London—Elements of the new Cold War in Europe are taking shape through little NATO military maneuvers designed to warn Russia not to make any false moves.
The latest is the stationing of British army units in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland, supposedly for training purposes of NATO allies there. The UK activity supplements a joint US and Germany military training program to build up capabilities in the Baltic states and Poland, all of whom were unnerved by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
NATO is also training Ukrainian troops. Over the summer, the United States positioned armored equipment in the Baltics, a just-in-case scenario of having equipment in place should troops have to be sent later on.
None of this, of course, would really thwart some sort of full scale invasion. But, like the US presence in South Korea, which is designed to show a US commitment to defending the country, it is meant to have a trip wire effect: to make it clear that an attack on any of the countries is indeed an attack on NATO.
Russia reacted to the UK-NATO announcement with vague threats of escalating its military activities.
Adding it all up, one has to go back to before the fall of the Berlin Wall to recall a time when major military powers face each other on several fronts, even if on a low-intensity basis: NATO and the US in east Europe; US and Russia in Syria, not to mention China and the US in the South China Sea.
In Jazeera, a hawkish view of the moves.