Fletcher in the News

NATO to Focus on Reassuring Allies Worried About Ukraine: Dean Stavridis Weighs In

Dean Stavridis The Fletcher School

NATO’s next move in response to the crisis in Ukraine is likely to be more of the same: more NATO fighters patrolling over the Baltics, more rotations of warships into the Black Sea and more surveillance of Russian movements around Ukraine.

Since Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula last month, NATO has sought to reassure jittery members concerned about Moscow’s suspected expansionist aims by boosting its presence in those countries that border Russia, Ukraine and Moldova, officials said.

“Essentially, what we are looking at is a package of land, air and maritime measures that would build assurance for our easternmost allies,” Gen. Philip Breedlove, NATO’s supreme allied commander and head of U.S. European Command, told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday. “I’m tasked to deliver this by next week. I fully intend to deliver it early”…

… Adm. James Stavridis, who served four years as NATO’s SACEUR before retiring last year, says Breedlove’s recommendations will likely focus on three core areas: posturing NATO for contingency operations, reassuring allies and military cooperation with Ukraine.

Some specific steps could include activation of command-and-control centers within the NATO command structure, surveillance of Russian forces and events in Ukraine, and placing the NATO Response Force on alert, Stavridis told Stars and Stripes. Other likely actions in the region include moving aircraft, ships and troops into nations in the eastern part of the alliance, especially the Baltics and Poland, as well as conducting military exercises.

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