NATO to Form Up to 50 New Brigades in Response to Russian Threat

Russia | July 8, 2024, Monday // 12:51|  views

NATO will need between 35 and 50 additional brigades to fully implement its new defense plans to counter a potential Russian attack, according to a military source who spoke to Reuters. Each brigade comprises between 3,000 and 7,000 soldiers. Creating these additional combat units represents a significant challenge.

The source, who requested anonymity, did not provide details on the classified plans. It remains unclear where NATO allies will find the troops for these new brigades. Options include redeploying existing personnel, recruiting additional troops, or a combination of both.

At last year's summit in Vilnius, NATO leaders agreed on the alliance's first major defense plans in over three decades. Since then, officials have been working to turn these plans into specific military requirements. NATO leaders are expected to receive an update on these plans at the upcoming NATO summit in Washington, starting July 9. According to a NATO official, the military plans outline "detailed requirements for troops and weapons necessary to defend the Alliance."

Priorities include air and missile defense, long-range weapons, logistics, and large land maneuver formations. Air defense has become a major concern, highlighted by the war in Ukraine, which demonstrated the importance of anti-aircraft systems in protecting critical infrastructure.

Germany, as a major logistics hub and potential springboard in a conflict with Russia, is particularly focused on air defense. During the Cold War, Germany had 36 Patriot air defense units and relied on additional support from NATO allies. Today, German forces have only nine Patriot units after donating three to Ukraine following the Russian invasion in 2022. The German government has started ordering Patriot and other air defense systems to bolster its capabilities.

Ground-based air defense systems like Raytheon's Patriot are designed to intercept incoming missiles. Since the Cold War, many NATO allies reduced the number of air defense units, anticipating only limited missile threats from countries like Iran. However, this perception changed dramatically with Russia's invasion of Ukraine. NATO allies are now urgently increasing ammunition stockpiles and addressing air defense system deficiencies.

The agreement on new defense plans marks a fundamental shift for NATO, which had not seen the need to draw up large-scale defense plans for decades. The current situation has prompted a significant reassessment of NATO's defense capabilities and strategies.

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Tags: brigades, NATO, Russia

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