Whoever the next President of the United States is will have plenty on their plate to begin their term including Russia which has been testing boundaries as of late. To counter this growing threat NATO has put 300,000 troops on high alert to counter and deter Russia’s assertiveness.
NATO felt that there was strong enough hostilities coming from Moscow that they wanted a huge ground force to be ready for an all-out war. The high alert means that troops will be able to mobilize within two months, instead of the typical time of around six months.
“These measures proved themselves necessary because of Russia’s unprecedented military activity in the world,” Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg told the Times. “With Russia increasing its military power, holding exercises and increasing its expenditure on propaganda, NATO can’t avoid getting itself ready to meet any threat.”
“We have also seen Russia using propaganda in Europe among Nato allies and that is exactly the reason why Nato is responding,” NATO’s Secretary General said. “We are responding with the biggest reinforcement of our collective defense since the end of the Cold War.”
In October, NATO was preparing to station 4,000 troops on the Russian border with the Baltic states in its biggest military build-up since the Cold War. NATO chiefs issued an ultimatum to Russia last month promising to respond with deadly military force if the aggressions did not cease.
“We have seen Russia being much more active in many different ways,” said Stoltenberg, a Norwegian. “We have seen a more assertive Russia implementing a substantial military build-up over many years; tripling defense spending since 2000 in real terms; developing new military capabilities; exercising their forces and using military force against neighbors.”
The fear is that Vladimir Putin could snatch back Baltic states in a quick land invasion. Scout.com is reporting that there are eight countries in Eastern Europe gearing up for a war, including Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Finland and Sweden. Analysts believe that Russia could easily roll into most of those countries and take over a country like Estonia in as little as 60 hours.
But it isn’t just ground troops that are ramping up their preparedness. NATO fighter pilots are also being quite vigilant against Russian aggressions.
From the Washington Post:
At least 13 Russian warplanes coursed through the skies. And the NATO fighter jets kept rushing into the air to meet them. By the end of the night, Finland and Estonia said their airspace had been violated — and in the sea below, a powerful nuclear-capable missile system was on its way to a Russian naval base in the enclave of Kaliningrad.
For the seven German fighter pilots who trade 24-hour shifts at this remote air base, the escalation has a practical effect: more close encounters with Russian fighter pilots high in the skies. The pilots often fly within 10 yards of the Russian jets, close enough to wave hello, or in one recent incident, see a Russian pilot flash a middle finger.
“Maybe he watched too much Top Gun, ” said Lt. Col. Swen Jacob, the commander of the German contingent that is posted for a four-month rotation to a round-the-clock air-policing mission in Estonia.
The Germans have scrambled 34 times since they arrived for their latest posting in Estonia on the last day of August, rushing into the air to escort Sukhoi fighter jets, Ilyushin reconnaissance planes and Antonov transport planes. The majority of the traffic comes from runs in international airspace between Russian air bases near St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad, the Russian enclave wedged between Lithuania and Poland. Russian military flights often fly without transponders, making them invisible to civilian aircraft and raising the risk of midair crashes.
Let’s hope that this does not escalate more than some military generals waving their dicks around.