Defense

May 9, 2012

Summit will deal with range of issues, NATO general says

by Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Afghanistan will dominate the NATO summit in Chicago later this month, but alliance leaders will deal with other issues as well, a senior NATO commander said May 8.

Gen. Stephane Abrial of the French air force told the Defense Writers Group the nations’ leaders also will deal with partnership capability, “smart defense” and other matters. Abrial is commander of NATO’s transformation command.

“On partnership, there will be a reaffirmation that NATO does not operate in isolation,” the general said. The alliance is keen to work more closely with all kinds of partners from other nations to international institutions to no-governmental organizations, he added.

The NATO-led actions in Libya are an example of the alliance working with non-NATO partners, such as the United Arab Emirates and the Arab League. NATO also works with the European Union to ensure that the two institutions work together smoothly, when needed.

How to work together with these disparate groups is part and parcel of the Allied Command Transformation mission, Abrial said.

On capabilities, the leaders will discuss the progress on decisions made at NATO’s 2010 summit in Lisbon, Portugal, including the smart defense initiative. Smart defense is about how the alliance will continue to develop and maintain the capabilities needed to fulfill its missions despite the new era of austerity.

Another initiative, “connected forces,” ensures that all forces can work well together. “The key word there is interoperability, and the three strands of that are training, exercises and technology,” Abrial said. “When I say capabilities, I don’t mean just a piece of equipment, but all aspects associated with it.”

This includes doctrine, leadership, facilities and much more, he explained, and these will be discussed in Chicago.

With a few exceptions, budgets across NATO are either steady or going down, the general said. “We expect this situation to be with us for quite a while … and therefore, it is very important we make the best possible use of every euro, dollar or pound that we get.”

The United States is reducing its defense budget, but there is no danger as yet that the U.S. military will not be able to operate across the full spectrum of operations, Abrial said. “This is not possible in Europe,” he added. “That is why when we look at smart defense, we look at ways to reduce the consequences of this austerity.”

Part of this is aligning national priorities with NATO needs. In other words, a nation may decide to specialize in detecting biohazards, for example. Since “Nation A” has this capability, “Nation B” does not have to develop it to the same extent. Both nations, therefore, save.

“Specialization does not mean we are going to say to anybody, ‘We must oblige you to do this and stop doing that,’” Abrial said. “We don’t have the mandate, authority or will to do that.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines October 1, 2014

Veterans: Substantial VA staff will face discipline - A substantial number of VA employees will face punishment for the veterans treatment scandal, the new national commander of the American Legion predicted Sept. 30, indicating that the slow pace of discipline has more to do with the hoops the department must jump through than it does a...
 
 

News Briefs October 1, 2014

Egypt president gives army control of arms imports The Egyptian president has amended a law, giving the country’s army control over weapons and ammunition imports. The Sept. 30 statement from the presidency says Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi changed articles stipulating that a permit for weapons’ imports has to be granted by the Interior Ministry, which is in...
 
 
atk-test

ATK successfully tests Orion launch abort motor igniter

NASA and ATK successfully completed a static test of the launch abort motor igniter for the Orion crew capsule’s Launch Abort System. Conducted at ATK’s facility in Promontory, Utah, this test is the next step towa...
 

 
uav-coalition

Small UAV coalition launched to advance commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles

Leading technology companies Oct. 1 formally announced the formation of the Small UAV Coalition to help pave the way for commercial, philanthropic, and civil use of small unmanned aerial vehicles in the United States and abroad...
 
 
Navy photograph

NAWCWD manned for unmanned systems

Navy photograph A rail launch is performed during Integrator unmanned aerial vehicle testing at Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division China Lake, Calif. Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division scientists, engineers, techn...
 
 
NASA photograph by Ken Ulbrich

NASA employees go ‘above and beyond’

Courtesy photograph NASA Chief Scientist Albion Bowers, Christopher Miller and Nelson Brown receive the Exception Engineering Achievement Medal at Armstrong Research Center, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The prestigious award ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>