US News and World Report quotes Brent Scowcroft Center Resident Fellow Erik Brattberg on President Obama’s visit to Estonia ahead of the NATO Summit in Wales:
A previous agreement ensured that no permanent NATO troops will be stationed in the Baltics, but Erik Brattberg, a fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center, says that deal hinged on stability of “the foreseeable security environment.” With continued Russian aggression, there is an increased likelihood that NATO forces will be stationed on a temporary, rotating or even permanent basis.
Discussion of the situation in Ukraine will continue when Obama arrives in Wales for the full NATO Summit. Ukraine is not a NATO member, but Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will attend the meeting to discuss his country’s situation. The summit was originally meant to focus on troop withdrawal in Afghanistan, but Brattberg said that the situation in Ukraine has drawn the focus to European security.
“This was supposed to be about managing Afghanistan and discussing what should NATO be about, what is NATO’s relevance, which after the Cold War a lot of people have questioned,” Brattberg says. “With Russia attacking a country in Europe and potentially threatening other NATO allies, it’s very clear that NATO is not only relevant but essential to Europe’s security. That is the major change.”
Brattberg too says NATO leaders must look to history when formulating its drawdown plan at the summit.