NATO official: alliance to beef up response force
BRUSSELS — NATO’s chief says the alliance is set to more than double the size of its Response Force in response to Russian aggression in Ukraine and the challenge of Islamic extremism.
NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday’s meeting of defense ministers in Brussels is expected to boost the size of the force from 13,000 to 30,000.
He said ministers should also approve details for establishment of a new ultrafast joint task force of about 5,000 troops.
Stoltenberg said, “Our decisions make clear that NATO is determined to defend all allies against any threat, from any direction.” Asked if the US-led alliance’s moves might fuel a Cold War-style escalation with the Kremlin, he said NATO’s moves were purely defensive, and taken only because of Russia’s actions.