Multinational Formations in NATO: From Forward Defense to Rapid Reaction
The forward defense strategy, which stationed eight corps of various nationalities in a "layer cake" deployment at the inner-German frontier, is to be replaced by a force structure emphasizing mobility, flexibility, and multinational formations. North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces stationed in the Central Region will be halved in number, and mobility and the capacity to mass quickly will be the main operational principles upon which the new force structure will be built. NATO's new operational military structure will be composed of three main elements: a Rapid Reaction Corps; the Main Defense Forces; and reinforcements. The Main Defense Force will be composed of seven corps formations, totalling some 400,000 to 500,000 troops. Multinational defense made sense from both a politico-military and a strategic-operational perspective. In terms of the former, the solidarity and vitality of NATO had become well established over time.