NATO is weighing options to reinforce its “deterrence and defense,” including the creation of new battle groups in eastern Europe, the bloc’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday. Stoltenberg, who was speaking after a meeting of the organisation's defense ministers, also lamented that “using force” is now “the new normal in Europe.” “Ministers decided to develop options for further strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defense,” Stoltenberg said, adding that it includes them mulling over “establishing new NATO battlegroups in central and eastern, south-eastern Europe.” France has already volunteered to “lead such a battlegroup in Romania,” the Secretary General revealed. “Our military commanders will now work on the details and report back within weeks,” Stoltenberg added.
So, Pepe's brilliant summary of Macron and his visit to Moscow was spot on and it has nothing to do with any attempts to deal with facts on the ground. I will remind you Pepe's summary.
Mr. Macron went to Moscow to see Mr. Putin with a simple 4-stage plan in mind. 1. Clinch a wide-ranging deal with Putin on Ukraine, thus stopping “Russian aggression”. 2. Bask in the glow as the West’s Peacemaker. 3. Raise the EU’s tawdry profile, as he’s the current president of the EU Council. 4. Collect all the spoils then bag the April presidential election in France.
West's policies, as I am on record, are not conducted for the sake of development of own nations or of international relations. They are conducted for PR purposes only, as a means to an end of retaining political power for a variety of reasons ranging from desire to have it for the sake of it or for comfortable retirement paid in all kinds of cash and favors in exchange for proper political plays. Western Europe has missed its chance on geopolitical subjectivity and while there is a process of slow dissolution of NATO's cohesion, this may take some time which, incidentally, the United States doesn't have and Russia doesn't want to wait. We have to wait the closing of Beijing Olympics to have some first ideas how Russia will exert pressure on the US but some things are clear--many of those actions will be of military nature.
People also asked me to comment on this piece at Quincy's Institute Site:
New scientific review punctures myth of missile defense. The study found that US systems wouldn’t be effective against even a limited North Korean attack, let alone a more sophisticated one from Russia or China.
There is nothing to comment really about it. I write extensively on that in this book of mine:
The first successful intercept of a ballistic missile was conducted on 24 November, 1960, but a live warhead was not fitted. On the 4th of March in 1961, the first successful intercept of an R-12 (SS-4 SANDAL) IRBM with a V-1000 fitted with a live warhead was performed. Over the course of the test series, there were 11 successful intercepts of inbound targets, including the destruction of an R-5 (SS-3 SHYSTER) SRBM's warhead section 22 days after the first successful intercept. Various iterations of the V-1000 ABM were also trialled, including the IR-guided S2TA variant, and the optically and radar fuzed nuclear armed R2TA and G2TA variants. One of the most interesting test programs involved subjecting the components of System A to high-altitude nuclear detonations. Operation K consisted of five nuclear detonations between 80 and 300 kilometers in altitude, and these events proved to have no effect on the functionality of System A.
The United States didn't repeat anything like this until... well, try to search it, good luck)) I'll give a hint--its decades, not years. So, this is basically what defines the gap between modern Russian ABM (including against ICBMs) and that of the US. Google A-35. USSR took the lead in air defense and ABM technologies in 1960s and never looked back.