Blog AnalysisNATO

Heard at the NATO summit in Warsaw. True or false ?

(B2 in Warsaw) The Atlantic Alliance summit which ends in Warsaw is a "success", defense budgets have increased, the NRF has tripled its strength, the forward presence, although limited, has its 'deterrent' effect . Is all this correct?

A NATO summit is being prepared in advance, here in June 2016 (Credit: NATO)

A success ?

The much-vaunted final “success” is written in advance. Because as an experienced diplomat reminds us, “it cannot be otherwise”. This is the written law of all NATO summits. The intense preparation upstream normally avoids any hiccups.

Defense budgets have increased?

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the 8 billion euro increase in defense budgets in Europe. But this only imperfectly reflects the reality of the figures. In fact, we can rather say that the decline has stabilized over the long term. And if there is an increase in the military budgets of the Member States, at the same time, the Americans have, in fact, increased their budget by 15 billion (in 2010 prices). Suffice it to say that the EU-USA gap is increasing rather than narrowing.

The NRF has tripled its strength?

13.000 men yesterday, 40.000 men tomorrow. Mathematics speaks. And the number seems significant. In fact, this tripling is quite artificial since in 2008, according to official NATO documentation, the NRF already included up to 25.000 military personnel. It is true that this remained very theoretical. This NRF was then above all “reactive on paper” as an Alliance official explains.

Is the deployment in the Aegean effective?

Difficult to judge. For the moment, no official report has been communicated. In fact, there remain some concerns with the Turks who would like to see this " presence to end as soon as possible.

The presence in the East: 4000 men only?

The number is a bit understated. If we add the four land battalions (about 4000 men) in the three Baltic countries and in Poland, the American air detachment, an American armored brigade which is deployed in Poland (3200 men), and the air detachments which provide permanent surveillance Baltic Air (Baltic Air Policy), the figure is much higher than that officially displayed by NATO. Instead we arrive at a total of 9-10.000 men. A certain 'modesty' undoubtedly linked to the NATO-Russia agreement which refutes everything " additional permanent stationing of significant combat forces ».

…and football

There's not only NATO in life, there's football too! “ Mrs Merkel had the kindness to send me her congratulations late in the evening to tell me that she had followed the match and that the French team had won, that it was the best team that had won. The German players behaved quite admirably, the supporters also admitted defeat and were exemplary calm. said François Hollande.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).