NATO’s Smart Defence

September 14, 2019 posted by

“I want to highlight the importance of what
I call Smart Defence…” Since the Munich Security Conference in February
this year in Germany, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has been calling for
‘Smart Defence’ “Smart Defence is key to NATO’s future
and it will be one of the key issues at our summit in Chicago next year” But what is Smart Defence?
“Smart Defence is working together to make better use of the resources which are available
to us” Together with Deputy Secretary General Bisogniero,
the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, general Abrial, will be working with NATO
member states on possible Smart Defence projects. He recognizes the need to increase multinational
cooperation. For him it is imperative to maintain the necessary capabilities at a time when
defense budgets are falling. “As we can see around us we have all kinds
of possible crises, we have shrinking resource budgets in our nations and we have rising
costs for our capabilities. Therefore, it is necessary that we all work together, so
that despite reducing national budgets, the Alliance as a whole keeps the capability necessary
to meet our level of ambition.” Since large national debts can make countries
less stable and less secure, bringing down debt burdens is not only an economic priority,
but also a security priority. That’s why General Abrial emphasizes that Smart Defence
is not just a fancy way of saying NATO needs to cut back on its spending:
“No, we do not need to cut back, we are faced to cuts and since we have to address
these cuts we need to find the right solution to make sure we keep the right capabillities.” “One of my concerns is that European allies
risk falling behind the pace of technological change because of their low level of defence
spending. But when defence budgets are tight it’s not easy. If we acknowledge that there
is no more money available right know, then we need to change the way we spend our money” The Smart Defence approach to defence spending
could be a way of ensuring greater security for less money. But to make it work, nations
should not only set the right priorities and coordinate their efforts better, but should
also agree to share their resources. Something that sovereign nations might not be too keen
on, even though they are part of the NATO Alliance. “Well, when you have to do something and
you assess that you cannot do it alone, the solution is let’s do it together. But when
you do it together, of course you have to know which part of your sovereignty you agree
to share with others and then seen from the Alliance we have to have this right balance
between making sure the capabilities developed together are always available to the Alliance
and making sure also that those who participate can use them for their own use and their own
needs when needed.” NATO Secretary General Rasmussen stresses
that Smart Defence is not about NATO imposing anything on nations. The Alliance should rather
enable the nations to work more effectively together and identify new possible areas of
cooperation. “NATO can help nations to build greater
security with fewer resources, but more coordination, more coherence, so that, together we can avoid
the financial crisis from becoming a security crisis.” And already there are some initiatives within
NATO that could be seen as a Smart Defence approach, like the Strategic Airlift consortium
for which a group of nations have acquired C17 transport aircrafts to transport troops,
equipment and supplies across the globe. Or the Baltic Air Policing for which NATO
nations rotate their crews and aircrafts in order to guard the airspace over the three
Baltic States. “It’s a little bit too early to give examples
because we are starting the process, but we are working on issues like joint intelligence,
surveillance, reconnaissance, medical support, force protection, maintenance, logistics,
training, we have lots of issues on the table, as you know we have more than 150 ideas which
have been staffed already and we are going to be more precise in a few weeks.” “Missile defence is a case in point. By
pooling their contributions and by sharing the costs, Allies will be able to protect
their own territories and citizens against missile attacks.” In the coming months NATO is going to identify
and discuss new possible Smart Defence projects with all individual member states. “We are going to talk with every single
nation inside NATO and see what are the projects which are most interesting to the nations
and most useful to the Alliance. The objective being now to transform the intentions which
have been declared so far into decisions.” The financial crisis should not become a security
crisis In the coming years, it looks like this is
what Smart Defence will be about.

1 Comment

One Reply to “NATO’s Smart Defence”

  1. CASSIA John says:

    The interest that you wear to events that turns the planet make you someone important. Friendship of course!

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