From the New Atlanticist: Senator Richard Lugar, speaking at the Atlantic Council, made a passionate plea for a stronger NATO commitment to East and Central Europe, including “boots on the ground…”

“The risk is that whatever strategic benefit the Alliance might realize from the new version of missile defense will be outweighed by the intra-Alliance costs to cohesion of this decision.”

To assuage the fears that this has changed, Lugar suggested that there be NATO “boots on the ground” throughout the region along the lines of the Patriot missile batteries that the United States will have in Poland. Along those lines, “A re-invigoration of military exercises in Eastern Europe and joint planning for Eastern European contingencies would be a first step.”

Transcript and video of Sen. Lugar’s speech. (photo: Christine Mahler/ACUS)