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Tweaking NATO: The case for integrated multinational divisions

Raymond A Millen

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ISBN 10: 1584870923 / ISBN 13: 9781584870920
Published by Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, 2002
Used Condition: Used: Very Good Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Tweaking NATO: The case for integrated ...

Publisher: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Used: Very Good

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Synopsis:

The greatest peril to NATO is not a matter of relevancy but rather the inability to adapt to European realities and enduring deficiencies. Insufficient military spending and investment as well as significant downsizing have resulted in an ever-widening capabilities and interoperability gulf between the United States and the Alliance partners. The Defense Capabilities Initiative will likely not bear fruit because the Allies are incapable of correcting the identified deficiencies under existing budget constraints. NATO may have broadened its mandate to include crisis response operations, but European military forces are incapable of swift power projection and will suffer inveterate manpower shortages for deployed forces. Multinational corps and divisions suffer from the enduring problems with command authority, transfer of authority, and corps combat service support. NATO.s approach to multinational formations suffers from a lack of true integration. Subordinate units are isolated from each other until assembled for a crisis. This approach is akin to baking a cake without mixing the ingredients beforehand. The problems associated with veteran members pale in comparison to NATO.s new members and candidates. The lingering effects of the communist economies and the Soviet integrated military structure represent enduring barriers to swift integration with the Alliance. Several more years of reforms are necessary before the new members can contribute to the existing NATO integrated military structure. Financing a modern, interoperable force is simply beyond their economic capabilities. NATO enlargement is a superb initiative, enhancing European stability and security, but without the ability to harness the potential of new members, NATO will lamentably view them as not-ready-for-primetime and continue to marginalize them. The vast majority of NATO.s ailments can be cured by the adoption of integrated multinational divisions (IMD), meaning the subordinate brigades and battalions are stationed together under the host division headquarters. The IMD allows every NATO member to contribute forces according to its size and relative wealth. Integration of new members will proceed more quickly and assuredly because they have the opportunity to train intimately with Allied units. Language immersion as well as daily contact with democratic values and Western culture creates stronger bonds among members. For the Alliance as a whole, IMDs allow for a greater pooling of resources and manpower and permit focused modernization of the force contributions. IMDs permit NATO to rely on the Allied Command Europe Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) as the centerpiece of the Alliance with a dedicated, robust combat service support group and rotating commanding general. Maintenance and modernization of two other corps headquarters are crucial to ensure seamless command and control for enduring peace support operations. Such an approach permits Allies to lower the readiness of their remaining divisions and brigades until mobilized for major threats. The result is a more cohesive, modern, mobile NATO at a pittance of the current cost. Perhaps, these reforms can lower the defense spending obligation to 1.5 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) without lowering military capabilities.

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