TEL AVIV – With little fanfare and virtually no news coverage, the House last week passed a resolution that could put the U.S. on a Cold War footing and urges President Obama and allied nations to take military measures against Russia.
House Resolution 758 carries the lengthy title “Strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under President Vladimir Putin, which has carried out a policy of aggression against neighboring countries aimed at political and economic domination.”
Sponsored by Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., the bill passed 411-10 in the lame-duck session of Congress.
The scant U.S. news media coverage that the bill received largely described the legislation as condemning Putin. However a WND review of the bill’s text finds that after a host of accusations against Putin’s government, the legislation resolves the U.S. should take actions against Russia with military implications.
The bill urges Obama to conduct a review of the “force posture, readiness, and responsibilities” of U.S. Armed Forces to ensure it is sufficient to meet a growing threat from Russia.
Ominously, the legislation calls for Obama to review the forces of other NATO members to determine “if the contributions and actions of each are sufficient to meet the obligations of collective self-defense under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty and to specify the measures needed to remedy any deficiencies.”
The reference to Article 5 of the treaty is instructive. Earlier this year, U.S. Supreme Allied Commander Philip Breedlove warned in an interview with the German newspaper Die Welt that covert infiltration by Russia of the Baltic member states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia could draw a military response under Article 5 of NATO’s founding treaty.
“If we see these actions taking place in a NATO nation, and we are able to attribute them to an aggressor nation, that is Article 5. Now, it is a military response,” Breedlove stated.
The House legislation, meanwhile, reaffirms the obligations of nations allied under the North Atlantic Treaty, which established NATO, to “provide their full share of the resources needed to ensure their collective defense.”
In another section that could have significant military implications, the legislation calls for Obama to “take action to bring the Russian Federation back into compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty,” a 1987 agreement between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.
The post-Cold War-era treaty eliminated nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 300 to 3,400 miles.
This section of the legislation is relevant to another pending national defense authorization bill that calls for U.S. action if accusations that Russia has violated the INF treaty by deploying an unspecified cruise missile prove to be founded. Russia is thought to have deployed the R-500 missile, which would violate the treaty.
The legislation further calls for the U.S. to provide Ukraine with “lethal and non-lethal” defense resources.
It calls for NATO allies and U.S. partners in Europe and other nations around the world to suspend all military cooperation with Russia, including halting the sale of military supplies to Putin’s government.
With additional research by Joshua Klein.