‘Biggest NATO Reinforcement Since Cold War’ To Be Focus Of Warsaw Summit – Stoltenberg
The following is an excerpt from rt.com | July 4, 2016 |
NATO members will agree to “further enhance military presence in the eastern part of the alliance” at the upcoming summit in Warsaw, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said, adding the alliance will see its “biggest reinforcement since the Cold War.”
“We will deploy four robust, multinational battalions to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. I welcome Canada’s recent announcement that it will lead one of these four battalions,” Stoltenberg said at a pre-summit press event.
“We will also agree to develop a tailored presence in the southeast, based on a multinational brigade in Romania,” he added.
NATO’s collective defense will be enhanced further through the recognition of cyberspace “as an operational domain, alongside air, land and sea,” Stoltenberg said, adding that the ‘Cyber Defense Pledge’ will increase the alliance’s resilience.
A new Intelligence Division within NATO Headquarters will help to make the “right decisions at the right time” and will counter modern challenges including meeting “hybrid and terrorist threats,” Stoltenberg said.
NATO is also preparing to boost spending on defense.
“We expect a real increase of 3 percent in defense spending by European allies and Canada. This amounts to $US8 billion,” Stoltenberg said, specifying that 22 allies will increase military expenditure in real terms.
Another topic of the NATO summit will be “stability beyond our borders,” the secretary general said.
“When our neighbors are more stable, we are more secure,” he said, including Iraq as a NATO “neighbor” that is in need of help against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), and identifying Afghanistan as the alliance’s “largest operation” until at least 2020.
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