What Obama sought to achieve through appeals and through Trump threats is now happening without much of President Joe Biden: In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, NATO member states are significantly increasing their defense spending.
Just days after the February 24 invasion, Germany announced plans to increase its defense funding, with Chancellor Olaf Schulz pledging 100 billion euros in 2022 to strengthen its military and invest more than 2% of its gross domestic product – NATO Baseline – defense moving forward. . At least seven other European countries followed suit: Belgium, Romania, Poland, Italy, Norway, Denmark and – the only NATO member on the list – Sweden.
An M1 Abrams main battle tank is the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, the first of about 400 vehicles and equipment items from the 4th Infantry Division, a commercial cargo ship called “Liberty Passion”, docked in Alexandropoli, Greece. 21, 2022. (US Army photo of SPC Austin Steinburn, 5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment) Related: NATO Response Force: Response to Russian Invasion?
Russia’s aggression, underscored by a March 13 missile strike in western Ukraine, just 15 miles from the Polish border, has created an existential threat that, at least at the moment, promotes a historically united move among Europe’s allies.
As Biden meets with NATO leaders in Belgium and Poland this week and resolves response efforts, many hope he will push for long-term defense commitments from the alliance that will overcome the current crisis.
If leaders can coordinate new investments and move quickly to recruit new partners to the alliance, NATO will become stronger and more influential, explains Jim Townsend, a senior fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Security Program at New American Security.
Townsend was instrumental in shaping NATO as it is today: in the 1990s, he served as director of European and NATO policy, director of NATO policy, and director of defense planning at the U.S. mission to NATO in Brussels. He will later serve eight years at the Pentagon as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Policy. Townsend’s achievement in supporting NATO expansion and defense planning was to assist in the creation of the NATO Response Force, an initiative that began and ended in 2002.
Post ‘wolf at the door.’ How Russia is rebuilding the NATO alliance was first reported in the Popularist Press 2022.