Tuesday, July 5, 2016
How Can NATO De-Escalate With Russia
Richard Sokolsky, Foreign Affairs: Not Quiet on NATO's Eastern Front
How the Alliance Can De-escalate With Russia.
In a pre-retirement interview on May 1, NATO’s top military officer, General Philip Breedlove, warned that the Russian military might not be ten feet tall but was “certainly close to seven.” NATO’s war planners are right to worry about the Russian military threat to its eastern flank. Fortunately, the alliance may be in a stronger position than it thinks—and although its leaders may not realize it, what is important is that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his generals almost certainly do.
NATO’s efforts to build a stronger deterrent and defense posture in the east are necessary and long overdue. But they may not be enough to de-escalate the alliance’s confrontation with Russia and reduce the risk of a direct conflict. Two years after NATO launched plans to beef up defenses on its eastern front, a midcourse correction is needed to reduce the risk of a collision with Russia.
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WNU Editor: If this post is what passes for what is "smart" in U.S. foreign policy when it comes to Russia .... I can then understand why NATO - Russian and U.S. - Russian relations are in the toilet. The reason why relations between Russia and NATO are now tense is because of Ukraine. Solve Ukraine .... tensions will disappear. This will require political compromises and sacrifices within Ukraine itself .... and an acceptance in Kiev that Russian Ukrainians will need to be accommodated on culture and in handling their economic/financial affairs. Will this happen .... in today's environment the answer is no. And absent any pressure from the Western powers to push Kiev down this road .... while promoting a military build-up on Russia's borders .... will only guarantee an escaaltion in tensions.