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NATO to dramatically increase forces on high alert to over 300,000 from 40,000 amid Russia threat

As part of its largest defense overhaul since the Cold War, NATO will increase the number forces on high alert by a significant amount to more than 300,000.

The alliance’s head confirmed that NATO countries closest to Russia will see an increase in troop deployments after Vladimir Putin’s invasion Ukraine.

Ukraine does not belong to NATO.

These decisions will be made at a historic summit in Madrid this week.


Jens Stoltenberg stated that “Together this constitutes our largest overhaul of collective deterrence, defence, and defense since the Cold War”, in a briefing held at NATO Headquarters in Brussels on Monday.

He stated that the alliance of 30 members is likely to view Russia as “the most serious and direct threat to our safety.”

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Although allies had strengthened their defenses in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2018, the most important steps were the ones taken today.

The NATO chief stated that “We will transform NATO Response Force” and increase the number our high-preparity forces to well above 300,000.

NATO Response Force is currently composed of around 40,000 soldiers and sailors. They are available at various levels of readiness to mobilize, from two days notice to six months.

Sky News was the first to report on the increase in force last week before any numbers were known.

Stoltenberg confirmed that units will be strengthened in eight NATO countries, including those located in the eastern and southeastern regions. This is to counter Russian hostilities. They will be larger than the 1,000-strong battlegroups and brigades that currently comprise between 3,000 and 5,000 troops.

Continue reading: Lessons the MoD has learned from Ukraine, and what it would mean if the UK declared war on Russia

Zelenskyy declares that he would prefer war to be over by winter, before the conditions make it more difficult to fight back.

Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia will see more war-fighting equipment. These are the states most at risk from Russia.

Image Vice Admiral Constantin Balescu 274 as the US, British and Romanian maritime NATO forces conduct an exercise called Trojan Footprint in May

NATO should have enough forces on the ground in order to defeat any invasion attempt.

This is a major shift from the “tripwire” policy that was implemented after Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014. It also included the annexation and occupation of Crimea.

The allies had agreed to establish four missions in the Baltic States and Poland each with approximately 1,000 troops. These battlegroups could not stop Russia from invading, but they would set off a “tripwire” that would prompt reinforcements to rush in.

The events in Ukraine have shown that Russian forces are capable of invading any territory. Allies feel they must stop any such force from gaining any ground.

One defense minister stated that there can’t be a “Bucha” on NATO soil – referring to Bucha, outside Kyiv where Russian forces have been accused of mass murder and torture of Ukrainian civilians.

Many NATO exercises, including those involving the UK and other partners, were planned over the past few months in many countries where troops are being boosted.

The upgraded defense plans will allow military personnel charged with protecting specific NATO allies not to all be stationed on ground. They could instead be based in their country and deploy forward only when necessary.

Stoltenberg stated that these troops would exercise with the home defense forces.

They will also be familiar with the local terrain, facilities, as well as our newly-positioned stocks. They will be able to quickly and efficiently respond to any emergency.

These changes will require increased investment. Allies have increased defence spending for the eighth year in a row – an increase by $350bn since 2014.

Sky News reported last week that NATO Chief John Bolton outlined new support for Ukraine, which includes anti-drone systems, and secure communication to Ukrainian forces.

However, it has not been possible to overcome opposition from Turkey to the historic bid of previously neutral Sweden and Finland for NATO membership. This is a huge disappointment for many allies and a defeat for Mr Putin.

NATO chief Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he was talking to the Turkish prime Minister and that he had spoken to him before.

He stated that allies would “aim for progress on Finland’s and Sweden’s historic NATO membership applications, while also ensuring security concerns are addressed by all allies”.


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