More Nato members have pledged to contribute to four battalions stationed in Poland and the Baltic states as the military alliance continues to build its presence on its eastern flank, Nato's secretary general said on October 26.
Albania, Italy, Poland and Slovenia will contribute to the Canada-led battalion in Latvia. Belgium, Croatia, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Norway will contribute to Germany-led battalion in Lithuania. Denmark and France will strengthen the UK-led battalion in Estonia, while Romania and the UK will add weight to the US-led battalion in Poland.
In other words very soon 15 NATO nations (bolded) which do not share a border with Russia will have troops stationed abroad, on the Russian border. Additionally Poland and Norway which share a short border with Russia will also station troops abroad in Lithuania and Latvia.
In total a coalition of 20 NATO nations will be parked in the Baltics in a way that encircles the Russian Kaliningrad exclave and puts a portion of the NATO troops just 100 miles from Saint Petersburg -- Russia's second city and historic capital. -- A city where some 1 million civilians were starved to death during the WWII siege put up by Germany which is now returned to the region.
The Russians will also remember that with the German invaders came quisling troops from a number of other nations now again on its borders. The French came with SS Charlemagne, the Danish and Norwegians with SS Viking and Nordland, the Dutch with SS Nederland, the Croats with the 369th Regiment, the Belgians with SS Wallonien and Flandern.
In the alternate reality inhabited by western functionaries Russia is about to invade the Baltics neccesitating the build-up there, which is to include a permanent presence of 4,000 troops backed up by a 'rapid reaction force' of 40,000.
On the other hand, combined NATO militaries are about 4 times the size the Russian military. Even without counting the US and Canada, the European NATO countries alone have 3 times the population of Russia and 10 times its GDP.
Additionally Russia did not do anything to grab the Baltic countries whether before they joined NATO in 2004 or since. -- This despite the long-standing mistreatment of the Russian minority in Estonia and Latvia actually being worse in the 1990s than today. -- And certainly there are no Russian troops on the border of Albania, UK, Canada or Germany.
So really, is this a defensive deployment, or a move to intimidate and dominate Russia by a far richer, and more powerful bloc?