(Reuters) - For defense planners in Washington, London and Brussels, the sight of Russian forces pouring into their second neighbor in six years will overturn two decades of strategic assumptions.
The result of Russia's seizure of Crimea from Ukraine, following its 2008 war with Georgia, could be a modest reversal of years of European defense cuts and a bigger U.S. military presence in the NATO members of central and eastern Europe.
Since the end of the Cold War, the Western alliance has shifted its attention to Afghanistan, Kosovo and counter-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia, as well as Libya during its 2011 civil war. But by the time NATO government leaders meet in September in Wales, some people believe their focus will have returned to deterring Moscow.
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