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During the Cold War, the United States and its West European allies focused their military planning on defense of NATO's borders. The arrival of the "out-of-area (OOA) era," an era in which military intervention may be required outside the alliance area, confronts these nations with troublesome questions. This report analyzes the issues surrounding OOA military operations and outlines a series of measures that could help strengthen the ability of the alliance to project military power outward; adoption of a new strategic concept, creation of new planning institutions and command structures, upgrading of NATO's rapid-reaction forces, and pursuit of meaningful force improvement programs. Even if other measures can be identified, the key point is that policy declarations alone will not suffice if the goal is to materially strengthen the alliance's capacity to project military power outside NATO's borders.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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