Nato countries begin largest war game in eastern Europe since cold war

Ten-day military exercise, Anaconda-2016, will involve 31,000 troops and thousands of vehicles from 24 countries

The largest war game in eastern Europe since the end of the cold war has started in Poland, as Nato and partner countries seek to mount a display of strength as a response to concerns about Russia’s assertiveness and actions.

The 10-day military exercise, involving 31,000 troops and thousands of vehicles from 24 countries, has been welcomed among Nato’s allies in the region, though defence experts warn that any mishap could prompt an offensive reaction from Moscow. Continue reading

Spooked by Russia, Poland boosts army by 50,000 men

Poland will expand its armed forces next year to 150,000 men from the current 100,000 because of security concerns, Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz said Friday.

He did not explicitly mention Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine or the pro-Moscow revolt in the country’s east, but those events have already spooked Warsaw into bolstering its defence capabilities. Continue reading

Poland: The Lynchpin of Security on NATO’s Front Lines

While Moscow’s aggressive actions have changed the way many in NATO view the threat posed by Russia, NATO’s eastern members have long considered Russia an existential threat and have planned accordingly. Poland, because of its large size, geographic location, and historical experience has become the lynchpin of security in Eastern Europe since joining NATO in 1999.

The U.S. can and should do more to assist Poland in building strong defense capabilities, improving interoperability, and increasing political willingness to use its influence to improve security in the Alliance. It’s also vital that the upcoming NATO summit, which will be held in Poland in July 2016, sees real improvement in the capabilities of the Alliance. Continue reading