The New York Times reports: Polish leaders have been waiting for years for a NATO summit meeting that would recognize what, to them, is a self-evident reality: that the proper way to respond to an increasingly pugnacious Russia is to plant more alliance troops and weaponry along the eastern front.
But now that this is actually expected to happen during NATO’s two-day gathering here this week, the question is whether — with Britain’s startling exit from the European Union sucking up all the political oxygen — anyone will even notice.
“Militarily, this summit will be about strengthening forces along the eastern front,” said Michal Baranowski, director of the Warsaw office of the German Marshall Fund. “Politically, it’s a Brexit summit.”
The gathering here on Friday and Saturday — drawing every major leader in the trans-Atlantic alliance, including President Obama, Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany — will be the largest NATO summit meeting in history, with 28 delegations from European Union countries, 26 from other nations, and representatives from the United Nations and the World Bank.
Much of what is expected to be adopted has already been agreed upon in earlier meetings of foreign and defense ministers — “It is pre-cooked,” as Mr. Baranowski put it — so attention is likely to focus instead on how alliance members, including Britain, make an ostentatious show of Western unity despite the shadow of “Brexit” and the weakening of the European Union. [Continue reading…]