The Pentagon has announced it is re-establishing a naval fleet that will bolster the US and Nato presence in the Atlantic Ocean, amid rising tensions with Russia.
Outlines of the plan were approved at the February meeting of Nato defence ministers, as part of a broader effort to insure the security of the sea lanes and lines of communication between Europe and North America.
“The return to great power competition and a resurgent Russia demands that Nato refocus on the Atlantic to ensure dedicated reinforcement of the continent and demonstrate a capable and credible deterrence effect,” said Johnny Michael, a Pentagon spokesman. He said the new command “will be the linchpin of trans-Atlantic security.”
The decision reflects escalating worries across Europe and within Nato over Russia’s increased military presence and patrols in the Atlantic region. Under the new plan, the US will set up Nato’s new Atlantic Command headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia.
Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters in February that “we have seen a much more assertive Russia, we have seen a Russia which has over many years invested heavily in their military capabilities, modernised their military capabilities, which are exercising not only conventional forces but also nuclear forces.”