NATO's purpose is set out in the preamble to the Washington Treaty, the Alliance's Founding document. This states that Allies are determined "to safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilisation of their peoples, founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law." In direct response to Russia’s use of military force against its neighbours, NATO is deploying four multinational battlegroups to the Baltic States and Poland. These forces are rotational, defensive and proportionate. They cannot compare to the three divisions Russia has established in its Western Military and Southern Military Districts. Before Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, there were no plans to deploy Allied troops to the eastern part of the Alliance. bit.ly/2q9nEMs, .