Russia's Saber-Rattling Puts NATO Into Rethink Mode

Bolstering neighbors' defenses one option as alliance tries to analyze threat level
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2008 12:34 PM CDT
Russian soldiers are seen on the outskirts of Gori, northwest of Georgia's capital Tbilisi, Aug. 15, 2008.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The invasion of Georgia has NATO trying to figure out exactly how strong Russia’s rejuvenated military is, and what the alliance should do about it, Gordon Lubold writes in the Christian Science Monitor. It’s clear the military has rebounded from its 1990s malaise, but it doesn’t look like its Cold War self, whether or not it has rediscovered that era’s ambitions.

Though one Washington expert called the invading Russians a “pretty undisciplined force,” NATO still must decide how it will protect the likes of Estonia and Ukraine, close enough to be future targets of such saber-rattling. At the same time, the alliance must rebuild its own long-neglected conventional capabilities, Lubold writes—while guarding against overreaction to what could be the “settling of an old, regional score.”