| 6 December 2023, Wednesday |

NATO military chiefs discuss new regional defense plans

Preparing for the leaders’ summit to be held in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius in July, NATO military chiefs met on Wednesday.

The officials will discuss new regional plans that “provide a much more precise requirement for what is needed to help transform our militaries,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in his opening remarks.

With the new arrangements that are expected to be adopted by the NATO leaders in July, “allies will know exactly what forces and capabilities are needed, including where, what, and how to deploy,” he added.

These “geographically specific plans describe how we will defend key and relevant places in our alliance against” the threats of Russia and terrorism, Adm. Rob Bauer, the chair of the NATO Military Committee, explained.

“For the first time since the end of the Cold War, we will have objective, threat-based capability targets to offer to nations,” Bauer added.

Stoltenberg expressed hope that NATO heads of states and governments will show “political courage” at the Vilnius summit to adopt reforms, as the alliance must “redouble” its efforts to keep its 1 billion citizens safe and to uphold the rules-based international order as it prepares for “more dangerous future.”

“High-intensity warfare is back in Europe; global competition is rising, authoritarian regimes are challenging our values, interests and security,” while climate change and terrorism also remain significant threats, he added.

In order to meet new challenges, NATO leaders should agree on a new defense investment pledge that sees 2% of the gross domestic product (GDP) as a minimum investment, Stoltenberg asserted.

In addition, he said he expects leaders to “endorse the new NATO defense production action plan” to boost investment and production capacities in the allied countries.

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