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THE NATO’S RAPID REACTION FORCES.

George Bush’s strategic national doctrine established after the suicidal assaults of al-Qaeda in New York at 11 of September of 2001, that the «asymmetrical wars or of IVth generation» (irregulars and with low level of military means used) with the participation of the USA, would be supported overseas and without formal declaration of war. And that they were also necessary, to remove from the American territories and those of his allies, the threats of the “foreign fundamentalist terrorism” of any origin, religion or ideology. It justified the ill-fated post war occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. But, with a blowing up fiscal and exterior deficits and with a democratic renewed Administration, it is necessary for the USA to save in military resources.

The Strategic National Doctrine of the Americans democrats.

The new political philosophy is to dedicate now those recovered resources «to build a nation here, at home». This way, the USA lowered qualitatively the bar of the exterior terror, putting during the first mandate of president Obama, at al-Qaeda as almost the only one immediate “not national violent enemy”. This salafist internationalist terrorist «network», without own territory, with her operational chiefs known, fled and not wished as guests in any normal country, is a more attainable, adaptable and manageable target for his «rapid punctual incursion» forces and means. This new “strategic national doctrine” justifies the increase of the use of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (not driven planes for exploration and recognition and of bombardment), spy satellites, own or local agents placed in the hostile territory, assaults by elite operational units and by small expeditionary forces and of Marine’s amphibious assault, these transported in «command and transport ships» of strategic projection with his naval escort. The deployments of dozens of thousands of military men and with his luggage and equipment for several years in an operations theater, are rejected indefinitely by the new «doctrine» of the «diminishing defense».

This doctrine spreads and concerns, through the NATO, the strategic aims of his allies and the assigned and specific means to reach them. The training with IT programs is an example of the new practices in military training. Instead of moving soldiers by the Boot Camps or the vehicles in the maneuvers polygons of the mechanized or motorized units, the NATO is developing new “online artifices” to instruct their military personnel. And, though it could not be the norm of formation or training, the project is illustrative that the Alliance adapts to the new times of «financial global restrictions» for the Armies. In this scene of diminishing resources and threats still slightly valued or made concrete, the Defense Secretaries of the NATO, assembled at the end of February, 2013 in Brussels, decided to adopt some voluntary remedies. «It is a question of seeing if our nations resign their responsibilities because of the budgetary restrictions or if we demonstrate creativity and innovation and develop the necessary aptitudes to confront the threats in joint form», said Leon Panetta, American Secretary of Defense.

An Allied highly mobile «task force» for urgent missions.

The NATO will create shortly time a «sui generis» rapid reaction force (30 years ago were calling her of «rapid deployment»), that will form 13.000 cavalry and mechanized infantry soldiers, reinforced with artillery and engineers. It will be destined to be deployed in zones of conflict that are sensitive for their «global interests». Forget the Congo, Yemen, Somalia or Syria, which are not or are insufficiently interesting. This «great unit» will be formed by the Armies of the allied countries, who will incorporate into her their brigade or regiment type forces in a rotating form and for a minimal period of six months in duty tours. The experts of the Organization will design a “training plan” for them, which will last until 2020, until all the suitable units for these tasks have taken part in it.

«My call to the Allied Governments is that they stop the expenditure cuts (in Defense), that use better their resources (that already assigned) and, once the economy recovers, they begin to invest (in Defense) again. If the cuts continue, they will have a negative impact in our aptitude to provide defense and protection to our population», warned the secretary general of the NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, at the beginning of the mentioned meeting. The most drastic reduction in topics of Defense corresponds to Greece, which in 2011 diminished a 25 % his military expense, after having reduced it in 20 % in 2010. So, in 2012 his Defense’s budget was only 60 % of that of 2009. There are other four minor countries, which also have done substantial cuts in military systems, men and re equipments for the Defense: Slovenia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Slovakia. Below them, though also with reductions of two digits percent, is Spain, which military expense fell 11 % in 2011, after two years of very significant reductions. In general, almost all the countries save in their Armies, included the United States, which realizes the major military expense attributed in the world (4,8% of his GDP). The Chinese items, proceeding from a collectivized and directed centralized economy, are not homogeneous or comparable to ours, because many usable chapters by the Chinese Popular Liberation Army can be included in books as expenses or investments of other Chinese departments and services. But the total falls of the resources at the level of the Alliance get damped enough, thanks to exceptions as the German, who has increased the expenses in Defense in the years of this economic world crisis.

