NATO has passed a new defense plan at the Vilnius summit, totaling a massive 4,400 pages. According to German media, the document outlines defense strategies in case of an emergency and identifies Russia as one of the biggest threats. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has praised the plan as the most comprehensive defense plans since the end of the Cold War.
The document highlights two main threats: Russia and terrorism. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has called on NATO members to arm themselves against a potential threat to their territory. The plan also includes the military capabilities that NATO members, including new member Finland and applicant Sweden, must demonstrate.
A military bloc official revealed that the document recognizes the possibility of a violent and revisionist Russia attacking NATO territory. In response to this perceived threat, NATO plans to significantly increase its Response Force (NRF) from 40,000 troops to over 300,000 troops, including land, sea, and air units, as well as Special Forces that can be rapidly deployed.
Additionally, NATO intends to increase weapons production and stockpiling. The plan includes a new Defense Production Action Plan to accelerate joint procurement, boost production capacity, and enhance Allies’ interoperability. NATO aims to build up armored heavy forces, deploy more long-range artillery systems and missiles, and improve air defense systems.
To enhance deterrence measures, NATO plans to send additional forces to the Baltics and Eastern Europe. Battlegroups consisting of 1,000 soldiers will support the national armies of the Baltic States and Poland. Each country will have a specific responsibility: the UK for Estonia, Canada for Latvia, Germany for Lithuania, and the US for Poland. Germany also plans to station a brigade of 4,000 soldiers in Lithuania.
Germany is expected to serve as the NATO logistics hub in the event of a major conflict. The bloc is considering establishing a second Land Command, potentially in Wiesbaden, Germany, which already hosts a large US base.
It is worth noting that Russia has repeatedly expressed its concern over NATO’s buildup on its borders and the bloc’s eastward expansion, considering them a threat to its national security. One of Russia’s main reasons for launching its military operation in Ukraine in February 2022 was to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO.
In summary, NATO’s new defense plan includes measures to counter the perceived threats from Russia and terrorism. It involves a significant increase in the Response Force, weapons production, and stockpiling. NATO also plans to send additional forces to the Baltics and Eastern Europe and establish a second Land Command. It remains to be seen how these developments will impact the regional dynamics and the overall security situation.