I keep a full-time watch on everything that happens in Romania, Moldova, and Pridnestrovie, but I also try to keep tabs on what’s happening in Ukraine, for obvious reasons.
As such, when I saw this appear in Ukrainian media, I immediately went and verified it.
Unfortunately, it isn’t fake news, to wit:
Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, former commanding general of the United States Army Europe, made a corresponding statement at the conference in Prague dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the membership of the Czech Republic and other Visegrad Four countries in NATO, the Czech news channel STK reports.
… Hodges is convinced that NATO needs to build up capacities in the Black Sea region. “It is the area where Russia commits the greatest and strongest acts of aggression. If the West does nothing with the annexation of Crimea, it is quite possible that Odessa and, probably, Romania will be occupied next,” he said.
Now, I want you to take a moment and think about this.
Lt. General Ben Hodges the Third has had a very long career in the United States military, and his last job was as the very top soldier of all American forces in Europe (abbreviated USAREUR).
There was literally no higher-ranking American general on the scene in Europe than this guy. Therefore, if anyone should have access to reliable military information about Romania and Russia, it should be him.
I’ll never get a chance to ask him a question, but if I could, I’d ask, “Are you taking a Michael Jackson level amount of prescription drugs?”
Calling Mr. Mongerer
I often throw the term “warmonger” around a little too loosely, but in its purest sense, it literally means someone who goes around “selling” or advocating for war.
And that definition fits Ben Hodges to a fucking T:
In making appearances on German talk shows, speaking at think tanks and universities, and giving countless interviews with international media, Hodges …
About the role of land power in Europe and the importance of NATO, Hodges said, “I always felt it was my duty to help explain. I believe it so strongly. I look for every opportunity, whether it is a kindergarten class or a professional journalist or a think tank, trying to explain all those things.”
Dear god, this man is telling children about the importance of NATO.
Hodges says the next step in Europe is to establish a free travel zone for alliance military convoys that would relieve forces of diplomatic clearances that can slow response times.
Hodges also took on the challenge of moving forces around Europe with greater speed, conducting convoys up and down NATO’s eastern flank to test the Army’s ability to mobilize.
Which went over like a ton of bricks:
Former German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier called USAREUR’s tank demonstrations in the Baltics and Poland “warmongering.”
Here he is telling Hungary to prepare militarily for a conflict with Russia. Here he is doing something similar in Moldova. Here’s his paranoid rantings about Belarus.
And so on, ad infinitum.
This guy literally tours the world to advocate for war. He is the textbook definition of a warmonger.
Okay, but back to Romania
Yah, other than the fact that we have a certified warmonger driving NATO policy, let’s steer this back to Romania.
Here’s a fun fact for you: neither Russia nor the Soviet Union has ever once attacked Romania militarily.
Isn’t that strange? You’d expect that it would be the opposite, but it isn’t.
First of all, the modern nation of Russia (1991-present) has certainly never attacked Romania militarily. Not a single bullet, torpedo, or missile has ever been fired by (modern) Russia anywhere on or near Romanian territory.
Furthermore, (modern) Russia has never once made any hostile or threatening statements to Romania. Russian planes have never once violated Romanian airspace, and Russia has never flown any drones or un”manned” aircraft in or near Romania.
During the Soviet era, Romania was a Communist ally. Unlike, say, in Hungary (1956) or Czechoslovakia (1968) or others, the Soviet Union never once intervened militarily or used military force against Romania. In fact, all Soviet troops left Romania permanently in 1956.
Continuing to roll the clock backward, Romania was an ally of the Soviet Union during the latter half of World War 2.
Prior to that, Romania was an ally of Nazi Germany. Romania certainly attacked many parts of the Soviet Union, notably the Battle of Stalingrad. At least some part of the utter misery and suffering caused during that battle was due to Romanian participation.
Nobody today wants to think about that. Or all the fire bombings and Holocaust shit in Ukraine, et al.
Moving on. The only time a conflict nearly broke out between Nazi-allied Romania and the Soviet Union was in 1940 when the Soviet Union demanded (more or less what is today the Republic of) Moldova aka “Bessarabia”.
Romania capitulated immediately, actually even before the deadline, and so a clash was averted. But it is assumed that the Soviet Union would’ve used military force to occupy Moldova if Romania had not backed down.
Going further backward, we get to World War 1, when (monarchical) Russia was an ally of Romania. In fact, Russia saved Romania from getting wiped off the map.
You’d have to keep on going back until at least 1812 in order to find some kind of semblance of military conflict between Russian (or the Soviet Union) and Romania.
That’s at least 200 years of peaceful coexistence.
History nerds click here.
And unlike all the other, much more complicated situations like Donbass et cetera, there are very few ethnic Russians who live in Romania. Except for the Lipoveni, you’d be hard pressed to find very many ethnic Russians in Romania.
Therefore, there is no “brotherhood” motivation for Russia to ever want to occupy (and annex?) Romania.
Furthermore, there is literally no reason for (modern) Russia to attack Romania in order to acquire resources.
Oil? Russia has more.
Gas? Russia has more.
Gold deposits? Russia has more.
Metals? Russia has more.
Farmland? Russia has more.
I cannot think of a single natural resource that Romania possesses that Russia does not have in abundance.
Even if you think Vladimir Putin is the devil incarnate and hates Romania with a burning passion, there is no conceivable reason why he would ever think that he and/or Russia would benefit by a military occupation of Romania.
There are no economic benefits, no cultural benefits, and no historical reasons to even think of occupying Romania. Furthermore, as we all know quite well, Romania is a member of NATO, and thus, an occupation of Romania would trigger World War frigging Three.
But garbage souls like Ben Hodges constantly saying “Russia might invade and occupy Romania” is what people will remember, and cite, and quote when it comes time to bankrupt Romania (and other countries) by forcing them to spend a ton of money on weapons in order to protect themselves against a sick, made-up fantasy.
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Advocating for preparedness is not the same as advocating for war.
It seems you concede that when, in the end, you state that Romania is primarily safe because it is a member of NATO.
As you write yourself, you are using the term “warmonger” too loosely. And too often.
Calling other people “garbage souls” doesn’t lend much credibility to your writing, either.
As to Romania’s security, the much bigger threat is Hungary, obviously.
That’s why it’s a blessing that both countries are in the EU and in NATO, for who knows what would happen otherwise.