A Nuclear War Against Russia Will Never Happen

German army tanks line up during the course of the NATO Noble Jump exercise on a training range near Swietoszow Zagan, Poland, June 2015. The German military has seen an increase in deployments for exercises in Eastern Europe and on Russia's borders since the start of the Ukrainian crisis in February 2014.Provoked NATO-Russia Conflicts’ Possible but ‘No One Needs Nuclear Apocalypse

Sputnik
13:24 22.08.2017(updated 15:18 22.08.2017) Get short URL
Occasional incidents between Russian and NATO military forces are fairly possible, and some of them may be intentionally provoked, Russian International Affairs Council expert Prokhor Tebin told Sputnik.

“Our relations with the US and NATO will certainly remain tense  and I do not expect any reset like the one we had after the 2008 conflict in Georgia happening any time soon. Limited local-scale military incidents between Russia, the US and NATO, or its individual members, with real fighting and losses,” Tebin said while presenting a report in Euro-Atlantic stability at the recent meeting of the Valdai Discussions Club.

“Moreover, some of these incidents could be intentional,” he added.
Prokhor Tebin highlights the November 2016 incident when Turkey shot down a Russian warplane in Syria as an example of such a conflict.

Tebin added that “both sides have a chance to pragmatically resolve such conflicts before they spill over to full-blown war confrontation or a Cold War.”

He proposed closer dialogue between politicians, diplomats, experts and military men on both sides and the need “to outline their priorities and national interests they will not budge on and the “red lines” they’re not willing to let each other cross.
Tebin continuedsaid that “a major war between Russia and the West is “extremely unlikely because no one needs a nuclear apocalypse.”
US and Canada Institute’s deputy director Pavel Zolotarev likewise ruled out the possibility of Russia and the West actually coming to blows.

“Even if we imagine that [the US] goes to war with Russia, it would have to enlist the help of its NATO allies in Europe, which is unrealistic,” Zolotarev said.

He mentioned how reluctantly America’s fellow NATO members in Europe supported Washington’s military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Where was NATO when the US was preparing to invade [Iraq]? The Americans were forced to cobble together the so-called ‘Coalition of the Unwilling’. In Afghanistan Russia acted as a partner, but NATO didn’t,” he added.

Zolotarev believes that aside from the post-Soviet territory, there is really nothing Russia and NATO can’t agree on.

NATO-Russia relations have been complicated over the past few years, as NATO has set a sustainable course for the alliance’s expansion by engaging Eastern European states since 2014.
NATO justified its eastward expansion as a response to Russia’s alleged meddling in the Ukrainian conflict.
Moscow has repeatedly and vehemently refuted these allegations.

Obama Takes His Last Shot Against Putin

Kremlin: U.S. military in Poland threatens Russia, destabilizes Europe
By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author 
Jan. 12, 2017 at 9:40 AM
MOSCOW, Jan. 12 (UPI) — The Kremlin said the United States’ increased military presence in Poland as part of a larger NATO operation is a threat to Russian security that destabilizes Europe.
Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said the arrival of U.S. troops in Poland as part of the largest armed military brigade deployed in Europe since the end of the Cold War threatens Russia’s “interests and our security,” while Alexei Meshkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, said the NATO operation is a “factor destabilizing European security.”
The U.S. troops reached Poland on Monday after a three-day journey through Germany. The show of force falls under NATO’s Operation Atlantic Resolve, designed to show the United States’ commitment to its European allies in the face of what NATO sees as Russian aggression.
The U.S. troops will spend about a month training in Poland before moving to Germany and Romania for additional training exercises. The troops will rotate training in Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia for the next nine months. The regional training exercises are also designed to test how U.S. forces respond on short notice to a possible conflict with Russia.
The troops from the U.S. Army’s 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division in Poland will spend the next several days organizing vehicles and conducting maintenance checks to prepare equipment for the next nine months of operation.
On Jan. 20, the troops will begin conducting live-fire exercises.
“The soldiers are excited for gunnery,” Capt. Joshua Causie, a member of the U.S. operation, said in a statement. “There is nothing better than being in a tank and shooting big bullets. It’s fun.”

