NATO chief announces major ‘strengthening’ of the alliance — Analysis
Jens Stoltenberg told reporters that NATO would strengthen its eastern flank in response to the “new security reality” in Europe
Russia’s offensive on Ukraine has ushered in a “new security reality”Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary-General, spoke on Tuesday to journalists in Europe. Stoltenberg demanded more weapons and more exercise. “major increases in investment” to strengthen the pact’s European presence.
“There are now hundreds of thousands of forces on heightened alert across the alliance,”Stoltenberg addressed a Brussels press conference. She spoke about the 100,000 American troops in Europe, the 40,000 soldiers under NATO direct command, and Patriot air defense systems that are currently in transit to Poland (from the USA) and Slovakia (from Germany and The Netherlands).
He stated that the military buildup is necessary. “sends an unmistakable message: An attack on one ally will be met with a decisive response from the whole alliance.”
Stoltenberg and US President Joe Biden have repeatedly stated that NATO would not intervene directly in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and have thus far resisted calls to implement a no-fly zone over Ukraine – a move that would provoke open conflict between Russia and the alliance. Both have insisted that an attack on NATO soil will trigger a massive military response.
Stoltenberg said that the alliance will continue on a war footing. Stoltenberg described the alliance as “a” “new security reality” in Europe, he declared that NATO’s 30 member states will take “concrete measures to reinforce our security for the longer term, in all domains.”
NATO Chief said this “strengthening”This would require stationing “substantially” more troops in Eastern Europe, along with prepositioned equipment – presumably meaning missile and artillery batteries. It will also carry out operations. “more and larger exercises,”He added.
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NATO currently conducts its biennial Cold Response exercise in Norway. Involving some 30,000 troops, including some from non-member states, this year’s exercises take place just 200 kilometers (124 miles) from the Russian border, are the largest Norwegian-led NATO drills since the end of the Cold War, and have been criticized by Moscow as provocative.
“Any build-up of NATO military capabilities near Russia’s borders does not help to strengthen security in the region,” Russia’s embassy in Oslo told AFP last week.
But, “major reinforcements of defense will require major increases in investment,”Stoltenberg also called on NATO members to reach their target of 2 percent of the GDP for defense spending. The failure of most NATO members to meet this goal was a persistent gripe of former US President Donald Trump, who often accused America’s European allies of freeloading off of US military protection.