NATO allies worry about dwindling ammo stockpiles as they try to keep Ukraine’s troops firing

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Trevor Taylor, professorial research fellow in defense management at the Royal United Services Institute think tank in London, points as far back as decisions that were made during the Cold War. “NATO’s ‘Flexible Response’ stance during the Cold War was that its members should have the forces in being and stocks to hold all its territory for a period of about three weeks in the event of a ‘Warsaw Pact’ attack,” he said, referring to the military alliance between the Soviet Union and several satellite Soviet states in eastern Europe that ended shortly before the collapse of the Soviet Union. “The costs of maintaining that capability for any longer period were unacceptable, and so NATO stressed that it would also have to be ready eventually to initiate the use of nuclear weapons.” “This was acceptable to Europeans because the envisaged Warsaw Pact effort was to overrun the whole of Western Europe. After 1990, the apparent need for large stocks obviously diminished.”