NATO boss blasts EU plans for a European military force
NATO boss blasts EU plans for a European military force as he warns it would overstretch ‘scarce resources’ and damage links with the US
- Jens Stoltenberg has warned against EU plans to set up European military force
- NATO Secretary General expressed concerns it could weaken links with the US
- He said the EU force could result in ‘scarce resources’ being overstretched
The boss of NATO has criticised EU proposals to set up a European military force, warning it could overstretch already ‘scarce resources’.
The Afghanistan crisis has reignited calls from some officials in Brussels for the bloc to set up its own rapid response force.
But Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO Secretary General, said such a move would ‘weaken our joint capability to work together’.
The boss of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, has criticised EU proposals to set up a European military force, warning it could overstretch already ‘scarce resources’.
The US withdrawal from Afghanistan has raised fresh questions about the ability of other NATO nations to act unilaterally on the world stage.
A seeming over-reliance on Washington has prompted some in the EU to step up their calls for a European defence force.
Reports suggest such a force could have up to 20,000 troops who would be able to be deployed anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice.
It is thought formal proposals could be tabled in Brussels before the end of this year.
In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, Mr Stoltenberg welcomed the idea of greater European focus on defence capabilities.
But he warned against going down the path of setting up an EU force as he said it could damage links with the US.
The former prime minister of Norway said ‘specific proposals’ have not yet been shared with NATO.
‘Any attempt to establish parallel structures, duplicate the command structure, that will weaken our joint capability to work together because with scarce resources we need to prevent duplication and overlapping efforts,’ he said.
Mr Stoltenberg said increased European efforts could ‘never replace Nato and we need to make sure that Europe and North America band together’.
He warned that weakening the bond between the US and Europe would ‘not only weaken NATO, it will divide Europe’.
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