Against the background of growing tensions with Russia, the combat readiness of hundreds of thousands of NATO troops will be brought to a "higher state", said Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of the North Atlantic Alliance. NATO chiefs intend to prepare significant ground forces that would be able to restrain Russian aggression, the newspaper writes «The Times».
Stoltenberg did not provide accurate data on the number of people, but Sir Adam Thomson, the outgoing Permanent Representative of Great Britain to NATO, told the publication that, in his opinion, the goal was to reduce the deployment time of 300000 troops to less than two months. At present, the publication reminds, such an alliance can be deployed within six months.
These forces will be the second echelon of defense. They will be deployed following the first-tier battle formations (rapid reaction forces).
According to the NATO Secretary General, since the end of the Cold War, which was waged by the USSR and the USA, this strengthening of collective defense is the greatest.
Along with the strengthening of the defense, the Secretary General called on Moscow and Brussels to build constructive relations.
Against the background of statements about accelerating the deployment of counter-arguments, there were opinions of two high-ranking NATO commanders.
NATO does not consider Russia an enemy, Vice-Admiral Clive Johnston, commander-in-chief of the naval forces of the North Atlantic Alliance, believes. He said this at a meeting of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Istanbul, and his comment was made after NATO refused to hold an expert meeting with Moscow on security in the Baltic region.
“Some Baltic countries within NATO are sensitive about issues related to their territorial waters. Russia can build and deploy its fleet somewhere. But NATO does not intend to stop it. Russia is not our enemy. We have no desire to get involved in a new cold war. NATO is trying to understand Russia and at the same time not to harm its interests, ”the television channel quotes Johnston. "RT".
Earlier, Russia's permanent representative to NATO, Alexander Grushko, noted that the number of flights of Russian aircraft over the Baltic Sea is several times smaller than the number of flights of NATO aircraft. According to the Permanent Representative, Russia raised the issue of including transponders when flying military aircraft over the Baltic Sea, but the alliance rejected the proposal.
Earlier, the chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Peter Pavel, said that the deployment of Russian troops off the coast of Syria in the Mediterranean was not a hostile gesture, but a demonstration of the means Moscow possesses to achieve its goals.
In an interview with the French newspaper Le Monde, Mr. Pavel stated that Russia's military potential is growing, the Russian presence is increasing: Moscow wants to show the world that it has military power that must be respected. Therefore, the deployment of an aviation-naval group led by Admiral Kuznetsov on the Syrian coast of Syria is not a hostile gesture, but a demonstration of means. “If she [Russia] is interested in becoming a serious global player again, then any aggressive action during this transitional period would contradict this goal,” the newspaper quoted the chairman of the NATO military committee "Sight".
Yes, the presence of forces in the Mediterranean is a definite challenge, because the more military means in one place, the higher the likelihood of incidents. However, Pavel says, Russia is coordinating with the United States to avoid accidents. In recent months, there have been two sessions of the Russia-NATO Council, and another in the West is expected to be held before the end of 2016.
The general also noted that he did not see official evidence that Russia was trying to destabilize the election campaign in the United States using cyber attacks.
Observer Roman Reshetov (Utro.ru) Asks a question: Does Washington intend to increase the military contingent in Europe? Today, the European contingent of American troops is about 67 thousands of troops. And NATO members do not hope for its increase: if only they would not reduce what is. The observer points out that because of the result of the US election that was unexpected for the leadership of the alliance, even the 2017 summit was postponed from spring to summer. Probably, the "blitzkrieg of NATO" with Russia is being postponed.
In addition to Russia, headed by Putin, NATO has another “enemy” - Donald Trump. The very man whose victory for the alliance was an unpleasant surprise.
Resource "US News" even a long article broke out under the heading “Goodbye NATO, Hello Putin?” “Goodbye” to the alliance will be told by none other than Trump.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the foundation of international security, writes columnist Jim Arkedis, has fallen into the "existential crisis". This happened because Donald Trump won the US election. “Worse, the NATO leaders do not seem to understand how many problems they face,” the author adds.
NATO remains the basis of international peace, the observer is sure, because the signatories agree to “unconditionally” protect each other in the event of an attack on any individual member of the organization. An attack on one is an attack on everyone - this is spelled out in Article V of the statute.
During the 45 years of the Cold War, this item meant that the United States, with its vast military and nuclear arsenal, was protecting Belgium, Denmark or any other country from Soviet military aggression. “The threat of overwhelming American military retaliation kept Moscow from advancing across Europe,” the author is convinced.
And what do we see now? Over the past eight years, “the Putin Kremlin has done just that,” says Arkedis. Russia "invaded the Republic of Georgia, illegally annexed the Crimea", and also "secretly sent troops" to the east of Ukraine. Recently, Russia moved its missiles capable of carrying a nuclear charge into the Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad, which borders on Poland and Lithuania belonging to NATO.
In November, Donald Trump was elected in the United States. But this man called NATO "outdated"! In July 2016, in an interview with The New York Times, Trump questioned the United States’s defense of other NATO members who were not adequately fulfilling their financial obligations to the alliance. It seems that Trump is ready to beat up a military alliance if he fails to force NATO members to fork out.
Not surprisingly, the American observer states that the Russian State Duma applauded Trump's victory.
It is unclear whether the leadership of NATO is aware of the seriousness of Trump's threats. With the exception of a couple of opinions, one of which belongs to Secretary-General J. Stoltenberg and the other to former US representative Ivo Daalder, there are no explicit messages emphasizing the important role of America in this vital alliance.
Perhaps the secretary general of the alliance is "working frantically behind the scenes"? The author does not know. In his opinion, the organization needs today a widespread propaganda campaign aimed at shaping a commitment to the basic NATO principles in the future Trump administration. NATO must lobby its interests in the White House, insisting on the “values of the alliance” and its “highest diplomatic priority” for many years to come.
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So, the North Atlantic Alliance allegedly faces two threats: Putin and Trump. However, both, if you look closely, are “virtual”. Putin is not going to attack the "defenseless" NATO countries and thus check the US commitment to Article V of the NATO charter, and Trump spoke a lot of things before the elections, but he will not necessarily implement his "Theses of July". Very often in politics exactly the opposite happens.
In addition, the fantasies of some Western authors that NATO is the guarantor of world peace do not stand up to scrutiny. NATO is an anti-Russian (anti-Soviet) organization, and nothing more.
Observed and commented on Oleg Chuvakin
- especially for topwar.ru
- especially for topwar.ru