The Credibility of NATO depends on DEAD
Even as Russia rebuilds its way of fighting and combat power over the next 3-5 years, those forces should be easily overmatched by NATO (on paper at least) in combat operations provided Russian air and missile defences can be destroyed. The package to do that, according to Professor Justin Bronk of RUSI, is quite within European states ability to deliver: allowing them to then fight the air-to-air battle, and deliver decisive combat power on the ground. Yet it is quite hard to detect any urgency in various capitals to take this task in hand – to buy the munitions needed, and make time for the training to do the most challenging of tasks in the air power handbook: SEAD and DEAD. The alternative, a dispersal concept of operations, simply isn’t affordable for most European powers based on the aircraft they operate and (more importantly) the support systems they don’t possess in sufficient quantities to make workable. There are difficult decisions to be made about what the priorities are with limited resources – and there is a sense they are being fudged. We all probably need to question whether those decisions are being made or simply deferred – again and again – in favour of focusing on something decidedly more photogenic.