Polish Fears About Russia Make US Beef Up European Defence

07.04.2016

The United States does not see any threats to its interests, but is caving in to pressure from East Europeans instead. Washington plans to deploy an armored brigade to Eastern Europe next February.

"We're investing in capabilities that our military need to deter aggression and defend our security and that of our allies, and this includes increases in our posture in Europe to reassure NATO allies in the light of particularly increased aggressive actions by Russia,” President Obama said Monday after a meeting with Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.

The United States does not see any threats to its interests, but is caving in to pressure from East Europeans instead, Valdai Club expert Edward N. Luttwak, Senior associate at the Center for International and Strategic Studies (CSIS), believes.

“It is not the Americans but the Poles who are frightened by Russian actions in Ukraine,” he told valdaiclub.com in comments sent by email Thursday, referring to the secession of Crimea from Ukraine and its reunification with Russia.

“It was not a good idea to include Poland in NATO (for either side) but the fact is that it is a member - and members have always had the right to declare themselves "insecure", and request reinforcements,” he added.​

“Until 2002, NATO had a ​"reassurance brigade" of 5,000 troops from 14 different armies for the job, but now it is no more, while US ​ground forces in Europe ​have gone down​ from 50 battalions to 3, so that a brigade has to be send from the US,” Luttwak went on to say.

“It remains to be seen if other NATO members will irritate Moscow to reassure Warsaw,” he concluded.

Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

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