NATO is preparing for a new Cold War with Russia
NATO leaders are to approve thousands of pages of secret military plans that will contain detailed instructions in the event of a Russian attack at Vilnius summit in July.
This was reported by Reuters, citing Admiral Rob Bauer, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee.
"The fundamental difference between crisis management and collective defense is this: It is not us, but our adversary who determines the timeframe," the publication quotes the NATO's top military official. "We have to prepare for the fact that conflict can present itself at any time."
SACEUR’s package includes strengthened and updated regional plans detailing how the Alliance will deter and defend NATO Allies against any potential aggression.
"The updated plans provide a much more precise requirement for what is needed to help transform our militaries. We will train and exercise more together, place more forces on higher readiness through our New Force Model, and strengthen our Command and Control structure – the backbone of our Alliance," said Jens Stoltenberg in his speech at the start of the Military Committee in Chiefs of Defense session.
For decades after the Cold War, the North Atlantic Alliance saw no need to develop new defense plans. NATO's doctrine defined Russia as a partner and ally that shared common values with the Alliance. However, this paradigm was changed by Russia's aggressive invasion of sovereign Ukraine. This war, which is considered the largest in Europe since 1945, has forced the Alliance to reconsider its policy and take more decisive action.
Earlier, steps towards NATO's transformation were taken in 2014, after Russia illegally annexed Crimea and invaded the eastern territories of Ukraine. That was the first time ever that combat-ready troops were deployed to the east of the Alliance, and European countries, along with Canada, allocated an additional CAD 350 billion extra on defence.
When Putin launched a full-fledged invasion of Ukraine in 2022, an additional 40,000 troops were deployed within the Alliance, backed by air and maritime power, which strengthened forward defences from the Baltic to the Black Sea.