A New Mediterranean Force

In an attention-grabbing move, France, Spain, and Italy are forming joint rapid-action forces that include naval, air, and land units. Under an agreement initialed on May 15 in Lisbon, a trinational command separate from NATO will be set up next November in Florence to coordinate the new force, called Eurofor, which could draw on some 12,000 troops. Eurofor is to be prepared for peacekeeping operations as well as evacuation of Europeans from troubled areas.

This is a sign of growing concerns, particularly in southern Europe, over instability in North Africa, the former Yugoslavia, and the Mideast. The

European countries worry about being inundated with refugees from areas such as Algeria as well as the radicalization of their own immigrant communities.

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