Sketchbook: Reassurances to the Contrary
A European Reassurance Initiative program was announced by President Obama on Tuesday in Poland to give needy Eastern European republics more peace of mind.
“Assurances have not been enough,” said a senior official, “so we are moving on to reassurances.”
Permanent bases and a missile shield are not part of the $1 billion European Reassurance Initiative, but countries that spend at least 2 percent of their GDP on defense can upgrade to a premium level of reassurance that will offer the following:
- reassurances delivered by a rotating US senator until the end of 2015
- toll-free, 24-hour use of a telephone number that plays a looped recording of the text of Article Five of the Washington Treaty
- a color-coded alert system similar to the one used after 9/11
The reassurance component is that the color will never go beyond yellow. Orange and red cannot be used as alert colors even if Article Five is triggered.
Amid concerns that Russia could see the reassurance initiative as a sign of weakness, the official said they were pondering a re-deterrence initiative that will restore deterrence to the level before the reassurances went into effect.
Officials also assured Asian leaders that the European Reassurance Initiative will not affect Asian Rebalance. However, this assurance has de-assured the jittery Estonians even more: a think tank said today that they suspect the European Reassurance Initiative and Asian Rebalance may seek to restore a single, monolithic Eurasian Reset.
(ERR News's cartoonist is on sabbatical.)