|Updated: 28-Jan-2010||IMS News Release|
27 Jan. 2010
Eng. / Fr.
NATO Military Committee concludes two days meetings in Brussels
NATO HQ, Brussels 26-27 January – Chiefs of Defence (CHODs) from 62 countries, together with NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander for Operations, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander for Transformation, and the three Joint Force Commanders (Naples, Lisbon, Brunssum) attended the NATO Military Committee (MC) Meetings in their various sessions, chaired by Admiral Di Paola, Chairman of NATO’s Military Committee.
Particularly welcome were Gen. Hakan Syrén, Chairman of the EU Military Committee, General Kayani, Pakistan Chief of Army Staff, and Gen. McChrystal, ISAF Commander.
During the MC in KFOR non-NATO-Troop-Contributing-Nations format, the Military Committee was briefed by Adm. Stavridis, Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and by Adm. Fitzgerald, Joint Force Commander Naples. The KFOR transition toward deterrent presence was assessed as successful. Nations were also briefed on the current evolution of the Kosovo Security Forces (KSF) project and on the state of the KSF Trust Fund. CHODS confirmed their commitment to the KFOR operation, while underlining that future developments will be conditions based. Gen. Syrén emphasized the fruitful cooperation between NATO, EU and individual countries in Kosovo.
On NATO’s “Operation Ocean Shield”, the Military Committee agreed on the continued support of the counter-piracy effort and on the flexible use of the Standard NATO Maritime Groups (SNMGs) as the backbone of the operation, which is part of a broader coordinated international effort. Regional capacity building, as well as the need for a long-range air surveillance system, were recognized as areas to further assess.
In the joint session with the CHODs of the NATO Partnership for Peace countries, NATO CHODs exchanged views on the value of the NATO Response Force (NRF) project. As reaffirmed at the Strasbourg/Kehl Summit, the NRF is set up to provide a rapidly deployable, credible force for the Alliance and is a driving force for transformation and capability development. In this respect SACEUR gave a briefing on the new NRF construct, which now allows more flexibility and effectiveness and represents an important transformational tool. Colonel General Svyda, the Ukrainian CHOD, shared his experience on the ongoing preparation of the Ukrainian Armed Forces for joining the NRF.
In the framework of the Mediterranean Dialogue, the MC discussed the progress of the ongoing development of the Alliance Maritime Strategy and the Maritime Security Operations Concept which can create good opportunities for cooperation among NATO and its Med Dialogue partners.
During the session in NATO-Ukraine Commission format, the Ukrainian CHOD presented measures and actions taken to implement the “State Programme of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Development for 2006-2011” under the current economic situation. The MC took stock of the progress made of the Ukrainian Defence Reform and encouraged Ukraine to continue with its transformation efforts.
Next, the Committee met with NATO Secretary General, H.E. Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who highlighted his priorities and views on NATO Operations, Transformation and Reform, and emphasized the need for an Alliance able to efficiently tackle future challenges having present financial constraints.
In line with the December 2009 Foreign Ministers meeting of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC), where it was agreed to revitalize NATO-Russia military-to-military cooperation, the Military Committee in NRC-format welcomed the Russian Chief of Defence, Gen. Makarov. All 29 members exchanged views on military cooperation and the way ahead for practical activities in the field of Logistics, Combatting Terrorism, Search and Rescue at Sea and Counter-Piracy. This discussion led to agreement of the “NRC-MR (Military Representatives) Framework for NATO-Russia Military-To-Military Cooperation” which will lead to a work plan of military cooperative activities. The next NRC-MR will take place in May 2010.
With regard to Afghanistan, the Military Committee was updated by Gen. McChrystal, on the implementation of the current strategy. In recognizing the validity of the strategy and fully endorsing the way it is being implemented by COMISAF, the CHODS of the 44 contributing Nations confirmed their concrete commitment to the operation. Afghan National Security Forces’ (ANSF) growth, in quality and quantity, was highlighted again in the discussion as key to the overall development of the country, along with a credible strong, effective governance. Regarding the regional approach, Pakistan Chief of the Army, General Kayani, briefed in depth the Committee on the Pakistani current strategy and on the ongoing operations against terrorism. Recognizing the necessity for continued cooperation with ISAF, he emphasized Pakistan’s role as a key enabler for success in Afghanistan.
Lastly, former US Secretary of State Dr. Madeleine Albright with her group of experts, informed the Military Committee on the progress being made with regard to the development of the New Strategic Concept. Specific focus was given to the military dimension of the Document.