NATO Defence Ministers plan for NATO Forces 2020

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)
Source: NATO
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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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