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In a report published on Wednesday, the FT revealed that NATO has only a fraction of the air defence capabilities which are deemed needed to protect its eastern flank, according to NATO’s own internal calculations. According to people familiar with confidential defence plans drawn up last year, Nato states are able to provide less than 5 percent of air defence capacities deemed necessary to protect its members in Central and Eastern Europe against a full-scale attack (which will only come if NATO provokes it, but this is not said -ed.). One senior NATO diplomat said that the ability to defend against missiles and air strikes was “a major part of the plan to defend eastern Europe from invasion,” adding: “And right now, we don’t have that.”

”[Air defence] is one of the biggest holes we have,” said a second Nato diplomat. “We can’t deny it.”

While officials express confidence that NATO “deterrence” remains strong, they also say that alliance members have so few such systems to spare, that their capacity to deploy any more. beyond their own territories, is severely limited.

The problem extends to the US, reported Sputnik, citing “explosive testimony” in the US Senate, earlier this month, that North America is essentially defenseless—not only against Russian hypersonic missiles, but even to a conventional missile and drone attack, like the one Iran carried out against Israel in mid-April, in retaliation for Tel Aviv’s deadly April 1 attack on the Iranian Embassy compound in Damascus, Syria.

“But that’s your mission—your mission is missile defense,” a frustrated Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces chairman, Angus King, told top Pentagon officials. They were trying to explain why the tens of billions of dollars the DoD gets every year has not translated into a working air and missile defense system. “I’ll look forward to some further response because right now, we don’t have much missile defense. Whether it’s to hypersonics, to drones, I’d like you guys to go back and really rethink what is your mission. If your mission is missile defense, we need to reorient what it is you do,” King said.

Sputnik goes on to say, that the back-to-back admissions that NATO air and missile defenses, on both sides of the Atlantic, are woefully inadequate, open the door to a host of questions—not the least of which is the sincerity of US and European officials’ claims, that Russia would attack NATO if it managed to defeat the alliance’s proxy armies in Ukraine. One would think that, if the alliance seriously believed in the ‘Russian threat’ to the homeland, that it would save its limited and dwindling air defense capabilities, instead of sending them to Ukraine to be destroyed, in conditions of near-total Russian air dominance. The latest revelations on NATO indefensibility also cause one to question why the alliance would escalate tensions with Moscow by threatening to untie Ukraine’s hands to strike targets deep inside Russia using Western long-range missiles.

The apparently “shambolic state,” as Sputnik called it, of NATO air defenses is also somewhat surprising, considering that the alliance spent $1.3 trillion—the equivalent of over 55 percent of global defense spending, in 2023—more than 13 times what Russia did, over the same period. More than a “reorientation,” perhaps in this circumstance a psychiatric examination were best recommended—together with a thorough financial corruption investigation.