Defense

May 15, 2012

NATO summit to focus on Afghanistan, missile defense

by Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Afghanistan will top the agenda items at the upcoming NATO Summit in Chicago as coalition members consider an agreement on a long-term strategic partnership that promotes security and stability there, NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe reported.

“What I am hoping to see is a commitment to resourcing the Afghan national security forces post-2014,” Navy Adm. James G. Stavridis said of the May 20-21 summit, which will include the 28 NATO heads of state and government representatives from many of the 50 nations that make up the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

“I am fairly confident we will see that, and I think that will be the key to long-term success,” Stavridis said during an interview with the Pentagon Channel and American Forces Press Service.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen considers a long-term strategic partnership with Afghanistan to be a high-level goal, Stavridis told Congress in March.

“Everything I can see around the circuit on the NATO side indicates a strong willingness to go forward,” he told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “And I believe we will have an enduring partnership between NATO and the republic of Afghanistan.”

Missile defense will be another major summit issue, the admiral said, with the announcement that the new missile defense system has reached interim operational capability. This interim system, the first phase of the new U.S.-based European Phased Adaptive Approach Missile Defense System, will be integrated with the NATO command-and-control system to begin standing up the NATO missile defense system, he said.

Looking to the future, Stavridis said he anticipates more discussion of “smart defense” – essentially pooling capabilities in light of shrinking defense budgets confronting all the NATO members.

“As we face these financial pressures today, clearly we need to, in any alliance, come together in efficient ways so we can … generate capability for reasonable amounts of money,” he said.

Stavridis, who also commands U.S. European Command, noted missile defense as an example of financial burden-sharing that provides collective defense. Another is the Baltic air policing mission, in which NATO member nations rotate their fighter jets to defend the airspace over Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia.

Summit participants also will discuss progress on a new alliance ground surveillance system that will give commanders a comprehensive picture of the situation on the ground. NATO’s operation to protect civilians in Libya drove home the importance of such a system, Stavridis said. As a result, 13 allies plan to procure a variant of the Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle and the associated command-and-control base stations and to operate them on behalf of all NATO members, he reported.

Stavridis said he hopes the members will discuss the pooling of resources in other areas such as special operations and cyber in which pooled arrangements would benefit the alliance.

While not necessarily a top agenda item, the apparent inability of some NATO partners to spend 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense as agreed is likely to come up during the summit. Only six members, including the United States, Great Britain and France, currently meet that goal.

Economic and fiscal pressures have caused many European states to reduce their budgets, and Stavridis expressed concern that the situation could adversely impact military readiness.

“We, the United States and its partners who are spending that amount of money, … need to keep pressure on those who are not, so they meet those minimum levels of spending,” he said.




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


 
 

 
Sensor Concepts Inc. photograph

Air Force Research Labís handheld imaging tool expands aircraft inspection capability

Sensor Concepts Inc. photograph An operator demonstrates the portability of the handheld imaging tool. The technology provides maintainers the ability to evaluate aircraft in the field to ensure mission-readiness. When pilots c...
 
 
MDA photograph

Missile Defense System performs successful flight test

MDA photograph Three short-range ballistic missile targets are launched from NASAís Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Va., in support of Flight Test Other-19 on Feb. 24, 2015. The Missile Defense Agency and sailors aboa...
 
 
Army photograph by Sgt. Sara Wakai

Female soldier successfully completes 2nd pre-Ranger course

Army photograph by Sgt. Sara Wakai Soldiers cool down after a two-mile run with their assigned weapons, before participating in an obstacle course on Fort Benning, Ga., Feb. 7, 2015, as part of the Ranger Training Assessment Co...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Sheila deVera

AF marks first RQ-4 non-military base landing

Air Force photograph by Sheila deVera A U.S. Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk prepares to land Feb. 21, 2015, at Avalon Airport in Victoria, Australia, marking the first historic landing in Australia in preparation for the 2015 Austr...
 
 
Army photograph by Kevin Jackson

New process to save Army money, yield cheaper rounds

Army photograph by Kevin Jackson Yates Funburg operates the automated inert fill station, which dispenses high-density cement to the required level in the 155 mm M1122 high explosive training munition being manufactured at McAl...
 
 
NASA photograph

NASA test fires new rocket with Army-developed igniter motor

NASA photograph Marshall technicians place the Peregrine motor in a test stand. When the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center test fired the Peregrine rocket, Feb. 10, members of the local Army research and development community w...
 




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>