NATO To Drastically Increase
“High-Readiness Forces” By 650%
Tyler Durden / ZeroHedge
(June 30, 2022) — 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.
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NATO to Boost High-Readiness Forces
by 650% to More than 300,000
Anti-war campaigners note
“this is not the path to peace and
will not make the world safer.”
(June 27, 2022) — The head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization announced Monday that the military alliance will dramatically increase the ranks of its high-readiness forces from 40,000 at present to “well over 300,000” — a 650% boost — as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine rages on for the fifth consecutive month.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg painted the planned move, which alliance leaders are set to adopt during a summit in Madrid this week, as part of the 30-member organization’s efforts to bolster its defense of the Baltic nations, which have been clamoring for a “credible military construct… that will deter” Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“These troops will exercise together with home defense forces, and they will become familiar with local terrain facilities… so that that they can respond smoothly and swiftly to any emergency,” Stoltenberg said during a press conference on Monday.
“We will also boost our ability to reinforce in crisis and conflict,” he continued, “including with: more pre-positioned equipment, and stockpiles of military supplies; more forward-deployed capabilities, like air defense; strengthened command and control; and upgraded defense plans, with forces pre-assigned to defend specific allies.”
Stoltenberg characterized Russia as “the most direct and immediate threat” to the security of NATO, which is also weighing Finland and Sweden’s recent applications to join the military alliance.
Putin, for his part, has repeatedly cited NATO’s eastward expansion and the U.S.-led alliance’s positioning of troops and weaponry near Russia’s border as a danger to his country’s security, sparking fears that additional NATO troop mobilizations could further inflame tensions between Russia and the West as diplomatic efforts sputter.
“This is not the path to peace and will not make the world safer,” warned the U.K.-based Stop the War Coalition. “This will cause more death and destruction. We say no to NATO escalation as well as Russian troops out.”
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