NATO to Create New Rapid-Reaction Force

News Brief — August 30, 2014

NATO Europe commander General Phillip Breedlove. Click to enlarge

NATO Europe commander General Phillip Breedlove. Click to enlarge

Seven NATO members have agreed in principle on the creation of a rapid reaction force that could be deployed at short notice. The proposal to create a force for quick deployment comes on the wake of Russia’ intervention in eastern Ukraine.
According to London’s Financial Times (a subscription is required), which broke the story on Friday, the proposal called for a “fully functioning, division-sized force for rapid deployment and regular, frequent exercises”.
The British-led force, which would include air and naval forces as well as ground troops, is expected to number as many as 10,000.
The proposal is expected to be ratified when the NATO summit convenes in Wales next week.
The plan to boost NATO’s combat readiness and effectively create a new standing army within the multi-national military alliance is expected to be backed by President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron who will attend the summit.
Countries involved reportedly include Denmark, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Norway and the Netherlands. Canada has also expressed an interest in taking part, the Financial Times reported.
In addition to the creation of a rapid reaction force, NATO leaders at the summit next week are also expected to agree to longer term measures to counter what is seen as new emerging threats.

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