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The Four 30s initiative

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The “Four 30s” initiative — the plan for 30 battalions, air squadrons and combat warships ready to respond within 30 days — was pushed hard by Mr. Mattis. It is viewed by the Pentagon as critical to getting America’s NATO allies more fit and able to react quickly to threats as they develop.

If successful, the readiness initiative will funnel new European military spending into building up allied units. That will help forces more quickly deploy to a conflict — a current shortfall the Pentagon and American military leaders have highlighted. Many European members of NATO thought Mr. Mattis was being too ambitious in pushing it.

But in the rush to get the agreement done before the meeting, the Four 30s initiative was approved.

The NATO countries also worked out a mobility agreement devised to let member states’ forces move quickly through sovereign alliance territory across Europe. It is another piece meant to help NATO countries respond quickly to Russian aggression.

The NATO ambassadors also said the American demand to get the agreement done before Mr. Trump arrived served to silence, for the moment, some of the squabbles within the alliance, including whether it is doing enough for southern allies or enough on counterterrorism.


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