The U.S. Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter is on a European Tour and has confirmed on Sunday that the United States and its NATO allies are prepared to assist with military if Russian President Vladimir Putin does not change course.
Russia has annexed Crimea and intervened in the Ukraine in order to claim territories and because of that, NATO allies have been pushed to make a series of military moves with exercises and the creating of a NATO rapid response force. The recent changes in NATO have been made in order to prepare and make solutions for longer tensions with Russia. The Pentagon Chief, Ash Carter will be inspecting the rapid response forces in Germany and a U.S. warship in the Baltic Sea.
There have been talks on re-position the military forces, which have come to a response by Vladimir Putin, who threatened with addition of more than 40 intercontinental ballistic missiles to its nuclear arsenal. This kind of threat shows that Putin is broadening the rift between Russia and the Western countries with the use of hybrid warfare, which encompasses conventional warfare, cyber warfare and irregular warfare.
Speaking at a forum in Berlin, the city that is a symbol of the Cold War, Ash Carter has stated that he is not sure whether the Russian president is planning on changing course and escaping the memories of the Cold War and because of that the adaptations made to the U.S and NATO alliance are as such.
According to Reuters, he said “The adaptations I was talking about are specifically in anticipationthat Russian might not change under Vladimir Putin, or even thereafter.” Putin has been elected for a six year term starting 2012, with a re-election possibility in 2018. He also made a comment on the addition of 40 ballistic missiles, stating “There is no need for Vladimir Putin to make that point. I obviously cannot explain to you why he would posture in that way, but it is not appropriate behavior in my judgment.”
The U.S. hopes that Russia will see the importance of stopping the propaganda and economic pressures they have been making and try to avoid using the playbook from the Cold War. Ashton Carter is ready to lead the alliance in the new threats and find a solution that will respond to the Cold War playbook. The NATO defense chiefs will also meet on Wednesday in Brussels to discuss the alliance role in Iraq in the fight against the Islamic State and will discuss further deployment of troops to a brigade in Eastern Europe to deal with Ukrainian separatists, a plan that is yet to be approved.