Updated: 16-Oct-2002 October 2002

14 Oct. 2002


Threat assessment
and the future of global defence industry

On the occasion of the Defence Industry Conference in London on 14 October, NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson, underlined the crucial role of governments and defence industries in improving military capabilities to provide security and create political credibility in an unstable world. "Some European countries have decided to increase their defence budgets. There are now encouraging signs of defence industry consolidation within Europe" he stated.

High-level government officials and senior representatives from defence industry, international organisations, the specialised press and academic circles examined the key question of how today's increasingly uncertain world will affect the defence industry and foreign policies and how these in turn can help to build a safer environment. The impact of globalisation and technology, threat perception and budget constraints were also at the heart of discussions at this conference.

In a speech entitled "The World in 2015 - Predicting the Unpredictable" Lord Robertson foresaw "a chain of instability". He predicted more spill-over, more terrorism, more failed states and more proliferation. However, he stated that the good news would be that "democracy will be the winner", technology will continue to generate innovation, the European Union will have become a viable international actor with a tangible Common Foreign and Security Policy, the transatlantic relationship will still be strong and NATO military capabilities will be developing further towards long-range power projection.

Lord Robertson concluded by saying that: "The world of 2015 will offer no shortage of challenges, but none of them is unsurmountable if we prepare for them now. That way, we can make sure that in the world of 2015, very much like today, the opportunities outweigh the risks".

Additional information:

  • "The World in 2015 - Predicting the Unpredictable" - Keynote Speech by NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson at the Defence Industry Conference, London - 14 October 2002