The establishment of new centres aimed at deterring Russia
The United States and Germany offered to host the new command centers of NATO, aimed at containment of Russia, supporting the military buildup of the Alliance, reminiscent of the cold war.
In the efforts related to the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, members of the Alliance plan to establish a command center responsible for planning and strategy to protect shipping lanes against enemy submarines and logistics center, which will be responsible for accelerating the movement of troops to Europe in case of possible conflicts.
While no decisions have been taken, but next week the Minister of defence of the USA James Mattis will meet with colleagues from other countries NTO to discuss plans to establish new command centers and to prepare the ground for the adoption of formal decisions at the summit of NATO leaders, which will be held in July. “Germany and the United States put forward proposals, and it is a good sign of their support, especially from the President trump – said a senior diplomat from NATO. – Many other members of the Alliance were waiting for them to show initiative.”
Many of the NATO members want to be assured of the commitment of the United States, as trump at the beginning of his presidency, he expressed doubts about the feasibility of the Alliance, which now shows a strong support. Command centers bring prestige and investment, so their placement and other interested countries, including Portugal and Poland, according to the diplomats. However, the proposals of Germany and the United States are considered to be more significant in virtue of their status as the two largest military powers of NATO.
According to the representative of NATO, the question about the locations of new command centers will be reviewed in the coming months.
According to two diplomats and three officials familiar with the planning process, the United States offered to host the center in Norfolk, Virginia, where there are already other objects of NATO.
Germany offers Ulm or Cologne where there are also objects, NATO and other international organizations.
Create two new command centers, where, according to diplomats, will work together up to 1,500 employees will mark the first twenty years of NATO expansion after a sharp decline in 2011.
This move has great symbolic value for the Eastern European members of the Alliance, and for Germany this step is symbolic on the background of the requirements of Washington about increasing defense spending.
Although the strategy does not provide for the revival of the allied command in the Atlantic area, abolished in 2002, it marks an expansion of efforts to contain Russia, which also include rotation of troops in the Baltic States, Poland and the black sea region.
The annexation of Crimea by Russia, a direct support of separatists in Eastern Ukraine and targeted, as emphasized in the West, the disinformation campaign popdrive American and European diplomatic efforts concern the members of the Alliance.
Many in the West were alarmed and the September military exercises with the participation of tens of thousands of troops, in which Russia supposedly tested electronic warfare against Latvia.
Ben Hodges, who recently left the post of force commander of the U.S. Army in Europe, has long called for Germany to assume a more active role in meeting the logistics and transportation needs of the Alliance. Because of border restrictions in individual countries and the EU, the movement of military equipment and military personnel is expensive and time consuming.
However, for Germany this is a difficult question. Berlin wants to maintain dialogue with Moscow, and rejected the proposal to name the logistics base a “home command center” that could be interpreted as an allusion to the preparation of the NATO war.
Instead, the German side intends to call it the “Allied command operations support centre”.
According to one source, the location of the centre in its territory assumes responsibility for the air defence and cyber security and also for training and redeployment of troops of the second echelon.
“It’s not just that the trains ran on schedule,” – said the source.