News: NATO military leaders call for new era of collective defence, 19 January 2023
On January 18 and 19, 2023, the NATO Military Committee, joined by the invited countries (Finland and Sweden), held a meeting at the Defense Chiefs Session in Brussels. The defense chiefs discussed strengthening the Alliance’s defense and deterrence posture, increasing readiness, capability development and ever-closer links between national and NATO military plans.
Admiral Rob Bauer, chairman of the Military Committee, opened the meeting by saying that the war in Ukraine marked a fundamental change in modern warfare: “The war also showed us that you have to be able to fight tomorrow’s battles like yesterday’s…today. Modern warfare is as much about computers and robotics as it is about mud and blood. »
NATO Deputy Secretary General Geoana, who participated in the opening meeting, emphasized the importance of strengthening the Alliance’s defense against all kinds of threats and from wherever they come from. This requires increasing investment, accelerating industrial capabilities and transforming NATO for the digital age.
During the next meeting, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) General Philippe Lavigne addressed the Military Committee on accelerating the implementation of NATO’s Warfighting Capability Framework Concept (NWCC) and Warfighting Asset Development (WDA). The Defense Chiefs discussed how cross-media operations, interoperability and digital transformation are helping to maintain military superiority over potential adversaries. General Lavigne said: “NATO is now moving towards multimedia operations with a collective approach to maintain superiority in the future, striking the right balance between a small number of large assets and a large number of small assets. »
General Cavoli, Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), for his part, updated the Chiefs of Defense on the implementation of the deterrence and defense concept and the New Force Structure (NFS) for the Euro Area – Atlantic (DDA). . SACEUR noted that NATO’s military plans take into account the wide range of threats and challenges facing the Alliance and explained how they will define the requirements of the new force structure. General Cavoli said: “The DDA-related family of plans is an important and defining element of our structure, operations, activities, resources and command and control apparatus for years to come. »
NATO’s meeting on Armed Forces Readiness and Resilience allowed defense chiefs to exchange views on military reserves, deployment of equipment and development opportunities taking into account collective defense needs. Operational readiness and long-term support are peacetime activities that ensure our deterrence and defense effectiveness.
Defense chiefs began the second day with a meeting on the mission of the Kosovo Force. The meeting was also attended by Armenia, Austria, Finland, Ireland, Moldova, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine, which are operational partners of the Alliance for these forces. They mainly discussed the last twelve months of the mission, the security situation on the ground and the difficult security conditions. The defense chiefs reaffirmed their commitment to KFOR’s mission: to support a safe and stable environment and ensure freedom of movement for the well-being of all communities in Kosovo.
As for the southern flank, the Military Committee referred to the NATO-led mission in Iraq, along with its operational partners Australia, Finland and Sweden. As part of the mission, the defense chiefs discussed ongoing efforts to help stabilize Iraq, strengthen its security and defense institutions, and fight terrorism. They recognized the continued importance of this “non-combat” advisory and capacity-building mission.
Ukraine’s military representative to NATO, Major General Serhiy Salkutsan, then addressed the Chiefs of Defense on behalf of the Ukrainian Defense Minister to analyze the events related to the military situation in and around Ukraine. The Military Committee appreciated the resistance of the Ukrainian forces and their constant struggle for freedom.