Defense

February 3, 2014

Hagel: Future requires renewed era of partnership

Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

In a changing security and fiscal environment, the Defense Department will seek to collaborate more closely with European allies, especially to help build the capabilities of other global partners, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said.

He and State Department Secretary John Kerry formed a panel in Munich, Germany, at the Munich Security Conference, which ended Feb. 2. The conference, a key gathering for the international strategic community, was called the Internationale Wehrkunde-Begegnung when it began in 1963. Wehrkunde, pronounced verkunda, literally translates as military science.

The afternoon panel addressed the need for a transatlantic renaissance that will tune defense partnerships, investments and international relationships to common threats that have become persistent, pressing and global.

Such threats, Hagel said in his opening remarks, emanate from political instability and violent extremism in the Middle East and North Africa, dangerous nonstate actors, rogue nations such as North Korea, cyber warfare, demographic changes, economic disparity, poverty and hunger.

China and Russia are modernizing their militaries and global defense industries, challenging the U.S. technological edge and its international defense partnerships, the secretary added, and the world will continue to grow more interconnected, complicated and in many cases combustible.

The challenges and choices before us will demand leadership that reaches into the future without stumbling over the present, Hagel said, adding that the United States and Europe must together meet this challenge of change.

With the U.S. transitioning off of a 13-year war footing, itís clear to the president and the nation that the future demands an enhanced era of partnership with U.S. friends and allies, especially in Europe, the secretary added.

U.S. and European budget constraints make it necessary for both partners to invest more strategically, protecting military capability and readiness, Hagel said, to share burdens and opportunities.

The Defense Departmentís strategy and defense investments will make clear that the United States sees Europe as its indispensable partner in addressing the new threats, challenges and opportunities, he added, and NATO is the centerpiece of the transatlantic defense partnership.

A key theme of the upcoming DOD Quadrennial Defense Review will be the need for the military to place even greater strategic emphasis on working with allies and partners around the world in a changing security and fiscal environment, the secretary said.

The Department of Defense will work closely with our alliesí different and individual strengths and capabilities, from the training of indigenous forces to more advanced combat missions, Hagel said.

Promising new initiatives include Germanyís Framework Nations concept, in which clusters of nations are responsible for different defense areas of competence. Such a distribution of effort, the secretary said, could help NATO plan and invest more efficiently.

In Africa, the U.S. military and European allies are partners in combating violent extremism and working alongside U.S. diplomats to avert humanitarian catastrophes, he added.

In Mali and the Central African Republic, U.S. and European partners are providing specialized enablers such as air transport and refueling. Weíre there to support a leading operational role for French forces, Hagel said.

The United States has supported Franceís leadership and efforts, he added, and we welcome German Minister [Ursula] von der Leyenís recent proposal to increase German participation in both [African] countries.

The United States and its allies must work more closely with African nations to help them build their own security forces and institutions, Hagel noted.

A more collaborative approach to global security challenges calls for U.S. and allied defense establishments to cooperate on operational and strategic levels, he said.

We are working with Ö the United Kingdom and Australia, building closer collaboration between our militaries across a range of areas, from force development to force posture, the secretary said. He noted as an example the United Statesí assistance to the United Kingdom as they regenerate their aircraft carrier capability to enable more integrated operation of U.S. advanced F-35 fighters and enhance both nationsí shared ability to project power.

Last year, he added, an Australian Army officer became deputy commanding general of U.S. Army forces in the Pacific, helping connect U.S. and Australian forces more strategically with other allies and partners in the region.

Hagel said such collaboration offers a model for closer integration with other allies and partners, including NATO as a whole, and will influence U.S. strategic planning and future investments.

Sustaining and enhancing these cooperative efforts will require shared commitment and shared investment on both sides of the Atlantic, he said. That includes the United Statesí commitment to a strong military posture in Europe.

As the U.S. force structure draws down after the long war in Afghanistan, posture adjustments to meet new challenges include efforts such as responding to elevated threats to U.S. diplomatic facilities in North Africa and the Middle East, the secretary said.

We have partnered with Spain to position U.S. Marines in MorÛn, and we have put other forces throughout the region on heightened alert status. These forces not only enable us to respond to crises or support ongoing operations but they also expand our diplomatic options, he added.
And amid recent violence in South Sudan, Hagel said, the rapid availability of nearby forces allowed American diplomats to remain on the ground and help broker a ceasefire.

Another important posture enhancement is European missile defense in response to ballistic missile threats from Iran, he added.

Over the last two days Iíve been in Poland, where I affirmed the United Statesí commitment to deploying missile defense architecture there as part of Phase Three of our European Phased Adaptive Approach, the secretary said.

Yesterday afternoon the guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook left the United States for Rota, Spain, he added, where over the next two years three more missile-defense capable destroyers will join the Cook.

Despite fiscal constraints, the budget we will release next month fully protects our investment in European missile defense. Our commitment to Europe is unwavering. Our values and our interests remain aligned, Hagel said.

In his State of the Union address this week, President Barack Obama called the U.S. alliance with Europe the strongest the world has ever known.

Still, the most successful and effective collective security alliance in history requires continued strong and visionary leadership, attention, resources and commitment, the secretary said, adding that 50 years from now, in 2064, there will still be a Wehrkunde, and there will still be a strong and enduring transatlantic alliance.




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


 
 

 

Headlines December 19, 2014

News: SpaceX’s attempt to land rocket on floating barge postponed - It’s set to be one of the most groundbreaking moments in humanity’s six decades of space exploration. Obama signs $1.1 trillion spending bill into law - President Obama signed the $1.1 trillion federal spending measure into law Dec. 16, officially ending any threat of a government...
 
 

News Briefs December 19, 2014

Trial set for ex-Navy engineer in military secrets case A former Navy civilian engineer is scheduled to stand trial next summer on charges of trying to steal aircraft carrier schematics. Media outlets report that 35-year-old Mostafa Awwad of Yorktown, Va., pleaded not guilty Dec. 17 to two counts of attempted exportation of defense articles and...
 
 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Army to launch cruise missile-detecting aerostat at Aberdeen Proving Ground

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez The Army plans to launch an aerostat, part of the “Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor,” in late December 2014. The JLENS aerostat will be tethered to the...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Jordan Castelan

AF delivers Iraqi F-16s for training in US

Air Force photograph by SrA. Jordan Castelan Iraqi air force captain Hama conducts preflight inspections while inside a new to service Iraqi F-16 Fighting Falcon Dec. 17, 2014, located at the nearby Tucson International Airport...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Derek VanHorn

Short-notice: A new way to exercise

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Derek VanHorn Airmen from Kadena Air Base, Japan, prepare for an aeromedical evacuation exercise on a KC-135 Stratotanker Dec. 5, 2014, at Misawa Air Base, Japan. The operation was executed in supp...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Andy Wolfe

Japan, Australia to provide F-35 maintenance sites in Pacific region

Lockheed Martin photograph by Andy Wolfe An F-35C Lightning II joint strike fighter carrier variant prepares to launch from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the Pacific Ocean, Nov. 6, 2014. Japan and Australia will be sharing...
 




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>