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NATO leaders brace up for threats from Russia, China

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The entire NATO scenario seems to have radically changed with the eruption of the Ukraine crisis in February

A clear indication from the NATO summit held in Madrid in June 2022 is that the transatlantic group is back in focus on the contemporary world stage.

Knowledgeable sources say that the Western military alliance today is fully determined to checkmate the threats it perceives from both Russia and China. The NATO leaders came forward with a 2022 Nato strategic concept document at the summit held from June 28 to June 30 this year. The document states that Russia's "war of aggression against Ukraine has shattered peace and gravely altered our security environment."

NATO leaders brace up for threats from Russia, China

The document also states that China's "malicious hybrid and cyber operations and its confrontational rhetoric and disinformation target allies." It adds China's "stated ambitions and coercive policies challenge our interests, security and values".

The NATO leaders agreed that about 300,000 troops across the continent would be placed at high readiness from next year if Russia threatened a military attack on any member of the alliance. Finland and Sweden would be formally invited to join. Each member of NATO would spend two per cent of its GDP on defence.

Existing NATO defences on the alliance's eastern flank would be increased to the size of a brigade-about 3,000 to 5,000 troops. The US would station of a brigade of 3,000 combat troops in Romania, two squadrons of F-35 fighters in the United Kingdom and two navy destroyers in Spain. The UK would commit an extra 1000 troops to NATO.

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With the eruption of the Ukrainian crisis in February this year, the entire NATO scenario seems to have radically changed. Just a couple of years ago, French President Emmanuel Macron had called NATO "brain dead". His then American counterpart Donald Trump defined it as "obsolete." But now all NATO nations seem to be determined to stay together to cope better with the threat Russia and China are perceived as posing to them.

Anthony Albanese, Jacinda Kate Laurell Ardern and Fumio Kishida, Prime Ministers of Australia, New Zealand, and Japan respectively, and Yoon Suk-yeol, President of South Korea, participated in the Madrid summit. These small states seem to be scared of the expansionist nature of Russia and China, both of which have of late constructed a partnership "without limits."

India continues to adhere to its policy of 'genuine' non-alignment. It is sure to remain neutral between Russia and NATO in their potential conflict with each other. New Delhi must, however, remain cautious of well documented Chinese expansionist designs in the region.

(Jagdish N. Singh is a senior journalist based in New Delhi. He is also Senior Distinguished Fellow at the Gatestone Institute, New York)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of OneIndia and OneIndia does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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