Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Retired colonel fears Nato would be ‘too slow’ to counter Russian strike

The Tory MP told ministers that Nato needed to change if it were to be an effective force.

Nato needs urgent reform if it is to counter any future Russian strike in the Baltic, a retired British Army Colonel has said.

Bob Stewart, who is now a Tory MP, told ministers that the fighting force “deploys at the speed of a striking slug” and would be no match for a Russian advance.

Mr Stewart, who commanded UN forces in Bosnia from September 1992 to May 1993, said: “Nato would simply be too slow to defend against a Russian force in say somewhere like Estonia or Latvia.

bpanews_21b03198-fa6d-485a-a243-1549703765e2_embedded236983793
Troops cross a river on military M3 ferry during Sabre Strike, a large-scale military drill (Georgina Stubbs/PA)

“The Russians would beat us to the draw, the alliance’s much quoted article five is in fact a commitment to consult but a not a commitment to act and I wonder how long such a decision might take.”

Mr Stewart dismissed Nato’s “high readiness task force” established in 2014, telling MPs the idea the force could counter a Russian advance in time was “wishful thinking”.

He added: “In any high intensity war Nato would have to change hugely.

“It’s not good enough to fight at the moment and it would have to change very fast indeed if it was actually to do the very dirty business of killing the enemy and winning the war.”

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph