NATO Chiefs of Defence discuss the Readiness Action Plan, Ukraine and the way ahead for missions and operations
During the two-day Military Committee meeting, the 28 Allied Chiefs of Defence exchanged views on the current and future security challenges facing the Alliance, and provided clear and decisive military advice to North Atlantic Council ahead of the NATO Defence Ministers meeting next month.
The 173rd Military Committee in Chiefs of Defence Session took place at an important time for the Alliance, amidst the “new and constantly evolving security environment which I believe has become the new norm” General Knud Bartels, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee emphasised during his press conference.
The NATO Chiefs of Defence discussed the challenges emanating from both the Eastern and Southern flanks and the need for NATO to continue to adapt and ensure all Allies were secure against any threat. “We have improved our situational awareness and intelligence, we are speeding up our decision making, exploring new ways of working with our international partners and we are implementing the biggest reinforcement of our collective defence since the end of the Cold War with the Readiness Action Plan (RAP). And we are also increasing the readiness and availability of the whole of our Armed Forces, spearheaded by the VJTF which will become fully operational in 2016”, added General Bartels.
The NATO Chiefs of Defence used the opportunity of the meeting with Ukraine to reiterate their full support for the nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity as there was continued concern with the increase in ceasefire violations by Russian backed separatists, the use of heavy weapons and the continued Russian support for separatists. The meeting with NATO’s partner nations allowed the 28 Defence Chiefs to highlight the importance of strengthening NATO’s partnerships by working and exercising together in order to increase the interoperability. “Partnerships are, and will continue to be, essential to the way NATO works. Partners have served with us in Afghanistan, Kosovo, and other operations, sacrificing alongside Alliance troops, and work with us in combating terrorism and piracy”, noted the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee.
Finally, the Defence Chiefs reaffirmed their solid commitment to the current NATO missions, commending the KFOR mission on its progress and discussing the challenges that still lay ahead in Afghanistan, the ongoing Resolute Support Mission to train, advise and assistant the Afghan security forces and institutions,. “NATO is the strongest military alliance in the world and its missions and operations have, and continue to, contribute to global peace and stability”, concluded General Bartels.