Magazine article Army

What to Do about Russia

Magazine article Army

What to Do about Russia

Article excerpt

NATO countries have designed a package of measures aimed at dealing with Russian aggression in Ukraine and at providing safety to other countries that border Russia. At the heart of the package is a so-called Readiness Action Plan, which was approved during the 2014 NATO Wales Summit.

The plan is comprised of several elements, all of which are primarily designed to "provide a visible increase in the presence of NATO in Eastern Europe" and warn potential aggressors, according to former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

The plan involves establishing a special group known as the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force as a key part of the NATO Response Force. The task force will be comprised of 5,000 soldiers and must be able to deploy in any part of the world in just two days. The new force will be made up of soldiers from different NATO countries, but their future base has not yet been disclosed. It might be in Poland, Romania or the Baltic states.

In addition to the new task force, NATO countries also agreed upon the establishment of a new Joint Expeditionary Force, which is expected to be composed of more than 10,000 soldiers. Plans indicate the force will be made up of soldiers from the Baltic states, Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway. At the same time, the U.K. announced its intention to send up to 3,500 soldiers for the new task force.

The plan also involves expanding the "staff and logistics infrastructure" of NATO in Eastern Europe. This means that NATO military forces will be continuously located close to the Russian border. This, however, is contrary to the existing NATO-Russia Founding Act of 1997, which bans NATO from placing substantial combat forces in Eastern Europe on a permanent basis.

The Baltic states-including Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania-have expressed the most interest in the expansion of NATO in Eastern Europe. …

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