Thirty Days

That’s when NATO’s newly expanding rapid response force would be ready to act when called upon.

The alliance is planning to establish a pool of around 30,000 soldiers who could be operational within 30 days. They would be armed with several hundred fighter jets and ships, according to high ranking NATO diplomats cited by the paper [Welt am Sonntag]. The new troops would be in addition to the already established NATO Response Force (NRF), which has around 20,000 soldiers.

This would be risible if it weren’t so incompetent.  It took 36 days for Germany to overrun Poland with numerically inferior forces at the start of last century’s WWII.  It took Germany 46 days to overrun France with numerically and technologically inferior forces at the start of that war.

Russian forces may remain numerically inferior, but they’re not technologically inferior.  Beyond that, 21st century forces are much faster and strike with much greater precision and with much greater power.

A “rapid” response force that can’t be ready for 30 days likely won’t find a fight to enter.  Such a response time harks back to WWI and prior wars where mobilization occurred first and took several weeks to complete.  Today’s force-on-force war will begin with a limited mobilization at most and a running start.  And I’ve elided the likely parallel cyber attack that will be fought to the detriment of communications, even impacting the target’s sensor systems’ ability to say that an attack is underway.  That cyber attack will shorten further the response time available.

A nation or a bloc that forms a “rapid” response force that can’t be ready for 30 days isn’t taking the matter seriously.

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