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Author: Subject: NATO, and all of its ramifications
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[*] posted on 15-2-2020 at 01:10 PM


German government updates national defence industry strategy

Sebastian Schulte, Cologne - Jane's Defence Industry

14 February 2020

German industrial protectionism at its best.....

Germany's Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier announced on 12 February an update to the country's defence and security industry strategy, which introduces the classification of naval surface shipbuilding and the broad spectrum of cyber technologies as national key technologies.

Presented in a nine-page strong paper, this latest strategy consolidates and substitutes both the national defence industry strategy (2015) and the national civilian security industry strategy (2016) papers.

"With the new strategy, we're about to strengthen Germany's and Europe's defence and security industry. We want to retain and stimulate both industrial key capabilities, as well as strategically relevant development capacities, nationally and on the EU level," Altmaier was quoted.

(137 of 405 words)
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[*] posted on 18-2-2020 at 12:28 PM


NATO Chief Rejects Macron Call to Put French Nukes at Center of European Strategy

(Source: Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty; issued Feb 16, 2020)

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg dismissed calls by French President Emmanuel Macron to put France’s nuclear deterrence at the center of European defense strategy, saying the United States and Britain already provide an effective security umbrella.

"We have to remember that we have a European nuclear deterrent today -- 28 allies deliver that every day and it's not only a promise, but it's something that has been there for decades," Stoltenberg told reporters at the Munich Security Conference on February 15.

"It's tried and tested, we exercise it, and it's institutionalized, and it is the ultimate security guarantee for Europe," said Stoltenberg, who also called France a "highly valued ally" whose nuclear capabilities contributed to NATO's overall security.

Macron has been pushing for an overhaul of European Union security and defense matters in response to Brexit -- Britain's departure from the bloc.

Following Brexit, France is the only EU nation with a nuclear arsenal, and Macron has pressed for European "strategic autonomy" -- the ability to defend the continent without relying on Washington, although he has stated his commitment to NATO.

In a key speech last week, Macron called for dialogue among EU countries about what role the French nuclear deterrent could play as he called for a "surge" in European defense spending.

France is a NATO member but does not make its atomic weapons available to the alliance. It has long prided itself on its independent nuclear deterrent.

Germany has particularly opposed an increased reliance on France’s stockpile as a deterrence, seeing the U.S. nuclear umbrella as a key to its security.

"The issue is not for Europeans to know whether they must defend themselves with or without Washington," Macron said during his February 7 speech. "But our security derives also, inevitably, from a greater capacity by Europeans to act autonomously."

"To build the Europe of tomorrow, our norms can't be under American control. Our infrastructure, our ports and airports can't be controlled by Chinese capital, neither can our digital networks be under Russian pressure," he said.

At the Munich event, Macron reiterated those sentiments, saying, "We need a European strategy that renews us and turns us into a strategic political power."

-ends-
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[*] posted on 18-2-2020 at 04:35 PM


Europeans crank up defense spending amid doubts over US backing

By: Sebastian Sprenger   2 days ago


Members of the German Army (Bundeswehr) load a U.S. howitzer from a rail car onto a heavy-goods transporter at the Bergen Hohne training facility as part of preparations for the U.S.-led Defender 2020 international military exercises on Feb. 12, 2020, near Bergen, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Koerner/Getty Images)

MUNICH – European nations are spending more on defense as they harbor doubts about America's commitment to the continent despite the US troop presence here, according to a new study by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Countries here spent $289 billion in 2019, which is 4.2 percent more than in 2018. Within that budget, the share of new investments grew to 23.1 percent from 19.8 percent, analysts wrote in their annual study on global defense capabilities, dubbed “Military Balance 2020” and released at the Munich Security Conference.

Clocking in at 4 percent, global defense spending saw a similar increase, the largest in ten years. Nations are spending more because they have recovered from the financial crisis and due to what IISS director-general John Chipman dubbed “sharpening threat perceptions.”

For Europe, the main worry is Russia, especially on the eastern flank. The Pentagon in response has shored up its troop presence on the continent following Moscow's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

The trans-Atlantic relationship has turned somewhat icy since President Donald Trump took office, however. Trump has repeatedly claimed, in strong terms, that Europe is taking advantage of the United Stated on defense and trade. Those proclamations are viewed by many here as part of a pattern in Washington that eschews multilateralism as an organizing principle of the West.

