Obama plant eine Millarde $ für die NATO-Ostflanke

Die Verteidigungsminister der NATO beraten in diesen Tagen in Brüssel, ob und wie das Bündnis mit stärkerem Engagement in den östlichen Mitgliedsländern auf das russische Verhalten in der Ukraine-Krise reagieren soll – da schaffen die USA schon mal Fakten. Präsident Barack Obama kündigte bei seinem Besuch in Polen am (heutigen) Dienstag an, vom Kongress eine zusätzliche Milliarde US-Dollar zu erbitten, um damit zusätzliche Übungen und – zeitweise – Präsenz von US-Truppen in den osteuropäischen NATO-Staaten zu finanzieren. Von einer dauerhaften stärkeren Präsenz amerikanischer Soldaten dort sprach Obama (noch?) nicht – aber von mehr Manövern, die übrigens auch in Deutschland stattfinden, wie in dem oben im Bild gezeigten Einsatz eines rumänischen Panzers auf dem US-Übungsgelände Hohenfels in Bayern.

Aus dem Fact Sheet des Weißen Hauses (in der von der US-Mission bei der NATO veröffentlichten Fassung):

Since early March, the United States has taken action, both bilaterally and through NATO, to reassure allies of our solemn commitment to their security and territorial integrity as members of the NATO Alliance.  A persistent U.S. air, land, and sea presence in the region, especially in Central and Eastern Europe, is a necessary and appropriate show of support to allies who have contributed robustly and bravely to Alliance operations in Afghanistan and elsewhere and who are now deeply concerned by Russia’s occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea and other provocative actions in Ukraine.  The United States stands by its allies, as they have stood by us.  We will continue to take actions that increase the capability, readiness, and responsiveness of NATO forces to address any threat and that aid in deterring further destabilizing activities.  That is why the President today called on Congress to support a European Reassurance Initiative of up to $1 billion, which will enable us in the next year to undertake measures to:


  • Increase exercises, training, and rotational presence across Europe but especially on the territory of our newer allies.  Many of the U.S. air and ground forces participating in these activities would rotate from the United States.


  • As we have done in Poland, deploy detachments of U.S. planners to augment the capability of our allies to design and host a broad range of training and exercise opportunities.


  • Increase the responsiveness of U.S. forces to reinforce NATO by exploring initiatives such as the prepositioning of equipment and improvements to other reception facilities and infrastructure in Europe.


  • Increase participation by the U.S. Navy in NATO naval force deployments, including more persistent deployments to the Black and Baltic seas.


  • Build the partner capacity of close friends such as Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine so they can better work alongside the United States and NATO, as well as provide for their own defense.


This initiative will build on existing tools and authorities and will be included in the Department of Defense’s FY 2015 Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) request to Congress.
In addition to this initiative, we are reviewing our force presence in Europe in light of the new security challenges on the continent.  These efforts will not come at the expense of other defense priorities, such as our commitment to the Asia Pacific rebalance.

Diese Ankündigungen kommen, wohlgemerkt, zu den bereits laufenden US-Aktivitäten in Osteuropa hinzu, wie zum Beispiel der Verstärkung der Luftraumüberwachung über dem Baltikum und etlichen bi-nationalen Übungen mit den baltischen Staaten und Polen, aber auch dem Manöver Combined Ressolve II in Deutschland (aber ohne deutsche Einheiten).

Vor der Ankündigung einer dauerhaften Stationierung von US-Truppen im Osten der Allianz schreckt Obama aus gutem Grund zurück: Damit würden die USA faktisch die NATO-Russland-Grundakte aufkündigen, in der das Bündnis auf die Stationierung von substantial combat troops in seinen neuen Mitgliedsländern verzichtet hatte. Interessant wird ja, wie sich die NATO insgesamt dazu positioniert.


  • Polen reicht diese US-Ankündigung nicht, wie die New York Times berichtet:
    “For the first time since the Second World War, one European country has taken a province by force from another European country,” Radoslaw Sikorski, the Polish foreign minister, said in a telephone interview before Mr. Obama’s arrival. “America, we hope, has ways of reassuring us that we haven’t even thought about. There are major bases in Britain, in Spain, in Portugal, in Greece, in Italy. Why not here?”

  • Die NATO will fitter, faster & more flexible werden, Beschlüsse wird’s aber vor dem Gipfel im September in Wales kaum geben – Stars&Stripes:
    A long-term plan to ramp up NATO’s military readiness is underway, but political consensus on the details isn’t likely until alliance heads of state assemble for September’s summit in Wales, NATO’s top official said Tuesday. (…)
    The crisis in Ukraine — along with a range of other threats, including terrorism, piracy and cybercrime — means the 28-nation alliance must adapt, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said at his headquarters in Brussels.“So we need to make NATO fitter, faster and more flexible,” Rasmussen said at the start of two days of talks with defense ministers in Brussels. “We will do that through a readiness action plan. To make sure our forces are even more responsive, with the right capabilities, the right training and the right resources. This work is already ongoing, but the crisis makes it more urgent.”

(Foto: The Romanian Army, playing the Opposing Force alonside U.S. soldiers during exercise Combined Resolve II at the Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, go on the attack in the early morning hours of May 26, 2014 – Photo courtest of Capt. Daniel Nistor, Romanian Land Forces via 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command auf Flickr unter CC-BY-Lizenz)