NATO plans strike force by October
MONS (Belgium): NATO’s top soldier said on Friday that the alliance’s embryonic rapid action combat force could be up and running with 5,000-6,000 troops by October, a year ahead of schedule.
General James Jones said the elite force, proposed by the United States last year to adapt the Cold War alliance for new security threats, could be a tool to move NATO away from a tradition of defensive reaction to crisis prevention. The first US Marine to become Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Jones said the NATO Response Force could grow to 15,000 or even 25,000 but the “tip of the spear” would be a small number of expeditionary troops geared for short, sharp conflicts. —Reuters