Defence Ministers discuss ways to enhance NATO forces training, exercises
NATO Defence Ministers will discuss ways to bolster and improve the training, education and exercises of Allied forces at the start of a two-day ministerial on Tuesday (22 October 2013) which will also review progress on cyber defence, ballistic missile defence and capabilities. “We will discuss our approach to our training and exercises, to build on the lessons we have learned in two decades of operations as Allies as and with partners” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.
The Secretary General, who will chair the meetings, said improving the training, education and exercises of NATO forces through the Connected Forces Initiative will ensure the Alliance “is ready and able to address twenty-first century challenges.” The initiative is to ensure NATO forces stay strong, ready and connected after the completion of the ISAF mission in Afghanistan at the end of 2014.
Defence Ministers will also discuss cyber defence –“our constant efforts to protect our own networks, and how the Alliance should address this growing threat through an enhanced cyber defence”, Mr. Fogh Rasmussen told the media before the opening of the NATO Ministerial.
On Wednesday (23 October 2013), the NATO-Russia Council will meet to look at ways to expand practical cooperation. “This will be a good opportunity to take a broad look at our practical cooperation, which is greater than ever. We are making significant steps in areas such as counter-terrorism and support for the Afghan forces”, the Secretary General stressed.
He added that “this is also a good opportunity to discuss areas where we have not reached agreement such as missile defence. NATO has invited Russia to cooperate in this field, and that offer stands”.
The same day, NATO Defence Ministers will meet with their ISAF partners and their Afghan counterpart to discuss progress in Afghanistan. “Afghan forces are now in the lead, showing courage, confidence and increasing capability. And we will advance planning for a post-2014 mission to train, advise and assist them as part of our enduring partnership”.