NATO seeks faster military movement across Europe and two new military commands to counter Russian threat

A review of the NATO Defence Ministers meeting, Brussels, 8-9 November 2017

By Dr. Ian Davis, NATO Watch

Key decisions taken:

  • An outline decision was taken to adapt the NATO Command Structure, with two new commands—an Atlantic Command and a Logistics Command—to improve the movement of troops across the Atlantic and within Europe (final decisions are expected at the February 2018 ministerial).
  • It was agreed to create a new Cyber Operations Centre as part of the outline design for the adapted NATO Command Structure.
  • The number of NATO troops in Afghanistan will be increased from about 13,000 to 16,000 in 2018 to strengthen the Resolute Support Mission (to train, assist and advise Afghan Security Forces). It was also agreed to continue funding Afghan Security Forces until at least 2020.
  • Finland, Hungary and the United Kingdom joined a long-standing multinational effort to acquire Air-to-Ground Precision Guided Munitions.

The two-day Meeting agenda was focused on four main issues: an update on NATO’s nuclear weapons policy (as part of a regular discussion held under the Nuclear Planning Group); a review of NATO’s Command Structure and cyber defences; a discussion of global threats, including North Korea; and a review of the mission in Afghanistan. There was also a side meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS hosted by the US defence Secretary.

Read the attached pdf briefing to find out more.