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Time: don’t let Putin destroy NATO

In Time magazine James Foley, the former Vice chief of staff of the Alliance, calls on NATO to strengthen its “deterrent power”.

Time: Не позволяйте Путину уничтожить НАТО

For the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and its member countries have come to define the times. Rightly called the most successful military Alliance in history, NATO is currently facing on its borders with a resurgent Russia and metastases terrorist threats directed from outside and growing inside. Russian pressure on the perimeter of NATO in combination with the terrorist outrage on the streets of Paris, Ankara, Brussels and Istanbul, creates a huge challenge for the Alliance, whose military capabilities and the resolve has steadily weakened in the past two decades.

Vladimir Putin has always been remarkably candid about its strategic objective: to reverse historical losses incurred by the Soviet Union at the end of the cold war, and to restore the status and prestige of Russia as a great power and equal rival of the United States. Such ambitions have profound implications for the whole of Europe. Today’s independent States that were once part of the Soviet Union, especially NATO members Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, are facing a potential weakening of their sovereignty in the future and the constant risk of aggression, as evidenced by Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008, the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the continuing military campaign in Eastern Ukraine.

States, located in the historic buffer zone in Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet satellites and members of the Warsaw Pact, now a full-fledged part of NATO, are facing the prospect of pressure and intimidation. And, finally, a long-standing NATO member Turkey, guarding the strategically important South-Eastern flank of the Alliance, watching the military buildup of Russia near its border in neighbouring Armenia and the simultaneous Russian military intervention on its border with Syria is explosive.

It can be argued that the ultimate Putin’s goal is the achievement of Soviet objectives in the last century to the collapse of NATO and the expulsion of the US from Europe. Exposing NATO as an empty shell through a combination of aggression and intimidation, Putin, ultimately, seeks to create on the Alliance’s new security system in Europe, with the nucleus in the face of Russia. Using threats, persuasion and the tactics of “divide and rule”, the President of Russia intends to undermine the credibility and cohesion of NATO. The Alliance successfully resisted this approach during the cold war and, with strong U.S. leadership, will be able to do it again.

The support of our allies is the surest way to deter aggression and maintain a safe world. This is the lesson of the cold war, which we should never forget.

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