Northern European Response Force to Be Created Within NATO; Five Bases Planned in Border States (1)
Estonia and six other northern European countries are planning to establish a new British-led rapid response force within NATO, it was reported on Friday, while German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine said on Sunday that NATO would establish five new bases - one each in the Baltics, Poland and Romania.
The force would be 10,000 troops strong - 4,000 in some reports - and include the three Baltic states, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and the UK. Canada could also join. All three branches - air, sea and land - would be represented.
"The unit could be used for military rapid response, both as part of NATO and possibly in the EU context," Estonian Defense Minister Sven Mikser told ERR radio news. "It could also be used for other crises and disasters. In that sense it's a very flexible, multipurpose capability."
The agreement to form the force is to be signed at the September 5 and 6 summit in Newport, Wales.
The bases reported by the German newspaper would have 300-600 troops at all times.