In that context, the new study argues, the U.S. troop presence may be losing its shine as a manifestation of America's bond with Europe.

The same logic also applies elsewhere on the globe, according to Chipman. “Within NATO and beyond, the arrival of additional US personnel and equipment is not necessarily sufficient anymore to dispel allies' and partners' concerns over US strategy, commitment and engagement, or wholly deter opponents,” he told reporters.

The think tank's observation undercuts a longstanding argument in Trump's Washington that harsh White House rhetoric should be taken with a grain of salt while the Pentagon is still hard at work in maintaining old alliances around the globe, most visibly by basing U.S. forces there.

“Deterrence is not only about disposition of forces,” Chipman told Defense News in a brief interview. “Every US defense secretary reiterates the commitment to Europe as being reflected in spending. But when you have a commander-in-chief who puts doubt on that, it doesn't matter how much you spend.”

The IISS argument fits into the theme of this year's Munich Security Conference, “Westlessness.” The term of art is meant to describe the community of western countries drifting apart as governments realize that the alliance's common values may no longer be universally shared as they once were.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, for his part, still believes the West, with NATO as its most prominent defense organization, can count on the United States. Speaking with reporters at the Munich Security Conference, he said the West maintains the ability to act, if necessary, citing America's commitment and troop presence in Europe as a major enabler.

Washington's defense spending, meanwhile, sat at $684.6 billion in 2019, according to the think tank. “The nominal increase in U.S. defense spending – at $53.4 billion – came close to equalling the UK's entire budget on defense of $54.8 billion. This nominal U.S. increase would, if measured on its own, constitute the seventh-largest defense budget in the world.”

China and Russia spent $181.1 billion and $61.6 billion on defense in 2019, respectively, according to the study.
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[*] posted on 18-2-2020 at 06:25 PM


The Germans and the other freeloaders in NATO whinging about Trump calling them out on their rhetoric not being matched by their budgets, and they hate it.



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[*] posted on 18-2-2020 at 07:34 PM


Sorry to say, but the German Governments are free-loaders when it comes to Defence. They won't get anywhere near 2% of GDP until the mid/late 2030's at least...……….but they want Technical Leadership of EVERY new weapons development!

Don't know why, they're not allowed to export to any big customers outside of Europe...……..
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[*] posted on 18-2-2020 at 08:45 PM


18 February 2020 Analysis

Defence in a new decade: NATO prepares for new threats

By Harry Lye

As NATO enters a new decade of existence, the 70-year-old alliance has begun to address the fact that the face of war has changed significantly. Harry Lye heard from NATO leaders and think-tankers how NATO is adapting to meet new threats and challenges.


NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses the conference NATO Engages: Innovating the Alliance. Image: NATO

“Today we face new challenges, and in keeping with our best traditions we must continue to adapt,” UK defence secretary Ben Wallace warned the crowd gathered for NATO Engages in London in December.

“Traditional warfare has changed,” he continued. “The threats are no longer only conventional. No longer only overt. Our adversaries are striking from the shadows. They are pursuing new tactics to divide and destabilise. Exploiting new technologies to exacerbate the uncertainties of an uncertain world, and undermine our way of life.”

The alliance that has stood the test of 70 years, including the Cold War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and more recently the war of terror, Wallace said, must stand ready not just to combat static warfare, but the proliferation of conflict to the new domains space and cyber, or in the shadows of disinformation, assassination in a world where the rules of war have never been so grey.

“Our Allies in the Baltic and our partners in Ukraine and Georgia are only too familiar with such tactics,” he added. “But this is happening right across our alliance. It is happening here in Britain.

“Before taking up this post I was the UK’s Security Minister for over three years. I got to see into the shadows and see the daily attacks on our societies that many do not. Cyberattacks, disinformation, assassination, corruption. All prosecuted on our open and liberal societies.”

This is all part of a sea change in conflict, its definition, its adversaries, and tactics. So what, specifically, are the new threats NATO is adapting to?

The rise of China and the hypersonic menace

“NATO is now looking at the ways in which new and emerging technologies will continue to change the threat landscape, from hypersonic missiles to reducing our decision-making time in the face of an attack.” Wallace said.