The Rapproachment of the Ten Nuclear Horns (Daniel 7:7)

2017 – year of rapprochement between Russia and the West – The Daily Coin
Donald Trump’s election victory in the US, and the coming election victories of either Francois Fillon or Marine Le Pen in France, are set to transform international relations as the US and France seek rapprochement with Russia.
Last Sunday’s results of the primaries of the French Republican Party’s primaries for the election of the French President, by giving victory to former President’s Sarkozy’s Prime Minister François Fillon, has confirmed the prospect of the next French government seeking normalisation of relations with Russia.
At least this is what Fillon and his rival in the contest Marine Le Pen both say.
Coming in conjunction with the statements of the US President-elect Donald Trump, it marks 2017 as a year of huge change in the approach of the West towards Russia.
The lifting of EU sanctions on Russia and the likely cooperation between the US and Russia to defeat ISIS in Syria and Iraq, which had seemed very unlikely just a short time ago, now suddenly seem real and reasonable.
Both Trump and the next French President will probably try to convince Britain to support this enterprise. In that case that will leave Germany as the last major country defending EU economic sanctions against Russia, with France and Italy leading a huge lobby within the EU to have the sanctions lifted – if only because of the effect on their economies of Russia’s counter-sanctions – with Britain increasingly unwilling to interfere in these huge questions because of its need to trigger Article 50 next year (probably in March), starting the process for it to leave the European Union.
The alliance of the US and Russia to defeat ISIS in Syria will probably receive support from France as well. At least that is what both Francois Fillon and Marine Le Pen both say.
These reshuffles in the international system will completely change the course of the conflict in Syria, probably accelerating its resolution, but will create additional problems in other countries of the region like Libya.
It is very likely that the terrorists currently in Syria will try to flee to Libya or, in the worst scenario, to Europe, following the same path traced by the migrants who have been flooding the continent. Should that happen Europe will need Russia’s cooperation to deal with that as well.
Russia’s current experience detecting Jihadi militants in its soil, as well as the Russian intelligence databases of terrorists, will be extremely important for the European countries in their investigation of migrants entering Europe to claim asylum.
by Guilherme Schneider
Source – The Duran

Russia And Babylon the Great Join Horns (Daniel 7)

Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday U.S. President-elect Donald Trump confirmed to him he was willing to mend ties, though he also said he would welcome President Barack Obama in Russia.
Putin also told a news conference in Lima after the APEC summit that Russia is ready to freeze oil output at current levels.
Putin said he thanked Obama during Sunday’s meeting in Lima “for the years of joint work”.
“I told him that we would be happy to see him (Obama) in Russia anytime if he wants, can and has desire”, Putin said.

The U.S. and Russian Horns Unite (Daniel 7)

