NATO: the number of troops and weapons

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NATO: the number of troops and weapons
NATO: the number of troops and weapons

NATO, or the Organization of the North Atlantic Bloc countries, is a military-political alliance created in 1949 as a counterbalance to the growing danger posed by the Soviet Union, which pursued a policy of supporting communist movements in Europe. At first, the organization included 12 states - ten European, as well as the United States and Canada. Now NATO is the largest alliance, consisting of 28 countries.

Formation of an alliance

A few years after the end of the war, in the late 40s, there was a danger of new international conflicts - there was a coup in Czechoslovakia, undemocratic regimes were established in Eastern Europe. The governments of the Western European countries were concerned about the growing military power of the Land of Soviets and direct threats from it against Norway, Greece, and other states. In 1948, five countries of Western Europe signed the Treaty of Intention to Create a Unified System to Protect Their Sovereignty, which later became the basis for the formation of the North Atlantic Alliance.

The main goal of the organization was to ensure the safety of its members and politicalintegration of European countries. Over the years of its existence, NATO has received new members several times. At the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century, after the collapse of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact, the North Atlantic bloc took in several Eastern European countries and former republics of the USSR, which increased the number of troops of NATO countries.

NATO troop strength

Containment strategy

The duration of the treaty between NATO member countries at the time of its signing was set at twenty years, but it was also provided for its automatic extension. The text of the treaty emphasized the obligation not to carry out actions contrary to the UN Charter and to promote international security. A strategy of "containment" was proclaimed, which was based on the concept of "shield and sword". The basis of the policy of "containment" was supposed to be the military power of the union. One of the ideologues of this strategy emphasized that of the five regions in the world with the possibility of building military power - these are the USA, Great Britain, the USSR, Japan and Germany - one is controlled by the communists. Therefore, the main goal of the "containment" policy was to prevent the spread of the ideas of communism to other regions.

Sword and shield concept

The stated concept was based on US superiority in possession of nuclear weapons. The response to aggression was the possible use of nuclear weapons of low destructive power. The "shield" meant the ground forces of Europe with the powerful support of aviation and the Navy, and the "sword" - US strategic bombers with nuclear weapons.weapons on board. According to this understanding, the following tasks were considered:

1. The US was supposed to carry out strategic bombing.

2. The main maritime operations were carried out by the US and allied navies.

3. The number of NATO troops was provided by mobilization in Europe.

4. The main forces of the short-range air force and air defense were also provided by European countries, led by Great Britain and France.

5. The rest of the countries that are members of NATO were supposed to assist in solving special tasks.

number of NATO troops

Formation of the armed forces of the alliance

However, in 1950, North Korea attacked South Korea. This military conflict showed the insufficiency and limitations of the "deterrence" strategy. It was necessary to develop a new strategy that would be a continuation of the concept. It was the "forward defense" strategy, according to which it was decided to create the United Armed Forces of the bloc - coalition forces of NATO member states stationed in Europe under a single command. The development of the united forces of the bloc can be divided into four periods.

The NATO Council has developed a "short" plan for four years. It was based on the possibility of using the military resources that at that time were at the disposal of NATO: the number of troops was 12 divisions, about 400 aircraft, a certain number of ships. The plan provided for the likelihood of conflict in the near future and the withdrawal of troops to the borders of Western Europe and to the ports of the Atlantic.At the same time, the development of "medium" and "long-term" plans was carried out. The first of them provided for the maintenance of the armed forces in a state of combat readiness, and in the event of a military conflict, the containment of enemy forces up to the Rhine River. The second was designed to prepare for a probable "big war", which provided for the conduct of major military operations already east of the Rhine.

Massive retaliation strategy

As a result of these decisions, in three years the number of NATO troops has grown from four million people in 1950 to 6.8 million. The number of regular US armed forces has also increased - from one and a half million people in two years it has grown by 2.5 times. This period is characterized by the transition to the strategy of "massive retaliation". The United States no longer had a monopoly on nuclear weapons, but it had a superiority in delivery vehicles as well as in numbers, which gave it some advantage in a possible war. This strategy involved waging an all-out nuclear war against the Soviet country. Therefore, the United States saw its task in strengthening strategic aviation for delivering nuclear strikes deep behind enemy lines.

Limited War Doctrine

The signing of the 1954 Paris Agreements can be considered the beginning of the second period in the history of the development of the bloc's armed forces. According to the doctrine of limited warfare, it was decided to provide the countries of Europe with short- and long-range missiles. The role of the combined ground forces of the allies as one of the constituent parts of the NATO system was growing. It was planned to create on the territoryEuropean countries missile bases.

The total number of NATO troops was more than 90 divisions, more than three thousand delivery vehicles for nuclear weapons. In 1955, the WVR, the Warsaw Pact Organization, was created, and a few months later, the first summit meeting was held on the problems of detente. During these years, there was a certain thaw in relations between the US and the USSR, nevertheless, the arms race continued.

number of NATO troops in Operation Desert Storm

In 1960 NATO had more than five million troops. If we add reserve units, territorial formations and the national guard to them, then the total number of NATO troops amounted to over 9.5 million people, about five hundred operational-tactical missile installations and more than 25 thousand tanks, about 8 thousand aircraft, of which 25% - carriers of nuclear weapons on board and two thousand warships.

