Small Wars Journal

Why NATO Says it's Time to Stop Hugging the Russian Bear

Sat, 01/09/2016 - 6:27am

Why NATO Says it's Time to Stop Hugging the Russian Bear by Anna Mulrine, Christian Science Monitor

In little-noticed remarks this week, NATO’s supreme allied commander, US Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, said that for too long, the United States has “hugged the bear” of Russia. But now, he said, it’s time to get tough.

This toughness should come in the form of more US troops to Europe, he said, and more “high end” training to prepare American forces for a potential battle against the former cold war foe.

The remarks, made while Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was visiting Europe this week, have struck some as a bit alarmist. True, Russia has invaded Crimea and used agents provocateurs, covert operations, and even some of its own Red Army forces in Ukraine.

Defense officials do not believe, however, that Russia is poised to run its tanks through the Fulda Gap – the lowland corridor in Germany where the US military was prepared to intercept a surprise attack from the Warsaw Pact during the 4-1/2 decades of the cold war…

Read on.