NATO’s Credibility and Deterrence Dependent on Deployable Forces

Chairman of the NATO Military Committee Gen. Knud Bartels, May 22, 2014Our view is that the global security situation is becoming increasingly unpredictable, unstable and interconnected, as demonstrated by the unilateral change of borders under use of force and the following unrest in Ukraine. Recent events there, in Syria and the Sahel region, to name but a few, have reinforced the need for NATO to be ready for a wide range of potential threats both near and far abroad. Be these threats conventional or asymmetrical, the days of binary and traditional solutions are gone. We cannot set the clock back. We are facing a new security architecture which we need to address. The challenges are global and multifaceted, non-traditional, and we must address them as such.

NATO’s credibility and thereby its capacity for deterrence, collective defence and crisis management is dependent on a demonstrable capability, readiness and usability of our military force. We need to ensure coherence between the available forces and how we deploy them, in other words we need to ensure that readiness translates into responsiveness. For this reason, NATO Chiefs of Defence agree to reinforce the Education, Training, Exercises and Evaluation programme. They also agree that NATO and its member nations need to address capability shortfalls, training and readiness through investment, activity and cooperation. Certainly, investments cost money but, as the NATO Secretary General has said, the price for insecurity is much more expensive and we all agree to that.

From a military perspective, Partners have a great deal to offer and we should continue to focus on strengthening relationships and interoperability, especially with those Partners who express their will to operate alongside NATO. Indeed, we have had extensive discussions with our partners in different formats – ISAF, Resolute Support – and with Georgia and Ukraine, and we all agreed on the benefit of our military-to-military cooperation in terms of interoperability and mutual understanding. Of course, we need to work hard to maintaining these relationships in the coming years but I am confident we will reach this goal.

Excerpt from statement by Chairman of the NATO Military Committee Gen. Knud Bartels, May 22, 2014.

Image: Chairman of the NATO Military Committee Gen. Knud Bartels, May 22, 2014 (photo: NATO)