European arm of Nato seeks a wider reach
Friday 03 May 1996
Foreign and defence ministers from the 10 full members of the WEU and 17 other European countries will meet at Birmingham's International Convention Centre next week. But although the end of the year coincides with the end of the current mandate for the Nato-led peace implementation force (I-For) in Bosnia, officials said there was absolutely no way the WEU could take on an operation of that magnitude - or even a smaller "post I-For" operation in Bosnia.
The meeting will hear how, under the British presidency, the WEU has taken "concrete steps" towards being able to conduct operations at the lower levels of conflict.
Diplomatic sources yesterday said this part of the spectrum was ill-defined but believed the WEU would be able to conduct operations more ambitious than those seen so far - for example, the naval blockade in the Adriatic - but still well short of a big military operation like I-For, which involves 60,000 troops.
The "concrete steps" so far include a security agreement between WEU and Nato which will make it possible for classified information to pass between the headquarters of the two organisations. This is seen as vital to enable the WEU to use Nato forces.
A situation centre has been set up at the WEU headquarters in Brussels to control and monitor operations. Sources yesterday said the technology for command, control and communications would all be in place by the end of the year. There has also been an agreement on "strategic airlift" known as Eurolift, to ensure the WEU can get forces to where they are needed.
"It's the kind of thing that has to be got right if the vision we have of European defence policy is to be realised," a Foreign Office official said.
"There may well be tasks in the field of peacekeeping, crisis management and huminatarian operations which are not appropriate for Nato. They will be European but the assets will be drawn from Nato."
The WEU can draw on Nato communications and resources, but without fully involving the Atlantic Alliance. The main means of doing this is to be the Combined Joint Task Force concept. Nato nations are expected to finalise the details of CJTS at the Nato summit in Berlin on 3 June.
- 1 The political parties aren't all the same – which means 2015 will be a 'big-choice' election
- 2 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
UK weather: Warning for more snow and ice as freezing temperatures and gales hit Britain
Three killed at South Korean nuclear reactor days after hackers target country's atomic agency
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...