Stars and Stripes reports that NATO’s Allied Land Command is using techniques used against the Taliban in Afghanistan to prepare its ground forces for a war with Russia in Europe.
Citing “Russian aggression in Ukraine and concerns along NATO’s southern flank.” Stars and Stripes says the alliance is enacting “improvements to readiness and responsiveness” and dispatching combat evaluators.
“The political guidance has lined up. The military structure is lined up, and the focus and energy is all lined up,” Lt. Gen. John W. Nicholson, commander Allied Land Command, told the newspaper. “These threats to the stability of the world around us, especially to the east and the south, have clearly energized the political and military leadership of the alliance to enact these improvements to readiness and responsiveness of the alliance.”
A Bold New Plan: Sending Weapons to Ukraine
Roll Call, a newspaper covering legislative and political developments on Capitol Hill, reports that “security in Europe requires a bold new plan: accelerating NATO force modernization initiatives in Eastern Europe and immediately delivering its surplus Cold War equipment to Ukraine.”
Benjamin Jensen, a scholar-in-residence at American University’s School of International Service and runs the Advanced Studies Program for the USMC Command and Staff College, writes that the “next National Defense Authorization Act should include language that fast tracks foreign military sales for Eastern European members of NATO. These countries need firm guarantees the United States is committed to NATO and willing to replenish weapons stockpiles they send to defend Ukrainian sovereignty.”
Defense Establishment: Russia a Threat to Baltic States
On Thursday, the UK defense secretary Michael Fallon said he believes Russia presents a “real and present danger” to the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
Fallon said it is imperative NATO be prepared for aggression from Russia “in whatever form it takes.” He said Russia will use what the BBC describes as “covert tactics” top undermine the sovereignty of the Baltic states.
On February 24 NATO will use Estonia’s independence celebration to parade troops 300 meters from Russian territory, a move the Russians consider a provocation.
Russian General: We Are at War
Earlier this month Gen. Leonid Ivashov, the former foreign relations head of the Russian Ministry of Defense and current president of the Academy of Geopolitical Studies, said Russia is at war with NATO and the West.
“Apparently they officials of the European Union and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry have dedicated themselves, and continue to do so, to deeply and thoroughly studying the doctrine of Dr. Goebbels… They present everything backwards from reality. It is one of the formulas which Nazi propaganda employed most successfully… They accuse the party that is defending itself, of aggression. What we are seeing in Ukraine and in Syria is a western project, a new kind of war: in both places you see a clear anti-Russian approach, and as is well known, wars today begin with psychological and information warfare operations.”
“I assume that the Foreign Ministry understands that we are at war,” Ivashov said.