NATO’s Ability To Respond To Threats Will Require Less Reliance On US Money, Power
NATO Considering Rapid Response Force
According to a report in The New York Times, NATO will discuss at its upcoming meeting the idea of creating a 4,000-person rapid response unit that will be able to deploy within 48 hours to Eastern Europe.
“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 question of how quickly NATO could respond to aggressive action is less relevant to some Eastern European nations than the question of whether NATO will respond, says Jarno Limnell, director of cyber security at McAfee and Professor of Cyber Security at Aalto University in Helsinki.
While he dismisses fears among some nations that NATO would not respond to Russian aggression, he does assert there is a more immediate question of to what degree would NATO deploy its resources and whether the calls of some members would be answered more quickly than others.
To ensure an appropriate and effective response, he suggests individual states should demonstrate the will and capability to defend others, especially during difficult times; to examine its own defenses; and by actively engaging in the strengthening of the NATO alliance itself.
The importance of NATO states, and non-NATO states for that matter, taking a greater stake in its own defense is a point addressed by Gideon Rachman in his latest Financial Times op-ed.
Speaking to the outbreak of crises from the Middle East to Ukraine, Rachman says the biggest weakness in the global security system is not the lack of American resolve, but “the learned helplessness of America’s regional allies.”
He goes on to say the Wales summit is an opportunity for change.
“The Nato summit this week in Wales represents a crucial opportunity for America’s most important allies to start doing more to share the burden. If they fail, the inability of the US to police the world alone will become increasingly apparent, and the various global security crises will intensify,” he writes.
Rachman contends it is time for Europe to start contributing more financially to NATO, but also offers criticism of Middle Eastern nations for spending its money on armies and defenses, but doing nothing to combat the growing threat from terrorists – and in some cases financing those same terrorists they know fear.
“This same over-reliance on the US is evident in the Middle East. The rise of Isis is a massive threat to the dwindling band of stable regimes in the region, above all Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states. In recent years, these countries have spent lavishly on their armies and air forces. And yet it has been left to the US to wage the bombing campaign against Isis, while the nations of the Gulf Co-operation Council keep their 600 combat planes on the tarmac and complain about American weakness,” Rachman argues.