As the United States continues to move more heavy weaponry into Eastern Europe, a group advocating a more aggressive policy in the region has been hired by the Pentagon to develop future military alliances there.
On June 5, the military’s Office of Net Assessment commissioned the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) for a study and war games called Gaming Allies: Geostrategic Change and Alliances, Pentagon records obtained by USA Today show.
The contract announcement said CEPA will conduct “a study on shifting dynamics in US alliance networks in East Asia, the Middle East and Central and Eastern Europe.”
Prior CEPA studies have called for abandoning the policy of “strategic patience” in favor of moving defenses closer to the borders with Russia on behalf of countries like Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia — all NATO members.
CEPA President A. Wess Mitchell wrote earlier this year in an article about Russia:
“While the post-Cold War West may have hoped that Russia might eventually become a supersized version of Poland, with liberal institutions and a de-militarized foreign policy, what we got instead was a latter-day version of Carthage – a sullen, punitive power determined to wage a vengeful foreign policy to overturn the system that it blames for the loss of its former greatness.”
The Pentagon’s link with analysts promoting a more aggressive military policy on the part of the United States comes as a plan to store weapons in central Europe for up to 5,000 troops is being discussed, American and allied officials confirmed to United Press International.
By early 2016, there will be enough pre-positioned equipment – like weaponry including battle tanks, infantry vehicles and other heavy armaments – for a US military brigade, reported USA Today.
“This is a very meaningful shift in policy. It provides a reasonable level of reassurance to jittery allies, although nothing is as good as troops stationed full-time on the ground, of course,” James G. Stavridis, former NATO supreme commander, told UPI.
At the Paris Air Show earlier this week, US Air Force Secretary Deborah James said the service may deploy its F-22 Raptor, America’s most advanced fighter jet, to Eastern Europe.
On Monday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the developing policy was still in its early stages. Earnest said the United States and its NATO allies discussed the need for more rapid deployment of troops at a summit in Wales last year.
“That is a treaty that the United States and this president is serious about upholding,” Earnest was quoted as saying by USA Today.
On Tuesday, Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov accused NATO of “pushing [Moscow] towards an arms race.”
“We will respond adequately. But first, we will look at what will be done and react depending on what threat to Russia’s national security their actions pose,” Antonov said at the Army-2015 military exhibition that kicked off Tuesday near Moscow.