Quarterly security briefing #1

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Peace, Security & Defence
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Quarterly security briefing #1

Summary

At the NATO Defence Ministerial Meeting in Brussels on February 13-14, NATO Defence Ministers and officials discussed pressing security challenges, reviewed past and ongoing operations and identified efforts to strengthen the Alliance.

In our first Quarterly Security Briefing, Friends of Europe addressed the results and outcomes of the Ministerial Meeting and their implications for the transatlantic security alliance in 2019. The debate, held under the Chatham House Rule, focused on four essential topics: the question of burden sharing within the alliance, the “Four Thirties” Readiness initiative, the future of the INF Treaty as well as the current situation in Afghanistan.

In order to strengthen the alliance and to improve the effectiveness of its structures, NATO members have decided to take several actions. Following the 2014 Wales summit, NATO members had agreed to increase their financial contribution to meet the target of spending 2% of their annual GDP on defence and 20% of the overall defence budget on capabilities until 2024. $40bn has been added to the budget and until 2020 another $100bn are expected to be contributed by Canada and European allies.

Furthermore, in July 2018, allies committed to the “Four Thirties” Readiness Initiative, which will ensure 30 combat ships, 30 land battalions and 30 air squadrons, are ready to deploy within 30 days or less. With regard to future capabilities, participants stressed the importance of early involvement of the defence industry in the planning process and increased investment in military personnel.

Following the decision of the US and Russia to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), it is now of utmost importance to restore Russian compliance and return both parties to the treaty within the next six months. To achieve this aim, NATO will rely on its so-called ‘three Ds’: (effective) deterrence, defence and dialogue. Up to now, there is no blueprint to replace the INF Treaty, but a new treaty should ideally include other nuclear powers. Participants also pointed to the growing risks posed by nuclear proliferation. NATO nuclear powers need to avoid using threatening language to prevent further escalation.

With regard to the mission in Afghanistan, NATO allies have declared that they started the operation together and will, therefore, take a joint decision on future engagement in Afghanistan. This declaration came after the US announced progress in its peace talks with the Taliban and possible future withdrawal of US forces from the country.

For the Leaders Meeting in London in December, NATO officials hope that significant progress will have been made in terms of cash, capabilities and contributions (3 Cs) in order to improve its responsiveness, readiness and reinforcement (3 Rs).

About

About

The increasing pace of change in international security makes the ability to schedule debriefings quickly to react to current affairs an important tool for central players on peace, security and defence issues. The aim of Friends of Europe’s quarterly security briefings is to react and clarify topical issues at a given moment. Our briefings reinforce a security community in Brussels that meets regularly to discuss key challenges to security.

Our first quarterly security briefing will address the results and outcomes of the NATO Defence Ministerial Meeting and uncover the 2019 Munich Security Conference. This briefing will offer an opportunity to clarify, discuss and evaluate key topical issues regarding the future cooperation on European and transatlantic defence and security.

 

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IMAGE CREDIT: CC/Flickr – NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Schedule

Schedule

Registration & breakfast
Programme
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Our first quarterly security briefing will take place right after the NATO Defence Ministerial Meeting. We will bring together small group of experts and decision-makers from across the public-private divide for a candid discussion on the outcomes of the meeting. The aim will be to clarify, discuss and evaluate key topical issues regarding the future cooperation on European and transatlantic defence and security. This briefing will offer an opportunity to immediately scrutinize agreements, results and decisions including their implications. Taking place on the morning before the annual Munich Security Conference, this briefing will also declassify relevant topics on the MSC-agenda and identify positions and directions of key NATO and EU representatives.

  • What are the main security challenges and threats to the transatlantic alliance in 2019 and beyond?
  • What are the strategic priorities of both NATO and EU?

Speaker

Patrick Turner

NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Planning

Moderated by

Jamie Shea

Senior Fellow for Peace, Security and Defense at Friends of Europe, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

Speakers

Speakers

Photo of Jamie Shea
Jamie Shea

Senior Fellow for Peace, Security and Defense at Friends of Europe, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

Show more information on Jamie Shea
Retiring from NATO in September 2018 after 38 years at the organisation, Jamie Shea has occupied a number of senior positions at NATO across a wide range of areas, including external relations, press and media, and policy planning. As NATO’s spokesperson, he was the face of the Alliance during the Bosnia and Kosovo conflicts. He later worked as the Director of Policy Planning in the private office of former Secretary General Rasmussen during the preparation of NATO’s 2010 Strategic Concept. Shea is also a regular lecturer and conference speaker on NATO and European security affairs.
Photo of Patrick Turner
Patrick Turner

NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Planning

Show more information on Patrick Turner
Patrick Turner was appointed Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Planning in 2018. In this position, he acts as Chair of the Defence Policy and Planning Committee (DPPC), the senior advisory body to the North Atlantic Council on defence matters concerning all member countries and leading on defence aspects of Partnerships. Prior to this position, Turner worked as UK Deputy Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Council, Command Secretary to Headquarters Land Command, Minister of Defence at the British Embassy in Washington and has held several positions at the British Ministry of Defence.

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