Putin’s Worst Nightmare: NATO Plans a New Force of 200,000 to ‘Sweep Russia from the Earth’ | World | News

The military alliance played a central role in the Russo-Ukraine conflict, long before the “special military operation” began. Pope Francis suggested this month that the invasion was “perhaps somehow provoked”, recalling pre-war conversations in which he was warned that NATO was “barking at Russia’s gates”.

The group is said to now feel “electrified” and ready to increase its militaristic capabilities.

A NATO military official quoted in Sky News said that after the invasion, “overnight the mentality changed”.

He added: “NATO now looks electrified. You can feel the energy surging through the system.”

It is understood that a change of direction will be discussed at a summit in Madrid later this month.

One diplomat predicted “a radical change in attitude”.

The reports have yet to be confirmed (or, indeed, denied), although the alliance is believed to be considering rebranding and expanding its NATO Response Force.

This could become the Allied Reaction Force, and its number of troops could increase up to six times, from 40,000 to nearly 250,000.

The move would also see Russia labeled the “most significant and direct threat” to security.

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Some NATO sources stressed that several alternatives are being discussed and the final increase in troop numbers could be smaller.

Alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the Madrid summit will be a “transformative summit because we are at a crucial moment for our security.”

Estonian Defense Ministry official Kusti Salm told reporters that a new arrangement would ensure that large numbers of troops are on the ground to ensure that Russia “would immediately lose” if it left Ukraine and entered a NATO country.

He said, “You are able to put up adequate and sufficient forces and indicate to your potential adversary that the strength overrun is at a level that you [the adversary] would lose immediately.

“This message should translate into a loss of their will to invade… Russia can read in it that even if they tried, they would be swept off the ground in the first few hours.”

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Boris Johnson also expressed earlier this month his willingness to become even more involved in Ukraine’s response to the Russian invasion.

Meeting Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv for the second time since the start of the war, he insisted that the UK “will be with you until you finally prevail”.

On the same day, Downing Street announced details of an offer to launch a “major training operation for Ukrainian forces” that could train up to 10,000 troops every 120 days.

Ukraine is losing more troops than that in 120 days in the Donbas alone.

Shortly afterward, the new British army chief insisted that British soldiers must prepare to “fight in Europe once more”.

General Sir Patrick Sanders said: “There is now a burning imperative to forge an army capable of fighting alongside our allies and defeating Russia in battle.

“We are the generation that must prepare the Army to fight in Europe once again.”

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