300,000 NATO troops are on high alert to face Russia

NATO is preparing soldiers in Eastern Europe.
(Image credit: ERIC CABANIS/AFP/Getty Images)

NATO is preparing hundreds of thousands of troops in Eastern Europe to quickly mobilize against Russia, Jens Stoltenberg, the alliance's secretary-general, told The Times of London in an article published Monday.

"We have seen Russia being much more active in many different ways," Stoltenberg said, increasing its military spending and intervention and "using propaganda in Europe." NATO is responding "with the biggest reinforcement of our collective defense since the end of the Cold War," he continued, a project Britain's outgoing permanent representative to NATO, Adam Thomson, said will involve making some 300,000 troops capable of mobilizing within just two months.

Despite the urgency with which Stoltenberg describes this escalation, hard numbers indicate Russia is easily outmatched by NATO's collective defense. The United States' defense capabilities massively overshadow Russia's military power — we spend seven times as much money, have twice the active duty personnel, and maintain a far larger catalog of newer and better equipment — and Russian military spending is typically topped by Britain and closely followed by Germany and France, let alone other NATO members.

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Bonnie Kristian

Bonnie Kristian was a deputy editor and acting editor-in-chief of TheWeek.com. She is a columnist at Christianity Today and author of Untrustworthy: The Knowledge Crisis Breaking Our Brains, Polluting Our Politics, and Corrupting Christian Community (forthcoming 2022) and A Flexible Faith: Rethinking What It Means to Follow Jesus Today (2018). Her writing has also appeared at Time Magazine, CNN, USA Today, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, and The American Conservative, among other outlets.