NATO activated the NATO Response Force for the first time ever on Friday in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion into Ukraine, which many critics have said is a result of weakness from Democrat President Joe Biden.
“NATO Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Tod Wolters activated the multinational force consisting of land, air, sea and special operations forces from the allies that can deploy quickly in support of the NATO alliance,” CNN reported. “The entire NATO Response Force is 40,000 troops but [NATO Secretary General Jens] Stoltenberg did not say how many would be activated.”
Stoltenberg warned during a press conference on Friday that Putin’s “objectives are not limited to Ukraine.”
German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht described Putin as acting “highly unpredictable,” worrying that he may attack NATO countries.
“We have a residual hope that he will not cross further borders,” she said. “But I have to say, honestly: that is no certainty.”
Germany’s defence minister Lambrecht concerned that a “highly unpredictable” Putin may not hold back from attacking NATO states: “We have a residual hope that he will not cross further borders. But I have to say, honestly: that is no certainty.” https://t.co/ql5hG2xNVe
— Jeremy Cliffe (@JeremyCliffe) February 25, 2022
Wolters said that NATO has forces operating in the maritime, land, air, space, and cyber domains that are actively working to defend NATO’s sovereignty.
“This is an historic moment and the very first time the Alliance has employed these high readiness forces in a deterrence and defense role. They represent a flexible, combat credible force that can be employed in multiple ways and we are utilizing fully their inherent agility,” he said. “These deterrence measures are prudent and enhance our speed, responsiveness and capability to shield and protect the one billion citizens we swore to protect. We are grateful to our allies Canada and the United States for their recent commitments to deploy an additional 7,460 troops, including an armored brigade combat team, artillery units, a naval frigate, and surveillance aircraft, to support this Alliance-wide effort.”
“As NATO establishes this enhanced vigilance on the Alliance’s eastern flank, Allied military forces will posture and exercise to increase our readiness and interoperability. Your soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines stand ready to protect every meter of Allied territory,” he continued. “We admire the courage and tenacity of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and citizens in defending their country. The Alliance remains steadfast in our collective commitment to shield and protect each other. Moving forward, we are prepared to leverage the strength of all our forces to defend the Alliance.”
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This report has been updated to include additional information.