Nato to boost deterrence, defense capabilities to counter Russia threat

Madrid, Jun 29 (EFE).- The leaders of Nato on Wednesday endorsed a new strategic concept for the alliance that reinforces its defensive readiness and capabilities in the wake of Russia’s war against Ukraine.

At a summit taking place in Madrid, which Nato said “marks a milestone in strengthening our Alliance and accelerating its adaptation,” leaders condemned Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine “in the strongest possible terms”.

Moscow’s illegal invasion of its neighbor and “blatant violation of international law” had forced the alliance to take action to boost its collective defense and reaffirm its values, purpose and responsibilities.

The new Strategic Concept, which will guide Nato policies in the years to come, addresses the new geo-political reality created by the Kremlin’s aggressive foreign policy, and outlines the alliance’s three core tasks: “deterrence and defense, crisis prevention and management, and cooperative security,” a joint declaration said.

Nato members pledged to “further step up political and practical support to our close partner Ukraine as it continues to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity against Russian aggression,” namely in the form of a “strengthened” package of support.

That support will come in the form of immediate accelerated deliveries of defense equipment, improved cyber-defenses for Ukraine, and a modernized defense sector.

“In the longer term, we will assist Ukraine, and support efforts on its path of post-war reconstruction and reforms,” the statement said.

In addition to increased support for Kyiv, the alliance has set out a “new baseline” for its deterrence and defense posture.

“Nato will continue to protect our populations and defend every inch of Allied territory at all times” and will “significantly strengthen” its long term deterrence and defense policies across “land, air, maritime, cyber and space domains” to counter “all threats and challenges.”

“We face systemic competition from those, including the People’s Republic of China, who challenge our interests, security, and values and seek to undermine the rules-based international order,” the declaration said, adding that “instability beyond our borders is also contributing to irregular migration and human trafficking.”

The alliance has committed to boosting its combat-ready forces on its eastern flank by scaling up existing battlegroups to brigade-size units and enhancing collective defense exercises in order to be prepared for “high intensity and multi-domain operations.”

“This will help to prevent any aggression against Nato territory by denying any potential adversary success in meeting its objectives,” the statement said.

The declaration also unveiled plans to enhance the alliance’s resilience and energy security, as well as adapting to modernized domains to better tackle cyber and hybrid threats.

Nato also pledged to incorporate climate change challenges into its policy outlook, and reaffirmed its Open Door policy in the wake of Finland and Sweden’s accession, which the declaration said would make the alliance and Europe as a whole stronger and more secure.

“With our decisions today, we have firmly set the direction for the Alliance’s continued adaptation,” the statement said.

“Through our bond and our mutual commitment, we will continue to safeguard the freedom and security of all Allies, as well as our shared democratic values, now and for future generations,” it concluded. EFE


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