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If Russia attacks NATO member, alliance won’t repel attack

If Russia attacks one of the NATO member countries, such as Estonia, the combined forces of NATO, most likely, will not be able to repel the attack and even will not come in time, The Telegraph writes.

The publication notes that if the Russian Federation does attack a NATO member, the leaders of the alliance will face an agonizing dilemma: either to use nuclear weapons, or allow Russia to destroy the alliance due to the capture of one of the allied countries, Joinfo.ua reports with reference to The Telegraph.

British publication notes that at the moment in Europe there is no American tank. The last one left the European continent back in 2014, just before the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis. And during the Cold War, the U.S. Army kept 5,000 tanks in Europe to defend its NATO allies.

The Telegraph notes that most people mistakenly believe that in the event of an emergency such superpower as the United States will significantly increase the amount of its heavy equipment on the continent as soon as possible. According to General Sir Richard Shirreff, formerly NATO's deputy supreme allied commander, the U.S. will need no fewer than six and 12 months to deploy one armored division in Europe. Meanwhile, "Russia has no fewer than 2,300 tanks, most of them already positioned in the European theatre," the author writes.

The era when Britain could field hundreds of armored vehicles, is long gone. For comparison, last summer, the British armed forces were down to only 36 operational tanks. The situation at sea and in the air is a little better. "The forces that that remain have been hollowed out by a shortage of spare parts and trained personnel. On paper, the Spanish Air Force has 39 Typhoon fighters, but only six are actually ready for combat. Of Germany's 109 Typhoons, only 42 are in any condition to defend the country's airspace."

The reason for the mass disarmament of NATO forces in that the alliance ruled out the possibility of full-scale war between European countries. The purpose of NATO troops comes down to counterstand against terrorists and rebel movements.

Russia went the other way, the author writes. After the end of the Cold War, the Kremlin was forced to begin the process of disarmament because of the economic devastation of the country. However, over the past ten years Russia has been rearming on a huge scale, and Russian generals consider the possibility of "state-on-state" conflict. The vents in Georgia in 2008 and now in Ukraine are the wars Putin is ready to participate in.