CARDIFF: A plan to form high-readiness military units to be approved at this week’s NATO summit in Wales would cost “several hundred million euros” a year to implement, a NATO general told AFP on Wednesday.
“Keeping people on alert carries a certain cost,” General Jean-Paul Palomeros, who heads up one of two NATO strategic commands, said in an interview.
But Palomeros, speaking ahead of the start of the summit on Thursday, said the price was an “investment” worth paying for “a credible defence”.
“We will become more efficient,” said Palomeros, who is in charge of modernising NATO forces.
“These are not colossal figures compared to total budgets in alliance members,” he said.
Palomeros said the Readiness Action Plan being adopted in response to what NATO sees as Russian intervention in the conflict in eastern Ukraine could be in place “by the end of the year”.
“It has to be supported financially but also over time because it is not enough to be reactive for a month, or two, or six,” he said.
“Once NATO decides it wants these capabilities, it has to have them for the very long term,” he added.
With “multifaceted threats” around the globe, Palomeros said it was important to have “credible, well trained, well equipped, modern forces”.