NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has condemned Russian military escalation in Crimea and pledged NATO’s support for Ukraine.

Here’s an excerpt of my OpEd in “Foreign Policy” published over the weekend with some specific ideas that NATO might consider to help preserve full territorial integrity of the sovereign state of Ukraine:

  • Increasing all intelligence-gathering functions through satellite, Predator unmanned vehicles, and especially cyber.
  • Using the NATO-Ukrainian Council and existing military partnerships with the Ukrainian military to share information, intelligence, and situational awareness with authorities in Kiev.
  • Providing advice to Ukrainian armed forces to prepare and position themselves in the event of further conflict.
  • Developing NATO contingency plans to react to full-scale invasion of Ukraine and to a partial invasion likely of Crimea. NATO contingency planning can be cumbersome, but in Libya it moved quickly.
  • Assigning one of the NATO Joint Force Commands (either Naples, Italy, or Brunsum, Netherlands) into direct overwatch of the situation.
  • Standing up NATO crisis centers to full manning, especially at SHAPE and the relevant Joint Force Command.
  • Ensuring that the Land and Maritime Component Commands (Northwood in the United Kingdom and Izmir, Turkey, respectively) are conducting prudent planning in their areas of expertise and feeding their analysis to the Joint Force Command.
  • Bringing the NATO Response Force, a 25,000 man sea, air, land, special forces capability to a higher state of alert.
  • Convening allies with cyber-capabilities (this is not a NATO specialty) to consider options — at a minimum to defend Ukraine if it is attacked in this domain (as Georgia was).
  • Sailing NATO maritime forces into the Black Sea and setting up contingency plans for their use.

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