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Building NATO’s “Weimar Triangle”

BERLIN – Some months ago, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen referred to Russia’s annexation of Crimea as a “wake-up call” for the West. Since then, Europeans and Americans have slowly but steadily tightened the economic screws on Russia.

But, in striking contrast to the overall cohesion displayed on the sanctions front, the West’s military response to Russia’s new assertiveness in its so-called “near abroad” has been uncoordinated and reluctant. As a recent report of the Defense Committee of the United Kingdom’s House of Commons argued, “NATO is currently not well-prepared for a Russian threat against a NATO Member State.” Given that this is a source of grave concern to NATO members close to Russia, the Allies must send an unequivocal message to Russian President Vladimir Putin when they meet in Wales next week: NATO territory is inviolable.