NATO to deploy 300,000 soldiers in case of potential attack on bloc
The Chair of the NATO Military Committee Adm. Rob Bauer discloses that the total number of NATO soldiers can reach 3.5 million people.
NATO, conforming to its new defense strategy, will be able to deploy 300,000 soldiers in case of a potential attack on the bloc in the first month, as the number of the alliance’s military personnel could well reach 3.5 million people, according to Chair of the NATO Military Committee Adm. Rob Bauer on Saturday.
Talking to reporters at a press conference with Norwegian Chief of Defense Gen. Eirik Kristoffersen, Bauer said: "If we are talking about collective defense, you do not have the time to prepare for an attack if the attack happens. And it is not us planning the attack, it is the opponent planning the attack. If they attack, you have to be ready."
He added: "Therefore, we need more soldiers at high readiness … We are talking, in NATO as a whole if Finland and Sweden have joined, of about 3.5 million soldiers in the alliance. So the 300,000 is the number … that we foresee at high readiness available for basically the first 30 days if it is necessary".
Back in July, the bloc's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed that NATO greenlit plans at the Vilnius summit in Lithuania which would see at least 300,000 soldiers at high readiness and member states would invest a minimum of 2% of gross domestic product yearly in defense.
Largest military drill
This narrative coincides with the news released last week that NATO member nations are gearing up for what is being billed as the largest military exercises since the Cold War, a report by the Financial Times said.
The drills set for spring, titled "Steadfast Defender," will involve the participation of the organization's joint command, alongside approximately 41,000 military personnel. The primary focus of these exercises is to simulate the defense against a hypothetical Russian attack on a NATO member state, as outlined by the newspaper.
The drills will span across several European nations, including Germany, Poland, and the Baltic countries.
Between 500 and 700 air combat simulations are set to be carried out over the course of the exercises. They will also feature the involvement of more than 50 aircraft.