NATO’s highest Military Authority, the Military Committee, met in Chiefs of Defence format at NATO Headquarters on Wednesday in Brussels. The focus of the meeting is on strengthening NATO’s deterrence and defence by maximising the executability of the new defence plans.
In his opening remarks, Admiral Rob Bauer, Chair of the Military Committee stressed, “The tectonic plates of power are shifting. As a result: we face the most dangerous world in decades. NATO has entered into a new era of collective defence. Together we are defending much more than the physical safety of our 1 billion people and 31 (soon to be 32) nations. We are defending freedom and democracy”.
The Deputy Secretary General thanked the Chiefs of Defence for their dedication and hard work on behalf of the Alliance: “Few have done more to ensure the security of our Alliance than you and all your predecessors. So I want to start by thanking you all for the incredible work that you and your men and women in uniform have done, are doing, and will continue to be doing for our security, for our Nations, and indeed CMC, to protect our security.”
Admiral Bauer praised NATO’s political-military structure and welcomed Mircea Geoană’s constant engagement with military leadership: “It is by working together that we make sure that political will is matched with military capabilities. It is testament to the unique nature of our political-military Alliance”.
During his remarks, the Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană outlined some of the main priorities for the Washington D.C. Summit in July 2024. “At this year’s summit in Washington, we will go further. Doing what is necessary to ensure the security of our people, our nations and yes, the international rules-based system. We will strengthen our collective defence, especially our air and missile defence. We will boost our support for Ukraine. And I’m thankful for all of you for meeting your Ukrainian counterpart later today. The first meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council in Chiefs of Defence format is another testament of our enduring support for this nation, because the Ukrainians are also fighting our fight. And we will work even more closely with our partners around the world. Thank you again for meeting our partners. NATO may be a regional alliance and this will not change. But we face global challenges and we need to engage even more”.
Discussing the new defence plans, Admiral Bauer said: “These are the most comprehensive defence plans NATO has had since the end of the Cold War. Never before have NATO and national defence plans been so closely interlinked”, highlighting the importance of the new defence plans, and how they will shape Allied armed forces for decades to come.
Admiral Bauer went on to emphasize how Allies are now actively working to maximise the executability of the new defence plans. Militarily there are more steps to be taken to get where NATO wants to be for its collective defence.
Noting the importance of NATO’s warfighting transformation, Admiral Bauer spoke of the need to focus on effectiveness instead of efficiency in this new era of collective defence.
In anticipation of General Valerii Zaluzhnyi the Ukrainian Chief of Defence’s briefing on the situation in Ukraine, the Chair of the Military Committee stipulated: “Ukraine will have our support for every day that is to come. Because make no mistake: the outcome of this war will determine the fate of the world.
Concluding his opening remarks, Admiral Bauer focused on NATO’s cooperation with Partners. In a more dangerous world close cooperation and increased interoperability is paramount. There is an increased need to prepare for the unexpected and look at challenges from all threat perspectives: “for this, our cooperation with Partners is key”, stressed Admiral Bauer.
Tomorrow, Thursday 18 January 2024 at 15:15 there will be a joint press conference by Admiral Bauer, Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Cavoli, and Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation General Badia. The joint press conference will be livestreamed on the NATO website.