Foreign Policy Military nato Russia-Ukraine

NATO To Increase High-Readiness Forces To Over 300,000 Troops

US Army, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

By Dave DeCamp / Antiwar.com

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced Monday that the alliance will increase its high-readiness force from 40,000 troops to over 300,000 as part of a plan he called “the biggest overhaul of our collective defense and deterrence since the Cold War.”

The NATO Response Force was formed in 2003 and was first activated in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The entire force wasn’t deployed, but several thousand troops from the US and other NATO countries were sent to Eastern Europe as part of the Response Force.

The US currently has over 100,000 troops stationed in Europe for the first time since 2005 as a result of NATO boosting its forces on what it calls its “eastern flank.” Stoltenberg outlined plans to make the reinforcement more permanent that will be officially announced at the upcoming NATO summit in Madrid, which starts Tuesday.

“At the Summit, we will strengthen our forward defenses,” Stoltenberg said. “We will enhance our battlegroups in the eastern part of the alliance up to brigade levels.” Brigade levels would bring NATO’s battle groups to about 3,000 to 5,000 troops, which is the type of increase the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia are hoping to see.

According to a NATO fact sheet from 2021, there are about 4,615 NATO troops spread across the four battlegroups that are currently deployed across Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. Stoltenberg announced back in March that the alliance will deploy new battlegroups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia.

Stoltenberg said Monday that NATO will also bolster its forces 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.”

While a major increase in NATO’s presence in Eastern Europe is expected, NATO members are at odds over where exactly to place troops, issues that will be worked out at the Madrid summit.

Another issue to be discussed is Sweden and Finland’s potential membership, which has been blocked by Turkey over the Nordic nations’ alleged ties with Kurdish militant groups. NATO is also set to release its new Strategic Concept document that will mention China by name for the first time as the alliance has its eyes on expanding into the Asia Pacific.

Stoltenberg has repeatedly stated that NATO members should be ready to support Ukraine in its war against Russia for a long time. He said at the upcoming summit, NATO allies will agree on more military aid for Kyiv and that the “longer-term” goal is to “help Ukraine transition from Soviet-era military equipment, to modern NATO equipment.”

As the US and other NATO members are flooding Ukraine with billions of dollars in weapons and NATO is expanding its presence in Eastern Europe, the risk of nuclear war is at its greatest height since the end of the Cold War. But the risk doesn’t appear to be factored into the US response to the war in Ukraine as Washington has abandoned diplomacy with Moscow and continues to escalate in every way possible short of sending troops to fight Russia.

Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.

12 comments

  1. I think we need to have people in Madrid opposing this NATO summit. These people are going
    for WWIII and the end of the human species.

    1. Barbara, if NATO needs a 750% increase in Troop strength — then, I guess, we just have to do so, eh?

      As long as it’s going to be a real Third World War of EMPIRES — following on the fun of the First World War of Empires, and beyond the Second World War of Empires — I guess, as Bertrand Russell said to the ‘little old lady’ — “It’s EMPIRES all the way down” (instead of turtles).

      Now that we have got things down to less than 3 EMPIRES, I guess that Bye Bye Beyden and Xi-Jinping can just agree about which former country becomes the unitary global Empire, and which steps aside, eh?

      The normal American posture of shouting “We’re #1”, “We’re #1”, “We’re #1” — might quite reasonably be settled by politely comparing the basis of the 2 EMPIRE’s relative success.

      If a gentleman’s arrangement could be structured on the basis of which of the 2 EMPIRES is more ‘fair and balanced’ to the people of each Empire, then the results might be quite surprising to ‘we the American people’ —– because, on the basis of their respective GINI Coefficient of Wealth INEQUALITY — America is INDEED “We’re #1”, “We’re #1”, “We’re #1”, in the GINI Coefficient of Wealth INEQUALITY at 0.90 (where, on the GINI scale, 0 equals all people of the country having the same Wealth, and 1.0 equaling that one single person having all the Wealth in a country).

      Of course, “Communist Chinah” (as Mike Pompous always emphases) ‘comes the cropper at only 0.70 (below the mean of all countries in GINI Coefficient of Wealth INEQUALITY)

      Soooo, — the GLOBAL WINNER IS:
      “We’re #1”, “We’re #1”, “We’re #1”, in the GINI Coefficient of Wealth INEQUALITY at 0.90 — which is the worst distribution of WEALTH in the whole effin WORLD!

    2. Yes as a student of history I can declare that with this level of arrogance, corruption, incompetence, ignorance and greed this only ends one way.

