The secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Jens Stoltenberg, recently announced the US-led military bloc’s goal of expanding its so-called ‘Response Force’ from its current strength of 40,000 to a force of more than 300,000 troops. “We will enhance our battlegroups in the eastern part of the Alliance up to brigade-levels,” Stoltenberg declared. “We will transform the NATO Response Force and increase the number of our high readiness forces to well over 300,000.”
The announcement, made at the end of NATO’s annual summit, held in Madrid, Spain, apparently took several defense officials from the NATO membership by surprise, with one such official calling Stoltenberg’s figures “number magic.” Stoltenberg appeared to be working from a concept that had been developed within NATO headquarters based upon assumptions made by his staffers, as opposed to anything resembling coordinated policy among the defense organizations of the 30 nations that make up the bloc. […]
The bloc is but a shadow of its former self, a pathetic collection of under-funded military organizations more suited for the parade ground than the battlefield. No military organization more represents this colossal collapse in credibility and capability than the British Army.[…]
Take, for example, the offer of written security assurances to Sweden and Finland made by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. These pledges were designed to bolster the resolve of the two Nordic nations as they considered their applications to join NATO.
But there was no substance to the British offer, if for no other reason than the British had nothing in the way of viable military capability to offer either the Swedes or the Finns. Even as Johnson proffered the proverbial hand of assistance to his newfound Nordic allies, the UK Ministry of Defense was wrestling with planned force reductions that would see the British Army cut from its current “established strength” of 82,000 to 72,500 by 2025 (the actual strength of the British Army is around 76,500, reflecting ongoing difficulties in recruitment and retention.)
Even these numbers are misleading – the British Army is only capable of generating one fully combat-ready maneuver brigade (3,500 to 4,000 men with all the necessary equipment and support). Given the reality that the UK is already on the hook for a reinforced battalion-sized “battlegroup” that is to be deployed to Estonia as part of NATO’s so-called enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) posture (joining three other similarly-sized “battlegroups” fielded by the US in Poland, Germany in Lithuania, and Canada in Latvia), it is questionable whether the British could even accomplish this limited task. Läs artikel