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    Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., adjusts his tie, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, prior to the start of the committee's hearing to examine global challenges and US national security strategy

    Senator McCain Says Lack of US Forces in Baltics Could Mean ‘End of NATO’

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    NATO Seeks Expansion to Eastern Europe (362)
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    US Senator John McCain stated Wednesday that the positioning of American and NATO troops in countries sharing a border with Russia could ultimately result in the collapse of the collective security alliance.

    WASHINGTON, January 21 (Sputnik) — Failing to implement a stronger US-NATO force presence in the Baltic states could ultimately result in the collapse of the collective security alliance, US Senator John McCain told Sputnik on Wednesday.

    “If they [the Russians] move into the Baltics… and there is no tripwire there, I doubt if there would be a reaction. And it would be the end of NATO,” the Senate Armed Services Chairman told Sputnik, following a hearing on US national security challenges.

    The concept of a tripwire, McCain explained, is the positioning of American and NATO troops in countries sharing a border with Russia, in order to deter a Russian invasion, a scenario some leaders in the United States and NATO anticipate. Such a tripwire would involve a greater military presence than has been designated under NATO’s Readiness Action Plan, a program implemented in 2014 which increases troop rotations and readiness in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, McCain said.

    McCain also agreed with statements delivered by former National Security Advisor for the Jimmy Carter administration, Zbigniew Brzezinski who said that that if Russia were to make a military incursion into a NATO state it would indicate "the end of NATO.”

    Instead, Brzezinski proposed creating a “tripwire” in Estonia or Latvia “that communicates clearly to Russia that NATO will be involved, that the United States in particular is present.”

    Poll

    Do you think Russia and the US are heading back towards Cold War?
    • Yes, I think it is a matter of balance of power.
      17.8% (454)
    • No, I believe the countries will return to a constructive dialogue.
      6.8% (174)
    • I don’t think the situation should be viewed in that context.
      9.9% (254)
    • I think the new Cold War is already on.
      65.5% (1674)
    Voted: 2556
    However, Former National Security Advisor in the Ronald Reagan administration, Brent Scowcroft dismissed the notion of a Russian incursion into neighboring NATO states. “I don’t see that happening,” Scowcroft told members of the Senate during the Wednesday hearing, adding that “there won’t be such a reaction” on the part of Russia’s leadership.

    Since the civil unrest in Ukraine, the United States and NATO have accused Moscow of interfering in Ukraine’s internal affairs, including multiple allegations of Russian troops' presence in the country. Russia has repeatedly denied these allegations.

    Since March 2014, the NATO alliance has focused on a Readiness Action Plan to “deter Russian aggression," according to the alliance. The plan includes troop rotations along Russia’s western border, increased joint military exercises, and additional training and equipment to NATO partner states.

    Under the NATO charter, the 26 member alliance is bound to a collective defense doctrine, stipulating that an attack against one or more of the partner states will be considered an attack on all.

    Topic:
    NATO Seeks Expansion to Eastern Europe (362)

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    NATO, Zbigniew Brzezinski, John McCain, Russia
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