Forcing NATO to determine how drones flying in its territory will respond

(CNN) –– Last week, a drone flew 563 kilometers over the western border of Ukraine and crashed in the NATO member state of Croatia. Croatian officials say there was a bomb on the drone. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.

Recently, another drone entered Roman airspace south of Ukraine. This Tuesday, the Ukrainian army He said the drone was shot down The Russians who re-entered the country via polonium airspace.

These recent drone incidents raise concerns that Russia’s war in Ukraine could accidentally spread to NATO countries. It forces the coalition to determine how it will respond to events within its borders, if any.

Drone incidents in NATO areas raise concerns

U.S. defense officials say the wrong drones that entered NATO borders often did so by accident. From the beginning Invasion of RussiaThe U.S. military has set up an expansion line with Moscow to reduce the risk of miscalculations and to ensure that the two armies operating in such close proximity do not collide inadvertently. According to a senior security official, the United States has been testing the tax “once or twice a day.” But so far it is not needed, the source added.

However, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine spread further into the country, it failed to contact Russia via NATO, NATO, the Disclosure Hotline and written letters, raising concerns about the Kremlin’s willingness to compromise.

“We are definitely trying to get in touch with them,” one of the officials told reporters at NATO headquarters. “But it needs two [lados] contact”.

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Russia brought the war closer to NATO’s door last weekend with precision-guided missile strikes near Lviv in western Ukraine. Blast target a Military training facility It is 16 kilometers from the Polish border. The attacks come a day after Russian authorities threatened arms convoy from the west to Ukraine. A U.S. defense official said the facility was not being used for defense exports.

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The U.S. military has surveillance equipment and sensors to help mitigate potential increases. Among them, the ability to detect radar emissions and infrared signals of missiles will be launched from Russia or Belarus. Thus, U.S. officials can examine the expected path and try to track it down so that if it deviates, it can understand whether it was intentional or accidental, security officials said.

Although the United States and NATO have stationed drone surveillance aircraft inside Ukraine, the U.S. military operates surveillance drones and U-2 aircraft on the border, and uses satellites above, officials say. NATO’s Air Alert and Control System (AWACS) aircraft regularly fly near Ukraine. Patriotic air defense systems have also been sent to Poland to respond to missiles that could enter NATO airspace.

“Lots of drones are flying around and everyone is nervously watching over their shoulders what’s going on,” said Tom Karako, a senior colleague at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “Given the scale of what Russia is doing here, this kind of thing is not surprising. This is one reason why the whole world is now connected,” he added.

Risk of drone accidents in NATO

Tensions over the possibility of Russian drones or bombs spreading within NATO borders carefully underscore what the Biden administration is prepared to do to help Ukraine deal with the Russians. The United States and NATO have provided Ukraine with hundreds of millions of dollars in security assistance, including anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles. But the US government has opposed plans to supply Polish warplanes to Ukraine via a German air base. In that sense, it is possible to have an affair.

US and NATO officials have also made it clear that they do not plan to send troops to Ukraine. But amid promises by President Joe Biden and other key figures that NATO will protect “every inch” of the region, US and coalition officials are stepping up surveillance and patrols along the NATO border with Ukraine. Precisely, to protect against any unwanted increase.

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What other steps will NATO take to help Ukraine? 2:43

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference this week: “We are intensifying our surveillance, our presence, our way of monitoring our airspace. But make sure we can act if needed, ”he said.

“We have to be very vigilant.”

Stoltenberg noted the new Patriot air defense missile batteries, which are stationed in the eastern part of the Alliance. Drone incidents “show that there is a risk of accidents with drones and planes, due to heavy military operations in the air,” he said.

“So we have to be very vigilant. We have to react when needed, and we have to make sure that we have the means to prevent communications and communications with the Russians from creating really dangerous situations,” Stoltenberg continued.

Retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, CNN’s national security and military analyst, said drones could be shot down if the pilot loses control. Unmanned missiles used by Russia may miss their target with the limit of increasing the chance of entering NATO borders. Especially if Russian forces advance into western Ukraine.

But in any event involving NATO airspace or territory, Hertling said, the key to avoiding escalation is communication.

“Details are important. When a NATO country is affected, it is better to get details from Russia, ”he said. “It’s good to be fast, because that too is a climbing move.”

Eyes above the sky

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The Russian drone, which the Ukrainian military says was shot down as it entered Polish airspace, appears to be monitoring a military training center attacked by Russia on Sunday, the newspaper reported. The Wall Street Journal.

Croatian Defense Minister Mario Banosic says the drone, which crashed in the urban area of ​​Zagreb, flew over three NATO countries after leaving Ukrainian airspace. Associated Press. The official said the plane was armed with a grenade launcher, but Stoltenberg told reporters it was unarmed.

“There are elements that suggest it may have come from both,” said Bonozyk, in both Ukraine and Russia.

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Stoltenberg noted that NATO air and missile defenses were monitoring the “airspace of an object” that entered Romanian airspace on Sunday. He also said that Romanian warplanes had rushed to investigate. Stoltenberg promised that NATO was reviewing the events in Romania and Croatia.

According to officials, the current assessment by NATO’s Supreme Commander-in-Chief states that the coalition “poses no threat at present.” “This is not a deliberate threat on the part of Russia. Russia is currently busy with Ukraine,” they added.

But of course there are risks, the sources add. That is why there are discussions now about moving NATO’s defenses further east.

“At the center of Europe, we have now seen that Russia is ready to re-use military means to achieve political ends. Those areas include Belarus and Ukraine, he added.

What are the risks?

Jeff Edmunds, a senior analyst at the New U.S. Defense Center and former director of Russia at the National Security Council, said the risk to NATO territory would only increase when Russian forces moved closer to supplying Western and NATO-supplied weapons. To the Ukrainian forces.

“If they move west, they are likely to feel that they have the freedom to deal with things that cross the border,” Edmunds said of the Russian forces. “In one scene here, Russia is attacking – neither side really cares until it hits the mark – thinking it can watch US / NATO gambling without calling for a full-scale war.”

When asked about Poland’s request on Wednesday to send NATO troops to Ukraine for “peacekeeping” missions, the NATO military suggested that such a plan was unacceptable.

“We see two national states at war. If they agree to a credible and lasting peace agreement, I do not need to look at the need for peacekeeping work,” said one of the officials. That means war with Russia. “

“Then we have to ‘protect’,” the official explained. “Then shoot, then kill, then destroy.”

CNN’s Oren Liebermann contributed to this report.

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