BBC News on September 5, 2014, reported that the UK will contribute 1,000 troops to a new multi-national rapid reaction force, Prime Minister David Cameron has told the Nato summit. Excerpts below:

He said the Nato “multinational spearhead force” could be deployed anywhere in two to five days.

The PM said leaders were “united in condemnation” of the “barbaric” acts of militant group Islamic State (IS).

He also confirmed a second new Royal Navy aircraft carrier – the Prince of Wales – would be brought into service.

Red Arrows planes were among 22 military aircraft that flew over Newport and Cardiff on September 5 in the morning.

Nato leaders fell silent as the jets passed over the summit venue, Celtic Manor.

[Speaking of] the new carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, Mr Cameron said it would be “the mightiest ship that the Royal Navy has ever put to sea”.

“This will ensure that we will always have one carrier available, 100% of the time,” he said.

“They are an investment in British security, British prosperity and our place in the world, transforming our ability to project power globally, whether independently or with our allies.”

This came as Nato members sealed a pledge to reverse declining trends for defence budgets with a commitment for nations to meet targets of spending 2% of GDP over the next 10 years.

Earlier at the summit, Mr Cameron said the world faced “new and evolving dangers”.

“To the east, Russia is ripping up the rulebook with its annexation of Crimea and its troops on the sovereign soil of Ukraine,” he said.

“To the south, an arc of instability bends from North Africa to the Middle East.”

He said Nato “must be able to act more swiftly”.

The new rapid reaction “spearhead force” will comprise 4,000 troops overall. It will be led by a British general and should be ready to be deployed by the end of 2015.

“This would be part of a reformed Nato response force with headquarters in Poland, forward units in the eastern allies and pre-positioned equipment and infrastructure to allow more exercises and, if necessary, rapid reinforcement,” Mr Cameron said of the force.

In addition, the UK will also contribute 3,500 personnel to Nato exercises in eastern Europe over the next two years.

Speaking about IS, which has threatened to kill British aid worker David Haines, Mr Cameron ruled out talking to Syria’s President Assad as part of attempts to tackle the threat posed by the militants.

He said Mr Assad was part of the problem and not the solution.

Mr Cameron also warned that threats from IS would only harden the UK’s resolve to stand up and defeat them.


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