Europe is now facing the real possibility of a Russian invasion should the newly elected President Donald Trump fulfill his promise during the election campaign to withdraw the United States from NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization).
According to the NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg, it would be dangerous for both the U.S. and Europe if Donald Trump will make good of his campaign promise to leave the U.S. from the alliance or even reconsider the nature of its mutual defense agreement as it would create a U.S.-less organization and would see the “the greatest challenges to our security in a generation.”
In an interview with The Guardian last Sunday, the NATO secretary general said that “going it alone is not an option,” given the tense political atmosphere made so by an increasingly antagonistic and militaristic Russia. The organization have voiced fears of Moscow intimidating the Baltic States and the rest of Europe as was last seen with Ukraine after it forcefully occupied Crimea in 2014.
Stoltenberg said that NATO has not been taking Russia’s strong stance in the past decade sitting down as they have implemented the biggest reinforcement of their creative defense since the Cold War. He also acknowledged the U.S.’s contributions to the organization’s collective defense and stated that it is for deterrence and not for aggression. “We do not seek to provoke a conflict, but to prevent a conflict,” he said.
The 28-nation alliance has since bolstered its troop presence in Eastern Europe in the face of an unending number of Russian military exercises, re-organizations and maneuvers, which saw the reintroduction of placements and patrols not seen since the end of the Cold War.
“NATO battalions numbering thousands of troops cannot be compared with Russian divisions numbering tens of thousands just across the border. Our response is defensive and proportionate. But it sends a clear and unmistakable message: an attack against one will be met by a response from all.”
But Donald Trump’s campaign promise has caused European fears when he said that the organization might need to be dissolved since it was obsolete, according to a Bloomberg interview. This has caused concerns to western military leaders as Russia might take Trump’s words seriously and become emboldened, to the point that it might even attempt to reestablish itself in territories once controlled by the Russian-dominated former USSR.
Presently, the diplomatic tensions of the U.S. with Russia are at a point not seen since the Cold War since the two superpowers are on opposing sides in the Syrian civil war. Many are concerned that it might turn into an international crisis, or even worse, as a military entanglement between the two nations might escalate into World War 3.
However, Russia might be a little less aggressive with the U.S. with Trump as the new President-elect, but those less-militarily capable nations in NATO get little consolation in decreasing the chances of a world war in the Middle East when Russia’s attention could shift and spark World War 3 in eastern Europe.
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