Sorin Ducaru, assistant to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, on Thursday said in Bucharest that NATO is for the first time facing a range of complex and very different crises, starting in the north-east, south-east and then in the south, and that a central theme of the NATO summit in Warsaw in 2016 will be the alliance’s adaptation.
“The eastern threat is much more in line with the kinds of threats the alliance was prepared to defend the national territory of its member states, but it has some components that are fully new. In the south, there are terror threats on an invisible scale that combine resources, military resources and equipment included, that we believed are characteristic of a national state only, and that combines with the brutality of terrorism. Such threats are an urgent matter, they are simultaneous and non-discretionary. The alliance cannot ignore them, given its reason to be. From this point of view, there is a new context that should generate a new approach,” said Ducaru, a special guest that attended a plenary session on Thursday of the Annual Meeting of the Romanian Diplomacy that tackled security issues, regional context and collective defence related to an adapting NATO.
He reviewed the NATO actions against these threats so far. “Against the eastern threat, the reassurance package unveiled in Wales is underway, with visible effects,” he said.
NATO mentioned to the point “air patrolling, naval presence at the NATO borders, rapid reaction plans, the creation of so-called gradual emergency and operational plans, increasing the number of exercises that become more complex and sizeable, creating new elements for the command units.”
“All this has generated a new level of preparedness and reaction that is part of a longer-term, wider-going process. The training and action plan aims to double the NATO reaction force to 40,000 (…) and there will also be a rapid reaction force that can respond in 48 hours. Currently, there are seven nations that have voluntarily undertaken the command of these forces in the future,” said Ducaru.
He added that the NATO summit in Warsaw will discuss the adaptation of the alliance.
“The operative word as far as progress is concerned is adaptation. I believe the Warsaw summit will discuss adaptation. There are three threats. (…) Firstly, military adaptation that will comprise elements having emerged on the NATO agenda and that will be unveiled next year to the NATO heads of state, full implication of the RAP and measures that go beyond it. Secondly, there is focus on developing capacity packages. Some of them regard packages previously designed and also new aspects,” said Ducaru.