NATO: transformation of Alliance

Brussels 10.05.2023 “…Admiral Bauer, Rob, you mentioned that we have entered a new era of collective defence. And thanks to the work of this Committee and our military leaders across the Alliance, NATO is prepared” said Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General in opening remarks, addressing the 189th Military Committee in Chiefs of Defence Session in Brussels.

“In fact, the transformation of our Alliance over the last decade has been nothing short of remarkable:
Since Russia illegally annexed Crimea and entered into eastern Ukraine in 2014, we have increased the readiness of our forces, we have deployed combat-ready troops to the east of the Alliance for the first time in our history, and European Allies and Canada have spent an additional 350 billion dollars extra on defence.

“When President Putin launched his full-fledged invasion of Ukraine in 2022, we were therefore ready.
Within hours, we activated all our defence plans, we put 40,000 troops under NATO command, backed by significant air and maritime power, and we strengthened our forward defences from the Baltic to the Black Sea.
These actions reduce the risk of miscalculation and escalation beyond Ukraine by making crystal clear that we will defend every inch of NATO territory.

“So this has been a decisive decade for our deterrence and defence thanks to you, Allied Chiefs of defence.
“So let me thank you all for your service, your leadership and you also, Admiral Bauer, for leading the Committee through very demanding and challenging times with a lot of decisive decisions.
As we prepare for a more dangerous future, we must redouble our efforts to keep our one billion citizens safe, and to uphold the rules-based international order.

“High-intensity warfare is back in Europe. Global competition is rising, authoritarian regimes are challenging our values, interests and security, and other threats are also multiplying:
From terrorism to cyber-attacks; from nuclear proliferation to climate change.
So we need to step up for this new era of strategic competition, and NATO is rising to the challenge.

Through the work of our Strategic Commanders, General Cavoli and General Lavigne, we will ensure our Alliance remains ready to protect every inch of Allied territory, and to tackle multiple threats across multiple domains.

SACEUR’s package of proposals include strengthened and updated regional plans detailing how we will deter and defend NATO Allies against any aggression. They provide a much more precise requirement for what is needed to help transform our militaries so Allies will know exactly what forces and capabilities are needed, including where, what and how to deploy.
We will train and exercise more together, place more forces on higher readiness through our New Force Model, and strengthen our Command and Control structure – the backbone of our Alliance.

I expect Allies to support these regional plans, forces and structures at the Vilnius Summit in July. And for this, we need the right resources.
So I also expect that when our heads of state and government meet in Vilnius in July, they will agree a new defence investment pledge, with two percent not as a ceiling we strive to reach, but two percent of GDP as a minimum that we have to invest in our defence.

“I also expect that leaders will endorse a new NATO Defence Production Action Plan to ensure that NATO continues to have the capabilities we need. We need that investment and production capacity now, and for the longer term.

“We are moving in the right direction, but not as fast as the dangerous world we live in demands.
All of this requires political courage and the continued commitment of our military colleagues.
I count on all of you to support SACEUR’s proposals and set the stage for a successful Summit in July.

“We have a busy agenda, and a burden of responsibility to keep our one billion people safe in a more dangerous world.
“NATO has ensured our security for almost 75 years. And with you and your leadership will continue to do so also in the future”.

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