March 05, 2024

What NATO allies must do to prepare for Russian aggression

The U.S. has long framed the invasion of Ukraine as a strategic failure for Russia. Secretary of State Antony Blinken declared it as such in June 2023, saying: “Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine has been a strategic failure, greatly diminishing Russia’s power, its interests, and its influence for years to come.”

And yet, in the last two months, a growing number of Western officials have warned of a military threat from Russia against countries along NATO’s eastern flank.

In order to fix all this, the U.S. and its allies need to build a shared understanding of the threat that opportunistic aggression poses to NATO.

The chief of Estonia’s intelligence service said in February: “Russia has chosen a path which is a long-term confrontation … and the Kremlin is probably anticipating a possible conflict with NATO within the next decade or so.” Meanwhile, the Danish and German defense ministers have similarly warned that Russia could attack NATO in less than a decade.

The critical question now is: Does Russia pose a credible threat to NATO?

Currently, there are numerous factors working to dissuade Russia from challenging NATO, but there’s one scenario that stands out as a plausible pathway to conflict — and that’s if the Kremlin comes to underestimate Western, and most importantly U.S., resolve to fight under certain conditions.

Read the full article from POLITICO Europe.

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