Kyodo News
April 17, 2022

NATO needs bases on eastern border to counter Russia: experts

Russia’s war in Ukraine will lead to NATO radically overhauling its long-term security capabilities in Eastern Europe, defense analysts say.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is likely to establish permanent bases on its eastern flank and significantly boost spending, experts predict.

The United States will continue to play a key role in the region but pressure will be on European members to raise spending in order to address the increased threat from Russia, they say.


Following the invasion of Ukraine, more units and troops were dispatched along the alliance’s eastern flank. There are now some 40,000 troops under NATO command on its eastern border and approximately 100,000 U.S. soldiers in Europe.


William Alberque, director of strategy, technology and arms control at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said, “Hopefully at the NATO summit in June they will discuss putting permanent bases in some of the countries along NATO’s border with Russia and Belarus….”

Jamie Shea, who spent 38 years as a NATO official and is now an associate fellow at the think tank Chatham House, said having permanent troops and bases means greater familiarity with local conditions and better training against Russian adversaries. It will also allow for military equipment to be easily accessible and avoid long supply chains.


As an additional boost to NATO’s capabilities, Finland and Sweden are veering closer to the military alliance.


Some defense experts see a lot of merit in an idea of states in the Indo-Pacific forming their own military alliance along the lines of NATO….

Alberque said he would like to see a multilateral military alliance in the region….