The events of 2014, when a conflict in eastern Ukraine started and Crimea rejoined Russia, prompted NATO to deploy more troops and equipment around Russian borders. The EU states’ defense budgets had been decreasing, resulting in many combat formations becoming under equipped and inadequately trained, the outlet noted.
However, since 2014, the United States has been calling on its European allies to invest once again in their armies in order to be ready to react to what NATO calls "the threat from Russia."
Now Washington wants to enhance the combat readiness of European armies’ troops. Moreover, the United States seeks to ensure that at least 30,000 troops and additional aircraft and vessels would be ready for deployment within 30 days, the publication pointed out.
"The idea is to get a readiness mind-set, to identify forces where readiness needs to be enhanced, but spread that out among the nations," Hans Binnendijk, a former US official in the administration of President Bill Clinton, told the newspaper.
The outlet also noted that almost all European NATO allies have readiness problems. For example, Greece and Turkey have large armies, however their ability to be deployed to a trouble spot beyond their region is poor.
The relations between Russia and the western countries, particularly NATO member states, have worsened significantly since early March, when former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned on UK soil.
The United Kingdom has put the blame for the attack on Russia, while Moscow has refuted the allegations categorically, pointing to the lack of proof of its involvement in the incident.
On Wednesday, the European Union represented a plan of action for increasing military mobility within the bloc and beyond its borders, aimed at increasing the level of interactions between the EU member states in the event of crisis situations.