In the future, Germany will keep 35,000 soldiers on very high alert for NATO’s new deterrence and defense strategy. “It’s about backing up the regional defense plans with concrete forces,” explained Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) on the sidelines of a NATO meeting in Brussels.

Among other things, we are talking about 35,000 soldiers at a high or highest level of readiness and up to 200 aircraft, frigates, corvettes and much more. The troops should be able to be requested by the Commander-in-Chief of NATO Forces in Europe (Saceur) from 2025. “We are actually going all in,” said Pistorius. This applies in particular to the most important military support capabilities such as logistics.

Germany’s commitment comes as part of NATO’s planning for a new armed forces model. This envisages keeping 300,000 soldiers on high alert for possible NATO missions in the future. So far, the NRF intervention force has been primarily available for rapid crisis operations. The member states currently provide around 40,000 soldiers for this.

Baltic states are considered threatened

The background to the realignment is, in particular, the threats from Russia. Ever since Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin ordered the attack on Ukraine, NATO has no longer completely ruled out taking action against alliance states. The Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are considered particularly threatened.

Just in case, regional defense plans were already decided on in the summer. More than 4,400 pages specify how critical places in the alliance area should be protected and defended in an emergency. The implementation should be made possible by the new armed forces model.