction as their neighbor Ukraine, if Moscow feels sufficiently threatened by the proposed military build-up. Here’s Putin:

“There were no problems, but now there will be, because we will now create the Leningrad military district there and definitely concentrate military units there,” Putin added in the interview …

“They (the West) took Finland and dragged it into NATO! Why, did we have any disputes with Finland? All disputes, including those of a territorial nature in the middle of the 20th Century, have all been resolved long ago,” Putin said in an interview published on Sunday. CNN

NATO’s expansion into Finland shows how the Alliance’s development has dramatically altered the security environment in Europe. In the 33 years since the dissolution of the Soviet Union (1991), Russia has never launched a war of territorial aggression against any of its neighbors. Compare that to NATO’s record of belligerence in Kosovo, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan. The facts speak for themselves. Now NATO is continuing its inexorable march eastward despite Russia’s modest security demands or the growing threat of a third world war.

Image: Presidents Joe Biden and Sauli Niinistö in the Oval Office, 2022 (From the Public Domain)


By the way, the US routinely insists that sovereign nations (like Finland) have the right to choose whatever security arrangement they want. But that is clearly not the case. The United States and every nation in NATO have signed treaties (Istanbul in 1999, and Astana in 2010) that stipulate they cannot improve their own security at the expense of others.

The principle underlying these agreements is called “the indivisibility of security”, which means that the security of one state can’t be separated from the security of the others. In practical terms, that means that signatories to these treaties are not free to develop their own military capability to the point where it poses a danger to their neighbors. These terms are especially applicable to Ukraine and Finland which seek to join a military alliance that is openly hostile to Russia. NATO membership has always been a “red line” for Putin who has stated repeatedly that he will not allow NATO bases, combat troops and missile sites to be located on his western border where they’d be less than 10 minutes flight-time to Moscow.

It’s also worth mentioning that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently boasted that the Biden administration has effectively reconstructed an Iron Curtain that prevents Russia from economically integrating with Europe, which is an arrangement that benefited the EU more than it did Russia. (For example, the cutoff of NordStream’s cheap gas has intensified Germany’s de-industrialization while delivering a blow to the economy.) Here’s Blinken:

“We now have a network of defense cooperation agreements that stretches from northern to southern Europe, from the Norwegian Sea to the Black Sea, providing security and stability for people all across the continent.’…

Sounds like an Iron Curtain to me.


Presidents Joe Biden and Sauli Niinistö in press Conference at the Presidential Palace of Finland in Helsinki, Finland in July 2023 (From the Public Domain)

The evolving story of Finland’s transformation into a launching pad for US aggression against Russia has received almost no coverage in the mainstream media, which is understandable given the media’s penchant for concealing the details of Washington’s relentless incitements. Unfortunately, the confrontation between NATO and Moscow is not going to vanish because it is not reported in the legacy media. Conditions will get progressively worse until some unexpected incident serves as the catalyst for a direct conflagration between the rival elements. What this latest fracas in Finland shows us, is that western foreign policy elites have decided to expand the conflict beyond the confines of territorial Ukraine which—in all likelihood—will plunge an even larger portion of eastern Europe into a full-blown war. Why else would they build up Finland’s military infrastructure the same way they built up Ukraine’s before the war?

Answer—Because they want the same outcome. That much seems obvious.

There’s also been scant coverage of the dramatic change in Putin’s approach to the conflict since Ukraine’s missile strike on a beach in Crimea in late June that killed four citizens including two children. The missiles that were used in that attack were US-supplied ATACMS that require US contractors, intelligence and coordinates all provided by the US military. Putin addressed the use of these missiles in a speech in May in which he said the following:

….the final target selection… can only be made by highly skilled specialists who rely on this reconnaissance data, technical reconnaissance data. … Launching other systems, such as ATACMS, for example, also relies on space reconnaissance data, targets are identified and automatically communicated to the relevant crews that may not even realise what exactly they are putting in. A crew, maybe even a Ukrainian crew, then puts in the corresponding launch mission. However, the mission is put together by representatives of NATO countries, not the Ukrainian military.

The point Putin was making was simple and can be summarized like this:

  • The long-range precision weapons (ATACMS) are provided by the US.
  • The long-range precision weapons are manned by experts or contractors from the US.
  • The long-range precision weapons must be linked to space reconnaissance data provide by the US or NATO
  • The targets in Russia are also provided by space reconnaissance data provide by the US or NATO

In other words, the long-range missiles are made by NATO, furnished by NATO, operated and launched by NATO contractors, whose targets are selected by NATO experts using space reconnaissance data provided by NATO. In every respect, the firing of long-range precision weapons at targets in Russia, is a NATO-US operation. The fact that the system may have been located on Ukrainian soil does not mitigate Washington’s direct involvement. Four Russian civilians were killed by the United States in a flagrant act of aggression on Russian soil, therefore, Putin must respond in kind. Here’s how he addressed the issue two weeks ago:

“If someone thinks it is possible to supply such weapons to a war zone to attack our territory and create problems for us, why don’t we have the right to supply weapons of the same class to regions of the world where there will be strikes on sensitive facilities of those (Western) countries?” he said. “That is, the response can be asymmetric.”

