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NATO will increase high-readiness force to ‘well over’ 300,000 troops – POLITICO

NATO will increase its high-readiness forces to greater than 300,000 troops, the alliance’s chief introduced on Monday, in a part of plans that he described as “the biggest overhaul of our collective defense and deterrence since the Cold War.”

The present NATO response force compromises roughly 40,000 troops.

Speaking to reporters forward of a summit of NATO leaders, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the transatlantic army alliance will strengthen its japanese defenses and undertake a brand new mannequin for safeguarding them. 

“We will enhance our battlegroups in the eastern part of the Alliance up to brigade-levels,” Stoltenberg mentioned, including that allies “will transform the NATO Response Force and increase the number of our high-readiness forces to well over 300,000.” 

Eastern EU nations — and particularly the Baltic states — have been pushing NATO to increase troop numbers alongside its japanese borders to higher defend each a part of the alliance and deter Moscow. 

Under new plans, set to be endorsed on the NATO leaders’ summit in Madrid later this week, allies will place extra weapons within the east — and designate forces that will be answerable for defending the realm. Nevertheless, many of those forces will not be completely stationed on the japanese flank, as a substitute rotating via the area for trainings.

The mannequin will embody “more pre-positioned equipment, and stockpiles of military supplies,” in addition to “more forward-deployed capabilities, like air defence” and “strengthened command and control,” Stoltenberg mentioned. 

The new protection plans will contain “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,” in accordance to the NATO chief. 

Germany has already introduced that it will establish bigger forces to increase Lithuania’s defenses, and different nations — such because the United Kingdom — may make comparable pledges within the coming days. 

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda warned on Friday that the brand new safety tensions within the area — and particularly adjustments in neighboring Belarus — “leaves us no time for reaction,” as a result of Russian troops “might be easily deployed very near to our border.”

“What is most important” for the Baltics, the Lithuanian chief informed POLITICO, is “to have very clear assurances” from allies a couple of “more visible forward presence here in the Baltics.” 

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