WSJ: NATO to expand its deployment in Eastern Europe

NATO is to approve an expansion of its troop deployments in Eastern Europe, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing the alliance officials; the move comes after a global think tank said in an analysis that NATO was currently unable to defend the territory of its most exposed members, including Estonia.

The WSJ said that NATO officials met on Friday to pull together a proposal for expanding the NATO mission in Eastern Europe. The measure is expected to be approved by alliance’s defence ministers next week, the newspaper added.

According to the article, the force or contributions will be determined later in 2016. But the alliance’s defence ministers are likely to approve a mission that would enlarge deployments to the Baltic states and Poland.

A global policy think tank, RAND corporation, recently analysed a series of wargames conducted in the Baltics between the summer of 2014 and the spring of 2015, and concluded in a report that as “currently postured, NATO cannot successfully defend the territory of its most exposed members”.

“Across multiple games using a wide range of expert participants in and out of uniform playing both sides, the longest it has taken Russian forces to reach the outskirts of the Estonian and/or Latvian capitals of Tallinn and Riga, respectively, is 60 hours,” the think tank said.

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Cover: US Air Force V-22 Osprey multi-mission aircraft. Photo: US Air Force, public domain.

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