Recently President Trump promised to send 1,000 more US troops to Poland on a rotational base, increasing this number to a total of approximately 6,000 by now. Though Warsaw’s request for permanent US military base in Poland fell on deaf ears in Washington, Moscow is cautiously paying attention to the development. The announcement of deployment comes after Poland’s recent purchase of 32 fifth generation fighter jets (F-35 Lightning).

Following Russia’s annexation of the Crimea, NATO has agreed to increase US military presence in Eastern Europe. The additional US troops in Poland is part of that compromise.

How does Russia feel about it? Not well. It clearly notices the process of being isolated from the world. Indeed, it’s a deliberate isolation by the West.

After the fall of the USSR, Russia had two strategic goals, the first one openly, the second one silently agreed by the West:

First, to become friendly, and in a way, be part of the western community, accepting and implementing certain values, previously unheard of in the USSR or in Tsarist Russia.

Second, dominate the former USSR member states, or at least be their leader.

If the above goals were achieved, Russia today would be an all-Eurasian power player.  

Today it is clear that none of the above goals were reached. The relation with the West has significantly deteriorated, compared to the mid-90s. Moscow is facing economic sanctions. Russian military expenditures are exceeded today by countries such as France or Saudi Arabia and more than four times by China.[1] US-Russian relationships are in the low again. The country lost its dominant status and even its sphere of influence among the former USSR members; some of them in Central Asia are stationing US troops on their soil and receiving US military aid, not to talk about the Baltics being in NATO and the latest vanishing ally being Belarus.

Russia is in an existential crisis and it is possible that there are no realistic goals in the mind of Russian leadership. Moscow is trying to maintain support from its citizens, living in meagre conditions by western standards, by flexing some muscles. Glories in South Ossetia, Abkhazia or Transnistria establish domestic support. They become the new “sphere of influence” of the once mighty Russia/USSR. The Crimean mission was clearly a desperate cling to maintain somehow the not-long-ago lost influence in Ukraine. Meanwhile and as a result, the West is building a new wall to isolate the bear.

1,000 more US troops are just some more iron bars in the cage of the bear.

 

[1]https://www.sipri.org/research/armament-and-disarmament/arms-transfers-and-military-spending/military-expenditure

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