Publicado: 13 Nov 2016 | 18:35 GMT
The US and Russian leaders have never had such similar positions on the key issues of world politics as Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President-elect Donald Trump, Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the Russian parliament, said.
“Putin and Trump have numerous common points and shared views,” Volodin told Russian NTV Channel in an interview published Sunday.
Volodin expressed hope for improvement in US-Russian relations, but also called for caution saying that Trump is yet to make practical steps towards rapprochement with Russia and show that his statements were not just empty promises.
“If Trump brings his promises to life, it will radically change the situation. We have only seen Trump as a candidate but we are yet to see what [kind of] president he will be,” the Duma speaker said.
He stressed that “restoring trust and respect” should be a primary goal in relations between the two countries, adding that the actions of previous US administrations have brought them to a historic low.
Acting US President Barack Obama either ignored Russia’s initiatives or deliberately “whipped up tensions, therefore contributing to the growing animosity” between Russia and the US, according to Volodin.
The speaker of the parliament’s lower chamber criticized the recent US presidential election campaign, noting that the smearing was unprecedented. He said that the whole campaign was focused on discrediting Trump through all available means, adding that the hysteria whipped up around his personality by his opponents only showed that he was a “strong candidate” and his rivals were really afraid of losing the elections.
He also drew attention to some flaws in the US electoral system, including early voting and the Electoral College. He said that early voting opens ways to numerous violations and makes elections less transparent, while the Electoral College is a sort of filter that allows the elites to tamper with the real popular vote.
NATO panicking over Trump election victory – Pushkov
Russian Federal Council member, Aleksey Pushkov said that NATO is apparently in a state of panic over the potential change in US policy with regards to the Alliance after Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential elections. He made the comments on Twitter in response to the latest NATO actions.
On Saturday, Germany’s Spiegel magazine reported that NATO strategists drafted a ‘worst-case’ scenario, in which Trump orders US troops out of Europe. On Sunday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stressed that importance and the unique nature of the US-NATO ties and urged Trump not to abandon his European allies.
“We face the greatest challenges to our security in a generation. This is no time to question the value of the partnership between Europe and the United States,” he wrote in an opinion peace for the Guardian.
On Saturday, Pushkov also said that there is a real prospect of Trump “reviewing the interventionist policies of NATO,” adding that it makes the atlantists in Europe “nervous.” He also warned that Trump is likely to face an “unprecedented pressure” over Syria as both the US establishment and NATO allies will try to convince him to continue the policy of the previous administration which supports those opposing Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Meanwhile, a leaked telegram sent by the British ambassador to the US showed that the UK is already planning to exploit Trump’s openness to “outside influence” to make the President-elect’s foreign policy more favorable to London. The British government also listed all of Trump’s campaign statements about NATO in a special paper in order to develop ways to respond.

World War 3 With Russia Averted

By TOM BATCHELOR
00:00, Thu, Nov 10, 2016 | UPDATED: 16:00, Thu, Nov 10, 2016
Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin
But a former British foreign secretary has warned Mr Trump against cosying up to the Russian strongman, saying the Kremlin was “unafraid to use aggression and intervention to shore up its influence”.
Speaking after a stunning upset that has shaken the US political establishment to its core, Mr Putin’s right-hand-man said Americans had faced two choices on the ballot paper: “World War Three or multilateral peace.
Presidential adviser Sergei Glazyev added: “Clinton was a symbol of war, and Trump has a chance to change this course.”
The Kremlin was known to favour a Republican victory on Tuesday and Mr Trump has expressed a willingness to forge closer ties with Moscow.
Fellow aide to Mr Putin, Vyacheslav Volodin, said Russia was looking forward to the end of President Barack Obama’s tenure.
He said the election result would bring to an end the “problems [President Obama] caused between the Kremlin and Washington“.
After the result was announced on Wednesday morning, Mr Putin sent a telegram to the president-elect expressing “hope toward joint work to lift Russian-US relations from the state of crisis, as well as to address the pressing issues of the international agenda and the search for effective responses to global security challenges“.
He said in a speech later that rebuilding relations “will not be an easy path considering the unfortunate degradation of relations.
“But Russia is ready and wants to restore full-fledged relations with the US.”
Mr Trump’s call for the US to reduce its funding for an “obsolete” NATO could also be a major boost for Moscow, allowing Russia to increase its intimidation of eastern European states.
A stronger Russia threatens to destabilise Europe, providing the catalyst for fresh conflict which has the potential – if still remote – to escalate into a third world war.
Former British foreign secretary William Hague warned today that the incoming Republican candidate must keep the man in the Kremlin at arm’s length.
Lord Hague, who led the Tory party for four years, and served in the Cabinet under John Major and David Cameron, counselled Mr Trump to “be clear-eyed about Putin”.
Writing in the Telegraph, he said: “Clinton herself tried to ‘reset’ relations with Russia, but this is a power in long-term decline unafraid to use aggression and intervention to shore up its influence.
“Unless Washington shows strength and resolution, Moscow will use any thaw in relations to its own advantage.”

