WWIII? NATO Activates Defense Plans, Forces

Now that Bumbling Biden has acted in such a weak manner as to convince Putin that this would be a good time to invade Ukraine, NATO is apparently spinning up its defense plans and activating troops in response. As Fox reports:

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg spoke out against Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine and provided some details of how the organization plans to combat any threat to member states.

During a news conference Thursday morning, Stoltenberg said the North Atlantic Council decided to activate its defense plans so they can send NATO forces to wherever they are needed.

“NATO’s core task is to protect and defend all allies. There must be no room for miscalculation or misunderstanding,” Stoltenberg said.

Stoltenberg, speaking on the issue, said “We will continue to do whatever is necessary to shield the alliance from aggression. Peace cannot be taken for granted. Freedom and democracy are contested by authoritarian regimes. We will protect our people and our values. Democracy will always prevail over autocracy. Freedom will always prevail over oppression.”

“Whatever is necessary,” means, for now, spinning up thousands of troops, over 100 warships, and hundreds of military aircraft, making them ready for action if need be. Aviation Week, adding more details to what forces are being sent to potentially fight Putin, notes that:

Recent days have seen the forward deployment of U.S. F-35s from Germany, while the Netherlands has brought forward a planned F-35 deployment to Bulgaria which was planned for April and May. The Netherlands defense ministry confirmed that the aircraft had already arrived in-country. 

Elsewhere across the alliance, thousands of troops were being put on standby for possible deployment to Eastern Europe. 

However, why they might be needed isn’t immediately obvious unless NATO plans on getting involved in the Ukraine war.

Stoltenberg admitted about as much, saying “There are no NATO troops at all inside Ukraine. We don’t have any plans to put NATO troops in Ukraine.”

Ukraine is not a member of NATO. The US has no treaty with Ukraine committing us to its defense. Putin has expressed no interest in fighting NATO countries unless they attack him. Though readying forces just in case might be prudent, it hopefully will stop there and not turn into preparations for a retaliatory attack.

If it does, such a war would be highly unpopular in the West. A late-January poll found that over 60% of Americans are against war with Russia in Ukraine, with only about 15% of Americans thinking that the US should send combat troops. A similar poll found that ordinary Germans were utterly uninterested in fighting a war with Russia.

Though those numbers might change somewhat now that Russia actually invaded, it’s unlikely that they ticked up enough to make such a war popular. If NATO decides to go from defense to offense, that would likely be a very unpopular move in most NATO countries; who in America wants to die to keep two breakaway provinces in eastern Ukraine out of Putin’s hands?

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