Coronavirus revealed serious vulnerability of NATO troops

MOSCOW, (BM) – NATO forces have shown an inability to withstand bacteriological attacks: because of COVID-19, they are reducing contingents at foreign bases. And the incidence of the virus in the US Army is higher than that of the civilian population.

At the same time, the Chinese army under similar conditions proved to be the best. And the armed forces of the Russian Federation, where there is not a single sick person, help the country of NATO fight the virus.

This week, the number of American military patients with coronavirus jumped immediately by 60%, the Pentagon admitted. At least 227 cases of the disease were recorded. At the same time, the rate of infection of the military is ahead of the dynamics among the US civilian population. When for one million military there were 175 cases of the disease, for a million civilians – 135.

According to TASS, the Pentagon ordered increased safety measures at all its domestic and foreign facilities. According to the press secretary of the department, Alyssa Farah, at all facilities, without exception, health protection measures were raised to the level of “Charlie” – the fourth out of five possible. It implies the transfer of a larger number of employees to the “remote”. Those serving abroad are advised to prepare for a possible return to their homeland.

The pandemic also affected the activities of the NATO bloc as a whole. The alliance had to limit its Defender 2020 exercises. The Secretary General of the Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, recalled that it is the army that helps the civilian population in the face of such crises, in particular, provides its hospitals, deals with logistics, protects borders and so on. France, meanwhile, said it was withdrawing its troops from Iraq because of an epidemic.

The Russian military is also preparing for a confrontation with an invisible enemy. The Defense Ministry on Thursday distributed footage from the exercises of the radiation, chemical and biological defense troops (RCH) of the Western and Central districts. The footage shows how the military disinfect streets, houses and their own personnel. The exercises are held at seven training grounds and five aerodromes of districts.

According to military experts, a high incidence among the US military indicates hygiene violations and active communication with civilians. According to the editor of Arsenal of the Fatherland magazine Alexei Leonkov, the coronavirus will make adjustments to the map of the location of American bases, especially in Western Europe, where “the virus is now raging.”

“The US military cannot cope with the threat with regular means at military bases. Most likely, the minimum number of personnel will remain at the bases, and the bulk will return to the United States,” Leonkov told VZGLYAD newspaper.

Any modern army, like the armies of the USA, China or Russia, should be able to repel a bacteriological attack, that is, for the military, in principle, the appearance of COVID-19 is nothing new, experts say.

“Protection against biological aggression consists of various forms of quarantine, the use of disinfectants, vaccinations,” Sivkov told the VZGLYAD newspaper. – “In case of an epidemic, military personnel should have protective overalls and oxygen masks. In such uniforms it is possible to enter the most dangerous area and carry out disinfection.”

As for the global rules of conduct for the army during a pandemic, if necessary, the RCB troops must isolate the most dangerous areas. “Experts in proper equipment conduct biological reconnaissance. After that, a set of measures is developed to protect personnel, for example, vaccination. In the territory under attack, processing is carried out with the aim of destroying biological agents,” he listed.

At the same time, Sivkov noted that the Russian army was better prepared than European and American partners, as evidenced by morbidity statistics – so far there are no infected in our army. This result, Sivkov is convinced, is achieved thanks to the legacy of the Soviet health care system – its norms and standards are still in use.

“The American army is affected by this virus, and there is not a single patient in the Russian army. In the Russian army, the biological protection system was built according to Soviet standards, taking into account modern scientific achievements,” Sivkov emphasized.

Leonkov adds that in Russian Ministry of Defense, as well as in the PRC army, there are over 20 units to counter biological hazards, “and the armies of other countries do not have such units”. “It is no coincidence that the Chinese army came to the aid of cities under quarantine. China inherited this type of troops from the Soviet Union, he recalled. After all, Chinese specialists were trained by Soviet specialists in the 1950s and 1960s. The same thing happened in Cuba.

The army comes to the aid of cities

“In the case of epidemics, the military should come to the rescue of civilians, because any army should be able to fight in conditions of radiation chemical and biological danger. For this, there are certain forces and means, sets of protection: suits, gas masks, means of decontamination of hazardous substances and so on,” Leonkov said.

He is surprised that now the role of the army in eliminating the foci of the virus in France and America is “not very significant.”

At the same time, the Chinese army came to the rescue of quarantined cities, carried out all the necessary measures to decontaminate the territory, and provided assistance in research work. “In general, the military worked there to the full extent,” states Leonkov.


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Editorial team / Vzglyad / Oksana Borisova, Ludmila Surkova

The point of view expressed in this article is authorial and do not necessarily reflect BM`s editorial stance.