We conclude our two part summary of NATO’s “2014 Annual Report of the Secretary General” by examining NATO’s plans for the near future.
CHAPTER 2 – Investing in defence
At the NATO Summit in Wales, Allies agreed the Readiness Action Plan to strengthen NATO’s collective defence and a defence investment pledge to strengthen Allies’ ability to fund sustained defence efforts. They also approved a defence planning package and set priorities related to training, equipment and technology to ensure that NATO forces are properly prepared and equipped for whatever challenge may come.
Defence investment pledge
In Wales, NATO leaders pledged to stop the cuts to defence budgets, to increase investment as economies recover, to make the most effective use of available funds, and to strive for a more balanced sharing of the costs and responsibilities of their common defence. This is the first time NATO Heads of State and Government have made this kind of commitment.
In 2006, Allies agreed voluntary targets for defence spending: 2% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) should be allocated to defence expenditures, while 20% of those expenditures should be dedicated to research, development and acquisition of major defence equipment. In the defence investment pledge, Allies affirmed that those countries already meeting these targets would continue to do so and that those below would halt any decline, aim to increase defence expenditure in real terms as GDP grows, and aim to move towards the 2% and 20% targets within a decade.The pledge was needed because the amount of resources dedicated by Allies to defence has been on a steady decline since the end of the Cold War. In 1990, the 14 European Allies spent USD 314 billion on defence in real terms. By 2010, defence spending in NATO Europe had dropped to USD 275 billion, despite 12 additional European countries having joined the Alliance. In 2014, it is estimated that European members of NATO spent USD 250 billion on defence. The cuts to defence expenditures…diminish the options available to the Alliance and reduce the extent to which Allies equitably share responsibilities…
Developing the right capabilities
…In Wales, Allies agreed on priorities that include enhancing and reinforcing training and exercises, improving command and control structures, Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, ballistic missile defence, and cyber defence. They emphasised the importance of multinational cooperation, which allows for significant operational and cost benefits. They also affirmed the importance of inclusive, sustainable, innovative and globally competitive defence industries on both sides of the Atlantic.
NATO Forces 2020
… NATO Forces 2020 establishes the goal of developing modern, tightly connected forces that are equipped, trained, exercised and commanded to operate together and with partners in any environment…
NATO Air Command and Control System
NATO’s systems for air command and control, along with national systems within NATO European territory, track all civilian and military aircraft in NATO airspace over continental Europe, providing 24-hour surveillance of the skies. NATO is upgrading a variety of NATO and national systems with the NATO Air Command and Control System (ACCS)…
Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance
…In May, the Alliance held the largest JISR trial in its history… The trial, which took place in Norway, tested NATO’s ability to gather information and synthesise intelligence from multiple sources at different stages of a crisis. With satellites, aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, naval vessels, ground sensors and human intelligence from 18 Allies, the trial demonstrated significant progress and provided important feedback that will bring NATO closer to achieving its target of initial operational capability at the end of 2016…
Ballistic missile defence
As part of NATO’s commitment to collective defence, Allies agreed in 2010 to extend NATO’s ballistic missile defence (BMD) capability to provide coverage and protection of all NATO European populations, territory and forces. Since then, work has been underway to acquire and develop the equipment and infrastructure needed to make this capacity fully operational. In 2014, NATO’s BMD was made more robust through additional national voluntary contributions as well as further refined command and control arrangements and procedures. During 2014, two US BMD-capable Aegis vessels arrived at their new home port in Rota, Spain, and two more vessels will arrive in 2015. These ships have advanced sensor capabilities and interceptor missiles that can detect and shoot down ballistic missiles. Deployment of the land-based version of these capabilities, Aegis Ashore, in Deveselu, Romania is on track for completion in 2015. A second Aegis Ashore site will be established in Poland in 2018.
As the Alliance looks to the future, cyber threats and attacks will continue to become more common, sophisticated and potentially damaging. Responding to the evolving challenges in the cyber domain, NATO leaders endorsed an Enhanced NATO Policy on Cyber Defence and a Cyber Defence Action Plan at the Summit in Wales in September. Building on the accomplishments of previous NATO cyber defence policies, the 2014 policy reflects the evolution of the threat landscape, technological environment, and broader international approach to the issue. The policy establishes that cyber defence is part of the Alliance’s core task of collective defence, confirms that international law applies in cyberspace, and intensifies NATO’s cooperation with industry. In 2014, NATO systems registered over 3,000 cyber security events. The top priority of NATO cyber defence is the protection of the communications systems owned and operated by NATO. To this end, NATO has invested in its NATO Computer Incident Response Capability (NCIRC). In May 2014, NCIRC reached full operational capability, expanding the protection of NATO networks to 52 locations.
