Obama Wants More NATO Troops in Eastern Europe

Insists Moves Would Reassure Poland, Baltic States

Officially, everyone seems to be settled on the idea that the Russian annexation of Crimea is not some redux of the WW2 blitzkrieg or of Russia reforming the entire Warsaw Pact in a weekend. Still, that doesn’t mean officials aren’t using it as an excuse for a laundry list of military policy goals.

President Obama, who made a big point of mocking Russia and downplaying the Crimea situation as a sign of Putin’s weakness, is now pushing NATO to commit to a military build-up in Eastern Europe.

Not that there’s a war coming, mind you. President Obama has ruled out attacking Crimea several times, but says a build-up would be a great way to “reassure” Poland and the Baltic states that, as NATO members, the alliance is willing to defend them from a Russian invasion that no one thinks is coming anyhow.

It also fits in neatly with Obama’s other major goal: to parlay the Russia situation into a dramatic increase in military spending across Europe, and by extension an increase in US military exports to the continent.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.