U.S. Army M1A2SEPV2 Abrams main battle tanks arrive in Poland to deter Russia. (Photo : US Army)
NATO says there is no sound military reason to match Russia's build-up of men and weapons along the latter's western border with Europe since NATO's only has to deter Russia from contemplating an invasion of Europe to restore the communist empire.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said NATO'S military aim is to prevent a war, not to provoke it. This means there is no need and NATO has no plans to respond to Russia's military build-up with an equal number of soldiers and tanks.
Russia will have to mass overwhelming force for an invasion to succeed and this force it does not have.
"We will not match Russia soldier for soldier, tank for tank, or plane for plane. Our aim is to prevent conflict, not to provoke it," said Stoltenberg to NATO Defense Ministers.
"Our deployments (referring to the four multinational battle groups in Eastern Europe) are defensive and measured," he pointed out.
NATO is currently deploying four multinational battle groups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland which are the countries Russia will first invade. NATO expects these battle groups be fully operational by June.
Germany has deployed soldiers of its "Bundesheer" (the German Federal Army) to Lithuania as part of NATO's push to better defend the three Baltic States, which Russia will attack first should a new European War erupt.
The German infantry, which arrived Feb. 7, will form part of a 1,200-strong NATO multinational battle group that will also include French, Dutch and Belgian troops. NATO plans to deploy four of these multinational enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) battle groups throughout the Baltic States.
The United States in January began deploying the first contingent of a U.S. Army brigade combat team to Poland. This entire unit will number over 3,500 well-trained troops of the U.S. Army 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, U.S. 4th Infantry Division (3-4 ABCT).
3-4 ABCT is one of the best trained frontline units in the U.S. Army. Over the next few months, 3,500 men of 3-4 ABCT; 87 M1A2SEPv2 Abrams main battle tanks (the latest version); 144 M2A3 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs), 18 M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzers and 2,500 other vehicles will be deployed to Poland.
NATO will also increase its naval presence in Black Sea to enhance training and situational awareness, said Stoltenberg.