NATO plans to equip combat-ready forces of up to 300,000 people near the border with Russia could undermine the unity of the alliance due to the high costs of their implementation, and the lack of funds and ammunition complicates the situation.
According to Politico, NATO defense ministers will present this spring, at a meeting in Brussels on April 3-4 revised plans for the alliance’s territorial defense, which should redefine exactly how the alliance intends to protect its one billion citizen population, and the numbers of forces will be significant, with some officials talking about 300,000 NATO troops to allow this model to work… This means a tremendous amount of coordination and consultation”.
Politico pointed out that thousands of military personnel will be ready to move forward in the shortest possible time to help NATO countries, and these plans must be finalized and approved by the alliance’s summit in Vilnius on July 11-12.
Politico continues, however, in order to prepare such a number of soldiers, they need not only to be equipped and armed, but also to provide appropriate training, which requires hundreds of thousands of different types of ammunition.
Currently, NATO countries are already suffering from a shortage of this equipment after sending most of their stocks to Ukraine, and at the same time, the European Union and NATO countries intend at the same time to increase the supply of missiles to Ukraine and replenish its stocks at the national level.
“The current level of ammunition consumption in Ukraine is unsustainable compared to the level of its production,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.
Thus, the Allied countries face the need for a sharp and significant new increase in military spending and military production, and it is not clear at the present time whether there is sufficient industrial capacity for this.
Politico pointed out that once the military plans for the alliance are ready, NATO countries will have to participate and provide soldiers, fighter jets, ships and tanks to fill all the pillars of this plan, and NATO unity will be tested this summer, when the leaders of the 30 Allied nations meet in Vilnius.
At the same time, Politico asserts that in a situation where NATO countries are already concerned about the level of their weapons stocks, and Ukraine is in dire need of new ammunition and weapons from the alliance countries, there is a risk that not all members of the alliance will be able to fulfill their promises to contribute in NATO’s defense plans.