“Signal to the Wake-up call”, what did NATO for two years after Crimea


The annexation of Crimea to Russia in March 2014 and the ensuing armed conflict in Donbass says Moscow and the West opponents. These developments in Washington and European capitals considered fully puregrainaudio the concept of continental security — for the first time since the end of world war II that one European country has annexed the territory of another sovereign European country without its consent. The then NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen called it “a signal to Wake-up call”, the Supreme commander of the allied forces of NATO in Europe, General Philip Breedlove — “shift in paradigm”.

The partner is not the ally

In the North Atlantic Treaty spelled out only one case where NATO can use armed forces — an attack on one or more countries of the Union. In 2001, after September 11, the U.S. turned to this article to create a coalition for operations in Afghanistan. But Ukraine, as we know, is not part of NATO.

Kiev, like the other two who wish to join the Alliance in the capital, Chisinau, and Tbilisi, is working with NATO on individual plans of actions of partnership (IPAP), launched in 2002. This is a project of cooperation, not Alliance, — EITI have also not seeking NATO membership, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Kazakhstan. Both Georgia and Ukraine were counting on a renewal of relations with the Alliance through the provision of an action plan for membership — a kind of “road map” is at the NATO summit in Bucharest in April 2008, but then the move was blocked by France, Germany, Italy and several other countries.

In the history of NATO, there are instances when the unit has conducted military operations according to UN resolutions: in Bosnia in 1992-1995, in Libya in 2011. There is an example, when NATO without UN authorization in 1999 in Yugoslavia. But Ukraine were “polite people” from Russia is clearly not suited to humanitarian intervention. NATO assistance to Ukraine is limited mainly to personnel and money.

At the summit in Wales in September 2014, the Alliance had revised the work plan with Kiev — the Office for relations with NATO in the Ukrainian capital was reinforced by staff, and in the government, including the Ministry of defense — directed advisors. On the lines of military cooperation were established five new trust funds, including financing logistical support and translation of the Ukrainian army to NATO standards, as well as cyber defence, retraining of retired military, medical rehabilitation and training in the field of command, control, communications and computer science. In 2014, Ukraine received the largest number of NATO grants for scientific collaboration (through the NATO program “Science for peace and security”). NATO also helped to coordinate humanitarian and medical assistance for displaced persons and the beginning of the development of the project of demining of hazardous areas in the Donbass.

Not provided large-scale assistance to Ukraine and NATO countries. USA in 2014 put non-lethal weapons by $120 million, told (*.pdf) last year, former U.S. Ambassador to Kyiv Steven Pifer. In February 2015 was a special Ukrainian-Polish-Lithuanian brigade, aimed to participate in the operations, “under the mandate of the UN security Council”, the U.S. trained some of the National guard. But until announced by President Poroshenko of a large-scale supply of Western military equipment, it never came — with Lithuania, for example, Ukraine has agreed only to supply certain “military equipment”.

In September 2015, Yavorov, near Lvov, Ukraine took the field exercise “Ukraine-2015”. It was the third such teachings. The scale gradually increases — in December 2015 Poroshenko has signed a decree permitting the admission to Ukraine of up to 5 thousand foreign troops with weapons and military equipment.

The NATO support of Georgia and Moldova since 2014 has increased, but also fit in this framework. In Georgia it was agreed to create a joint centre for training and assessment (open in July 2015), the School to strengthen defence institutions and the rear center. With Tbilisi were initiated consultations on the matters of defence procurement, operations, and activities of the military police and cyber security. According to the former Minister of defence of Georgia Irakli Alasania pledged enough for the country to develop its own system of air defense and antitank defense. In July 2015 in Georgia held its first joint military exercises “Agile spirit”.

Allied offensive

The Baltic States that are members of NATO, accepted the annexation of Crimea and Moscow’s claims of protecting the “Russian world” in Donbas as a serious threat to its own security. President of Lithuania Dalia grybauskaitė was the only leader of the Alliance, which is directly called Russia a “terrorist state”.

The aggregate number of the armies of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia — about 10 thousand people, in these countries there is no air, no naval forces, so that the responsibility for their security is NATO. In September 2014 in response “to Russia’s aggressive actions to the East of NATO’s borders, and also due to the instability… to the South of NATO’s borders” of the country Alliance’s summit in Wales agreed a Plan of action for preparedness. The initiative provided an immediate reinforcement of NATO presence in the Eastern part of the Union and long-term changes in the configuration of NATO forces on the Eastern borders.

In 2015, they reinforced the air policing over the Baltic, deployed fighter jets in Poland and Romania. In the Baltic, Black and Mediterranean sea have been strengthened permanent naval and mine action group. Reformed NATO rapid reaction force, their number was increased from 13 thousand to 40 thousand people. Was created the joint operational high readiness force or a detachment of the head. It is now composed of 20 thousand soldiers and has at its disposal units air force, Navy and special operations forces. Planned date of transfer and deployment in the countries bordering Russia (Poland, Baltic States), not to exceed 48 hours. In June 2015 the squad for the first time participated in the exercises in the deployment — “noble jump” in Poland, and then in the naval exercise “Trident of Juncker” in the Mediterranean sea. In February 2016 at the meeting in Brussels, defence Ministers of NATO countries have agreed to further strengthen on the Eastern borders. Specifics — size, composition of forces — the Alliance promised to submit in spring 2016.

The U.S. wants to increase in 2017 the budget “Initiative to ensure the security of Europe” (European Reassurance Initiative, exists in the framework of NATO) to $3.4 billion, more than four times compared with the current year. The initiative was developed by the U.S. Department of defense in 2014: the Department proposed to deploy in Eastern Europe, an additional brigade of the U.S. army of nearly 5 thousand soldiers. The new team will not have a constant dislocation, and will relocate from country to country, including Poland and the Baltic States.

“The creation of a military brigade is a serious step forward in comparison with the contingent of 150 American soldiers, who currently alternately based in Poland and the Baltic States, where they conduct joint military training. The team will not be able to stop a tank offensive, but it definitely helps to contain and repel the invasion of “little green men”, which Vladimir Putin has used in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine,” — wrote about The Wall Street Journal.