GEN. MCKENZIE RECOMMENDS A FURTHER REDUCTION OF THE BULGARIAN ARMY'S STRENGTH
NATO former deputy supreme allied commander Europe Gen. Jeremy McKenzie does not expect problems regarding the ratifiation of the individual protocol for Bulgaria's joining the Alliance. Gen. McKenzie, who is Britain's consultant on the reform in the Bulgarian army, paid a 3-day visit to this country, January 6-8, 2003. Born in Kenia, Gen. McKenzie is currently Head of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London. The general recommended a strategic overview of the process of reforming the armed forces in Bulgaria, it became known after his meeting with the Defence Minister Nikolay Svinarovv. He even launched the idea for working out a new 4-year plan, similar to the currently effective 2004 Plan. A novelty is also Gen. McKenzie's proposal to reduce further the staff of the Bulgarian armed forces below the already set 45,000-strength.One of the requirements, set by NATO to Bulgaria before the Summit in Prague in October 2002, was to establish a functional and fast-moving army that could take part in peacekeeping missions. But Gen. McKenzie said he had not discussed an eventual military operation of the USA and NATO against Iraq during his meeting with the Deputy Foreign Minister Lyubomir Ivanov.