The Guardian reports: It has been billed as Nato’s biggest military build-up on Russia’s borders since the cold war. Britain is sending fighter jets next year to Romania. The US is dispatching troops, tanks and artillery to Poland. Germany, Canada and other Nato countries also pledged forces at a meeting on Wednesday of defence chiefs in Brussels.
The move comes after Russia has been busy deploying hardware of its own. Earlier this month, Moscow said it was stationing nuclear-capable missiles in Kaliningrad, Russia’s Baltic exclave. This week, two Russian warships armed with cruise missiles slipped into the Baltic sea.
Meanwhile, the hulking Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov has been belching its way through the Channel en route to Syria. Spain said Moscow had withdrawn a request to refuel on Spain’s north African coast, amid western suspicions the Russian fleet will be used to flatten civilians in Aleppo.
Nato’s apparent goal here is to deter future acts of aggression on European territory by Vladimir Putin’s revanchist Russia. After a period in which Nato has seemed slow to react, and lacking in backbone, the alliance is now sending out a robust message. As the US defence secretary, Ash Carter, put it this week, these deployments are all about deterrence. [Continue reading…]