NATO prepares ‘spearhead’ to ward off Russia

Good luck with turning ‘a few hundred’ troops into an intimidating deterrent, especially against Russia.


NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has voiced concern about Russia’s “aggressive” behavior. He told a press conference that the alliance was working on a “spearhead” to deter any possible threat.

Beginning early next year NATO will have a new reaction force ready, which can be deployed more rapidly on its eastern border. This new force, called “interim spearhead,” will consist of a few hundred troops from Germany, the Netherlands and Norway. Troops will rotate in terms of their state of readiness, but remain at bases in their home countries.

The new secretary general of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, announced the plan to support the Baltic members of the alliance during a press conference in Brussels at NATO headquarters.

Concerned by increased Russian military activities on land, at sea and in the air in the wake of the crisis around Ukraine, NATO decided at its summit meeting in Wales in early September to strengthen its military presence in the Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, which have a common border with either Russia or Belarus.

NATO chief diplomat Jens Stoltenberg told reporters that, in his view, Russia continues to violate international law and is shipping goods and weapons to the pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine. In 2016, he said, NATO intends to have a fully equipped spearhead force in place, which could be deployed to the Baltic member states in 48 hours to “deter and defend” in every possible crisis. The secretary general called on Russia to make a choice and to return to the negotiating table. “It will be an advantage for Russia, but also an advantage for NATO, if Russia chooses another path and starts to respect international law and the sovereignty of all nations and the rule-based system, we have tried to establish for so many years in Europe”, said Stoltenberg.

Full article: NATO prepares ‘spearhead’ to ward off Russia (Deutsche Welle)

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