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NATO ready for terror war

NATO Secretary-General George Robertson
Robertson said U.S. had requested eight points of NATO military assistance  

BRUSSELS, Belgium (CNN) -- NATO troops are "ready to deploy" in support of U.S. troops in the international fight against terrorism.

Air and sea forces would provide support to any U.S. military action and demonstrate international resolve, NATO Secretary-General George Robertson said.

NATO had already invoked its self-defence clause -- in which an attack on one member state is regarded as an attack on all -- in response to the suicide attacks on the United States

Robertson said: "The alliance is ready to deploy elements of its standing naval forces to the eastern Mediterranean in order to provide a NATO presence and to demonstrate resolve.

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"The alliance is similarly ready to deploy elements of its NATO airborne early warning force to support operations against terrorism."

On Tuesday, Robertson said the U.S. had presented "clear and compelling evidence" that the terror attacks on New York and Washington were directed by the al Qaeda network run by Osama bin Laden.

As a result, Article 5 of the NATO charter -- stating that an attack on one ally is an attack on them all -- was "fully invoked," Robertson said.

Details are emerging as to what the United States has requested from its NATO allies following Tuesday's endorsement by NATO members of possible U.S. military action against Islamic militant Osama bin Laden, his al Qaeda network and the Taliban.

Two senior administration sources tell CNN there were both "human" and "material requests" including ships, troops, planes, staging areas, overflight rights and launching rights.

One source said the "English-speaking" allies like Great Britain and Australia have already volunteered troops.


• NATO: U.S. evidence 'compelling'
October 2, 2001
• U.S. warns NATO of long campaign
September 26, 2001
• NATO: NATO searches for a role
September 26, 2001
• NATO: one part of anti-terror force
September 19, 2001
• NATO to support U.S. retaliation
September 12, 2001


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