by Julia Arciga, @JuliaArciga
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is making moves to deter Russia in Eastern Europe -- with less U.S. backing.
In light of the upcoming July NATO summit in Warsaw, and announcements by the NATO Secretary General that more “defensive and deterrent” troops would be provided to Poland and the surrounding region, the U.S. announced that it would provide only one battalion of troops to the E. Europe cause.
The U.S. had originally promised two battalions, or approximately 2,000 soldiers. In this revision of strategy, the U.S. concluded that the fourth battalion - -originally to be supplied by them --would have to be supplied by European countries to “to play a greater role in their own defense.” This announcement came at the surprise of American allies and sent NATO “scrambling” to find more troops from other nations.
Countries like Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia have committed themselves to providing about 4,000 troops to the mission, and “framework” countries such as Great Britain and Germany will work with the U.S. to deter Moscow influence in this NATO mission.
The American change in strategy can be strongly attributed to its domestic, internal political realm. President Barack Obama has critiqued European countries for not taking a lead in their own defenses, and presumptive 2016 Republican nominee Donald J. Trump critiqued NATO for being "obsolete."
Despite recent change in batallion strategy, the United States still has involvement in Eastern European NATO missions -- namely the summer naval and air exercises of BALTOPS 16 in the Baltic Sea region.
America's next steps in NATO will be highly dependent on the election of the next President of the United States, but it's been abundantly clear that the U.S. no longer wants to be fully "responsible" for European security beyond organizational cooperation and occasional support.
Enjoy our original articles? Consider supporting Conflict News with a small contribution on our Patreon page, to help us cover site host costs, and provide exciting new content in the future!