NATO Returns to Combat Stance in Preparation for an Increasingly Hostile World

President Biden announces new U.S. troops in Europe during a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the alliance's summit in Madrid. (Susan Walsh / Associated Press)
President Biden announces new U.S. troops in Europe during a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the alliance’s summit in Madrid. (Susan Walsh / Associated Press)

(Bloomberg) — NATO this week agreed to the biggest upgrade of its military presence in Europe since the end of the Cold War, redrawing the continent’s security in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

At a summit in Madrid, NATO leaders agreed to put more than 300,000 troops on high alert while beefing up its European defenses with extra forces, enhanced air power and new equipment, including two additional squadrons of US F-35 stealth fighters. After Turkey dropped its veto on Sweden and Finland’s membership applications, the alliance is also set to add two new members, bolstering the exposed Baltic nations.

Signaling a shift to a more global perspective, NATO leaders also identified China’s increasing military presence as a “challenge” for the first time and sought to deepen relations with democracies in the Asia-Pacific region as a counterweight to Beijing.

“NATO is back,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told reporters Wednesday as he arrived at the talks, where the leaders of Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand attended as guests.

The overhaul ushers in a new era in which Russia has demonstrated its willingness to unleash destruction on a neighbor in eastern Europe and China is building up its military to project force across the Pacific.

US President Joe Biden called the Madrid meeting a “history-making summit” as he pledged more support for the alliance’s eastern flank with a permanent headquarters in Poland for the Fifth Army Corps, an additional rotational brigade of thousands of troops in Romania and plans to bolster other deployments in the Baltic states, adding to 100,000 US troops already in Europe.

The additional US F-35s will be stationed in the UK and air-defense systems in Germany and Italy will also be increased.

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Source: MSN