Investing in the right capabilities, maintaining connected forces and deepening and widening cooperation with partners are key to shape a NATO which is able to meet future challenges said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the launch of his Annual Report on Monday (27 January 2014). “In September we will meet in Wales to shape Future NATO: an Alliance that is robust, rebalanced and ready to provide security for the next generation,” said the Secretary General.
In the Annual Report, which looked at what NATO achieved last year and set out the challenges for the year ahead, the Secretary General noted that NATO is now more effective and efficient than at any time in its history, but said that Allies will need to “maintain the momentum of transformation” at the Wales Summit.
Mr. Fogh Rasmussen said that NATO has already set out a strong foundation over the past few years, based on the guidance provided by the Strategic Concept, which advocates active engagement and modern defence. In 2013 NATO’s activities ranged from military operations to building relationships with partners and from efforts to acquire and preserve defence capabilities to ongoing reforms. “We continue to assure the security of our Allies by fulfilling our three core tasks: collective defence, crisis management, and cooperative security. Our operations in Afghanistan, Kosovo and off the coast of Somalia, and our Patriot deployment in Turkey are clear examples. Our forces are more capable and connected than ever before,” he said.
However, the Secretary General said the Alliance must invest in improving capabilities to deal with risks and challenges like terrorism, piracy, regional instability and missile and cyber attacks. He said that European Allies must play “their full part” in developing critical capabilities such as joint intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and missile defence. On maintaining connected forces, Mr. Fogh Rasmussen said that at the Wales Summit, Allies should commit to a broad programme of realistic exercises, training and education as part of NATO’s Connected Forces Initiative. Finally, Allies also need to look outwards, forging closer ties with partners, including helping those partners that need help to build and develop their security sectors. “We have a record of achievement in challenging operations, and world-wide partnerships and we are continuing to adapt to make NATO more agile and more efficient so that NATO remains an essential source of stability in an unpredictable world,” the Secretary General said.