NATO’s efforts to counter terrorism include…New standards were introduced for armoured vehicle protection and the testing of jammers against radio-controlled improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Through a voluntary national contribution fund, NATO members supported activities related to future detection technologies, a prototype database to support countermeasure development against radio-controlled IEDs, and training for counter-IED operators. NATO also adopted a new doctrine of route clearance, incorporating lessons learned by NATO countries in different theatres, including Afghanistan, and adapting surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to new technologies. Other aspects of technological advancement to counter terrorism include work to better protect large aircraft through infra-red counter-measures, as well as a planning tool to support harbour protection called “Safe Port”.
Defence and Related Security Capacity Building
NATO is bolstering its existing partnership tools with the creation of the Defence and Related Security Capacity Building Initiative [which] seeks to reinforce cooperation in two broad areas of activity. The first area involves advice on defence reform and institution building, including national security architecture, policy and defence planning. The second involves defence capabilities and the development of local forces, usually focused on education and training over an extended period of time. This initiative differs from other partnership tools because it focuses primarily on short-term stability efforts. NATO has extended invitations to Georgia, Jordan and the Republic of Moldova and is ready to consider requests from other interested countries – partner or non-partner – and organisations. In December, Iraq requested consideration as part of this new initiative. And when conditions permit, NATO is also ready to provide defence and related security capacity advisory support for Libya.
Throughout the recent crisis in the East, NATO has shown strong political support for Ukraine and its freedom to decide its own future. At the Wales Summit in September, NATO Heads of State and Government met Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, sending a strong political message of NATO’s unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and for the rules-based Euro-Atlantic security order. Allies are also reinforcing their advisory presence at the NATO offices in Kyiv and will continue to promote the development of greater interoperability between Ukrainian and NATO forces.
Within the framework of the Distinctive Partnership with Ukraine that was agreed in 1997, NATO has increased its practical support to the country as the crisis developed. Measures include a number of immediate and short-term actions to help Ukraine cope with the current crisis, as well as longer-term measures geared towards capacity building, capability development, and reform of the armed forces and the security sector.
In this context, Allies launched five new trust funds to support command, control, communications and computers (C4), logistics and standardization, cyber defence, military career transition and the rehabilitation of injured military personnel. These trust funds add to NATO’s support for existing programmes on defence education, professional development, security sector governance and security-related scientific cooperation. In 2014, Ukraine was the number one beneficiary of the Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme, with 15 new projects and an estimated Euro 10 million budget for the 2014- 2017 period.
Four partner countries aspire to NATO membership: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
At the Summit in Wales, NATO leaders agreed to launch a period of “intensified and focused talks” with Montenegro to address the remaining issues with regard to the country’s membership aspirations. Montenegro’s progress will be assessed no later than the end of 2015 with a view to deciding whether to invite the country to join the Alliance.
NATO leaders also agreed to develop a substantial package of measures with Georgia to help the country prepare for future NATO membership. The measures aim to strengthen the country’s capabilities through defence capacity building, training, exercises and enhanced interoperability opportunities.
An invitation to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia will be extended after a mutually acceptable solution to the issue over the country’s name is reached within the framework of the United Nations.
NATO will continue working with Bosnia and Herzegovina to pursue the reforms needed to meet NATO standards. This principally involves registering immovable defence properties as state property in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
A wide network of partnerships around the globe
NATO’s cooperation with partners spans the globe, with countries volunteering expertise and know-how from different continents in a joint effort to resolve common security concerns.
In the Asia-Pacific in 2014, Japan became the fifth partner in the region to sign an Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme (IPCP) after Mongolia, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea and Australia. The IPCP, which was signed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in May 2014, focuses on areas including disaster relief, cyber defence, counter-piracy, and interoperability. Australia, Mongolia and New Zealand were recognised as contributors to the Resolute Support Mission, through which NATO will provide training, advice and assistance in Afghanistan.
NATO pursued outreach with other countries in the region, such as China, to discuss issues of common interest including Afghanistan and counter-piracy. The Alliance also remained engaged in informal regional meetings on security including the Shangri-La Dialogue, the Jakarta Defence Dialogue and the Seoul Defence Dialogue.
NATO established a partnership with Iraq in 2012 to help the country build more effective security forces. The partnership includes cooperation in the areas of political dialogue, education and training, response to terrorism, defence institution building and border security, among others. With the Iraqi government’s request at the end of 2014, the Alliance is considering additional cooperation and support within the framework of the new Defence and Related Security Capacity Building Initiative.