NATO Chiefs of Defence gather in Norway

How can NATO implement the decisions made at the Summit in Vilnius as quickly as possible? This has been discussed by NATO's Military Committee in Oslo over the weekend.

Chiefs of Defence from NATO's member countries and Sweden gathered in Oslo, Norway 15–17 September for the annual NATO Military Committee Conference.

Their primary task was to agree on how the Alliance should follow up on the political decisions from this summer's NATO Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania. Among other things, the Chiefs of Defence looked at how NATO can most effectively ensure increased readiness, modernisation, introduction of new command structures, improved logistics, and more joint training.

During a joint press conference on Saturday evening, Chair of the Committee, Admiral Rob Bauer, and Norway's Chief of Defence, General Eirik Kristoffersen, met the press. They spoke of a successful conference.

'Never been stronger'

"In 2024, the alliance will hold its largest exercise since the Cold War, Steadfast Defender", said Admiral Bauer and added that more than 40,000 troops will exercise in Germany, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

"There are more than 3 million servicemen and women who will do whatever it takes to protect every inch of Allied territory and every single one of the 1 billion citizens who live on allied soil", Bauer said, adding:

"We have never been stronger or readier."

Production challenges

The Chair underlined that the Alliance must work even harder to withstand existing and upcoming threats. He particularly pointed out challenges with weapon and military equipment production capacity and rising prices.

“Right now, we are paying more and more for exactly the same. And that means that we cannot make sure that the increased defence spending actually leads to more security", Bauer said.

"Long term stability needs to prevail over short term profits”, the Admiral stressed in his press remarks.

Support to Ukraine

Host and Norwegian Chief of Defence, General Eirik Kristoffersen, thanked the press for the role they play in a free, democratic society. He also drew parallels to Ukraine.

"Our Ukrainian friends are fighting for their homeland, peace, and democracy. They are fighting on behalf of all of us who want a world order based on these values", the General said and added that NATO will continue to support Ukraine.

The General said that NATO is the cornerstone of Norway's security and that the country is proud to be a part of the Alliance.

"NATO stands more united than ever. This has been evident throughout this conference as well", he said.