US threatens to abandon NATO rapid reaction force
IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency
Berlin, Aug 27, IRNA
The United States has drastically scaled down its military engagement in the NATO rapid reaction force and has threatened to abandon the elite troops of the western defense pact, the business daily Handelsblatt quoted NATO circles as saying Monday.
The 'NATO Response Force' is no longer fully operational, NATO's commander-in-chief John Craddock warned in his letter to NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.
The US has reportedly lowered its authorized troop strength in the NATO rapid reaction force to only five percent.
Meanwhile, other NATO member states are now also refusing to allocate enough soldiers and military material for the NATO Response Force.
While on paper the authorized troop strength of NATO's military force is supposed to be at 25,000 that number has dwindled to less than 50 percent, only six months after the creation of the rapid reaction force.
The NATO Response Force goes back to an American initiative which sought to use the NATO elite troopers for crisis intervention anti-terror missions.
The US and Britain have also called for deploying the NATO rapid reaction force in war-stricken Afghanistan.
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