August 13, 2022

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NATO steps up against Putin

NATO steps up against Putin

Reinforced: Since 2017, Norwegian soldiers have participated in the battalions of a NATO battle group in Lithuania.

MADRID (VG) Russia may become a more dangerous neighbor of NATO countries, when the Ukraine war ends one day. This week, NATO will adopt fundamental changes to its defense plans: a strengthened defense in the east, and more soldiers in the background.

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General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg has been a success For a major military rearmament.

In a few years, the ready-made NATO force will consist of more than 300,000 soldiers, some of whom will be on standby up to 10 days, and some will be ready in 30 days.

The time for missteps against Russia is over. Now deterrence and defense apply, says senior researcher Carsten Fries of NUPI, the Norwegian Institute of Foreign Policy.

NATO should expect significant forces to remain in Eastern Europe for a long time, until Russia finally becomes a democracy, he adds.

greater threat

Britain’s defense chief, General Patrick Sanders, is among those who have warned that Russia will threaten the West, even when the Ukraine war ends:

– Russia’s capacity will decrease for some time. But Putin’s stated desire to restore historic Russia will only make the threat more acute. In a speech on Tuesday, Sanders said that Russia is likely to pose a greater threat to Europe’s security after Ukraine than it did before Ukraine.

Stoltenberg supports this:

“Our world will become even more uncertain if Putin wins,” Stoltenberg said at a panel discussion ahead of the NATO summit in Madrid on Tuesday afternoon.

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A warm welcome: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez received NATO President Jens Stoltenberg in Madrid on Tuesday morning.

Didn’t get reorganized

The Madrid summit draft resolution now indicates that Stoltenberg did not get NATO governments to agree A fundamental change in the way NATO countries pay their forces.

– Stoltenberg told VG in February 2021 that it is unfair for those who provide troops, aircraft and ships for our common defense to cover all the costs of their contributions.

France would be among the countries that opposed this change.

According to VG information, before the summit, the countries reached an internal compromise in which NATO’s civilian and military budgets, as well as the joint investment budget, will be significantly increased by 2030.

But every country must continue to pay for its own forces when they are on foreign missions to the coalition.

eight brigades

Eight countries in Eastern Europe now have forces from other NATO countries. The first four battalion groups appeared in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland several years ago, in the years following Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

They were soon referred to as a “stumbling block” for Russia.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and Bulgaria have received NATO forces of the same size.

Tuesday’s NATO summit is expected to expand these units to brigades, but a mix of deployed troops and dedicated but home-based soldiers.

Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg described this as follows In an interview with VG earlier this summer:

– What I can say is that it’s partly about more troops in the east, but also about more pre-positioning of equipment and ammunition so that you can quickly dispatch soldiers. We also want soldiers on high alert, forces that can rush to the rescue, the NATO chief said.

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freedom of action

Karsten Friis believes that this flexibility is important to the NATO military commander:

Needs freedom to act based on what the situation may require. Therefore, it makes sense to allocate strengths and focus on pre-stored equipment, he says.

— But at the same time, it may not have been easy to find countries willing to send large forces over time, he adds.

But Fries points to another challenge when soldiers are transported across borders in Europe. Over time, the European Union and NATO have worked to reduce bureaucracy and other obstacles when soldiers and weapons cross Europe’s borders.

– There is still no Schengen military cooperation, says the Nubian researcher.

The United States ascends

The NATO Rapid Reaction Force has about 40,000 soldiers, and another 30,000 are now under NATO command in Eastern Europe. Additionally, there were 70,000 American soldiers in Europe prior to the invasion of Ukraine. This number is increasing.

US President Joe Biden is expected to announce a troop build-up in Europe during the summit, possibly to the tune of around 100,000. These would be soldiers largely stationed in Germany and Poland, but would rotate at different bases in Eastern Europe.