The West’s Potential Military Response to Russia’s New Status and Direction

Dr. Guillaume Lasconjarias, Research Advisor at the NATO Defense College in Rome, argued that the current crisis in the Ukraine was in fact just one challenge for NATO on a list of many. Nevertheless, he found that the crisis so close to NATO’s borders would ideally serve as a “wake-up-call” for the Organization in terms of rapid response.

NATO’s Readiness Action Plan (RAP) ensures that the Alliance is ready to respond swiftly and firmly to new security challenges and is the most significant reinforcement of NATO’s collective defense since the end of the Cold War. The NATO Response Force (NRF) and especially the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) are foreseen to answer to all threats within 30 days and 48 hours respectively. However, the challenge is more of a financial and thus political nature as high readiness is very expensive. Given that only three states actually fulfill NATO’s requirement of a minimum spending of 2% of a nation’s GDP on its military forces, we should remain skeptical if the RAP can be fully implemented, however, Dr. Lasconjarias argued.

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