13 Feb '18, 9am

US cautiously watching EU military proposal

ROME ― The U.S. is keeping a close eye on a newly formed European Union joint defense agreement to ensure that European members are not distracted from their NATO commitments. Katie Wheelbarger, principal deputy assistant secretary for international security affairs, told reporters travelling with Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis that the issue of fitting the new group and NATO together would be part of Mattis’ discussion with defense ministers this week in Europe. “We are supportive of it, as long as it is complimentary to and not distracting from NATO’s activities and requirements,” Wheelbarger said. “We don’t want to see E.U. efforts pulling requirements or forces away from NATO and into the E.U.” The E.U. launched the Permanent Structured Cooperation on Security and Defence (PESCO) in late 2017 , so the project is still in its early days. Unlike previous proposals for E...

Full article: https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2018/02/13/us-c...

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