Five priorities for the NATO Summit Wales 2014
Five priorities for the NATO Summit Wales 2014
- Crisis in Ukraine and our relationship with Russia
- Afghanistan’s future
- Tackling new threats
- Strengthening support for our Armed Forces
- Strengthening partnerships
1. Crisis in Ukraine and our relationship with Russia
6 months after Russia illegally violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of her neighbour Ukraine, we must agree on long-term measures to strengthen our ability to respond quickly to any threat, to reassure those allies who fear for their own country’s security and to deter any Russian aggression.
All NATO allies have already contributed to the alliance’s response to this crisis to reassure our eastern members. Now, we should agree how we can sustain a robust presence in Eastern Europe, consistent with the NATO Russia Founding Act, to make clear to Russia that neither NATO nor its members will be intimidated.
We should agree specific actions including:
- a new exercise schedule adapted to the new security environment
- the necessary infrastructure
- pre-positioning of equipment and supplies
- an enhanced NATO Response Force
This should be part of a broader action plan that enables us to respond more quickly to any threat against any member of the alliance, including when we have little warning.
We must also accept that the co-operation with Russia over recent years is not currently possible because of Russia’s own illegal actions in NATO’s neighbourhood and we must therefore revisit the principles that guide our relationship with Russia.
2. Afghanistan’s future
In Afghanistan, our combat mission will end this year. The international community has helped trained over 335,000 Afghan National Security Forces, who now undertake the majority of operations and are on track to take over the security and policing of their own country. So we must now consider how to support the Afghan government in the years ahead, ensuring they maintain the progress we have made together and stop the country from once again becoming a safe haven for terrorists.
We should review plans for NATO’s new mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan security forces from the start of next year. And we should discuss the future financial sustainment of the Afghan troops as we work towards the long-term goal of Afghanistan being able to sustain its own forces.
3. Tackling new threats
We must agree how NATO will help to protect its members from new challenges, whether the threat posed by extremists, regional conflicts or cyber attacks.
We must ensure that NATO has the capabilities it needs to respond to changing threats. That requires investment. The UK is only one of 4 members of the alliance to meet the target of spending 2% of our GDP on defence and we would urge other allies to make the strongest possible commitment to increase their defence spending, and to devote at least one fifth of it to equipment and research.
As our economies start to recover, reversing the decline in defence spending and investing in our defence capabilities would strengthen alliance cohesion and signal that NATO means business.
While we invest in our forces at home, we should also do more to provide practical support to other countries that need to strengthen their own security. We have learnt in Afghanistan the benefit of supporting a country to build up its forces so that they are better able to protect their own region. In Wales, we would like to agree on new defence capacity building missions to other parts of the world, for example Georgia or the Middle East.
4. Strengthening support for our Armed Forces
We want NATO members to underline our shared commitment to treating our Armed Forces and their families fairly and providing them with the necessary support and care when they retire or are wounded or killed.
The Prime Minister has proposed a North Atlantic Armed Forces Declaration, signed by all NATO members, to make clear this shared commitment to our Armed Forces.
By building on the UK’s Military Covenant, which we have enshrined in law, we should also agree to share more systematically our best practice in this area, starting with the provision of medical care and support for injured service personnel and bereaved families.
5. Strengthening partnerships
As the world’s broadest security network with partnerships with over 40 countries and organisations on 5 continents, we should demonstrate a clear commitment to working with others who share our values and to maintaining an international rules-based order that promotes freedom, democracy and the rule of law.
By working together we will be stronger together. The Wales summitshould prove that NATO is a rock solid alliance with strong partnerships around the world that fosters global peace and stability, creating a secure environment for economies to grow. It is an alliance that reassures our 900 million citizens that together we can protect them from the changing and multiplying threats of an unpredictable world.
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