Defense

May 18, 2012

NATO general outlines summit topics, alliance changes

Tags:
by Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

Danish Army Gen. Knud Bartels, chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, discusses alliance issues during a May 11 telephone interview from Brussels.

NATO’s plan for military operations in Afghanistan up to and beyond 2014 will be the top agenda item at the organization’s May 20-21 summit in Chicago, a senior NATO official said.

Afghan forces are to take the security lead in operations throughout their country by the end of 2014, while International Security Assistance Force troop-contributing nations withdraw combat forces and assign trainers.

The alliance is now reviewing the number of forces Afghanistan will need beyond 2014, and how much other countries will pay to sustain them, Danish Army Gen. Knud Bartels, chairman of the NATO Military Committee, said in Brussels May 11 during a telephone interview with American Forces Press Service.

While the Chicago summit will not be a funding meeting, several coalition nations have announced or are expected to announce their planned post-2014 monetary contributions for Afghan forces, Bartels said.

“There is substantial work ongoing on this issue,” he said. “Even though numbers have been circulating in the public and in the media, I think it’s too early to define with certainty at which level we will stabilize, in due time, the Afghan national security forces.”

Those forces are now surging and will soon reach the agreed-on cap of 352,000, Bartels noted.

“We’ll have to look at how we reduce in size, close to 2014,” he said, “and this, of course, will have to be correlated with the funding issue.”

Bartels said there will likely be “pretty strong indications coming out of Chicago” about NATO views on the question of future Afghan force size.

“What I expect out of Chicago is that the NATO nations and their partners in [the International Security Assistance Force] come to agreement as to how they see the strategy, post-2014, unfolding in relation to Afghanistan,” he said.

A number of nations, including France, Italy, Germany and the United States, have already signed bilateral strategic agreements with Afghanistan, Bartels said.

“You could say that the correlation of all those agreements [and] strategies will form the main part of the package … to support Afghanistan post-2014,” he said.

The general said the summit will also highlight NATO’s ongoing work to reshape the alliance’s military response capability. Much of what is needed to transform the organization has “already been taken care of,” he said, or is in progress. Changes include implementing a new command structure, adjusting the organization’s defense planning process, and extending the “smart defense” collaborative approach to buying and operating military equipment.

NATO will adopt a new, leaner and more-flexible command structure starting this year, Bartels said.

“We should be able to handle all types of operations,” he said. “It will also be smaller, and therefore make it possible for nations to [realize] savings, which can be reinvested in other areas.”

The alliance’s defense planning process, Bartels said, is designed to ensure that member nations bring the right forces to the group’s collective military formations.

“We are further refining that, and we may need to adjust that process,” he said.

NATO’s smart defense strategy aims to ensure the alliance can buy as much equipment as possible for the best-possible price and ensure interoperability, Bartels said.

“This will, of course, assist us to be able to cooperate on the future battlefield,” he said.

NATO forces in Afghanistan are well-trained, well-equipped and well-led for that specific operation, Bartels said.

“What the future will bring us – well, I don’t think any of us really knows,” he said. “Therefore we have to be ready to handle a broad spectrum of possible types of operation in the future.”

NATO needs to shape its force and equipment buys to support a “strong requirement” for side-by-side operations involving bigger forces, Bartels said. Future NATO military action will be joint and multinational, he noted, and preparing for that means changing mindsets and breaking paradigms to establish a collective approach to defense.

Bartels said he wants summit attendees and NATO leaders to keep in mind that service members are the foundation of the alliance’s success.

“We should never forget that the real work is being done by the men and women of the armed forces, deployed in operations,” he said. “I would like to … express my thanks to them for the work they’re doing.”




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


 
 

 

Headlines November 21, 2014

News: Dempsey lays groundwork for larger 2016 defense budget - The top U.S. military official on Wednesday made the case for growing the base defense budget significantly over the $535 billion spending cap imposed by Congress for fiscal 2015.   Business: Boeing can bill $61 million that Pentagon withheld for months - The Pentagon withheld $60.5 million...
 
 

News Briefs November 21, 2014

Obama aide: U.S. should look at Ukraine military aid A senior aide of President Barack Obama says he believes the U.S. should consider giving Ukraine lethal, defensive military assistance to get Russia to think twice about its destabilizing behavior. Tony Blinken, the deputy national security adviser, cites serious violations by Russia of agreements not to...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Divine Cox

Kunsan AB hosts Exercise Max Thunder 14-2

Air Force photograph by SrA. Divine Cox A South Korean air force F-15 Strike Eagle lands Nov. 17, 2014, during Max Thunder 14-2 at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea. U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy personnel and aircraft...
 

 
LM-facility

Lockheed Martin opens Surface Navy Innovation Center

Lockheed Martin has opened the Surface Navy Innovation Center in Moorestown, N.J., to support the development of new technologies for the U.S. Navy. The SNIC is a research, development and demonstration facility that brings tog...
 
 
raytheon-test

Raytheon successfully demonstrates integrated electronic warfare capabilities

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Raytheon, in collaboration with the U.S. Navy, successfully demonstrated an end to end, first of its kind, integrated electronic attack system during flight tests at the Naval Air Weapons Station Chi...
 
 

Three bases identified as F-16 aggressor candidate bases

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Joseph Swafford Jr. A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron lands at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 6 during RED FLAG-Alaska 15-1. RF-A is a series of Pacific Air Forces commander-directed field training exercises for U.S. and partner nation...
 




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>