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Author`s name Michael Simpson

Russia's Opinion Scorned

Re-deployment of NATO troops poses threat to Russia's national security?
The intention of the Pentagon to shift a part of the US formations from Western Europe to Eastern Europe became known already last spring. The reports about the prospective re-deployment were mostly of an unofficial character. Already in spring it was unlikely that Washington was interested in Moscow's reaction to the reports. It is rather likely that the several past months were spent on adjustment of different problems connected with the re-deployment of the group of thousands soldiers. However, if Americans were getting ready for a diplomatic squabble with Moscow, these hopes didn't come true. Russia's reaction to the information was so inert that the Pentagon had nothing more to do but confirm the plans of the USA to deploy military bases in Eastern Europe. According to the RBC Russia's news agency, NATO Commander-in-Chief in Europe General James L. Jones said during his visit to Bucharest that his divisions would be transferred to the East when more members join the NATO. The general didn’t specify where exactly and when the US bases would be transferred. One thing is for sure is that the bases are actually to be transferred.

Probably it is not that important where US troops will be deployed exactly. It is more important that Moscow expresses practically no reaction to the coming re-deployment of NATO (which in fact means American) troops. Let's call a spade a spade: the re-deployment is a direct threat to Russia's national security, although it is rather hypothetical now. Is it possible now to predict how the events may develop in 10-15 years?

On the other hand, if Moscow had kicked up a row about deployment of NATO troops dozens of kilometers from St.Petersburg, it wouldn't do much good. Eliot A. Cohen, a professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University says: "The U.S. is this staggering military power and, the fact is, the Russians lost the Cold War."

It is not this fact that is particularly surprising. It is perfectly evident even without Cohen's remarks that Americans are so much reveling in their "victory". Under these conditions it is even more incredible that Moscow and Washington are still speaking about some sort of partnership. If this "partnership" supposes that US troops must stay close to the Russian borders, why not bring Russian missiles back to Cuba?