NATO planning rapid-deployment force of 10,000 troops to counter Russia – report

German troops who are part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) (Reuters / Omar Sobhani)

German troops who are part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) (Reuters / Omar Sobhani)

NATO is reportedly working towards the creation of an expeditionary force composed of 10,000 troops from seven different member states as a result of escalating tensions with Russia over the conflict in Ukraine.

According to the Financial Times, the force’s creation will be spearheaded by Britain and involve contributions from Denmark, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Norway, and the Netherlands. Canada is also interested in joining the group, but it’s not known what its final decision will be.

Although no formal announcement has been made, British Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to declare its formation at the upcoming NATO summit in Wales on September 4th.

Many specifics have yet to be worked out or announced, but planners are reportedly implementing ways to increase the number of soldiers involved even more if necessary. Air and naval units will be integrated into the group, as well as ground troops led by British commanders.

As noted by the Times, the creation of the force comes as a response to Russia’s involvement in the ongoing Ukrainian crisis, with the ultimate goal being to “create a …read more

Japan seeks biggest-ever defense budget amid China tensions

Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force armoured tanks fire during an annual training session near Mount Fuji at Higashifuji training field in Gotemba, west of Tokyo, August 19, 2014. (Reuters / Yuya Shino)

Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force armoured tanks fire during an annual training session near Mount Fuji at Higashifuji training field in Gotemba, west of Tokyo, August 19, 2014. (Reuters / Yuya Shino)

Japan is looking to boost its defense budget to the biggest it’s ever been, to pay for drones, stealth fighters and a new high-tech submarine amid intensifying military rivalry with China and concerns over North Korea’s missile program.

The Japanese Defense Ministry has asked for a 3.5 percent spending increase to 5.05 trillion yen ($48.7 billion) for the fiscal year beginning next April.The increase includes the realignment of US military forces, which are stationed in Japan.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is taking a tougher stance on national security and has also ended a ban on Japanese soldiers fighting abroad, as well as easing curbs on weapons exports.

Japan is worried about China’s rapid military build-up. Beijing has overtaken Japan as the world’s second largest economy and China’s defense spending has increased fourfold over the last decade to 808 billion yuan ($132 billion).

Japan is also wary of North Korea. Most of the Japan’s archipelago of islands is within range of North Korea’s Rodong missiles. Last year the Japanese Defense Ministry issued a white …read more