Framed by flag-bearers representing every NATO ally, the world’s largest military alliance handed oversight of its military planning to U.S. General Christopher Cavoli on Monday, marking a change in leadership at a time of dramatic reinvention.
In response to Russia’s troops brutalizing their way through Ukraine, NATO has agreed to completely overhaul its defensive posture, aiming to tap over 300,000 troops for high readiness and possible swift deployment. […]
Speaking to POLITICO following the ceremony, Bauer — who chairs the alliance’s military committee — said the new regional plans are set to be in place by mid-2023.
These plans, according to the admiral, lay out “what capabilities, and what troops, and what command and control structure and what force model we need to have to successfully deter and defend against the two threats — which is Russia and the international terror groups.” The admiral acknowledged that the process is complex.
“Of course, the challenge will be to make sure that the things we are planning is coming to life, to fruition,” he said. This “will always lead to a little bit of friction, because it is an additional effort that the nations will have to make to come up with a larger number of forces.”
But the changes are necessary, he insisted, “because we all agree that the threat has gone up.”
Cavoli will work with other top officials in the coming months on the plans to integrate the incoming members and deter Russia. They will also test out those plans.
“I’m convinced we will do more exercises, larger exercises,” Bauer said. It’s all part of showing Russia “that we are ready, so that it is not only a plan, but actually that they will see us exercise,” he added.
Bringing Finland and Sweden into NATO will give the alliance two modern, well-trained militaries, but also open up a new potential front with Russia, which has already warned that it will respond if NATO places troops and infrastructure in either country.
“We get a longer border with Russia with more troops of Finland and Sweden,” Bauer said. “But for the Russians, it is a longer border without more troops. For them, I would say the challenge is bigger.” Läs artikel