This was echoed by the Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg as he discussed the rise of China, after NATO mentioned the country for the first time in an official declaration. After NATO’s December summit in Watford near London, Stoltenberg said: “A few weeks ago, they [China] displayed a new intercontinental ballistic missile, able to reach Europe and North America. They displayed hypersonic missiles, gliders. They have deployed hundreds of intermediate- range missiles that would have been violating the INF Treaty if China had been part of the INF Treaty.”
China’s Dongfeng-17 hypersonic missile, a prominent feature in China’s 2019 National Day parade, threatens to upset the balance of power in China’s backyard and is one of the earliest such systems to reach initial operation capacity. The missiles travel so fast they are hard to intercept, changing the game for air defence.

VIDEO: https://youtu.be/JnDUjOl69Zw
A Chinese TV network reports on the Dongfeng-17 conventional missiles being unveiled in a military parade. Video: CGTN.

NATO’s approach to China, however, is not about creating a new foe in a new region. Instead, it aims to monitor the country more closely and work towards arms control agreements. As Stoltenberg said at the NATO Engages event the day before the summit, “this is not about moving NATO into the South China Sea, but it’s about taking into account that China’s coming closer to us.”

The idea that China is moving closer to the West is echoed by Robert Vass, founder and president of the Globsec think tank, who told us: “Chinese investments are quite heavy in Europe and are increasing, they are building the Belt and Road initiative, and it is an economic but also political project, which is bringing the political influence of China to Europe. We have to be aware of that. I’m not saying it is good or bad, but we have to be very much aware of the leverage that has.”

Voss added: “Now, we don’t want to create Chinese walls between our two worlds. It’s not a good answer.” He explained that it is important to avoid a confrontation with China, although ongoing trade wars could complicate that.

The US has long challenged NATO allies’ use of Chinese infrastructure and European nations have long been willing to accept Chinese investment, while decrying the same in other continents. Now, however, the alliance seems to have come to a united approach.

Stoltenberg said: “For the first time, we addressed the rise of China – both the challenges and the opportunities it poses, and the implications for our security. Leaders agreed we need to address this together as an alliance.”

The “together” is the crux of argument. Wallace, although not specifically on the topic of China, also pointed out in his speech that a united response to emerging threats is vital: “We must stand together; no side deals, no separate voices. Our adversaries strive for that division, they fund that division, and target that division. We will not let them succeed.”


NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks at NATO Engages. Image: Atlantic Council/ NATO Engages.

Cyber, space and the hyper war

Space and cyber are other areas NATO is shifting its focus to. Agreed at the NATO summit in December, section six of the London Declaration reads: “We have declared space an operational domain for NATO, recognising its importance in keeping us safe and tackling security challenges, while upholding international law.”

On the topic of cyberspace the declaration adds: “We are increasing our tools to respond to cyberattacks, and strengthening our ability to prepare for, deter, and defend against hybrid tactics that seek to undermine our security and societies.”

With this addition, NATO acknowledges that conflict is expanding into new domains. In the 21st century a regional conflict can quickly progress above the atmosphere and through cyberspace, affecting everything from homes to government infrastructure and military installations.

Vass described this as ‘hyper war’, where conflict becomes a melting pot of traditional and emerging domains. He said: “We are moving from a traditional domain to cybersecurity and disinformation, and even I would say ‘hyper war’, which is a combination of traditional means with cyber, disinformation. The scale and the levels of domains that this is impacting will be just mind-blowing.”

Wallace, who in his speech described the Gerasimov doctrine [which suggests combining military, technological, information, diplomatic, economic, cultural and other tactics for the purpose of achieving strategic goals], echoed Vass’ notion of hyper war, saying: “With social media, cyber and more open societies giving our competitors unparalleled opportunities to achieve their aims, the Gerasimov doctrine is here to stay. And hybrid warfare is our new reality. It is constant, and challenging to all our aims.”

Bringing cyber and space into the same vein as land, air and sea is a move that will help NATO build resilience to new threats that lay in the grey zones of conflict, allowing the alliance to more aggressively build its defensive footing. With this, NATO will take a three-pronged approach.

Across the alliance arguments and threats about spending have resulted in European and Canadian allies putting an extra $400bn into defence by 2024, more than double of what China is estimated to spend on defence annually by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

This investment is coupled with an alliance-wide push for innovation, as Stoltenberg explained. “So we [NATO] also agreed, for instance, that we should invest more in research and development,” he said. “We had this 20% pledge, [meaning] that 20% of the defence budget should be allocated for research, development and investments in new capabilities.”

NATO has faced challenges in the past and has a proven track-record of adapting to them. It will need to continue doing so as new threats emerge to maintain the peace in a new decade.
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