Click to read: NATO Research Paper No 18, April 2005 - 'NATO Response Force and Battle Groups: Competition or Complementarity?'

VERDICT : For those involved in these initiatives through the NATO and EU military staffs, this paper will provide useful guidance on matters that can and need to be addressed now instead of waiting until compatibility becomes an even bigger issue at a later date.

It draws attention to the potential problems if the relationship between the NATO Response Force and the EU Battle Groups is not resolved early in the development of the separate initiatives. A brief history of the two initiatives is given as well as the differences between them. Primarily the NRF is a military tool capable of operating at the high end of the conflict spectrum whilst the Battle Groups represent a political tool to act as a stabilising force until sufficient other UN (?) military forces arrive to resolve the crisis. A further difference is that the NRF has global reach whilst the Battle Groups are for the European 'neighbourhood'. The author offers a series of practical proposals to coordinate their development and to effect common military
standards and procedures.