NATO PA backs Summit pledge to boost defence capabilities
The Hague 23 November 2014 - Lawmakers representing parliaments of the 28 NATO nations on Sunday backed the decision of Alliance leaders to bolster defence capabilities in response to the emergence of new threats to the south and east.
“This resolution supports the efforts to ensure that the Alliance’s armed forces remain ‘modern, deployable and sustainable to meet any challenge,’ by conveying a strong and determined political will and unity of commitment to not only maintain but to strengthen Alliance-wide capabilities,” said Julio Miranda Calha, a Portuguese member of NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly.
Miranda Calha presented a draft resolution that supported the capability goals approved by NATO leaders at a September summit in Wales. The resolution was approved by the Assembly’s Defence and Security Committee on the second day of the NATO PA’s annual three-day session.
It is expected to be adopted by the full Assembly on Monday.
The draft resolution backs the pledge made by leaders in Wales to reverse the trend of declining defence budgets throughout the alliance and to aim towards the NATO guidelines of spending at least 2 percent of gross domestic product on defence.
Currently only four of the 28 NATO allies meet the 2 percent target.
In the draft resolution, legislators urged NATO governments to invest in the “preparedness of modern, highly capable and well-equipped” forces and backed the Wales summit plan to create a Very High Readiness Joint Task Force to provide rapid response to any threat on the Alliance’s eastern borders.
Lawmakers agreed that NATO nations need to strengthen “bonds of trust” across the Atlantic and among European allies through a better share out the burdens of defence costs and responsibilities. They highlighted the need to develop cyber defence capabilities and Ballistic Missile Defence.
The resolution commended NATO efforts to strengthen Ukraine’s capacity for self-defence. It welcomed plans to establish rotating command and control units and force enablers on a permanent basis along the eastern flank of the Alliance.
One of the expert speakers who addressed the Assembly warned that Europe in particular needed to strengthen its defences – including through greater military integration – if it wants to influence and deter Russia’s new “power politics.
“You cannot have in international politics a moral foreign policy without the power to coerce, and we do not have the power to coerce, or the will to coerce and that is the fundamental problem we have to deal with,” cautioned Prof. Rob De Wijk, director of the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies.