In the days leading up to the September 2014 NATO summit in Wales several initiatives, by several countries, with regard to response forces have been announced. As always, the force initiatives in question were given acronyms for names, however, politicians use [parts of] the full name, which often leads to an abundance of variations. Furthermore, the media gave free reins to their creativity in re-baptising the force initiatives with catchy nicknames, all of which led to a lack of clarity and even to misunderstanding amongst the public, media, and even politicians. Now the dust of the summit has settled, and [inter-]national discussions on the way ahead for the mentioned proposals are starting up, it is important to make sure that we discuss on the basis of the actual situation and not on the perception of what the proposals and forces are all about.
This policy brief aims to render a short overview of the response forces, as well as other expeditionary forces, that have been part of the information flow the past weeks. In order, it will focus on NATO’s response forces, the EU’s response force, and lastly on other multinational [new] initiatives akin to response forces.