The Associated Press quotes NATOSource Director and Brent Scowcroft Center Senior Fellow Jorge Benitez on how to address Russian intervention in Ukraine at the upcoming NATO Summit in Wales:
Under that pact, “the U.S is as committed to defend Riga as Berlin or Richmond,” said Jorge Benitez, a senior fellow and NATO specialist at the Atlantic Council of the United States, a Washington-based think tank.
The upshot, Benitez said, is that eastern NATO members won’t get the permanent, large-scale alliance presence they have been demanding — or anything like the hundreds of thousands of soldiers and phalanxes of battle tanks that were deployed in West Germany to defend it from the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact.
“Diplomats and pundits will play semantics with terms like ‘continuous presence,’ but the bottom line is that while there will now be NATO troops conducting exercises in the eastern allies practically every day, these deployments will be short-term and smaller scale than the threatened allies feel necessary,” Benitez said.
The U.S.-based analyst personally believes the alliance need a more muscular policy to check Putin’s ambitions. Citing a media report of war games held recently on both sides of Russia’s frontier with the alliance, Benitez asked rhetorically, “Will 6,000 NATO troops exercising in your country make you feel safe from 150,000 Russian forces exercising near your border?”