Czech Gen. Petr Pavel, the chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, laid out an ambitious agenda for the 175th meeting of the committee here today.
Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, joined the chiefs of defense from 27 other NATO members to discuss NATO operations in Afghanistan, the challenges from Russia, operations in the Mediterranean, the threat of terrorism, cyberdefense and numerous other issues facing the alliance.
This was Army Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti’s first military committee meeting since becoming NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe, and it is the last meeting of the committee before the alliance’s Warsaw Summit in July.
Warsaw is very much on everyone’s mind. “Our discussions today provide an opportunity to establish a common understanding of recent developments in our constantly evolving security environment,” Pavel said. “We will identify the most important advice for our ministers and heads of state and government as NATO prepares for the Warsaw Summit.”
He said the alliance’s military leaders will discuss the need for full-spectrum capabilities to counter any current or future threats. “Our message is clear: NATO is and will remain the most powerful and successful military alliance in the world, and we will protect our values, our people and our territories,” The Czech general said.
Resolute Support Mission commander Army Gen. John “Mick” Nicholson will brief the military leaders on the train and equip efforts in Afghanistan and what will be needed in the future, Pavel said. “We will then debate how best to continue improving the effectiveness of the Afghan national defense and security forces,” he said. “[These forces] are essential to the stability of the Afghan state and a critical component in building the confidence of the Afghan people in their society.”
Improving interoperability -- both within the alliance and amongst alliance partners -- will be a special emphasis. Australian defense chief Air Marshal Mark Binskin will share his country’s experiences in building defense capacity, Pavel said. Binskin will be followed by NATO’s supreme allied commander for transformation, French Air Force Gen. Denis Mercier, who “will present the status and the way forward on the Individual Tailored Roadmaps that have been developed to deepen our partnerships and improve interoperability,” the general said.
The chiefs will end the day discussing the situation on the alliance’s eastern flank.
(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)