14 Oct 2019

US commander praises NATO strategy

The U.S. Military commander Air Force General Tod D. Walters has praised the new NATO strategy to strengthen European defence.

The new NATO strategy will see the US have a bigger influence on European anti-terrorism measures and how it deals with other threats. Walters spoke to reporters at the Pentagon about playing a bigger role in defending Europe.

He advocated creating a strong relationship with the other 29 member nations and collaborating on readiness exercises. Nato has also implemented a ‘command structure adaptation’ which places forces in Europe to deter potential conflict.

Walters spoke about deterring conflict, saying: “And as we support NATO with that number one priority, we are promoting those value systems. And it’s very, very important that we stay tied to that.”

“As you talk about countering Russian malign influence, you go back to the value system that we promote.”

The new strategy, which was endorsed by the North Atlantic Council, allows the U.S. military to have a more productive role within NATO and identifies two basic threats: Russia’s status as a near-peer competitor and international terrorism. Although Europe is the primary focus, Wolters also said he is in consults regularly with his counterparts in other combatant commands to ensure the right balance of forces in the places they’re needed most.

To counter Russia, the U.S. is a big advocate of building military relationships with NATO nations. One of the good news stories is that NATO now has its own military strategy, Walters said, something they didn’t have for the last 50-plus years.

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