NATO’s current combat readiness would fail at protecting the Alliance’s eastern borders, according to the North Atlantic Council’s experts report to be published Friday.
The expert group comprising six defense officials, including former NATO chief Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, warned of “chronic underfunding” and “critical deficiencies” of the Alliance’s member states, according to the report, as quoted by the Financial Times newspaper.
The NATO report revealed that only 10 of 31 German Tiger helicopters and some three quarters of 406 Marder armored infantry vehicles were usable.
“The deployment of a brigade, let alone a division at credible readiness, would be a major challenge [for the United Kingdom],” the report reads.
NATO has been increasing its military presence in Eastern Europe and the Black Sea since the outbreak of the conflict in southeastern Ukraine in April 2014, in response to what it considers Russia’s aggressive foreign policy.
Moscow has repeatedly dismissed the Ukraine-related accusations leveled at it, warning that increased NATO activities near the country’s borders could undermine regional and global stability.