Earlier this week, Barack Obama travelled to Poland to reassure Nato, and particularly the newer members of the transatlantic alliance in central and eastern Europe, of America’s unwavering commitment to their defence. He announced a request of Congress to appropriate a $1bn reassurance fund that would allow for increased rotation of US forces to Europe, improvements in basing and infrastructure, the possible forward positioning of equipment and enhanced training and exercises, notably on the territory of the newer allies.
Given the recent Russian military actions in Ukraine and along Nato’s borders, these are much-needed steps of reassurance. But they leave two questions unanswered. First, to what extent are other Nato allies willing and able to follow the American example of demonstrating their unwavering commitment to the territorial integrity and defence of all Nato territory? Second, will the US and other Nato members consider deploying their ground and air forces on a more permanent basis to bolster collective defence in eastern Europe?
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