NATO is reportedly working on the largest build-up to deter Russian aggression since the Cold War. Thanks to the increased US military spending, the Alliance is more confident than ever.
Russia and NATO have been at odds recently especially since Moscow started emphasizing its military capabilities in different parts of the globe. Consequently, since the Russia’s control over Crimea, there have been concerns on whether the country will expand its territory to Poland or other Baltic states. In this regard, Western alliance also has been working on bolstering capabilities to anticipate what could happen without unnecessary provocation.
NATO officials have been working on plans to set up warehoused equipment and outputs across the region. Specifically, this will comprise the rapid response force that includes air, maritime and special operations units. According to Japan Times, there are also expectations for other NATO allies to talk with Moscow. Such request has not happened since 2014. On February 2, the Department of Defense also previewed Pentagon 2017 budget. The government is spending $3.4 billion in support of NATO’s allies against Russian aggression.
Western plans include “more troops in the eastern part of the alliance . . . the pre-positioning of equipment, tanks, armored vehicles . . . more exercises and more investment in infrastructure,” according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. This will help support President Barack Obama’s promise that the country will ensure the independence of the Baltic States.
Another report from Sputnik says that while NATO and Russia are working on normalizing contacts, the conflict can only be resolved if Syrian cooperation could be established. Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov announced last Friday that Russia and NATO will meet for the first time on the level of the organization’s permanent envoys.
However, it may take a while for NATO and Moscow to iron out all issues. The meeting comes since the relations between the two parties was gravely strained. “Conflicts are growing more complicated, and greater mutual transparency is crucial. Only those having some secret plans want to avoid transparency. The point is that the modernization should consider the interests of all parties to the agreement,” explained Alexei Arbatov, an international security expert at the Russian Academy of Sciences.