NATO Defence Ministers discussed the best way to make sure that NATO has the modern capabilities it needs for the coming decade and beyond at their meeting at Alliance headquarters on 18 April.
|Left to right: General Knud Bartels (Chairman of the NATO Military Committee) and Admiral James Stavridis (Supreme Allied Commander Europe)
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NATO has already done substantial work on developing the Alliance’s capabilities in areas such as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. At the forthcoming NATO Summit in Chicago on 20–21 May, heads of state and government will lay the foundations for the Alliance’s future forces to 2020.
“In Chicago, we will take the next steps, by approving a specific set of commitments and measures, and embracing the new approach we call Smart Defence,” said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
The Smart Defence concept encourages nations to maximise the efficiency of their defence spending by focusing on greater prioritisation, specialisation and multinational cooperation in their acquisition of modern equipment.
Leaders at the Chicago Summit are expected to approve a package of defence measures which includes specific multinational projects and a strong commitment to making Smart Defence the new way the Alliance does business. It will also include measures to sustain and increase the links between the armed forces of different NATO nations.
“In Chicago, we will adopt a series of measures in the fields of education and training, exercises and technology, to make sure that our forces maintain the strong connections they have developed during our operations. We call it the Connected Forces Initiative,” the Secretary General said.
The Chicago Summit will build on the work on capabilities NATO has already done, and will lay the foundations for further work and closer cooperation in the years ahead.
“The defence package will not be a one-off, or the end of the story. This is not just about NATO 2012. And it’s not just about one summit. It’s about keeping our Alliance fit for the long term – for 2020 and beyond,” the Secretary General said.
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