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    NATO's Warsaw Posturing Fails to Disguise Military Shortcomings

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    While NATO chiefs have been keen to talk up its deployment in Eastern Europe, in reality Russia has little to fear from the alliance militarily.

    Last month NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced the alliance's agenda for the NATO summit in Warsaw on July 8 & 9, including the finalization of an agreement among the national defense ministries to participate in the deployment of multinational NATO battalions to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, totaling around 4,000 troops.

    During the Warsaw summit, the alliance's defense ministries duly agreed to the measures. However, several security experts told German newspaper Die Welt on Monday that in reality, the new forces deployed by NATO would be sure to lose if they actually began a conflict with Russia.

    "These 4,000 soldiers are no great worry," retired Russian General Yevgeniy Bushinskiy, chairman of Moscow's think tank Center PIR, told Die Welt.

    Bushinskiy said that though the NATO measure is "symbolically, not a positive move," in reality, it means little for Russia's defense of its Western border, which Moscow has already sought to strengthen in the face of NATO deployment there.

    "We will strengthen our Western flank, we have already done a lot in that area and we will do more," Bushinskiy said.

    Moscow's capable response to NATO's reinforcements along Russia's Western border is matched by its military presence in its Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad, one of the two bases for Russia's Baltic Sea fleet; the other is in Kronstadt, an island port off the coast of St. Petersburg.

    Die Welt also revealed a recent report by the US RAND Corporation, a think tank whose authors included former NATO commander Wesley Clark and former NATO commander Egon Ramm.

    In the report, they admitted that if NATO were to start a war with Russia in the Baltic region, the result would be unambiguous.

    "NATO infantry would not even be able to retreat. They would be destroyed on the spot," the RAND experts advised.

    As the NATO summit opened on July 8, Konstantin Kosachev, head of the Upper House of the Russian legislature's International Affairs Committee, slammed the Warsaw meeting as a "summit of lies," based on false statements about alleged threats emanating from Russia.

    Nevertheless, Kosachev also arrived at the conclusion that Russia has little to fear militarily from the alliance, and said that the deployments to Poland and the Baltic states are no more than bluster.

    "The only high-profile decision at the NATO summit, to deploy four battalions in Poland and the Baltics, is hardly likely to radically change anything in our relations. It's like building a dam in the desert – protection against a danger that doesn't exist."

    "We are not afraid of soldiers, we are scared of politicians who, knowing full well that there is no threat from Russia, continue to deceive millions of people. This is why the Warsaw gathering is a summit of lies," Kosachev wrote on his Facebook page.

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    Tags:
    war, NATO, Baltic Region, Russia, Kaliningrad region
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