JRL NEWSWATCH: “What would a NATO war with Russia look like? How the UK is rehearsing” – The Times (UK)

File Photo of U.S. Fighter Jets in Mid-Air Supporting Joint Exercises with European Allies, adapted from defense.gov photo with credit U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Matthew Plew

“The Steadfast Defender exercise, the biggest since the Cold War, comes as it is revealed Moscow has lost 3,000 tanks in Ukraine”

“… The exercise … will see nations rehearse how U.S. troops could reinforce European allies in countries bordering Russia and on [NATO’s] eastern flank if a conflict were to flare up with a ‘near-peer’ adversary. The Royal Navy’s HMS Prince of Wales aircraft carrier will join more than 50 other ships, including destroyers, as well as more than 80 fighter jets, helicopters and drones and at least 1,100 combat vehicles, including 133 tanks. Under the wartime scenario envisaged by military planners, Tuesday’s scene … would happen several weeks before … Putin launches a full-scale war with NATO, because they would receive intelligence warning them of an impending attack. …”

The U.S. 2023 military budget of $905.5 billion leads the world, more than the next 15 countries combined. China is second with $219.5 billion and Russia is third.  Britain is fifth, Germany seventh and France eighth. European NATO members have spent 32 per cent more on defense since 2014, but only 10 spend more than 2 per cent of GDP on defense.

After Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Russian and Ukrainian defense spending increased dramatically. Not including foreign assistance, Ukrainian military spending increased almost nine times over, to $31.1 billion in 2023.

Meanwhile, Russia, third in the world, increased 2023 military spending to $108.5 billion, with official budgeting up 60 per cent for 2024, bringing Russian military spending up to one-third of Russia’s national budget and 7.5 per cent of Russian GDP.

In Ukraine, Russia reportedly already has lost more than 3,000 tanks, more than its total number of operational tanks before the 2022 invasion. Yet Russia reportedly still has enough lower quality armored vehicles in storage to last for years, even before taking into account any new production.

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