The Atlantic Council sponsored what it called a “Twitter debate” Thursday, on “Reassurance and Collective Defense” policy for NATO. Featured speakers were three of the Queen’s men: Edward Lucas, editor of the Economist and a known anti-Russian fanatic; Chatham House fellow Keir Giles; and Jonathan Eyl, of Her Majesty’s Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).
One of the major topics up for discussion was the set of recommendations of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee Report, all of which involve provocative NATO expansion to the East. Among the most provocative are:
“A continuous (if not technically ‘permanent’) presence of NATO troops, on training and exercise in the Baltic;
“The re-establishment of large-scale military exercises including representatives from all NATO Member States that include military and political decision-makers;
“Consideration of the re-establishment of a NATO standing reserve force along the lines of the Allied Command Europe Mobile Force-Land;
“Re-examination of the criteria, doctrine and responses to calls under Article 4 for ‘collective security’ support against asymmetric attacks, especially, but not limited to, cyber attacks where attribution is difficult;
“An Alliance doctrine for “ambiguous warfare” and investment in an Alliance asymmetric or “ambiguous warfare” capability.”
In the “discussion”—basically a bunch of 140 character twitter feeds—the three all endorsed these measures, and added the following:
1) Attacks on Germany for not wanting to station permanent troops in the new NATO states—because it’s against the treaty.
2) The biggest problem is to think that the conflict with Russia is temporary—this is a systematic clash. (This from Eyl)
3) NATO should consider the Pacific region as one of its major concerns as well, and support Japan in its policies vis-a-vis China.
Rasmussen on Promo Tour for New NATO Eastern Presence in Kiev
The outgoing General Secretary of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen met with members of the Kiev regime today, on the NATO-Ukraine partnership issues, and to discuss plans for joint military exercises. He was also expected to discuss the new NATO scheme for ongoing increased exercise activity in all eastern European regions bordering on Russia, which would see NATO troops on the ground at all times on a rotating basis, short of a permanent stationing of units. The plan will be okayed at the Sept. 4-5 NATO summit in Wales.
The new concept, a “soft” version of NATO SACEUR Philip Breedlove’s original script for having a rapid intervention force of 25,000 soldiers stationed in eastern Europe permanently, apparently also has the support of the German government, which for a long time has rejected the permanent stationing, but now supports an alternate plan for the creation of a rotating European brigade between the Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Poland. This was discussed on June 16 already between the two defense ministers from Germany and the Netherlands, Ursula von der Leyen und Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, during a first in history joint exercise whereby Germany relinquished its sovereignty to a foreign military. Minister von der Leyen spoke of a new era toward a European army. The next joint exercise is already planned.
However, an increasing part of the German population dislikes this policy of military buildup, and a new opinion poll just carried out for Germany’s Stern weekly by the FORSA institute shows 33% of those polled, fear the Ukraine conflict would develop into a war between NATO and Russia; 62% believe war is less likely. Women are more worried than men: 41% of women fear war, against only 24% of men.