NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. REUTERS/Heiko Becker
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday called on the 31 allies for “political courage” to increase defense spending and increase weapons production to continue supporting Ukraine, and to approve the strategic decisions expected from the next Alliance summit in Vilnius in July.
“We are moving in the right direction, but not as fast as the dangerous path we live on demands. All this requires political courage. And the continued commitment of our military colleagues,” Stoltenberg said at the start of a NATO Military Committee meeting in Brussels today.
The Norwegian politician addressed the Alliance’s defense chiefs and asked them to support the proposals being prepared by the Supreme Commander of the Alliance in Europe (SACEUR), US General Christopher Cavoli, in order to “lay the foundations of a fruitful summit in July”.
Among the measures that Cavoli is preparing as the main person in charge of the planning and execution of all military operations of the Alliance, there are those focused on strengthening and updating regional plans, “detailing how we are going to deter (threats) and defend the allies of the NATO against any aggression,” Stoltenberg said.
The Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, General Christopher Cavoli. REUTERS/Johanna Geron
He explained that these plans “provide much more precise requirements of what is needed to help transform our armies” so that allies “know exactly what forces and capabilities are needed, including where, what and how to deploy them.”
“We will train and exercise our new model of forces and we will reinforce our command and control structure, the backbone of our alliance,” added Stoltenberg, who trusted that NATO leaders will support these plans at the summit, for which they will be necessary. also “adequate resources”.
To this end, the heads of State and Government of the Alliance are expected to agree on “a new defense investment commitment” according to which spending 2% of their GDP will no longer be “a ceiling that we strive to achieve”, but “a minimum” of investment in the military sphere, he said.
“We have to invest in our defense,” stressed the secretary general, who also trusted that allied leaders support NATO’s new production action plan, in order to “guarantee that the Alliance continues to have the capabilities we need.”
“We need that investment and production capacity now, and in the long term,” he concluded.
For his part, the chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Dutch Admiral Ron Bauer, highlighted that the “unimpeded” advice they give at the NATO political level “helps to ensure that what is politically desirable is actually feasible.” from a military point of view.
Bauer recalled that Russia’s war against Ukraine is now “in the fifteenth month of what they expected to be a three-day war.”
“Goliath staggers. And that’s because David has shown immense resilience and tactical brilliance, supported by 50 nations from around the world,” he stated.
Stoltenberg recalled that, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February last year, NATO activated all its defense plans, put 40,000 soldiers under its command with air and sea support, and reinforced its advanced defenses.
“These actions reduce the risk of miscalculation and escalation by making it abundantly clear that we will defend every inch of NATO territory,” he said.
(With information from EFE)
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