Besides being the first response tool, it could be used for preventing Article 4 situations, such as subterfuge, civil unrest or border infractions, from escalating into armed conflict. The troops can move freely in time of war, but introducing a NATO Schengen zone is needed for concentrating forces in forward areas in preparation for an attack across the Russian border. The formation of the much larger 40 thousand strong NATO Response Force (NRF) is on the way.
The alliance is trying to whip up tensions in Europe to reinforce its relevance in the ever changing world. It needs a fictional enemy to keep it together. Without attracting much public attention, NATO is actively involved in military preparations in the proximity of Russia’s borders. Neither the plans for the military “Schengen zone”, nor the deployment of US Marines in Norway, nor Germany beefing up its combat potential have been on the radar screen of Western media.
One provocation follows another against the endless drumbeat of Western media reports about “Russian aggression”. The war preparations greatly reduce European security and the chances for revival of constructive dialogue between Russia and NATO – something Russia has been calling for so many years. Instead, the bloc is doing its best to provoke an arms race with unpredictable resul