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NATO's swift defence of Poland 'unrealistic'?

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 29.09.2014 11:53
A leading US general poured cold water on NATO's recently approved Readiness Action Plan according to German weekly Der Spiegel.

Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen (R) talks with Deputy NATO Secretary General Alexander Vershbow (L) as he attends his last North Atlantic Council with ambassadors during his last days as Secretary General at NATO Headquarters, in Brussels, Belgium, 26 September 2014. EPA/Virginia Mayo

“Readiness for action in 48 hours is unrealistic,” General Martin Dempsey allegedly told NATO chiefs of defence in Vilnius a week ago.

The US general apparently argued that soldiers “would have to sleep in uniforms” in order to meet such requirements.

The Readiness Action Plan was green-lit at the recent NATO summit in Newport, Wales (4-5 September) in reaction to the ongoing Ukrainian crisis.

NATO's 48-hour readiness plan was touted by Poland and the Baltic states as an affirmation of the organisation's commitments to defending the region.

“The Readiness Action Plan responds to Russia’s aggressive behaviour – but it equips the Alliance to respond to all security challenges, wherever they may arise,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said earlier this month.

Just days before the Newport summit, Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told EU leaders that Russian leader President Vladimir Putin had claimed he could “take Kiev in two weeks” if he wanted, a statement that Moscow said was taken out of context.

German military not ready

Meanwhile, Germany's foreign minister Ursula von der Leyen has told paper Bild am Sonntag that her country's armed forces are not yet in line with those of other European countries.

“With the airborne systems we are, at the moment, below the target figures announced a year ago on what we want to put at the disposal of NATO within 180 days in the case of an emergency,” she said. (nh)

Source: PAP

tags: germany, NATO, Russia
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