He’s right, isn’t he? Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. If you kill Russian civilians, you should expect the same treatment in response. And, if you provide long-range missiles to Russia’s enemies, Russia will do the same. That is the precedent Washington set by attacking Crimea. Putin is merely accepting the new rules of the game.

What’s interesting, however, is the way that Putin tips his hand; he candidly admits that he will not respond in the same way as Washington. Instead, his response will be “asymmetric”, which means it will be proportional but indirect. And so it has been.

In the last few weeks, Putin has deployed warships to Cuba (A Russian navy frigate and a nuclear-powered submarine) to show Washington that Russia can place nuclear-armed vessels on America’s southern border (just as Washington plans to do in Romania and Poland) He has also flown to Pyongyang where he signed a military assistance pact with North Korea which effectively terminates the US sanctions regime which is an essential tool of the “rules-based order”. And now (according to Newsweek) he is preparing to provide anti-ship ballistic cruise missiles to Yemen’s Houthis, which will scuttle Washington’s plan restore commercial traffic in the Red Sea. This is from Newsweek:

There are indications that Russian President Vladimir Putin is considering supplying the Iran-aligned Yemeni Houthi movement with anti-ship ballistic cruise missiles, Middle East Eye (MEE)—citing an unnamed senior U.S. official—reported on Saturday….

Moscow has been coordinating with the Houthis as part of its growing alignment with Iran, with the Kremlin seeking new and deeper alliances among anti-Western powers…

(Since October 7), the Houthis have been attacking commercial shipping and Western military vessels operating in the Red, Mediterranean Seas and Arabian Seas. The organization has vowed to continue and expand its attacks unless Israel fully withdraws from Gaza….

Houthi political bureau member Ali al-Qahoum said there is “a constant cooperation and development of relations between Yemen, Russia, China and BRICS states, as well as an exchange of knowledge and experience in various areas.”

“This is necessary to drown America, the U.S. and the West in [the crisis] around the Red Sea…” Putin Mulls Arming Houthis With Cruise Missiles: Report, Newsweek

Can the report in Newsweek be trusted?

We’re not sure. Having followed Putin for many years, it seems unlikely that he would throw gas on a Middle East conflict even if he thought Russia might derive some benefit from it. Even so, we do believe that the killing Russians on Russian soil has fundamentally changed the rules of the game and that we should expect Putin to pursue a number of asymmetric strategies including easing constraints on the provision of lethal weapons to allied countries. Instead of withholding these weapons in the interests of peace and security, Moscow is now prepared to provide them to allies who—like Russia—find themselves in Washington’s crosshairs.

How will Putin’s “taking off the gloves” impact growing geopolitical instability across the world?

Things are going to get much worse before they get better. The billionaire elites who dictate policy in the West are getting increasingly desperate, while Russia and China are getting increasingly fed up with Washington’s arrogant and ham-fisted meddling. Somethings gotta give. There’s bound to be a clash between the western globalists still clinging to power and the emerging Powerhouse economies of the East. The question is whether the western globalists will “go gentle into that good night” or incinerate much of the planet in one last desperate bid for power. Here’s Putin:

…the self-centeredness and arrogance of Western countries have led us to a highly perilous situation today. We are inching dangerously close to a point of no return. Calls for a strategic defeat of Russia, which possesses the largest arsenals of nuclear weapons, demonstrate the extreme recklessness of Western politicians. They either fail to comprehend the magnitude of the threat they are creating or are simply consumed by their notion of invincibility and exceptionalism. Both scenarios can result in tragedy.

It is evident that the entire system of Euro-Atlantic security is crumbling before our eyes. At present, it is practically non-existent and must be rebuilt. To achieve this, we must collaborate with interested countries, of which there are many, to develop our own strategies for ensuring security in Eurasia and then present them for broader international deliberation….

the never-ending attempts by the current globalist liberal elites …. to maintain their imperial status and dominance in one way or another, are …. clearly contrary to the genuine interests of the American people. If it were not for this dead-end policy…. international relations would have long been stabilized... President of Russia Vladimir Putin’s speech at the meeting with senior staff of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Moscow, June 14, 2024

Putin knows that it’s not the American people who want these bloody interventions, but the “globalist liberal elites” (as he calls them) who want to strengthen their grip on power whatever the cost. This is the rogue element that must be eradicated so that ordinary people can regain control of their government and nuclear war can be averted. It’s a formidable task, but it must be done.

One thought on “U.S. Plan to “Expand the War Beyond Ukraine”: NATO Buildup in Finland Puts Hostile Anti-Russia Army on Putin’s Doorstep

  1. “In the 33 years since the dissolution of the Soviet Union (1991), Russia has never launched a war of territorial aggression against any of its neighbors. Compare that to NATO’s record of belligerence in Kosovo, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan. The facts speak for themselves.”

    There’s that number 33 again.


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