NATO is already half destroyed. One attack on a small NATO member such as Lithuania means Article 5 is invoked, which means a risk of nuclear war. Having said that, military leaders realize this risk and with the Obama administration in the White House, expect NATO to do nothing and stand down. The most that will happen is strong condemnation on television screens and maybe an angry letter written to Putin. When this takes place, that will be the nail in the coffin for NATO.
The result would be a disaster. NATO would dissolve over night. When NATO is gone, the United States will get kicked out of an already impatient Europe that wanted to give it the boot a long time ago. That means Europe will rise on its own with its own European Army or join Russia in an alliance.
Although he’s unlikely to go as far as invading Poland, in general, this is exactly what Putin is banking on and what he’s likely to do in some shape or form.
The Soviets are prepared attack as far as Poland 30 minutes before NATO personnel can even get out of bed. NATOs own leaders admit it’s not even ready and that Putin is likely to take action in the Baltic states. It’s not difficult to see militarily who the winner might be, or politically after the fallout.
The commander of the United States army in Europe has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of seeking to destroy NATO, and accused Russia of having 12,000 troops inside eastern Ukraine.
Speaking to military and political leaders in Berlin, Lieutenant-General Frederick “Ben” Hodges said Russia could seek to use the sort of “hybrid warfare” seen in eastern Ukraine against a NATO member to test the alliance. “I am sure Putin wants to destroy our alliance, not by attacking it but by splintering it,” he said.
He warned that Mr Putin could try to destabilise a NATO member by using a rebel militia as in eastern Ukraine, or other forms of “ambiguous” warfare.
In the absence of an overt Russian attack, some NATO members could be reluctant to invoke Article 5 of the Washington treaty, under which an attack on one member is an attack on all.
“Once Article 5 is gone, our alliance is over,” General Hodges said.
In Ukraine, the US strategy was to “raise the cost for President Putin” by supporting Ukrainian government forces, General Hodges said. Europe and the US have been divided over American proposals to arm Ukrainian troops.
Full article: Russian President Vladimir Putin trying to destroy NATO: US commander (The Age)