NEWPORT, WALES - SEPTEMBER 05: Aircraft from the British Royal Air Force's (RAF) Red Arrows aerobatic team create coloured vapour trails as they fly over the Celtic Manor resort, the venue for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit on September 5, 2014 in Newport, United Kingdom. Leaders and senior ministers from around 60 countries are meeting on the final day of the two day summit with Afghanistan and Ukraine at the top of the agenda. (Photo by Chris Ratcliffe-Pool/Getty Images) (Pool / Getty Images)
UK to Pledge 1,000 Troops to NATO Rapid Response Force
NEWPORT — Britain has pledged to commit 1,000 troops to a new NATO spearhead force expected to be announced by alliance leaders on the second day of the summit, according to Prime Minister David Cameron.
The alliance is expected to endorse plans to resurrect high readiness forces similar to those that were stood down in 2002 with a new force capable of deploying anywhere in the world in between two and five days, Cameron said in the opening summit address Sept 5.
NATO is calling it the “Very High Readiness Joint Task Force” or “Spearhead,” for short. It will be headquartered in Poland and have pre-positioned equipment available to it, Cameron said. — Defense News
NEWPORT, WALES — Seeking to counter Russian aggression, NATO leaders approved plans Friday to dispatch several thousand troops in Eastern Europe that could quickly mobilize if an alliance country in the region comes under attack.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the new unit would send a clear message to potential aggressors.
“Should you even think of attacking one ally, you will be facing the whole alliance,” he declared as a two-day NATO summit in southern Wales drew to a close.
The agreement on the rapid response force is the cornerstone of discussions at the summit on how to combat Russia’s provocations in Ukraine. While Ukraine is not part of the NATO alliance, Russia’s actions have prompted fears among member countries in Central and Eastern Europe that the Kremlin could seek to make gains within their borders as well.
Rasmussen said the high-readiness force would give NATO a “continuous presence” in Eastern Europe, with alliance countries contributing forces on a rotational basis. The force will include land, air and sea assets, Rasmussen said.
The NATO leader said the new force was one of many changes the leaders agreed to, aiming to make NATO more nimble and improve its capacity to address the multiple security crises to its east and south.
“This is the blueprint for NATO of tomorrow,” Rasmussen said.