Chair of the NATO Military Committee at Leangkollen Security Conference: “by preparing we ramp up our resilience and our deterrence”
On 6 February 2024, the Chair of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Rob Bauer, delivered a speech at the Leangkollen Security Conference in Oslo, Norway, emphasizing that NATO has entered a new era of collective defence.
Admiral Bauer said that we face the most dangerous world in decades as the rule-based international order is under unimaginable threat. The Admiral stipulated that the prevention of war should be a whole-of-society event, “if we prepare, we ramp up our resilience, we ramp up our deterrence, and we minimise the chance of an adversary ever attempting to start conflict”. He added that NATO has undergone unprecedented change at an unprecedented pace. A prime example is the Finnish and soon-to-be Swedish accession to the Alliance, which bolsters security on NATO’s Northern Flank.
Admiral Bauer noted that Exercise Steadfast Defender is now underway, the largest NATO exercise in decades, with approximately 90.000 forces from all 31 Allies and Sweden, aimed at testing the new defence plans of the Alliance. He emphasized that Steadfast Defender is one of many steps NATO is taking to ensure that the new defence plans are fully executable.
In his speech, Admiral Bauer also underlined the importance of Article 3 of the Washington Treaty, that every Ally must be able to defend itself. He said Article 5 can only be effective if Article 3 is firmly in place.
As NATO turns 75 this year, Admiral Bauer highlighted that throughout its history NATO has demonstrated an unparalleled ability to unite, adapt and protect. Underscoring that in this new era of collective defence, that ability is crucial: “At a time when global security threats are multiplying and our values are under attack, we need a shield against aggression more than ever”, he added.
Hosted by the Norwegian Atlantic Committee, the Leangkollen Security Conference brings together international and Norwegian researchers and senior officials to address defence, foreign, and security policy issues. The headline of this year’s conference was "NATO 75, Past, Present and Future.”
While in Olso, Admiral Rob Bauer also met with the Norwegian Minister of Defence, Bjørn Arild Gram and Norwegian military leadership. Admiral Bauer highlighted the important role Norway is playing in the North and the European High North as well as its contributions to reinforcing NATO’s Nordic defences. Next month, Norway will be hosting exercise Nordic Response, a part of Steadfast Defender 24, gathering over 20,000 soldiers from at least 14 countries, to train in northern Norway, Sweden and Finland, on land, in the air and at sea.