- Unprecedented Buildup: Specific Steps NATO Will Take to Contain Russia
The North Atlantic Alliance is busy getting ready for its upcoming summit in Warsaw that will formalize specific steps aimed at strengthening the bloc’s military capabilities on its eastern flank, from the Baltics to the Black Sea. But instead of “projecting stability,” as the alliance calls it, NATO is in fact looking for trouble, experts say.
On Tuesday, NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg described some of the measures the alliance will adopt as part of the “biggest reinforcement to [its] collective defense since the end of the Cold War.” The buildup is meant to send a “message” to Moscow that NATO will “continue to protect and defend all Allies against any threats coming from any direction.”
Four rotational battalions
“Four robust multinational battalions,” as the alliance refers to them, will be sent on a rotational basis to Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland. Each is expected to comprise 800 – 1,000 soldiers.
Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States have agreed to create three of the four battalions. Canada is rumored to be in talks of taking charge of the fourth. Other nations, including France, will contribute. Britain is determined to deploy its “framework battalion” in early 2017, the country’s Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said.
NATO’s buildup in the Black Sea
The North Atlantic Alliance is determined to increase its military presence in the Black Sea. The bloc is already active in the region. “We have already increased our presence with more air-policing, with assurance measures, with more naval presence and more exercises,” Stoltenberg told reporters.