Nato ‘unprepared’ for Russia threat, say MPs

Pro-Russian militants sit on a tank in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian militants sit on a tank in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine

Nato is poorly prepared for an attack on a member state from Russia, an influential group of MPs has warned.

(SOURCE)  The Commons Defence Committee said the recent Ukraine conflict showed “serious deficiencies” in Nato’s preparedness to counter threats – and “radical reform” was needed.

The MPs said the risk of a conventional assault remained low – but warned over methods such as cyber-attacks and the use of irregular militias.

Nato said it would study the findings.

The committee called for changes including:

  • Establishing a continuous presence of Nato troops and military equipment in “vulnerable” Baltic states, including Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania
  • Adding unconventional threats such as irregular militia and cyber-attacks to Nato’s Article 5 commitment for all members to come to the aid of a member which is attacked
  • “Dramatic” improvements to existing rapid reaction forces.
  • Large-scale exercises involving military and political leaders from all Nato states

The MPs also warned Nato “may not have the collective political will to take concerted action to deter attack”.

And they said public opinion may not support the use of military force to honour Article 5 commitments in a confrontation with Russia.

“Nato is currently not well-prepared for a Russian threat against a Nato member state,” the report said.

“A Russian unconventional attack, using asymmetric tactics – the latest term for this is ‘ambiguous warfare’ – designed to slip below Nato’s response threshold, would be particularly difficult to counter.”

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