A Vote For The Scarlet Woman Is A Vote For Nuclear War

By Stephen Lendman
Global Research, November 07, 2016
Region: USA
Theme: US NATO War Agenda
In-depth Report: Nuclear War, U.S. Elections
On the eve of arguably the most important election in US history, most Americans don’t understand the stakes involved.
One issue dwarfs all others in importance – possible humanity threatening nuclear war under Hillary v. Trump’s sense enough to shun the unthinkable. One or the other will become America’s 45th president.
Sadly, it won’t be Jill Stein, an anti-war, anti-corporate predation, ecosane true progressive, her agenda promising governance of, by and for everyone equitably.
She’s the only presidential candidate warning about the risk of Hillary starting nuclear war with Russia. She doesn’t sleep well at night, she said, thinking about the ominous possibility.
Hillary represents an unparalleled menace to world peace, stability and security. In the 1990s, she partnered with husband Bill in raping Yugoslavia, along with maintaining criminal sanctions on Iraq, responsible for killing 5,000 children under aged five monthly – genocide by any standard.
She supported all US post-9/11 wars of choice, entirely against countries threatening no one – as Secretary of State, orchestrating devastating aggression on Libya and Syria, both countries mired in endless violence, chaos and immiseration of their people.
Her anti-Russia, anti-China, anti-Iran militancy risks thermonuclear war no one can win, threatening everyone everywhere.
Consider the enormous risk of a third Hillary and Bill Clinton co-presidency, she in the lead role with her finger on the nuclear trigger as US military commander-in-chief, an emotionally unstable neocon lunatic able to squeeze it at her discretion – unconstrained by Congress, public sentiment or international and constitutional law.
US voters on November 8 should focus on the most vital issue of our time. Should they trust a presidential aspirant assuring endless imperial wars, a possible thermonuclear one, threatening life on earth?
Trump believes partnering with Russia to defeat the scourge of ISIS makes sense – not waging war on a nuclear super-power like America, assuring losers, not winners and utter devastation on both countries.
Who do you prefer leading America – a lunatic fringe war goddess or a billionaire more interested in profits than mass destruction.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Scarlet Woman is ‘itching’ to start WW3 amid Russia tensions

Hillary Clinton and Vladimir Putin GETTY
By Ajay Nair
PUBLISHED: 14:52, Sat, Nov 5, 2016 UPDATED: 15:12, Sat, Nov 5, 2016
The woman, Sue, defended Donald Trump and said his Democratic rival would spark major conflict around the world while speaking to presenter Matt Frei on LBC.
The outburst came after Frei branded the Republican candidate “ignorant”.
He said: “Is he ignorant of the state of the world?… yes he is by his own admission.
“He can’t tell you the difference between Iraq and Iran, he doesn’t really know the difference between Sunni and Shia.
“I mean, the last time we had a president who didn’t do his homework, we got into an awful lot of trouble in Iraq. Do we want to repeat that experience with a temper to match?”
The caller fired back and slammed Mrs Clinton’s policies before defending Mr Trump.
If Hillary Clinton gets in I think she will go into direct conflict with Putin,” she said. “And I think not only will we will be preparing our country, we might be preparing our country to get involved in World War III.
She suggested comments made by Mr Trump about women were a ploy put together by Mrs Clinton’s camp to thwart his campaign.
She said: “I do think all this name-calling of Trump about what he’s saying about women, [that he’s] a racist – this is just Clinton’s way of diverting what she actually wants to do.
The comments come after rising tension between the two nations over Russia’s military action in Syria and fears over Russian cyber attacks.
Before launching an attack on the presidential candidate, the caller compared the social situation in America to what is happening in the UK and backed Trump to win.
“I actually think Donald Trump will win this election by a large margin, and people that have caused this are the dynasties of the Bushes [and] Clintons.
“Because from what I can see and what I’ve heard from my friends in America, is exactly the same thing that’s happened and happening here – [it] is that decent hard-working people are not able to live decent lives and they’re struggling.”

Russia Ready To Start WW3 (Daniel 7)

Russia threatens nuclear war over US missiles in Romania

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (L), Romanian Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work (R) take part in an official inauguration ceremony at Deveselu air base, Romania, May 12, 2016. Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea/via REUTERS

The United States switched on an $800 million missile shield in Romania on Thursday that it sees as vital to defend itself and Europe from so-called rogue states but the Kremlin says is aimed at blunting its own nuclear arsenal.

