NATO and the Imaginary Russian Threat

Last week the latest in 2017 meeting of NATO defense ministers took place in Brussels. According to media reports, one of the main issues was the need for a large-scale expansion of the transport infrastructure of the alliance. In particular, the discussion was about expanding and repairing of roads, strengthening of existing bridges and building new ones, modernization of railways. Moreover, in accordance with Donald Trump’s policy, not Americans, but every NATO country should improve transport infrastructure on its territory at its own expense. The question is why did NATO members suddenly become concerned about the improvement of roads, bridges, etc.?

The answer is quite simple. This will be done in order that in a crisis situation it could be possible to transfer quickly heavy armored vehicles to the Russian borders. As a result of the Ukrainian crisis, Russia once again became the "geopolitical enemy No. 1". When the former socialist countries of Eastern Europe and the Baltic republics became part of NATO, it quickly became clear that their roads and bridges were adapted for the movement of very mobile T-72 type Soviet tanks, which weight is 44 tons. But they were not adapted for the movement of heavy and slow American "Abrams", whose weight exceeds 62 tons. Bridges collapsed under the weight of "Abrams" tanks; the roads quickly went out of order.

In other words, today NATO cannot quickly transfer heavy armored vehicles from the territory of the "old" members of the alliance to the territory of the former socialist countries. To resolve such a problem, the allies decided to improve the infrastructure.

NATO believes that we are aggressive, we consider them aggressors. We have much more historical reasons to think so. It is enough to recall the devastating invasions of the Poles during the "Time of Troubles", the French invasion in 1812, and finally the Germans invasion during the Second World War.

NATO today deployed several 5,000 men strong battalions on the territory of Poland and the former Soviet Baltic republics. How do we have to respond? Calmly. It should be recalled, that at the height of the Cold War the number of US armed forces in Europe alone exceeded 300,000 troops. Today their number is about 60 thousand. With such a potential, the Americans and NATO will not attack Russia.

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