NATO rapid-response force of several thousand troops now active; long-term plans ongoing - InfoNews

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NATO rapid-response force of several thousand troops now active; long-term plans ongoing

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a joint press conference as part of a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
January 14, 2015 - 9:37 AM

BERLIN - NATO's interim agile expeditionary force is now active but planning continues for a permanent "spearhead" unit, the alliance's chief said Wednesday.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters in Berlin the interim force is made up of troops from Germany, Norway, the Netherlands and "some others." NATO said it had several thousand troops and could be deployed in a matter of days if needed.

"An interim solution is in place and we are focused on a more permanent high-readiness force," Stoltenberg told reporters.

The NATO chief said it's too early to say when the full permanent force will be in place or how it will be paid for, although it will have to be funded through a combination of NATO's budget and individual nations' contributions.

The "spearhead" force, to be sent at short notice to aid at-risk members, was approved by NATO leaders in September amid concerns over Russia's actions in Ukraine.

News from © The Associated Press, 2015
The Associated Press

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