British (L) and US (R) soldiers stand next to a NATO flag on the sidelines of a press conference of the Polish and Lithuanian president on July 7, 2022.InternationalIndiaAfricaAs Western countries have been supplying the Kiev regime with a broad array of weapon systems, including air defense missiles, multiple launch rocket systems, and anti-aircraft guns since Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine, they have not only further fueled the conflict, but seen their own war chests dwindle fast.NATO is seriously considering deploying a 300,000-strong force along Russia’s borders, but these ambitious aspirations may turn into a challenging stress-test for the alliance’s members, according to a US report. As the US and its allies continue to ramp up their hefty military assistance to Ukraine, meeting NATO’s needs may come up against resistance from European capitals. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been constantly clamouring for more military support from the so-called collective west, and Kiev’s voracious appetite for arms has already resulted in fast-depleating supplies of weapons and munition stockpiles in European NATO-states.NATO may have to resort to a good deal of pressuring, coordinating and coaxing if it wants its new military plans to come to fruition, said the report.World’Appalling’ State of European Defense & Its ‘Dependence on US’ Exposed by Ukrainian Conflict12 March, 06:52 GMTFor its plans on the eastern flanks to materialize, NATO will face the daunting task of convincing individual countries on the European continent to contribute everything from extensive amounts of costly weapons, equipment and ammunition, to soldiers, and training efforts. But considering how low many war chests of NATO members have been running on munitions alone, there is reportedly a risk that not all allies will be up to the task. The need to contribute ever more weapons stockpiles and troops to NATO’s new plans may come at too great a cost for many countries already worried about their own defense stockpiles.As Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, launched in February 2022, continues, Kiev regime’s forces are depleting stockpiles of artillery shells gleaned from the West at lightning pace. Accordingly, both the US and EU are currently brainstorming how to quickly source more weapons to aid the restocking of supplies, but procurement is going to be a spoke in the wheel of NATO’s ambitious plans, added the report.This spring, the alliance’s military leaders will be submitting their updated regional defense, according to the US media report. NATO will be pushing for significantly “more troops” and especially more forces at “readiness” to allegedly counter Russia, a senior NATO military official was cited as saying.MilitaryPentagon: Ukraine Conflict Revealed Weakness of US Munitions Production Base28 February, 16:56 GMTThe report goes on to clarify what is meant by this “readiness.” The so-called first tier of this process may presuppose an estimated 100,000 soldiers from Poland, Norway and the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), ready to “move within 10 days,” Heinrich Brauß, a former NATO assistant secretary general for defense policy and force planning was cited as saying. Afterwards, a second tier of troops would be expected to deploy from countries like Germany “in between 10 to 30 days.”But while that may seem quite doable on paper, in effect the process would present a massive challenge, as it would require quickly redeploying lots of people and equipment, along with the required training, and, of course, sizeable costs. Furthermore, for all of these plans to materialize, many allies’ militaries will need to boost their own recruitment, hike up defense spending, and all told, everyone involved would be forced to “procure more weapons, ammunition and equipment.” Even finding companies that are able to fast-track the production of good-quality bullets would ostensibly be a challenge.“It’s all very challenging. This obviously takes time and it’s also expensive,” Ben Hodges, former commander of US Army Europe, was quoted as conceding.Even NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who recently underscored that allies have boosted production in recent months, taking into consideration new requirements for ammunition stockpiles, was cited as saying this month:“The current rate of consumption compared to the current rate of production of ammunition… is not sustainable.”Looking ahead, once NATO has readied the blueprints for its ambitious military plans, its allies will be pressured to cough up readily available troops, planes, ships and tanks. And whether they are prepared to gear up to the challenge remains to be seen. Leaders of the alliance’s 30 member countries are set to meet in Vilnius, Lithuania, for their summit on July 11- 12, 2023.“We are asking the nations — based on the findings we have out of our three regional plans — what we need to make these plans … executable… I think the most difficult thing is the procurement,” an unnamed senior NATO military official was cited as saying.But there is also another contentious and divisive issue involved – defense investments. While back in 2014 NATO leaders pledged to spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense within a decade, at the Vilnius summit the leaders will be forced to contemplate a new target.“Two percent as floor” is the “center of gravity” currently, but “2 percent would not be enough for everybody,” one senior NATO official was quoted as cautioning.The allies’ response to all these demands will show whether NATO will succeed in matching its ambitions to reality, the report concluded.World‘Major Political Error’: Moscow Warned About NATO Expansion in 2001, Declassified Docs Reveal30 December 2022, 11:58 GMTAs NATO reportedly mulls edging its forces ever closer to Russia’s borders, it is worthwhile to recall that Moscow has persistently sought to warn the alliance about the implications of its continued eastward expansion. Despite promises famously made in February 1990, when US Secretary of State James Baker vowed to the Soviet Union that NATO would not move “one inch eastward” of a reunified Germany, in the mid-1990s, the Clinton administration broke the pledge. NATO embarked upon a push to incorporate more and more Eastern European members in the bloc, and has since swallowed up more than a dozen countries in Eastern Europe, while rejecting a Russian request for a halt to its expansion.In December 2021, Russian Foreign Ministry officials handed two draft proposals on security guarantees between Russia, the US and NATO to US diplomats in Moscow, and published them in full on the ministry’s website shortly after. Moscow had outlined the “red lines” which it believed should not be crossed. The document called on Washington to pledge not to continue NATO’s eastward expansion, and to refrain from cooperating militarily with post-Soviet states (except those which are already members of the alliance). It similarly called for Ukraine’s incorporation into the bloc to be prohibited. However, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg rejected the stipulation on Ukraine’s status, saying that the alliance stands with Kiev’s “right to choose its own path,” and suggesting that the alliance never promised not to expand.RussiaPutin on ‘Red Lines’: West Has Pinned Russia Into a Position Where It Has Nowhere to Fall Back To26 December 2021, 12:01 GMTFurthermore, after the escalation of the security crisis in the Donbas following the US-sponsored coup in Kiev in February 2014, Kiev’s authorities scrapped the notion of neutrality, as the country’s constitution was amended to include the “strategic course” of joining the EU and the Western military bloc. In February 2022, days before Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gave a speech at the Munich Security Conference, announcing that Ukraine may revoke its non-nuclear weapons status. Shortly after, Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed Zelensky’s comments, saying Moscow would consider even attempts to create a tactical nuclear device by a neighbor that questions Russia’s territorial integrity as a “strategic threat” to Russia.Sputnik ExplainsFrom No Nukes Pledge to Dirty Bombs: How Kiev Broke Its Promise to Reject Nuclear Weapons14 January, 18:45 GMTAs for Moscow, ever since its secial military operation in Ukraine prompted the so-called collective West to start drumming up military support for the Kiev regime, it repeatedly warned French, German, and other European leaders of the folly of their anti-Russia policy, which only fed the flames of the conflict. Moscow warned that weapons support for Kiev risks turning the Russia-NATO “proxy conflict” in Ukraine into a global conflagration.