(Bloomberg) -- Along NATO’s eastern flank, member states are ramping up defenses against any future Russian aggression. Two years of war in which Kremlin forces killed tens of thousands of Ukrainians has convinced NATO that what was once unthinkable is no longer. The plan is for hundreds of thousands of troops to eventually be rotated among its border states, with alliance members such as Germany planning a permanent presence. 

But will it be enough? To match a militarized Russian economy, NATO members must spend a lot more on defense. And the possibility of Donald Trump taking power again has them worried America will shirk its commitment, emboldening Vladimir Putin. In the Bloomberg Originals mini-documentary The High Price of Deterring Russia, we head to Lithuania to see firsthand where the new Cold War is taking shape.

In the Baltics, multinational brigades from Germany, Canada and the UK will make up part of the alliance’s promised alert force of 300,000 troops over the coming years. But this robust ground presence, together with continuing aid for Ukraine, won’t come cheap. And it’s happening at a time when the US—by far NATO’s biggest contributor—could go from being its most steadfast member to its most unreliable. Trump, long critical of the defensive alliance, recently made the unprecedented threat that he would encourage Russia to attack NATO members who weren’t spending enough on defense. Still, many European NATO nations have long lagged when it came to funding their militaries. In 2014, when Russia first invaded Ukraine, NATO allies set a target requiring members spend at least 2% of their national GDP on defense. A decade later, just over half of NATO’s 32 member states have achieved that goal. 

And yet, 2% is likely not enough. While Putin has said he has no intention of testing NATO, security officials warn that member countries will need to spend as much as 4% of GDP to successfully deter him. And that means trillions of dollars in new spending. In The High Price of Deterring Russia, we ask where this funding will come from, who needs it most and whether Europe can go it alone.

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