Tags: Emerging Threats | Russia | Russia | NATO | Ukraine | front lines | Robert Dannenberg

Ex-CIA Analyst: Russia-NATO Standoff 'Extraordinarily Dangerous'

By    |   Friday, 10 July 2015 01:45 PM

The escalating tensions between Russia and NATO mark an "extraordinarily dangerous time" and could intensify further, a leading analyst has said, according to Business Insider.

"We are in an extraordinarily dangerous time right now because both Russia and NATO are starting to exercise substantial military activity in close proximity to each other in Eastern Europe and the Baltics," said Robert Dannenberg, a CIA veteran and analyst for Goldman Sachs' Office of Global Security.

Dannenberg believes that Russia is a top strategic threat to the United States and that there is a high risk that the situation could escalate based on Russia's policies toward Ukraine.

"Many of the channels of rapid military and intelligence communications that were carefully constructed during the Cold War have been dismantled, lamentably, mostly from the U.S. side," he said, according to Business Insider.

A ceasefire in February froze the front lines between separatist and Ukrainian forces, but violence between the two sides has continued. On July 9, a Ukrainian soldier was killed in a shootout.

Tensions between Russia and NATO have been simmering. Russia has deployed aircraft and naval reinforcements near NATO territory and has sent additional military support to the Kaliningrad region bordering the NATO states of Poland and Lithuania, the Insider said.

Dannenberg said Russia poses the top current geopolitical risk to the U.S. and NATO, while Putin likely perceives NATO's presence in Russia's sphere of influence as an imminent threat.

"Putin genuinely feels that if he doesn't act, 10 years from now what is left of Ukraine may well be in the EU or in the orbit of NATO," Dannenberg said, according to the Insider. "And if Ukraine goes, maybe southeastern Europe goes, then the Caucasus, and so on, ultimately resulting in a fracturing of Russia."

Dannenberg believes that Russia is apt to act unpredictably, operating without a long-term strategy necessitating a strong protective presence by the U.S. and its partners for the European front-line states.

"It is very important for NATO and the United States to provide a strong message of reassurance to their partners who are genuinely worried that the playbook that Russia has used so many times will be used in their countries," Dannenberg said, according to the Insider.

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The escalating tensions between Russia and NATO mark an "extraordinarily dangerous time" and could intensify further, a leading analyst has said, according to Business Insider.
Russia, NATO, Ukraine, front lines, Robert Dannenberg
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2015-45-10
Friday, 10 July 2015 01:45 PM
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