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NATO to Slash Bases in Global Security Role Drive

NATO was set to agree on a 40-percent reduction of its military bases on Thursday as part of a drive to remodel the Cold War alliance to tackle new security threats worldwide. Officials said that after haggling by Mediterranean allies over plans to scrap up to nine bases, there was an agreement in principle on the alliance’s radical command structure revamp just hours before a meeting of defense ministers in Brussels. “It seems we’ve got a deal. At 40 percent this is a major reduction. It will make us more agile and give us greater reach,” said one alliance official. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was among the first to arrive at the Brussels headquarters of the 19-nation alliance, which was plunged into the deepest crisis in its 54-year history just four months ago by sharp differences over the Iraq war. Full Story

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