Mon Jan 2, 2017 6:57PM
US Army Black Hawk helicopters support soldiers during the NATO Noble Jump exercise on a training range near Swietoszow Zagan, Poland, June 18, 2015. (Photo by AP)
US Army Black Hawk helicopters support soldiers during the NATO Noble Jump exercise on a training range near Swietoszow Zagan, Poland, June 18, 2015. (Photo by AP)

The United States is attempting to bankrupt Russia’s economy by encircling it through military buildup, an American writer and political commentator says.

James Petras, a professor emeritus of sociology at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York, and adjunct professor at Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada, made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV on Monday.

According to a report, US commandos maintain a “persistent” presence in the Baltic states to bolster the training and resolve of troops of the NATO allies anxious about “a looming threat from Russia.”

Dozens of US Special Operations forces have “quietly” been deployed to boost the tiny militaries of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, and help the US detect any “shadowy efforts” by Moscow to destabilize the former Soviet republics, The New York Times reported on Saturday.

“I think this is part of a global campaign against Russia,” Professor Petras said. “I think it’s an offensive campaign led by Washington which is directed to encircling and undermining Russia through military buildup that they hope would bankrupt Russia’s spending if they try to keep with it.”

In addition, the analyst said the Obama administration is “trying to put in place a military forward shield against Russia to undermine any reconciliation between incoming President Trump and President [Vladimir] Putin.”

“So I think this has nothing to do with defense, it has everything to do with building American presence around Russia,” the commentator sated.

“The equivalent of this would be if Russia decides to build bases in Mexico, and Canada and the Caribbean, which of course Russia does not do,” he added.

“But this is clearly an offensive, not a defensive means. It has all the earmarks of an attempt to foster a belligerent relationship with Russia. And I don’t think anyone takes seriously the defensive rhetoric that accompanies it,” Professor Petras concluded.

According to US media, the Baltic nations are concerned that incoming Republican President Donald Trump’s warmer tone toward Russia might encourage Putin to want to assert control across the whole region.

Trump, who has repeatedly signaled willingness to mend ties with Putin, suggested during the election campaign that the US would only protect NATO allies that paid their fair share to the military alliance.