Ukraine: NATO will launch the largest military reinforcement in Eastern Europe against the Russian threat | International

NATO is not at war, but it is rapidly preparing for it. Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the military Alliance has multiplied its resources in the member countries that border the aggressor or are very close. And it’s not going to stop. “We are going to raise our forces in the east from battalion to brigade level,” announced the organization’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, at the press conference prior to the Madrid Summit, which is being held between Tuesday and Thursday. That jump supposes to open the door to duplicate the deployments. The current combat groups are made up of between 1,000 and 1,600 soldiers. A brigade can account for at least twice that figure. The Norwegian has also added that the heads of state and government will agree to increase NATO’s rapid response force to “more than 300,000” soldiers in the event of conflicts, that is, its current figure will be multiplied by more than eight. “The goal is to send the message that we are ready to protect and defend every inch of allied territory,” warned the Norwegian, composing the famous Latin phrase in his own way If you see pacem, for bellum (If you want peace prepare for war).

There is little more palpable evidence of what the invasion of Ukraine has meant in the geostrategic field – and its prelude to the annexation of Crimea in 2014 – than the Strategic Concept that NATO approved 12 years ago. In that document, which includes the alliance’s strategy for the next decade, Russia appeared as a “partner” of the Alliance. In the one that is going to be approved in Madrid, the aggressive neighbor of the eastern end of Europe will be defined as “the most significant and direct threat to security”, according to Stoltenberg.

To deal with that threat, the organization, with strong American leadership, is prepared to take unthinkable steps last January, just weeks before Putin’s war in Ukraine began. Now the organization has deployed in the Eastern countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria) most of the 40,000 troops he has under his command, some 25,000 soldiers, according to his own figures. And Stoltenberg has announced that this deployment will go further by announcing that step from battalions to brigades.

“The increase in presence from battalions to brigades will be done in some countries. This is not for everyone. There are different needs for each country”, the secretary general clarified, after specifying that between February and now, NATO has already doubled the number of battalions in the east, going from four to eight.

Most of Stoltenberg’s appearance has been aimed at putting on the table the effort that NATO is willing to make to protect itself from the former partner turned enemy. And that effort involves putting more money on the table. Because the war and its preparations, even to drive it away, require many millions of dollars and euros. Here he has warned that the commitment remains the one reached in 2014 at the Wales Summit: raising the spending of the 30 allied states to 2% of GDP: “It is a floor, not a ceiling.” That is, it is the minimum expense required in the organization.

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