On February 25, the US Army did something that was dangerously provocative: It paraded soldiers and armored vehicles in the Estonian town of Narva, just 900 feet from Russia's border, the Vox website reports exclusively today (February 27, 2015).
Michael Burnbaum of the Washington Post explains, "Narva is a vulnerable border city separated by a river from Russia. It has often been cited as a potential target for the Kremlin if it wanted to escalate its conflict with the West onto NATO territory."
There is logic to this demonstration that is meant to show Russia that the US is sincerely committed to the defense of Estonia, which is a member of NATO. In other words, it is meant to deter Russia from starting a Ukraine-style conflict in Estonia, which could well spiral into World War III.
At the same time, such a demonstration is also dangerous, as it risks being misinterpreted by a furious Moscow as an act of aggression, thus making a war more likely.