Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Military reaction of U.S., NATO and Ukraine to Russia's annexation of Crimea (Reuters)

Here's a three-fer from Reuters on the developing military response of the U.S.NATO and Ukraine to Russia's forced annexation of Crimea.

The upshot:
  • NATO will increase its military aid to Ukraine. Meanwhile, Germany might put off defense cuts. And the U.S. will push for military spending in Europe to be more efficient and coordinated.
  • The U.S. will put off a "pivot" to China and keep more troops and equipment in Europe, and establish new bases in Eastern Europe, contrary to prior agreements with Russia. U.S. nuclear weapons in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Turkey will now stay put. And U.S. military strategy will shift its focus to Eastern Europe and Russian containment.  
  • U.S. weapons to Ukraine are still a remote possibility but this initiative has some bipartisan support in the Senate.
  • Ukraine believes the EU is finally ready to take Ukraine seriously, moving beyond "deep, deeper, deeper concerns" to real action. Ukraine will insist on international monitors in Crimea. And the political part of the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine will be signed soon.
One final remark: all Americans should be glad that President Obama has pulled most U.S. forces out of Iraq and Afghanistan. The military crisis in Ukraine is exactly the kind of thing that U.S. would not be able to react to with all its forces tied up in two costly military occupations!

By Peter Apps and Adrian Croft
March 19, 2014 | Reuters

By Phil Stewart
March 19, 2014 | Reuters

By Ronald Popeski
March 19, 2014 | Reuters

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