NATO Leaders Seek 40,000 Troops Along Russian Border

US Pledges Troops and Equipment to Latest Escalation

Every NATO conference lately seems to center on ideas to escalate military deployments along the border with Russia. This time they’re really going for broke, as the “spearhead” force they started last year with 4,000 troops along the Russian border could get expanded to as many as 40,000 troops.

The “spearhead” force was initially meant to forestall a Russian invasion of Europe, something which US officials were constantly predicting was imminent. A year later and with the invasion still looking extremely unlikely, officials just keep doubling down at every opportunity.

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter has headed to Europe this week to try to convince various European nations, notably Germany, to dramatically increase military spending so they can afford to send a bunch of excess troops to the Russian border. He will also commit US troops and equipment to the plan.

What all this US contribution will entail is unclear, but Carter has already said it will include air surveillance, airlift capabilities, and ground-based artillery forces, as well as a hefty number of ground troops. Carter is also talking up an escalation of sanctions against Russia.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for 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.