WASHINGTON: NATO will increase its collective funding fund for command and control throughout the alliance, says Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. Yesterday’s deal comes at a time when the US is pressuring allies to back its evolving strategy for all network-centric domain operations in the global war with Russia and China.
“Increasing mutual funds will allow us to do more command and control together, more exercises, higher preparedness, invest in critical infrastructure and much more,” he told the Defense Writers Group. breakfast.
IN summit communiqué issued yesterday, the meeting of 30 NATO heads of state in Brussels agreed to increase NATO “joint funding” starting in 2023. Additional funding – the amount of which has not been disbursed – was created to support a ” New Strategic Guidance “to guide the future of NATO the latest operations and technologies (such as AI and big data analysis) needed to implement that reorientation.
NATO mutual funds, amounting to around € 2.5 billion a year, are provided by member nations in a cost-sharing scheme based on Gross National Income and spent on infrastructure and collective capabilities – such as early warning from air – that would be too expensive to afford any individual ally. The funds are divided into three separate budget baskets, according to the NATO website: “Civilian budget (NATO headquarters flow expenses), military budget (costs of the integrated command structure) and NATO security investment program (military infrastructure and certain capabilities).” Additional contributions to joint group-funded efforts, in cash and in kind, may also be made by similar member groups.
New Strategic Concept
NATO leaders plan to sign the updated Strategic Instruction at the 2022 Madrid summit, said Stoltenberg, who will lead the effort. While he would not back down from the details of not anticipating member states’ discussion, he made clear the new approach needed to reflect an increasingly militant Russia and the rise of China as a military power with global ambitions.
“The need to update the Strategic Concept reflects that the world has changed since the last time we agreed on the Strategic Concept, which was in 2010,” he said.
This was the first NATO meeting to clearly identify China as a threat to all members. “China ‘s stated ambitions and affirmative behavior pose systemic challenges to the international order based on rules and areas important to the security of the alliance,” the summit communiqué said.
NATO’s agreement to refocus its collective strategy comes as the US prepares to finalize a new Joint Combat Concept, which focuses on overcoming the high-tech threats that will arise in conflicts with fellow adversaries. . This concept in turn relies heavily on DoD’s new All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) strategy for networking and managing high-speed military operations in all five battlefields: land, sea, air , space and cyberspace. The JADC2 strategy was recently adopted by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and includes an incentive to integrate allies into the future meta network – what military leaders sometimes refer to as the JADC2 Combined.
Russia: From Strategic Partnership to “Difficult Relationship”
When the latest Strategic Concept of the alliance was signed, Stoltenberg said, “we really hoped to work for a strategic partnership with Russia … this is not the case now. We see a pattern of behavior from Russia – aggressive actions against neighbors – so it was [necessary] to change the language and message for Russia. ”
“Russia continues to violate the values, principles, beliefs and commitments outlined in the agreed documents supporting NATO-Russia relations,” the summit communiqué said. “We have suspended all practical civil and military cooperation with Russia, while remaining open to political dialogue. Until Russia demonstrates compliance with international law and its international obligations and responsibilities, there can be no return to ‘business as usual’. “
Still, Stoltenberg strongly supported the Biden administration’s efforts to revive more constructive US-Russia dialogue and the new US commitment to nuclear weapons control efforts as risk-reduction measures.
“Even if we do not believe in that better relationship in the near or foreseeable future, we must manage a difficult relationship with Russia to address the risk,” he said, noting that “when we have more military presence, there is a risk for example that accidents could get out of control. “
NATO must also work with Russia on nuclear weapons control, and that is why the allies “very much welcome the extension of the New Start agreement,” he added. “We, as allies, welcome and support that President Biden will meet with President Putin. . For us, dialogue is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength. So President Biden has a NATO united behind him when he meets with President Putin on Wednesday. ”
China is approaching big
While Stoltenberg was cautious in his language, he stressed that the new Strategic Concept should take into account potential threats from Beijing.
“China is not mentioned in a single word in the current Strategic Concept,” he said. “In one [way] or else, I’m absolutely sure that China will be reflected, and the challenges that China poses will be reflected. “
That said, he reiterated the language of the summit communiqué about the need for NATO nations to engage with China – a sign that not all NATO members are happy with China’s portrayal as an adversary. However, it is clear that NATO members and other European countries are increasingly unhappy with what Western leaders see as an unstoppable push by Beijing to change the international order in its favor.
France and the EU, for example, have begun strategic reviews with a cautious eye on China.
In an important symbol of this growing concern, the White House announced today that the US and the European Union agreed today in Brussels to suspend the 16-year tariff dispute between Boeing and Airbus for five years. (Many, but not all, 27 EU members are also members of NATO.)
“Today’s announcement resolves a long-standing trade irritant in US-Europe relations,” US Trade Representative Katherine Tai told reporters this morning. “Instead of fighting one of our closest allies, we are finally uniting against a common threat. We agreed to work together to challenge and challenge Chinas non-market practices in this sector in specific ways that reflect our standards of fair competition. This includes cooperation in domestic and foreign investment and technology transfer. ”
Investing in New Technology
The agreement to strengthen NATO mutual funds was mainly driven by a March 2020 Science and Technology Trends 2020-2040: Exploring the S&T Edge report from the Science and Technology Organization of the alliance. It identifies eight “evolving and disruptive technologies (EDT)” that will change the nature of war and that NATO must embrace to stand up to threats.
They include artificial intelligence (AI), big data analytics, and autonomy – all critical building blocks for JADC2. Also included are space technologies, hypersonic and quantum technologies that will support globalized warfare.
The S&T report explains that over the next 20 years, “four comprehensive features can be expected to define many key advanced military technologies: ‘intelligent’, ‘interconnected’, ‘distributed’ and ‘digital’. (Hmm, channeling) former U.S. Air Force acquisition will Will Roper, perhaps?)
“Technologies with these characteristics will increase the operational and organizational effectiveness of the Alliances through: developing a knowledge and decision advantage; using reliable emergency data sources; increasing the effectiveness of network capabilities in all operational areas and energy instruments. “and adapting to a future security environment, packed with cheap, distributed and globally available technologies,” the S&T report said.
Sensors: Replacement of AWACS; Drone
NATO Joint Funding currently supports two major programs: the NATO Early Warning and Control Force (NAEW & C Force) and the new (former) Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system. .
NAEW & C, which is one of the few military assets owned and fully operated by NATO, is based on a fleet of 14 Boeing E-3A (AWACS) older aircraft. The fleet is currently undergoing a $ 1 billion update, but NATO intends to retire AWACS in 2035.
In 2020, six transatlantic firms and consortia offered conceptual proposals for a replacement effort – with the alliance considering moving away from an aircraft solution to a distributed network of sensors, according to a report by college Valerie Insinna. According to NATO website, the next step is a “new competition” to be launched this year “for a second round of in-depth industry advice, worth up to 90 million Euros” (about $ 100 million).
The AGS is based on a fleet of five NATO RQ-4D Phoenix remotely piloted aircraft, derived from the US Air Force Block 40 Global Hawk
In evidence of how difficult it is for NATO to make joint purchases, the alliance agreed as early as 1992 that NATO needed to possess and operate a “full and integrated ground surveillance capability that would provide the Alliance and its member countries unrestricted and unfiltered access to ground surveillance data in real time and in an interoperable manner. ”
After a number of twists and turns, a group of 15 allies finally decided to buy drones and “European-source ground command and control stations”. according to the NATO website.The 15 supporters are: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United States. The initial operation capability of the AGS was finally declared in February.
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