Opening Remarks

by the Chairman of the Military Committee, General Petr Pavel, at the 174th meeting of the Military Committee in Chiefs of Defence session

  • 21 Jan. 2016 -
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  • Last updated: 21 Jan. 2016 10:56

Ladies and Gentlemen good morning.  Let me start and welcome you all and especially the NATO Chiefs of Defence and the Strategic Commanders to their first Military Committee meeting of this year.  

I would especially like to mention the three new members of our team:

  • General Joseph Dunford from the United States,
  • Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis from Greece,
  • And this is also the first meeting for the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, General Denis Mercier.

Joseph, Evangelos, Denis congratulations on your appointments.  We are all very much looking forward to your advice and contributions in shaping the Military Committee’s recommendations to the North Atlantic Council in such challenging and interesting times. 

As we head towards the Warsaw Summit, NATO is faced by a constantly evolving security environment which, as we have said before, has become the new norm.  The most important task for us, the military leaders and advisors to our Heads of State and Government, is to steer a clear course through these rough seas. 

Therefore, our meeting today aims to establish a common understanding of recent developments and place them into the strategic context.   This is the first step in developing coherent responses.  We will shape the way forward for the NATO Military Authorities on our journey to the Warsaw Summit and beyond. 

Consequently we will dedicate this morning to intensifying NATO’s operational and partnership efforts, before we switch to deterrence and wider strategic questions this afternoon. 

Firstly, we will meet with our 14 RESOLUTE SUPPORT operational partners to gain a common view on the coming year.  We will debate how best to continue to support the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces in achieving their goals.  

Our second session of the morning is with our seven partners from the Mediterranean Dialogue countries.  A key element of this meeting is the further development of the defence capacity of our Partners in the region.  

During the afternoon we will discuss and endorse the military advice on NATO’s future strategy, posture and adaptation - which has been developed since our Istanbul Conference last September.  We will focus on the application of the military strategic effects of DETER, PROTECT, CONTAIN and PROJECT.  These effects are required to fulfil the Alliance’s core tasks of Collective Defence, Crisis Management and Cooperative Security. 

This will become the military contribution to the forthcoming Defence Ministerial meeting, which is an important milestone in the preparations for the Warsaw Summit.   

The Strategic Commanders and I will brief the media on the outcomes of our discussions at the press conference this evening. 

I would now like to thank the media for attending our opening session and kindly ask you to leave the room.