The United States is pressing its European allies to get more NATO battalions, ships and planes ready for combat, officials say, in a fresh move to shore up NATO's deterrence against any Russian attack.
U.S. Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis will seek broad agreement for the plan in Brussels on Thursday when alliance defence ministers meet, laying the ground for endorsement by NATO leaders at a summit in July, four U.S. and NATO officials and diplomats told Reuters.
Known as 30-30-30-30, the plan would require NATO to have 30 land battalions, 30 air fighter squadrons and 30 ships ready to deploy within 30 days of being put on alert.
It does not discuss specific troop numbers or a deadline for setting up the strategy. The size of battalions vary across NATO, from 600 to 1,000 soldiers.
That lays down a challenge for European governments, pilloried by U.S. President Donald Trump for slashing military spending after the Cold War, to remedy long-running problems with helicopters and jets that are grounded for lack of parts.