‘NATO can deploy wherever it wants’, new chief claims

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Members of Poland’s special commando unit Lubliniec disembark from a Mi-17 helicopter during the “Noble Sword-14” NATO international tactical exercise at the land forces training centre in Oleszno, near Drawsko Pomorskie, northwest Poland September 9, 2014 (Reuters / Kacper Pempel)

In yet another move that violates NATO’s historic pledge not to extend the military bloc “one inch further to the east,” NATO’s new secretary-general apparently sees no limitations for the 28-member organization.

In an apparent attempt to take advantage of the ongoing Ukrainian crisis, where a civil war in the east threatens to tear the country apart, new NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg paid a visit to NATO member Poland, where he reiterated calls for a rapid reaction “spearhead” force that could launch a military offensive within days.

READ MORE: US tanks arrive in Baltics, Poland requests greater US military presence

“Next year, at the ministerial meeting, we will take decisions regarding the so-called spearhead but, even before it is established, NATO has a strong army after all,” Stoltenberg told state-owned Polish broadcaster TVP Info. 

“These capabilities already exist. We have them, and we can deploy them in individual regions. And this is only an add-on to what the alliance already has.” 

In September, his predecessor Anders Fogh Rasmussen outlined the specifics of the rapid reaction force as comprising “several thousand troops, ready to respond where needed with air, sea and special-forces support.” 

Amid talk of a “spearhead” NATO force, the United States last month transferred 20 M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks and about 700 soldiers, along with Bradley and Stryker armored vehicles, to the Baltic States, marking the first time the US has shipped armored vehicles to Europe since the end of the Cold War, Reuters noted. 

Such a military force was intended to substitute for permanent NATO bases in Eastern Europe, which the Western military organization pledged not to create following the collapse of the Soviet Union. 

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Participants stand during the opening ceremony of “Noble Sword-14” NATO international tactical exercise at the land forces training centre in Oleszno, near Drawsko Pomorskie, northwest Poland September 9, 2014 (Reuters / Kacper Pempel)

Although some member states, like Poland and Latvia, recently advocated on behalf of a permanent NATO presence on their territory, more influential members like Germany rejected the idea on the ground that it could provoke a strong reaction from Russia. 

Read more at RT News

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