NATO’s Security Endangered By Lack Of Defence Investment, Military Chief Warns
By Aurélie Pugnet
(EurActiv) — NATO member states’ failure to spend more on defence may threaten its ability to defend and deter aggression, NATO’s Military Committee chief warned on Wednesday (10 May), as the alliance redesigns its plans ahead of July’s Vilnius Summit.
“If nations need more time, have less money, it will have an impact on reaching the ideal situation,” Admiral Rob Bauer, Chair of the NATO Military Committee, told reporters in Brussels after a meeting of the body.
Last month, NATO allies were presented with a first outline of the alliance’s updated defence and deterrence plans, which spell out regional scenarios and armed forces’ readiness in all domains – land, air, maritime, cyber, and space – making NATO able to defend itself should it be attacked.
As EURACTIV reported earlier, the plans are set to be adopted at NATO’s Vilnius summit in July, after members gave their political green light last year in Madrid.
It comes after NATO members pledged to invest 2% of GDP in defence in 2014, but nine years later, a majority of them still fall short of meeting the pledge.
“The execute ability of the plans is the result of the investment, the forces available in the right number and in the right readiness, […] and the capabilities,” Bauer said.
The ability of NATO allies to deter aggression and defend its territory and one billion citizens “is the result of more recruitment, training, investment”, he continued.
However, “whether we like it or not, that will take time,” Bauer said.
Investment into production
At the July summit, NATO members are also expected to “agree to a new defence investment pledge, with 2% not as a ceiling we strive to reach, but 2% GDP as a minimum that we have to invest in our defence,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said ahead of the meeting on Wednesday.
The now-31 NATO allies are also working on setting up a new “NATO Defence Production Action Plan”, Stoltenberg said.
As EURACTIV reported last month, the plan aims at setting guidelines for equipment production and sending a signal to the industry to boost manufacturing capacity.
The plan will “ensure that NATO continues to have the capabilities we need. We need that investment and production capacity now, and for the longer term,” Stoltenberg said.