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Britain ready to commit 3,500 troops to new NATO force

Britain's Prince Harry inspects troops during his visit to the Royal Marines Tamar centre at the HM Naval Base in Plymouth on August 2, 2013Britain said on Friday it could contribute 3,500 troops to a NATO rapid response force defending against new threats like the Ukraine crisis and Islamic militants in Syria and Iraq. Prime Minister David Cameron said the alliance, set up in 1949 to protect Western Europe from the Soviet Union, had to show that its Article 5 collective security guarantee was still valid. Underlining Cameron’s pledge to beef up European defence capability, he also said Britain would put into service a second aircraft carrier, The Prince of Wales, which the government had previously considered selling or holding in reserve due to budget constraints. “As Russia tramples illegally over Ukraine, we must reassure our Eastern European members that we will always uphold our Article 5 commitments,” Cameron told the second day of a NATO summit in Wales.

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