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Apr 05, 2017

Hungary's police-trained “border rangers” set to aid army at borders

The number of soldiers defending Hungary’s southern border may be reduced once the 3,000-strong contingent of "border rangers" have been trained

Hungary's police-trained “border rangers” are to work alongside the army to defend Hungary's borders.

István Simicskó, Hungary's defense minister, told Magyar Idők that the number of soldiers defending Hungary’s southern border may be reduced once the 3,000-strong contingent of "border rangers" have been trained.

NATO could have a role in defending the EU’s external borders against illegal migration, Simicskó said, noting that most EU member states are also members of the alliance. He added that this view conflates with that of the new American administration, which is urging a more even distribution of burdens and encouraging the EU to take on a bigger military role to ensure collective security.

Modern-age mass migration is being hijacked by terrorist cells and lone bombers, he insisted, adding that the bureaucrats of Brussels had failed to recognize the related dangers.

The minister added that “we are living in an age of hybrid warfare” in which there are multiple and simultaneous targets coming from many directions and disrupting countries, multinationals and the operation of civil groups using various means and methods.

Hungary is likely to raise its defense budget to comply with NATO guidelines by 2024, earlier than expected, the minister said. The country’s Kosovo contingent is to be raised to 400, making Hungary a leading country in Balkan peacekeeping missions. It troops in Iraq are to be increased simultaneously, Simicskó said.