Trackers and Data Visualizations May 17, 2022

NATO Forward Forces Tracker

By Transatlantic Security Initiative

This tracker was last updated on February 23, 2023.

In the lead-up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and particularly since the outbreak of hostilities, the United States and NATO allies have taken numerous steps to bolster allied force posture along the Alliance’s eastern flank and under NATO command. These posture enhancements were intended to enhance deterrence against further Russian aggression and demonstrate the Alliance’s ability to defend its eastern flank. But one year on from the beginning of Russia’s war, what does NATO’s posture on its eastern flank look like?

The Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security’s Transatlantic Security Initiative has tracked these posture updates in detail. Our animations, graphs, and table allow you to understand what NATO’s posture looked like before the invasion, how allies surged forces to the east in the wake of Russia’s aggression, and how NATO’s forward presence has solidified one year later.

These trackers represent our best understanding of posture adjustments and new deployments by NATO allies based on publicly available information. They track the forces that allies have either forward deployed to the eastern flank or that are under NATO command on the eastern flank. The numbers within are often estimates based on typical unit size. Exact numbers of forces and capabilities that have been deployed may differ from public statements, and we recognize that details of some deployments—and, potentially, entire additional deployments—have not been announced publicly for reasons of operational security.

For more on the new strategic context NATO now faces, check out our issue brief breaking down force posture options.

Additional NATO forces deployed to Eastern Europe from February to April 2022

The pre-buildup baseline: A breakdown of NATO forward force deployments in Eastern Europe before February 2022

NATO Forward Forces Tracker

Image: Romanian Special Forces operators with the 51st Special Operations Battalion march towards a safe house in the falling light during Exercise Combined Resolve XV. (Source: NATO)