NATO Defence Ministerial
The NATO Defence Ministerial is due to go ahead this week. It is the first meeting of the year and the first to include new US Defence Secretary Mattis.
Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, will join other allied defence ministers in greeting Secretary Mattis, who is well versed with NATO following his time as Supreme Allied Commander for Transformation ten years ago.
This week’s meeting is a chance to discuss the transforming security environment the NATO nations face, to take stock of challenges and opportunities faced by the allied nations, and to reaffirm the commitment of the allies and reinforce the transatlantic bond.
The Ministerial will help set this year’s agenda, with Mr Fallon’s priorities at the meeting two-fold:
- to ensure the Alliance continues to make progress on the ambitious agenda agreed at previous meetings. With particular emphasis on modern defence and deterrence towards Russia. The UK will be leading NATO presence in Estonia, and battlegroups will be deployed to the Baltic States and Poland this spring.
- to look at NATO’s role in addressing instability on the Southern flank and beyond, including the new NATO Training and Capacity Building activity in Iraq.
With all NATO activities requiring resources, Mr Fallon will also be supporting the US Administration’s focus on all allies meeting the NATO target of spending 2% of GDP on defence. Discussions will also be held on modernisation and ways of working to ensure the Alliance is capable of addressing simultaneously the complex and challenging world around us, including the scourge of terrorism.
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