Germany, 4 EU states launch military reaction force initiative — report

Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, Portugal and Slovenia said their EU-wide initiative to expand the bloc’s military units was inspired by recent events in Afghanistan.

Oct. 21, 2021

Germany and four members of the European Union have launched an initiative to establish a bloc-wide rapid reaction force for future military crises, the German news agency dpa reported on Thursday.

The initiative, which also draws in Finland, the Netherlands, Portugal and Slovenia, aims to expand the existing EU battle groups, which are multinational military units of 1,500 personnel each on standby to respond to crises.

The new force is expected to include space and cyber capabilities, along with special forces and air transport.

The five countries said recent events in Afghanistan have shown that the EU must be able to act swiftly, according to a document cited by dpa.

To this end, the availability, readiness, deployability and competence of the forces had to be improved, the document added.

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