Adm. Rob Bauer, the chair of the NATO Military Committee, stated on Saturday that the alliance’s total number of military troops may reach 3.5 million people. This follows the new defence plans that NATO developed, which state that the alliance can deploy 300,000 soldiers within the first month of a hypothetical attack on the bloc.
If Finland and Sweden were to join NATO, the total number of soldiers in the alliance would increase to almost 3.5 million. At a news conference with Norwegian Chief of Defence Gen. Eirik Kristoffersen, Bauer told reporters that the number 300,000 (0.3 million) is the approximate number of troops that NATO foresees having at a high readiness level and being available for the first 30 days if necessary.
In July, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated that the alliance had agreed on new defence plans at the Vilnius summit. According to these plans, NATO would maintain a high readiness level for 300,000 soldiers, and member nations would invest at least 2% of their gross domestic product yearly in defence.
With 1.15 million active-duty people and at least two million reserve personnel, Russia’s armed forces are the fifth-biggest in the world. Russia’s active personnel force is expected to reach 1.5 million by the year 2026, which will place it in third place globally behind China and India in terms of size.
In 2022, China had over 2 million active soldiers, making it the country with the largest armed forces in the world in terms of active duty military personnel.