NATO to Mass Troops Along Russia Frontier; Biggest Buildup Since Cold War

Alliance DMs on Board, But Spurn Polish Calls for Permanent Bases

by Jason Ditz, February 07, 2016

In a move sparked by the latest Pentagon plans for a major increase in US military spending, NATO defense ministers are preparing to meet later this week to work out the details of a massive new deployment along the Russian border, with plans to up to 40,000 NATO personnel to head to the area

The Baltic states and some other NATO members have been playing up the idea of a Russian invasion of Europe for over a year now, and while nothing ever came of it, they keep adding troops to the area, with the latest deployment to be the largest NATO deployment since the Cold War.

The Pentagon’s spending hike itself came on the pretext of “Russian aggression,” though the US of course outspends Russia on its military by roughly a factor of 10. Several other NATO members have spending only a bit lower than Russia’s.

Though everyone seems on board for throwing more troops at the region, the DMs are spurning the calls from the Polish government to commit the deployments to permanent bases on the frontier. Poland has for years complained that they joined NATO on the belief they would get huge, lucrative US bases, and those never happened.

Instead, the plans seem to be for semi-permanent deployments with a lot of rotations in and out. Though there appears to be little resistance right now for the plan, it’s unclear how long the other NATO nations will be up to throwing troops at the Russian frontier for a war that isn’t going to happen.

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