NATO is preparing a plan for open conflict with Russia for the first time since the Cold War
These countries are carrying out a radical reform of military planning and, for the first time since the Cold War, intend to prepare detailed plans for an open military confrontation with Russia.
According to Reuters, thousands of pages of secret documents that will outline actions in the event of a need to defend against a Russian attack, Allied leaders intend to approve at the Vilnius summit in July.
The plans will include both troop reinforcement and logistics, and could take several years to complete. “Allies will know exactly what forces and capabilities are needed, where, what and how to deploy,” explained NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, commenting on the preparation of documents in which, for the first time since the collapse of the USSR, the alliance’s divisions and brigades will be assigned to defend specific regions .
After the annexation of Crimea by Russia, NATO increased the number of rapid reaction forces several times, and last year almost eight times – from 40,000 to 40,000. up to 300 thousand people. Multinational battalions appeared first in the three Baltic states and Poland, and then in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia.
Now, Europe’s biggest armed conflict since World War II is forcing generals to do something that hasn’t been done in decades – to prepare for a war of a fundamentally different scale than the NATO operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“We have to be prepared for a conflict to break out at any moment,” says Admiral Rob Bauer, one of the bloc’s most senior commanders.
The difference from the Soviet era is that this time NATO is not waging a full-scale nuclear war against Russia and its allies, most of whom are already members of the alliance, said historian Ian Hope, NATO historian at NATO Headquarters. Joint European Command.
“We don’t anticipate a war like the Cold War, where a combined (NATO) force would be attacked at the same time by the Warsaw Pact countries,” says Hope. Regional conflicts are more likely, where rapid deployment of troops is required, he adds.