The United States and the 27 other NATO-member nations on Wednesday agreed to a new multinational force that will patrol the eastern European border setting up what many believe is “a dangerous dynamic…that has every possibility of spiraling out of control.”
During a press conference on Wednesday, alliance ministers, who are meeting this week for a two-day conference in Brussels, Belgium, cast themselves as defenders against Russian aggression—a charge that Russian officials have repeatedly denied.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg told reporters that the force will rotate in and out of eastern European member states. The new strategy includes “a network of new alliance outposts, forces on rotation, warehoused equipment and regular war games, all backed by a rapid-reaction force,” which includes “air, naval and special operations units of up to 40,000 personnel,” Reuters reports.
Stoltenberg said the deployment “will be multinational to make clear that an attack against one ally is any attack against all allies and that the alliance as a whole will respond.”
Robert Bridge, an American journalist based in Moscow, said Wednesday that the new fighting force is clearly a provocation.
“The result of this massive increase of spending will be more military hardware, more troops, more provocative exercises on Russia’s western flank and much more tension between Moscow and NATO—which once upon a time promised Russia it would not expand ‘one inch east’ following the collapse of the Soviet Union,” Bridge wrote.
“The fact is,” he continued, “from Russia’s point of view, foreign troops are there; they will have a constant presence regardless as to how they are defined. And that is how NATO—not Russia—is aggravating tensions with Russia.”
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