EU to Form Joint Rapid Reaction Force

The defense and foreign ministers of the European Union (EU) adopted a new security strategy, known as “Strategic Compass,” meant to boost the bloc’s military and establish a rapid reaction force with up to 5,000 troops to be swiftly deployed in a crisis.

“The EU needs to be able to protect its citizens and to contribute to international peace and security,” the bloc said on Monday. “This is all the more important at a time when war has returned to Europe, following the unjustified and unprovoked Russian aggression against Ukraine, as well as of major geopolitical shifts.” 

The EU has also made it clear that it sees its efforts as complementary to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and not intended to compete with the U.S.-led military alliance as an anchor of Western defense.

Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said that Germany would provide the core of the EU’s new rapid reaction force in 2025 when it is fully operational.

EU leaders were to sign off on the security strategy at a summit on Thursday and Friday in Brussels.

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