NATO´s enhancement of forward presence in eastern Europe: Is Russia a threat?

The NATO will transfer more troops and weapons to eastern Europe. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg spoke of a “clear signal”. “NATO will respond as one to any aggression against any Ally”, he said. A clear signal of military deterrence. But against whom? Is Russia really a threat to the West? And if, in how far?

Is Russia already a threat since the country defends herself against the excessive extension of NATO to its borders? Or is NATO really expecting a military strike by Russia against the Baltic states or Poland and therefore against the NATO?

A view on Russia´s military expenditure at any rate does not justify such an assumption. An analysis of military expenditure rather supports the thesis that the West nurters again an old enemy. Especially in Germany this old enemy image falls on fertile ground, since the nurture of this concept of the “evil Russian” has never stopped in the postwar period, too, until today, by politicians as well as by family socialisation.

However, the level and the development of military expenditure in Russia stand in stark contrast to that picture (see chart below). It is actually overmodest in comparison with military expenditure in the United States and even Germany, taking into consideration that Germany is part of NATO.

This relativises the focus by western media on alleged Russian rearmament, too. not only used as threatening posture by so called independent journalists but politicians and NATO representatives. Despite of the recent decrease in military expenditure by the United States and the “rearmament” by Russia, US-military expenditure still has been six to seven times higher than Russian military expenditure in 2014. This imbalance has tradition as the chart below shows, too.

The threat, that the policy of the West, that we do not first realize with the most recent enhancement of forward presence in eastern Europe by NATO, will bring about a military conflict implicating the majoritarian peaceful people in a new war by making a bogeyman out of Russia is very real, alarming real.

Click to enlarge chart.

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