To the music of military bands at the remote Deveselu air base, senior U.S. and NATO officials declared operational the ballistic missile defense site, which is capable of shooting down rockets from countries such as Iran that Washington says could one day reach major European cities.
“As long as Iran continues to develop and deploy ballistic missiles, the United States will work with its allies to defend NATO,” said U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work, standing in front of the shield’s massive gray concrete housing that was adorned with a U.S. flag.

Despite Washington’s plans to continue to develop the capabilities of its system, Work said the shield would not be used against any future Russian missile threat. “There are no plans at all to do that,” he told a news conference.

Before the ceremony, Frank Rose, deputy U.S. assistant secretary of state for arms control, warned that Iran’s ballistic missiles can hit parts of Europe, including Romania.

When complete, the defensive umbrella will stretch from Greenland to the Azores. On Friday, the United States will break ground on a final site in Poland due to be ready by late 2018, completing the defense line first proposed almost a decade ago.

The full shield also includes ships and radars across Europe. It will be handed over to NATO in July, with command and control run from a U.S. air base in Germany.

Russia is incensed at such of show of force by its Cold War rival in formerly communist-ruled eastern Europe. Moscow says the U.S.-led alliance is trying to encircle it close to the strategically important Black Sea, home to a Russian naval fleet and where NATO is also considering increasing patrols.
“It is part of the military and political containment of Russia,” Andrey Kelin, a senior Russian Foreign Ministry official, said on Thursday, the Interfax news agency reported.

“These decisions by NATO can only exacerbate an already difficult situation,” he added, saying the move would hinder efforts to repair ties between Russia and the alliance.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s office said Moscow also doubted NATO’s stated aim of protecting the alliance against Iranian rockets following the historic nuclear deal with Tehran and world powers last year that Russia helped to negotiate.

“The situation with Iran has changed dramatically,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
Joe Cirincione, an American nuclear expert who is president of Ploughshares Fund, a global security organization, told reporters in Geneva that the shield should be scrapped.

“It was designed to protect Europe from a missile from, well, the only country we were afraid of was Iran. The system was designed to protect against an Iranian nuclear missile. There is not going to be an Iranian nuclear missile for at least 20 years. There is no reason to continue with that program.”

RETALIATION

The readying of the shield also comes as NATO prepares a new deterrent in Poland and the Baltics following Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea. In response, Russia is reinforcing its western and southern flanks with three new divisions.

Poland is concerned Russia may retaliate further by announcing the deployment of nuclear weapons to its enclave of Kaliningrad, located between Poland and Lithuania. Russia has stationed anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles there, able to cover huge areas and complicate NATO’s ability to move around.
The Kremlin says the shield’s aim is to neutralize Moscow’s nuclear arsenal long enough for the United States to strike Russia in the event of war. Washington and NATO deny that.

“Missile defense … does not undermine or weaken Russia’s strategic nuclear deterrent,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said at the Deveselu base.

However, Douglas Lute, the United States’ envoy to NATO, said NATO would press ahead with NATO’s biggest modernization since the Cold War. “We are deploying at sea, on the ground and in the air across the eastern flanks of the alliance … to deter any aggressor,” Lute said.

At a cost of billions of dollars, the missile defense umbrella relies on radars to detect a ballistic missile launch into space. Sensors then measure the rocket’s trajectory and destroy it in space before it re-enters the earth’s atmosphere. The interceptors can be fired from ships or ground sites.

The Romanian shield, which is modeled on the United States’ so-called Aegis ships, was first assembled in New Jersey and then transferred to the Deveselu base in containers.

While U.S. and NATO officials are adamant that the shield is designed to counter threats from the Middle East and not Russia, they remained vague on whether the radars and interceptors could be reconfigured to defend against Russia in a conflict.

The United States says Russia has ballistic missiles, in breach of a treaty that agreed the two powers must not develop and deploy missiles with a range of 500 km (310.69 miles) to 5,500 km. The United States declared Russia in non-compliance of the treaty in July 2014.

The issue remains sensitive because the United States does not want to give the impression it would be able to shoot down Russian ballistic missiles that were carrying nuclear warheads, which is what Russia fears.

RussiaNATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (L) and Romanian Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos take part in an official inauguration ceremony at Deveselu air base, Romania, May 12, 2016. Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea/via REUTERS

US And NATO Considering WW3 Against Russia

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, left, listens as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr. testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee April 28, 2016 in Washington, DC.: Secretary of Defense Ash Carter will announce a more aggressive stance toward Russia while in Germany this week.
© Win McNamee/Getty Images Secretary of Defense Ash Carter will announce a more aggressive stance toward Russia while in Germany this week. 
 
STUTTGART, Germany — The U.S. and its NATO allies are dusting off their old playbooks this week during a trip abroad by Defense Secretary Ash Carter, citing the myriad threats facing Europe as the impetus for the Pentagon’s pushing the Cold War alliance back onto a continental war footing.The specter of Russia to the east will hang over a Tuesday ceremony in which Carter will oversee the change of command for U.S. European Command, based here in Germany. Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti will take over the post from Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, moving into a role that traditionally also makes him the supreme allied commander of NATO’s European forces.”This is more than just a change-of-command ceremony,” said a senior defense official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity about U.S. policy for Europe and goals for Carter’s trip. “[Carter] will talk about Europe and the challenges facing EUCOM. … That means steps that need to be taken to deter Russian aggression.”Scaparrotti, a counterinsurgency veteran of the war in Afghanistan, spent his latest tour leading U.S. forces supporting the South Korean military against the threat of its northern neighbor.The Pentagon sees this change as marking a transition away from the commander serving as the principal organizer of an alliance – responsible for maintaining America’s strong ties with European allies and coordinating NATO military action – to one charged to a greater extent with preparing for and preventing war. 
 
“We’re moving from assurance to deterrence … moving from assurance to war-fighting posture,” another senior defense official said.

Indeed, U.S. European Command has taken on a heightened relevance in recent years, with Russia commencing a new era of flexing its military and political might, leading to its 2014 annexation of Crimea and continuing on with provocative interactions between its armed forces and America’s.
Friday saw the latest such incident, with a Russian fighter jet performing a “barrel roll” maneuver over a U.S. reconnaissance plane flying over the Baltic Sea. It mirrored a similar incident in mid-April, and two encounters earlier in the month between Navy destroyer the USS Donald Cook and Russian aircraft.

U.S. officials have blasted the incidents as unprofessional and dangerous, and each has fueled America’s newfound interest in deploying more military assets near Russia’s border.
“We have no alternative but to do what we’re doing, which is stand strong and balanced,” Carter told reporters aboard a plane Monday en route to Europe.

As evidence of that effort, Carter cited the roughly 4,000 troops plus equipment he pledged in March to deploy to Europe early next year. NATO defense ministers will also soon debate, among other things, an additional U.S. deployment of four battalions to somewhere on the continent.
These efforts will coincide with “continuing to hold the door open if Russian behavior should change,” Carter said.

All of this follows President Barack Obama’s latest budget proposal, which includes a $3.4 billion European Reassurance Initiative to strengthen U.S. support for NATO, quadrupling the previous commitment.

“I expect that will continue,” Carter said of the increase.

The plan to deploy additional troops to Europe, along with equipment to support them, does not mean the U.S. is preparing to fight a war with Russia, according to defense officials; rather, it is building “a stronger deterrence posture in the region,” one said.

While in Stuttgart, Carter also will meet with counterparts on Wednesday from Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain and the United Kingdom to discuss their contributions to the war against the Islamic State group. That conflict, too, is changing in tone following recent gains against the extremist network.

The U.S.-led coalition is now determining what it needs to rebuild liberated areas ravaged by war with the extremists, beginning with Anbar province, a predominantly Sunni Muslim area and Iraq’s largest province.

The Iraqi government also lacks the kind of logistics capabilities that can, for example, ensure its infantry units have enough water, officials say. Organizing support for efforts to help the Iraqi military move across massive swathes of the country to upcoming hot spots like Mosul will also be a key element of Carter’s visits.

While Carter was traveling to Germany, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg announced the Norwegian military would deploy special operations trainers to a base in Jordan to help train vetted Sunni fighters. Norway will also deploy a medical unit to northern Iraq.

Copyright 2016 U.S. News & World Report