NATO members agreed Friday to form a "spearhead" force of several thousand land troops ready to deploy within a few days, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said, as the trans-Atlantic alliance grapples with the threats posed by Russia's interference in Ukraine and the rise of ISIS in Syria and Iraq
The troops would be backed by air, sea and special forces support, he said, with a command and control center and extra equipment in Eastern Europe.
"This decision sends a clear message: NATO protects all allies at all times," Rasmussen said on the second day of a NATO summit in Newport, Wales.
"And it sends a clear message to any potential aggressor: Should you even think of attacking one ally, you will be facing the whole alliance."
The new readiness action plan, which includes proposals for more short notice exercises, is intended to help NATO respond swiftly to Russian aggression and other international conflicts.