The British Ministry of Defence (MOD)

NATO Must Be Fitter, Faster, More Agile

Attending the annual Munich Security Conference, the UK’s Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said the Alliance should not wait for another crisis before it modernises itself.

Calling for an ambitious programme of change, the Defence Secretary outlined three areas for a fitter, faster, more agile NATO:

  • Greater flexibility for NATO’s top commanders, including the power to move more staff resources around to meet current and future threats.
  • Less duplication – the Alliance has five financial control centres.
  • Increased coherence – Sir Michael outlined that while improvements were being made, particularly in the merging of intelligence structures, more needed to be done to break down silos.

Describing Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 as a “wake up call” for NATO, the Defence Secretary said NATO members needed to invest more on defence and called on Allies to increase spending every year until the 2% Defence Investment Pledge, agreed at the UK hosted NATO summit in 2014, is met.

At the same time NATO should strengthen its relationships with other organisations, particularly the EU, while avoiding duplication.

Defence Secretary also called on NATO to project stability beyond its borders, by working globally to improve the security areas of fragile nations.

Speaking last night at the conference, Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:

We want a fitter, faster, more agile NATO. This means more spending on defence by all the Allies, faster, more flexible decision making, and stronger partnerships.

Britain yesterday launched its International Defence Engagement Strategy, which contained a new plan for how the UK will strengthen cooperation with Allies and partners, allowing Britain to collectively pack a more powerful punch.

Source: MOD (Crown Copyright, OGL)

Photo: MOD plaque by Harland Quarrington (Crown Copyright, 2013).