NATO changes defense strategy - paper

  • 2023-04-18

RIGA - In response to Russia's repeated invasion of Ukraine and war crimes committed in this country, NATO has decided to change its defense concept and is now committed to defending "every inch" of its territory from day one, The New York Times reports. 

The newspaper says that previously, the alliance's strategy was deterrence by threatening retaliation. In the past, the theory was that if the Russians invaded, member states would try to hold on until allied forces, mainly American and based at home, could come to their aid and retaliate against the Russians to try to push them back.

Now, NATO is rapidly moving from what the military calls deterrence by retaliation to deterrence by denial. Among other things, to deter by denial, means more troops based permanently along the Russian border, more integration of American and allied war plans, more military spending and more detailed requirements for allies to have specific kinds of forces and equipment to fight, if necessary, in pre-assigned places.

The intention is to make NATO’s forces not only more robust and more capable but also more visible to Russia, a key element of deterrence. Camille Grand, until recently NATO’s assistant secretary general for defense investment, says that "the debate is no longer about how much is too much,” for fear of upsetting Moscow, “but how much is enough”.

According to The New York Times, the alliance will put more troops under the direct control of NATO’s top military officer, the supreme allied commander Europe, Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli, who also commands American forces in Europe.