Updated: 07-May-2010 IMS News Release

Eng. / Fr.

6 May 2010


Chiefs of Defence discuss
operations, transformation, resources

From the event
NATO Military Committee in Chiefs of Defence session - 5-6 May 2010

NATO HQ, Brussels 05-06 May 2010 – NATO’s Military Committee Chairman, Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, chaired two days of meetings with 49 Chiefs of Defence from NATO and Partners nations, and Non-NATO Troop-Contributing countries, to evaluate NATO’s operations, and to discuss transformation, cooperation and reform.

NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Operations, Admiral James Stavridis, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, General Stéphane Abrial, and the Chairman of the EU Military Committee, General Hakan Syrén, also attended the meetings.

During the KFOR non-NATO Troop-Contributing Nations session, the Chiefs of Defence were briefed by Adm. Stavridis and by Mr. De Kermabon, Head of EULEX, the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo. Admiral Fitzgerald, Commander of NATO’s Joint Force Command Naples, and Lt. General Markus Bentler, Commander KFOR, also participated in the discussions via a VTC link. KFOR’s move to deterrent posture is progressing well. This process, however, is condition-based and not time driven. Close and effective coordination between KFOR, EULEX, Kosovo Police and local institutions continue to be key for the development of lasting stability.

With regard to NATO’s counter-piracy operation, Ocean Shield, which has been extended to 2012, the achievements and successes of NATO’s efforts against piracy in 2009 and during the first months of 2010, coordinated with the EU and other international actors, has had a positive effect so far. However, it was recognised that further progress will also require building regional counter-piracy capacities: the long term solution cannot be found through maritime operations alone.

Chiefs of Defence also looked into ways to make Operation “Active Endeavour”, NATO’s maritime surveillance and escort operation in the fight against terrorism, more cost effective, by focussing on enhanced intelligence and information sharing among NATO Nations and Partners.

Concerning NATO’s Training Mission in Iraq (NTM-I), important achievements have been made, particularly in the establishment of the Iraqi Federal Police.  There is, however, a continuing need for contributions from NATO nations in terms of resources and expertise, in support of Iraq’s  Security Forces, which will contribute to regional stability.

Supreme Commander Transformation, Gen. Abrial, discussed with the Committee ways to develop capabilities and training and to deepen cooperation with security partners in order to improve the comprehensive approach to operations.

Chiefs of Defence also examined the impact and risks of the current financial crisis, specifically with regard to NATO’s capabilities, missions and structures. They acknowledged the need for a proper balance between requirements and resources.

In NATO-Russia Council (NRC) with Military Representatives’ session, all 29 Chiefs of Defence approved the NRC-MR Work Plan for 2010 and expressed the will and ambition to bring NATO-Russia military-to-military cooperation to a higher level over the next year.

Ukraine Chief of Defence, Army General Ivan Svyda, informed the Committee on the progress of Ukraine’s Defence Reform efforts in the framework of their Annual National Programme. Chiefs of Defence particularly praised Ukraine’s contribution and commitment to NATO missions, and to the NATO Response Force.

The Committee also welcomed Georgia’s contribution of over 750 troops to ISAF in Helmand Province, which makes Georgia the 2nd largest troop-contributing NATO Partner. Views were exchanged with Major General Devi Chankotadze, Georgian Chief of Defence, on further NATO support to the transformation and reform process of the Georgian armed forces.

During the second day of meetings, the Military Committee met with ISAF Non-NATO Troop-Contributing Countries, and was updated by ISAF Commander, General McChrystal and by the Senior Civilian Representative, Ambassador Sedwill, by VTC link, on the results of the current strategy. They were joined by Gen. Bismullah Mohammadi, the Afgan Chief of Defence and LTGen. Mohammad Munir Mangal, Head of the Afghan Police, whose participation added particular insight to the better understanding of the current development of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). In this regard, the Military Committee welcomed the pledge, by several Nations, to provide further contributions to the training of the ANSF. 

Finally, NATO Secretary-General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen joined the Chiefs of Defence for informal discussions, where he outlined his objectives for NATO transformation and reform.

In closing the meetings, Admiral Di Paola underlined the importance for NATO’s military leadership to provide high-level advice to the North Atlantic Council, and timely direction to NATO’s Strategic Commanders. 

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