Stung by Afghan debacle, EU forges ahead with security plans

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union is pressing ahead with plans to develop its own defense capacities and limit its reliance on the U.S. following the swift collapse of the Afghan army. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says the fall of Kabul to Taliban insurgents in just days raises troubling questions for the 27-nation bloc and for NATO. Von der Leyen said in a speech to the European Parliament on Wednesday that “we have to reflect on how this mission could end so abruptly.” The EU is mulling the establishment of a rapid deployment force. Von der Leyen says the bloc must boost collective decision-making, intelligence sharing and improve the interoperability of the 27 countries’ military equipment.