by: Timothy Villareal on April 16th, 2014 | 9 Comments »
Today, NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, issued the following statement about NATO’s military response to increased Russian government manuevering in eastern Ukraine:
Today, we agreed on a package of further military measures to reinforce our collective defence and demonstrate the strength of Allied solidarity.
We will have more planes in the air, more ships on the water, and more readiness on the land (read boots on the ground).
For example, air policing aircraft will fly more sorties over the Baltic region. Allied ships will deploy to the Baltic Sea, the Eastern Mediterranean and elsewhere, as required. Military staff from Allied nations will deploy to enhance our preparedness, training and exercises. Our defence plans will be reviewed and reinforced.
We will start to implement these measures straight away. More will follow, if needed, in the weeks and months to come.
The NATO Secretary General’s announcement will be music to the ears of those who have been calling for more U.S. troop deployments to eastern Europe in response to Putin’s provocations. Last month in the National Interest magazine, for example, Dick Kirckus, a former “Chair of Warfighting Strategy at the U.S. Marine Corps University” wrote:
Today, the most vulnerable members of NATO in the East Baltic Sea region share a common border with Russia and desperately want American boots on the ground – not combat engineers constructing an antimissile system in Poland to evaporate Iranian rockets – to deter a reckless Russian military provocation. The prospect that U.S. troops will die should Russian troops cross their borders will give meaning to Washington’s pledge to honor Article Five guarantees. After all, the Americans have demonstrated on numerous occasions that if challenged, they will fight.
Got that? No mere missiles and rockets will suffice to deter Putin, only people willing to sacrifice their lives in European military chess matches will be enough to deter Putin’s westward aggression. The glaring flaw in Kirckus’ thesis is that Americans of our generation have by no means demonstrated a willingness to fight and die in pointless wars. On 9/11 our nation was attacked by a ruthless criminal gang, which for a period of time found sanctuary under the ragtag rule of the Taliban. Eventually, most Americans, as evidenced by their refusal to enlist in the military, came to see the demise of the Taliban’s governance and going after the terrorists as the appropriate response to those horrific attacks on our own country; to shed our own blood in pointless wars, most Americans have concluded, is wrong.