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Nato land corridors could rush US troops to front line in event of European war

In Europe
June 04, 2024

Nato is developing multiple “land corridors” to rush US troops and armour to the front lines in the event of a major European ground war with Russia.

American soldiers would land at one of five ports and be channelled along pre-planned logistical routes to confront a possible attack by Moscow, officials told The Telegraph.

It comes amid warnings from the Alliance’s top leaders that Western governments must prepare themselves for a conflict with Russia in the next two decades.

Logistical routes have become a key priority since Nato leaders agreed to prepare 300,000 troops to be kept in a state of high readiness to defend the alliance at a summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, last year.

Existing plans have US troops landing at Dutch ports before boarding trains that transport them through Germany and onwards to Poland.

US troops will land in Rotterdam in the event of a Russian invasion

US troops will land in Rotterdam in the event of a Russian invasion – FRANS LEMMENS/CORBIS DOCUMENTARY RF

In the event of a Russian invasion of Nato, US troops would be shipped to the port of Rotterdam before being transported eastward.

But arrangements are also being made behind the scenes to expand the routes to other ports to ensure the ground line of communications cannot be severed by Moscow’s forces.

Lt Gen Alexander Sollfrank, the chief of Nato’s Jsec logistics command, told The Telegraph: “Ukraine suffers very much from these Russian long-range missile attacks on the logistic systems.”

If Nato forces entering from the Netherlands are hit by Russian bombardment, or northern European ports destroyed, the alliance is set to shift focus to ports in Italy, Greece and Turkey.

From Italian ports, US troops could be carried via land through Slovenia, Croatia to Hungary, which shares a border with Ukraine.

Similar plans exist to transport forces from Turkish and Greek ports through Bulgaria and Romania to reach the alliance’s eastern flank.

Spanish, German and Dutch soldiers taking part in military exercises in Romania

Nato leaders have agreed 300,000 troops are to be kept in readiness for a conflict with Russia – DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP

Plans are also being drawn up to transport troops via ports in the Balkans, as well as through Norway, Sweden and Finland.

In these corridors, national militaries will not be restricted by local regulations and will be free to transport consignments without normal restrictions.

Previously, the French government has complained that its tanks have been trapped at foreign borders by bureaucratic processes while trying to deploy in Romania as part of a new scheme to defend against a feared Russian invasion.

In the last five years, Jsec has carried out reviews on behalf of Nato to discover various routes that could be used to deliver troops to combat a Russian invasion.

Ports in northern Europe, like the Netherlands, Germany and Baltis states are considered particularly susceptible to Russian missile attacks.

Lt Gen Sollfrank said: “Everything is created in a way so the necessary resilience exists – robustness, reserves and also redundancies.”

But after warnings that Nato only has 5 per cent of the necessary air defences to cover its eastern flank, the Jsec commander is concerned about surface-to-air capabilities to defend his key logistical hubs.

“Observing and assessing the Russian war in Ukraine, we have observed Russia has attacked Ukraine’s logistics bases,” he said.

“That must lead to the conclusion that it is clear that huge logistics bases, as we know it from Afghanistan and Iraq, are no longer possible because they will be attacked and destroyed very early on in a conflict situation.”

“With regards to air defence… It’s always scarce. I cannot imagine a situation that you have enough air defence. That is a good example where a military principle applies: ‘If you want to be strong everywhere, you are strong nowhere.’”

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