Russian officials have said that a new plan by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to prepare for combat within a month will weaken security and stability in Europe.
Defense ministers from NATO member states met late last week and revealed a new strategy for combating Russia. The new plan, called Four Thirties, would have 30 troop battalions, 30 aircraft squadrons and 30 warships ready to deploy within 30 days to combat any threats.The new strategy is widely viewed as a plan to protect NATO allies from interference or invasion from Russia.
Speaking Wednesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Grushko said the new NATO plan is a threat to European stability and that Moscow would respond by preparing its own military measures to protect itself. Grushko, who is a former NATO ambassador, did not reveal what the new Russian military plan would look like.
The news comes just one day after another NATO member, Norway, revealed that it would request that the U.S. double the number of marines it currently has stationed inside its borders, sending those marines to regions near Russia.
This, along with the Four Thirties plan, demonstrates that NATO members increasingly view Russia as a threat, despite President Donald Trump’s friendly rhetoric toward Moscow and its leadership. Reports suggest that even members of Trump’s Department of Defense have been pushing for NATO allies to prepare in case a conflict breaks out with Russia. NATO members have been conducting exercises using simulated naval and cyberattacks that mimic an offensive by Russia in order to prepare.
And even the U.S. government’s official National Security Strategy, which was released in December of 2017, claims that Russia is one of the biggest threats facing the U.S.
“China and Russia are developing advanced weapons and capabilities that could threaten our critical infrastructure and our command and control architecture,” the strategy reads.
Speaking to reporters last Thursday following the meeting of NATO defense ministers, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg—a Norwegian politician—said the European security environment is unpredictable. Still, he refrained from calling out Russia by name.
"This is not about setting up or deploying new forces. It is about boosting the readiness of existing forces across each and every ally," Stoltenberg said about the Four Thirties plan. "This is about establishing a culture of readiness and we need that because we have a more unpredictable security environment. We have to be prepared for the unforeseen.”
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