Arms race

The third period was characterized by a new strategy of "flexible response" and the rearmament of the combined forces. In the 1960s, the international situation worsened again. There were the Berlin and Caribbean crises, then there were the events of the Prague Spring. A five-year plan for the development of the armed forces was adopted, providing for the creation of a single fund for communications systems and other measures.

In the 70s of the 20th century, the fourth period of development of the combined forces of the coalition began and another concept of the “decapitation strike” was adopted, which made it a priority to destroy the enemy’s communication centers so that hedid not have time to decide on a retaliatory strike. On the basis of this concept, the production of the latest generation of cruise missiles was launched, with high striking accuracy of given targets. NATO troops in Europe, whose numbers increased every year, could not but disturb the Soviet Union. Therefore, he also set about modernizing the means of delivering atomic weapons. And after the entry of Soviet troops into Afghanistan, a new aggravation of relations began. However, with the new leadership coming to power in the Soviet Union, a radical turn took place in the country's international politics, and the end of the Cold War was put in the late 1990s.

NATO Arms Reduction

As part of the reorganization of NATO forces, by 2006 it was planned to create a NATO Response Force, the number of troops of which would be 21,000 people representing the ground forces, air force and navy. These troops had to have all the necessary means to conduct operations of any intensity. As part of the Rapid Reaction Forces there will be units of the national armies, replacing each other every six months. The main part of the military force was to be provided by Spain, France and Germany, as well as the United States. It was also necessary to improve the command structure by type of armed forces, reducing the number of command and control bodies by 30%. If we look at the number of NATO troops in Europe over the years and compare these figures, we can see a significant reduction in the number of weapons that the alliance kept in Europe. The United States began to withdraw its troops from Europe, some of them were transferred home, and some - to other regions.

number of NATO troops in the world

NATO expansion

In the 1990s, NATO began consultations with partners on the Partnership for Peace programs - both Russia and the Mediterranean Dialogue took part in it. As part of these programs, the organization decided to admit new members to the organization - former Eastern European states. In 1999, Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary joined NATO, as a result of which the bloc received 360 thousand troops, more than 500 military aircraft and helicopters, fifty warships, about 7.5 thousand tanks and other equipment.

The second wave of expansion added seven countries to the bloc - four Eastern European countries, as well as the former B altic republics of the Soviet Union. As a result, the number of NATO troops in Eastern Europe increased by another 142,000 people, 344 aircraft, over 1,500 tanks and several dozen warships.

NATO-Russia relations

These events were negatively perceived in Russia, but the terrorist attack of 2001 and the emergence of international terrorism brought the positions of Russia and NATO closer again. The Russian Federation provided its airspace to the block's aircraft for bombing in Afghanistan. At the same time, Russia opposed the expansion of NATO to the east and the inclusion of the former republics of the USSR into it. Particularly strong contradictions arose between them in connection with Ukraine and Georgia. The prospects for relations between NATO and Russia are of concern to many today, and different points of view are expressed on this issue. The number of NATO and Russian troops is practically comparable. Nobody seriouslyrepresents a military confrontation between these forces, and in the future it is necessary to search for options for dialogue and compromise decisions.

total NATO troop strength

NATO involvement in local conflicts

Since the 90s of the 20th century, NATO has been involved in several local conflicts. The first of these was Operation Desert Storm. When the armed forces of Iraq entered Kuwait in August 1990, a decision was made to deploy multinational forces there and a powerful group was created. The number of NATO troops in the operation "Desert Storm" amounted to more than two thousand aircraft with a stock of materiel, 20 strategic bombers, over 1,700 tactical aircraft and about 500 carrier-based aircraft. The entire aviation group was transferred to the command of the 9th Air Force of the US Air Force. After a long bombardment, coalition ground forces defeated Iraq.

NATO peacekeeping operations

The North Atlantic bloc also participated in peacekeeping operations in areas of the former Yugoslavia. With the sanction of the UN Security Council in December 1995, the ground forces of the alliance were introduced into Bosnia and Herzegovina to prevent military clashes between the communities. After the implementation of the air operation, codenamed "Deliberate Force", the war was ended by the Dayton Agreement. In 1998-1999 during the armed conflict in the southern province of Kosovo and Metohija, a peacekeeping contingent was introduced under the command of NATO, the number of troops amounted to 49.5 thousand people. In 2001, in the armed conflict in Macedonia, activethe actions of the European Union and the North Atlantic bloc forced the parties to sign the Ohrid Agreement. NATO's major operations are also Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Libya.

the number of troops of NATO countries

New NATO concept

In early 2010, NATO adopted a new strategic concept, according to which the North Atlantic bloc must continue to solve three main tasks. This is:

  • collective defense - if one of the countries that are members of the alliance is attacked, the rest will help it;
  • Providing security – NATO will promote security in partnership with other countries and with open doors for European countries if their principles are in line with NATO criteria;
  • crisis management – ​​NATO will use the full range of effective military and political means available to deal with emerging crises, if they threaten its security, before these crises escalate into armed conflicts.
  • the number of NATO troops in Europe by year and

Today, the number of NATO troops in the world is, according to 2015, 1.5 million soldiers, of which 990 thousand are American troops. The joint rapid reaction units are 30 thousand people, they are supplemented by airborne and other special units. These armed forces can arrive at their destination in a short time - within 3-10 days.

Russia and the member states of the alliance areongoing political dialogue on critical security issues. The Russia-NATO Council has set up working groups for cooperation in various fields. Despite differences, both sides are aware of the need to find common priorities in international security.

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