>> The United States is pushing its NATO allies to armor up with more troops, warships, and planes, as a deterrence against a potential Russian attack. Sources tell Reuters, Defense Secretary James Mattis will make the case for a brawnier NATO when he meets with top defense ministers this week in Brussels.
Pentagon reporter Idrees Ali is on the story.>> The plan is called the 30-30-30-30, which is essentially a readiness plan for NATO, which would allow for 30 ground battlions, 30 air force squadrons, 30 navy ships, to be basically ready within 30 days of them being alerted. And basically it's conceived after the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014 in which NATO and the United States and really a lot of the members realized that the readiness just wasn't there.
It was gonna take too long for the NATO forces to be put on alert in case of Russian aggressive action.>> The plan to ramp up against Russia comes after President Donald Trump's frequent scolding of NATO countries for not paying as much as the US to keep the alliance going.
>> They paid the number that they're supposed to be paying, we have some that don't. And well, they'll be dealt with.>>
The strategy in the work since before Trump took office lays down a challenge for European governments to remedy long running problems. And for the most part, NATO allies support the buildup.
In addition to annexing Crimea, Russia's intervention in Syria's civil war and alleged meddling in the 2016 elections, which Russia denies, have contributed to US-Russia relations falling to their lowest point since the Cold War. The Kremlin firmly rejects it has any aggressive aims. And says it is NATO that poses a security threat in Eastern Europe.
Trump has faced criticism for being too soft on Russia amid multiple probes into whether his campaign colluded with Moscow in the 2016 race.