Germany Set to Deploy Permanent Brigade in Lithuania

    Germany Set to Deploy Permanent Brigade in Lithuania
    Photo: Alexander Koerner/Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • On Monday, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius signed a "historic" agreement with his Lithuanian counterpart Arvydas Anušauskasto to permanently station a German brigade of about 4.8K soldiers in Lithuania on the Russian border by 2027.

    • According to Pistorius, most units will arrive between 2025 and 2026, adding the soldiers and their families will be provided with "attractive conditions" such as housing, aircraft connections, kindergartens, and German-language schools.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    It was Russia's invasion of Ukraine that precipitated Germany's decision to station a brigade permanently in Lithuania, about 100 kilometers (62 mi) from the Russian border, and help fortify NATO's eastern flank. Germany hasn't had a permanent military presence abroad since World War II. However, Berlin now sees how urgently it has to establish this force given the changing security landscape in Europe. If Russia wins the war in Ukraine, it might go after the Baltic states next.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Establishing this military force in Lithuania might not go as smoothly as Berlin may hope for. It will take some convincing to get thousands of German soldiers to volunteer for permanent service in Lithuania in addition to generous bonuses and other tax-free benefits. Moreover, considering the history, it seems improbable that the local populace will welcome Germans with open arms. This attempt to bolster NATO's eastern flank is fraught with challenges.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 27% chance there will be a "World War Three" before 2050, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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