The leader of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization announced on Friday the deployment of the alliance’s Response Force in the wake of Russia’s intervention into Ukraine. What is this high-readiness force all about, and what do they hope to achieve? “We have to take this seriously, and that’s exactly why we are now deploying the NATO Response Force for the first time in a collective defense context,” Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters.
The rapid-reaction, multinational, crisis-response and defense force falls under the command of the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe and is designed to be ready for rapid deployment in the midst of a crisis, says Mai’a Cross, the Edward W. Brooke Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at Northeastern.
The 40,000-strong force is capable of addressing a range of situations from natural disasters to protecting territorial integrity. NATO members each contribute their troops on a rotational basis. Stoltenberg did not say how many personnel would be activated, only that “we are deploying elements” of the force.