330,000 soldiers is one-eighth of what Russia boasts in regard to the size of their military. This fraction of men are vested in the western border of Russia, not far from Moscow, representing NATO’s biggest military buildup against Russia since the Cold War. The goal? NATO wants to deter Russia in former Soviet states in Europe after Russia’s demonstration of swift and deadly operations during the annexation of Crimea in 2014, ensuring that Russian expansion is less possible or at least preventable by way of feather ruffling to appear like the bigger bird.
In a response to this buildup, the Kremlin has suspended a treaty with the United States to clean up weapons-grade plutonium (the same metal used to build “Fat Man”, the atomic bomb dropped over Nagasaki) which is a possible tool for Russia to use in disputes in Ukraine or Syria. This also explains the deployment of nuclear-capable Iskander ballistic missiles in Kaliningrad, Russia. These missiles are capable of hitting targets across the Baltic states and in Poland. Further, while Germany, Canada, and other representatives recently met in Brussels, two Russian warships entered the Baltic Sea with cruise missiles staged on deck, furthering tensions between the east and west.
Let’s take a look at the numbers. Below, see a breakdown of force contributions focused on bolstering defenses against Russia:
Overall plan: Establish a 4,000-strong force of soldiers in the Baltics and eastern Europe, followed by a 40,000 man rapid-reaction force, followed by more deployment as necessary.
Britain: Will send Typhoon aircraft to Romania to patrol the Black Sea, and an 800-strong battalion to Estonia, backed by French and Danish soldiers, starting in May.
United States: A 44,000-man deployment that will include tanks and heavy weaponry that will move across eastern Europe as well as a force of 900 soldiers that will be sent to Poland in response to Iskander ballistics.
Germany: Germany will send 400-600 troops to Lithuania with supportive troops from the Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, Croatia, and Luxembourg.
Canada: Canada will deploy 450 troops to Latvia, joined by 140 soldiers from Italy.
Additionally, NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also stated that the commitment made by NATO’s members will send a clear message to President-Elect Donald Trump, who has claimed that the nations within NATO too often fail to contribute as they should.
Since the onset of this movement in October, claims of Russian interference in the 2016 election by United States intelligence services and its public officials have been rampant. Though there is little to no evidence to support the validity of this claim, it can be inferred that the recent hysteria has been up-played to foster the spread of fake news and to inspire angst against Russia. The Obama Administration spent nearly eight years as the abject weakling in Russian-American affairs (and at times even seemed proud of it); the time to get tough on Putin was in 2012 when the President chose to scoff at Mitt Romney’s claims that Russia remained a hostile adversary to the United States, instead of respecting the validity of the claim.
As much as the Russian threat might be credible, one thing is certain: there is no denying that the timing of the Obama Administration’s newfound “tough” stance on Russia has more to do with saving face politically than it does with saving our election system from foreign influence.