NATO To Drastically Increase High-Readiness Forces By 650%
Going into this week’s NATO summit in Madrid, set to run Tuesday through Thursday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has announced what surely be taken by Moscow has another huge escalation on the military front.
Stoltenberg announced at a Monday press briefing that NATO is drastically beefing up its high-readiness forces to “well over 300,000.” This would be up from current levels of 40,000 total, or a whopping 650% boost. The large increase is expected to be taken up and approved at this week’s summit, at a moment there’s been urgent calls in the alliance for beefing up NATO bases in Eastern Europe and the Baltics aimed at deterring further Russian aggression.
“We will enhance our battlegroups in the eastern part of the Alliance up to brigade-levels,” Stoltenberg said. He explained allies “will transform the NATO Response Force and increase the number of our high-readiness forces to well over 300,000.”
It’s expected that vastly more Western troop numbers will be appointed particularly for tiny Lithuania, which is at the moment playing an outsized role in the EU/NATO standoff with Russia, given the economic ‘blockade’ against Russia’s exclave of Kaliningrad.
The NATO chief detailed further, according to Politico:
The model will include “more pre-positioned equipment, and stockpiles of military supplies,” as well as “more forward-deployed capabilities, like air defence” and “strengthened command and control,” Stoltenberg said.
The new defense plans will involve “forces pre-assigned to defend specific allies” which “will exercise together with home defence forces” and “become familiar with local terrain, facilities, and our new pre-positioned stocks, so that they can respond smoothly and swiftly to any emergency,” according to the NATO chief.
In previewing the NATO summit in Madrid, Stoltenberg stressed that alliance members will present a united front in stating “that Russia poses a direct threat to our security, to our values, to the rules-based international order.”
However, Turkey – which has the second largest military in the alliance – has so far been refusing to play ball on Sweden and Finland’s applications for accession, for which there’s been a flurry of diplomatic activity this week.
Another main theme at the summit, and point of less contention, will be continuing to ratchet up military weapons and supplies to Kiev, at a moment it’s become clear that Ukraine’s army is far outgunned by superior Russian forces in the contested Donbas region.
Tue, 06/28/2022 – 04:15