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    Units from NATO allied countries take part in the NATO Noble Jump 2015 exercises, part of testing and refinement of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) in Swietoszow, Poland June 18, 2015

    No So Fast: 'Bureaucracy' Threatens to Smash NATO's Rapid Reaction Force

    © REUTERS/ Anna Krasko/Agencja Gazeta
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    Bureaucratic delays and challenges involving transport logistics have made it hard for NATO to deploy its Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) turning the overhyped "spearhead" into a "dull point of a spear," the German Tagesschau news service reported.

    In other words, the VJTF could prove to be not as fast and efficient in the event of a real threat as NATO officials advertised it to be, the media outlet noted.

    Regardless of the conflicts the VJTF was created to take part in, the real battle it is engaged in is the "war on bureaucracy." This is the main challenge German soldiers in the VJTF have to tackle, Tagesschau pointed out, citing a classified internal memo authored by the German Defense Ministry's parliamentary secretary, Markus Grübel.

    Take transportation for instance. German soldiers have to comply with certain rules to get ammunition and military equipment to a certain place. These, according to Tagesschau, include the limits on the time they are allowed to sit behind the wheel, a ban on such activities on Sundays and holidays, as well as special permits from the relevant road authorities to transport weapons and lead convoys.

    Units from NATO allied countries take part in the NATO Noble Jump 2015 exercises, part of testing and refinement of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) in Swietoszow, Poland June 18, 2015
    © REUTERS/ Anna Krasko/Agencja Gazeta
    Units from NATO allied countries take part in the NATO Noble Jump 2015 exercises, part of testing and refinement of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) in Swietoszow, Poland June 18, 2015

    One might think that switching to railway services and air transport could be a solution but it is not. German soldiers in the VJTF have enough cars to move only a limited amount of hardware. Yet the true obstacle they face is the need to adjust their schedule to the civilian train service timetable. It could take up to 30 days, the media outlet noted.

    Air link could have offered the much needed mobility but Germany's armed forces known as the Bundeswehr, said they lack suitable aircraft. "NATO has an array of transport planes but one has to compete with the wishes of many nations [to use them]," Tagesschau cited Germany's defense agency as saying.

    The VJTF, dubbed the "Spearhead Force," was established in 2014 to enhance the existing 40,000-strong NATO Response Force (NRF) in response to the non-existent Russian threat and Moscow's alleged meddling in Ukraine. Numbering approximately 5,000 troops, it is meant to be deployed within two to three days to address emerging security challenges.

    Many experts say the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force was created to intimidate Russia.

    NATO exercises and deployments near Russia since 2014
    © Sputnik/
    NATO exercises and deployments near Russia since 2014

    Related:

    NATO to Increase Readiness Defense Forces to 40,000 Troops
    US to Supply Weapons, Troops for NATO 'Rapid Reaction' Force in Europe
    Bundeswehr Can’t Take Part in NATO Tasks Due to Lack of Equipment, Budget
    No Imagination: NATO Wrestles 'Green Men' in Major War-Games
    Tags:
    NATO, transportation, bureaucracy, Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), German Defense Ministry, Germany, Russia
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