His uses, operational limitations and abuses.

The operative employment of the rapid reaction multinational forces will be as airborne or of disembarkation «detachments», supported by the tactical aviation and the national allied warships. Their action would be over «limited goals» and placed in not extensive areas and looking for an operative projection, not only tactical. Her employment would have to be in a relatively short time, due to the limitations in her combat and logistics capacities. A joint utilization of this “division (-) of combined arms” would allow to attack only one or two hostile brigades, which were isolated from their operational rears and / or deployed in areas of difficult access («bad ongoing» ground) by land. Reciprocally, his defense capacity and «resistance» are limited. Nothing of trying to appease (they also call it «to «stabilize») something similar to a «Gaza strip». That is the wasp’s nest of an network of irregular «units» of motivated and trained terrorists. Deployed in reinforced defense positions echeloned in depth. And using an unfavorable ground (a urbanized one) for the armored and / or motorized enemies means. That would be the principal resources and capacities of combat and of movement of this » special division light » (better to use the And using an unfavorable area for the armored means (not necessarily they have to be the heaviest cars of the Allies) and / or become mobile enemies. That would be the principal resources and combat and of movement capacities this light «special division» (is better to use the English meaning, in order that he does not resemble the light infantry).

The headquarters of these multinational forces, destined to act in «located conflicts», that concern the security or the interests of the Allies, will be probably in Belgium. Some great American units, which subunits might take part in his composition by turns, are the 24ª motorized division and the Marine¡s divisions. The small elite units of the Rangers, the SEAL or the battalions and the engineers’ companies, would remain detached in tactical subordination to the brigades or regiments of the Rapid Force, realizing their specific tasks in the missions and complementing those of them. The forces of rapid reaction will be able to protect an oil installation or a port and even to help to suppress riots. But they will not be able to face an insurrection or a generalized assault against a friend country. Their detachments will be always highly vulnerable to the encircle and the harassment. Their operational possibilities only might increase qualitatively if their missions are coordinated with those of a ground army which operates in the tactical or operational surroundings.

Politically, the offensive action of the rapid reaction division forces, on having lacked rooting in the peoples of his operations zones and of continuity his military intervention, will turn out to look more brutal and arbitrary. And it will be more alike a police action than a military orthodox operation. It is sure, in addition, that the neutral or hostile governments to the West in the geostrategic regions where she acts, will reject the right that the NATO has assumed, to act as gendarmes of his “partial interests” in a zones so distant from their national territories. This way, from a hypothetical military, problematic and excessively punctual and short action, the NATO appears directly as guardians of his own «new order», in an epoch of international soft and lightened action ways. Where to use the «big stick», as convincing argument for the decision and when the politics and the diplomacy have failed in obtaining a reasonable solution, it is very frowned upon by all the delicate stomaches.


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Enrique Alonso nació en La Habana. Tras el establecimiento del régimen comunista se trasladó a España, licenciándose en Ciencias Químicas en la Universidad de Oviedo.

Es titulado por la Universidad Complutense en Química y Tecnología del Petroleo (dos cursos) y en Logística por la Cámara de Comercio de Madrid (un curso). Ha realizado su labor profesional durante más de 30 años en REPSOL y empresas anteriores, absorbidas posteriormente. Su trabajo se centró en la investigación de lubricantes (Centro de Investigación de la calle Embajadores), el área comercial y la logística de lubricantes (unas 100 mil Tm. al año de productos a granel y envasados, con un presupuesto total de unos 1000 millones de ptas).

Ha sido colaborador en la década de los 80, del diario Pueblo y, a través de la agencia EFE, de diversos diarios españoles e hispanoamericanos en temas de política internacional y militares.

Es autor de la novela “Operación Elefante”, publicada en 1982, que trata minuciosa y extensamente de las operaciones y tácticas de las guerrillas y contraguerrillas en la Angola socialista prosoviética de Agostinho Neto, apoyada desde 1975 por tropas cubanas. 

En 2005 publicó en inglés el ensayo “On the Nature of War”, que es una teoría de la guerra basada en el desarrollo y la aplicación práctica de 10 “sistemas operativos”.

Actualmente es colaborador permanente de la revista española War Heat International.

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