New NATO Initiatives Aim to Boost Alliance Readiness
June 7, 2018 -- The United States is pressing its European allies to get more NATO battalions, ships and planes ready for combat, officials say, in a fresh move to shore up NATO’s deterrence against any Russian attack.
U.S. Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis will seek broad agreement for the plan in Brussels on Thursday when alliance defence ministers meet, laying the ground for endorsement by NATO leaders at a summit in July, according to Reuters.
The ‘Four Thirties’” plan would mean that Allies would have, by 2020, 30 mechanised battalions, 30 air squadrons, and 30 combat vessels ready for deployment within 30 days or less.
The ministers are also likely to announce a strengthening of maritime operations, and make official staffing levels of more than 1,200 personnel for new commands.
The issue of “burden-sharing” – NATO parlance for spending enough and making the right military contributions – will also be on the table.