NATO's Russia deterrence policy faces logistical challenges

A  Financial Times study on 2 January highlights the logistical difficulties NATO is facing in deterring the Russian aggression on it's Eastern flank. The issue of the unstandardized, or missing infrastructure for military needs in Europe, has resurfaced following the Russian aggression in Ukraine, after which, the Americans started to reinforce their military presence on the continent.

Logistical difficulties faced by NATO vary, from the failure of Western European countries to build any kind of infrastructure capable of carrying US heavy armoured vehicles in the last 25 years, to the difference in width between Polish and Lithuanian railway gauges in the Suwalki gap – where lies the only land connection between the Baltics and the rest of NATO territory.  To ensure a smoother military transport, the European Commission (EC) has launched its initiative for the creation of a so-called military Schengen, and a Dutch project for identifying any obstacle to this end has been approved under PESCO. For similar reasons, NATO agreed on the creation of a new European HQ, an initiative that experts hope will contribute to solving the problem of redeploying the 40,000 strong NATO Response Force in support for its Very High Readiness Joint Task Spearhead Force aimed at countering Russian hybrid tactics.

About author: Mihai Turcanu

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