      1. @JustAMaverick
        There’s always a chance if we keep fighting. If we give up, there’s no chance.

  2. Is it only me who sees this as complete insanity in a shrinking world of deceit and lies. We as one humanity must unify for the good of the planet, humanity and to eliminate the idea of nationalism so that we can cooperate without the fear of war and conflict. Someone, anyone tell me why is it that we must pay to live on a planet we are born on??? Who set up this scam???? With abundant resources all of humanity can share equally at little cost if any. The evil behind the system is being exposed for what it is. And we can make the changes necessary to end the class struggle.

    1. Words are so confusing. Do away with nationalism? Does that also mean do away with nationalizing resources that everyone needs so these low life elites so profit from what belongs to everyone. I think every single country should nationalize their resources and if there’ more than their people need, trade it on the open market for things their people don’t have in abundance. Sounds so simple.

  3. I think a lot of it is hot air. It’s easy to say NATO will massively expand its army, but in practice going into even the near future that is way easier said than done. I’m sure the Lords of Capital have been voicing their “concerns” over the disastrous sanctions fiasco, which has utterly backfired, and the political landscape will continue to heave and ho.

  4. NATO is amerikan created, funded….USA a decayed cultural desert, a dying society and a few isolated colonies….culturally dead, economically dying, internationally isolated—US lgbt military now so pathetic humiliated by taliban
    77% military age amerikans not qualified–too obese, stupid and/or felons…NATO has 1 competent military—Turkey, and they refuse to sanction Russia

  5. Make no mistake, they are going to kill us all. They will kill us all and nobody is going to do a damn thing to stop them. They will push and push until Russia and China until have no choice but to respond. They are unhinged, they are desperate, they are incompetent and there is no one to stop them.

    As a student of history I can tell you these things always end badly.

    1. Only when I see first global oligarch hurt or killed or even first super yacht seized then I will start to worry.

      So far no single oligarch was hurt in fact they get away with economic murder of world population making astronomical profits. As long as ordinary peoples are hurting while billionaires get getting richer they won’t spoil the party with nuclear fireworks.

      That does not mean that tens of millions won’t die, they will, even without WWIII. If fact other means of war on population or class war like deliberate economic destruction, a sort of plague, famine or water shortages makes it much easier and cheaper.

      Since financialization of world economy and trade became total, species terminating death (a form of war against humanity) is near. Growing western green and soft fascism constitutes good ideological cover for enlightened genocide.

      In fact Marx (who saw similar process ending with Peoples Spring of 1848) and many others predicted WWI solely based on British financialization of global economy and raise of imperial rivalries among economic powers. Bismarck reunited Second Reich specifically to fight future WW. It too Germans about 40 years to be ready.

  6. Westerners have far outlived their usefulness, if they ever had any. Now, more war and militarism is all they got. These are the first schmucks who should be loaded onto the Mars ships, one-way trip.

  7. Barbara, the NY ‘Times’ seems to be blocking this “War Ginning” information:

    IMHO, “Fight Like Hell” is the ‘call code word’ for the possible involvement of any alt-right coup d’état attempt by portions of the U. S. military.

    While this might well seem hyperbolic, even paranoid, the media’s apparent ‘messaging’ this week, particularly by former Admiral James Stavridis, former SACEUR NATO, and current Managing Director of the global weapons investment firm the Carlyle Group’s involvement in the Defense Industry, qua. “Merchants of Death”, seems to be predicated/signalling the terms and conditions of eliminating the weaker of the three current, but conflicted possible Empires.

    Admiral James Stavridis’s near saturation broadcasting of the “seven times greater” troop levels of ships, sailors, aircraft, pilots, special services, and other weapons from the ‘four minute NPR’ radio ‘messaging’ regrading his position as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization nations prepare to meet this week in Madrid presents shockingly provocative fodder with respect to being ‘War inducing’.

    Admiral’s Quote: trying to down play his own words, “The War Plans are very specific”

    The full transcript to the Admiral’s broadcast message should be considered akin to Hearst’s message in 1898; “Please remain. You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.”

    But in this case on 6/29/2022, Stavridis seems to be saying, “Please remain. You furnish the radio broadcast and I’ll furnish the war.”

    There has ‘So Far’ been no transcript released by NPR, but the Admiral’s speech is still available at NPR:

    https://admiralstav.com/news/

    Is anyone in the ‘Anti-War’ or ‘Anti-Empire’ community awake to this obvious “Quiet American” War and Empire plan??

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