NATO Chief Stoltenberg: ‘Now Is the Time To Invest in Our Defense’

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Dec. 2, 2015We are facing the biggest security challenges in a generation. They are complex, interrelated and come from many directions. The promise of the Arab Spring has been replaced by violence and extremism. Russia has illegally annexed Crimea, it continues to destabilize eastern Ukraine and has now entered the war in Syria….

NATO is actively engaged in the fight against terrorism and extremism. All NATO allies contribute to the global coalition to counter the Islamic State group. We are sharing analysis, information and intelligence. We are also helping our partners to better defend themselves and to contribute to regional stability, through defense capacity-building in countries such as Iraq and Jordan, and our mission in Afghanistan….

So now is the time to invest in our defense. We have seen some progress toward each NATO nation spending 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense. Estonia and Poland have now reached this mark, the UK is increasing its defense spending in real terms, and other allies have laid out a road map to do the same.

In the last couple of years, our world has become more dangerous. But in the same period, NATO has adapted to make sure we are still able to keep our countries and our people safe. This is what we are determined to do as we prepare for our summit next July in Warsaw.

Jens Stoltenberg is NATO’s secretary-general.

Image: Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Dec. 2, 2015 (photo: NATO)