Recently, the first of 800 UK troops arrived in Estonia, aiming to contribute to NATO’s resilience versus Russia. The 120 arrivals, sent from the RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, met with Estonia’s Defence Minister Margus Tsahkna, and amassing his support may have been a pivotal aim for both Britain and NATO, as his boasting of a position of power enables him to influence the majority of the Estonian population. With NATO originally involving themselves in Estonia in order to influence Russia into contributing to a safer European future, the incursion of British and French troops, amongst others, may bolster the capabilities of NATO further and, with English Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon spearheading the movement, it may signal an influx of European leaders to involve themselves, and attempt to impact the predicament in a productive manner.
The situation surrounding Russia and Estonia seemed to occur as a result of the former’s political ideologies surrounding the rest of Europe, with President Vladimir Putin seemingly aiming to maximise the mass of land ultimately owned, perhaps underpinned by the term Lebensraum. With the predicament’s escalation ultimately leading to the annexation of Crimea, NATO seemed to prioritise assisting Estonia, and deployed troops in order to resist any potential Russian advances. The Alliance’s prerogative seems to be to unify the area via solidarity with citizens, and their deployment ultimately highlights the importance of uniting countries under a common cause of peace.
With NATO also involved in other global states of affairs, it seemed necessary for Britain to enter the fray, and they seem to be taking the leading role in Estonia whilst other NATO members deploy forces to Latvia, Lithuania and Poland as part of the Enhanced Forward Presence battalion. With 300 vehicles having also left the UK, and another 680 troops still to be deployed, this seems to be one of the largest deployments to Eastern Europe since the Cold War, highlighting Britain’s solidarity with NATO as they seem to be showcasing high levels of commitment to the cause. Furthermore, with Britain seemingly commanding a high status across the world, predominantly due to their reputation in influencing other European countries, their involvement may act as the catalyst in other states contributing to the quest for safety in Eastern Europe, underpinned by amity.
As aforementioned, Sir Michael Fallon may play a pivotal role in proceedings, with his authorisation of British troops assisting NATO perhaps highlighting his desire for resolution. His inclusion may be fundamentally key for both Britain and NATO, predominantly due to his vast array of experience as a politician across a variety of areas. Additionally, he has been a politician for 34 years, having been originally elected as a Conservative MP for Darlington in the 1983 General elections; his maiden election win may be his crowning glory, as he was initially on the receiving end of the votes, with Labour’s Ossie O’Brien emerging victorious in the by-election by a majority of 2,412 votes. Yet, he seemed to showcase his drive, perhaps his synecdoche, and ultimately gained the seat eleven weeks later. As such, he seems to have proved he boasts the credentials of an accomplished politician, having amassed, and honed, his skills for three decades, enhancing his reputation as a respected and recognisable influencer.
Ultimately, whilst the predicament in Eastern Europe may be complex, it may be a challenge NATO, coupled with their European Allies, are relishing, as they may be able to showcase their political nous by drawing a fair and reasonable conclusion. These Allies assisting NATO also seem to highlight the underlying global aim for peace, both politically and physically, perhaps resulting in a stable Europe for future generations, deemed all the more vital in the aftermath of Brexit. As such, a rapid solution seems to be the sole priority, and, if the first British troops may be successful in achieving their aim of productively influencing the predicament, it may result in future troops staying in England; this may lead to further fruitful outcomes, as they may be free to influence other global situations, aiming to replicate the actions from Estonia.
How may the UK’s involvement contribute to NATO’s quest for political peace?