OSLO, NORWAY – From 15-17 September, the Norwegian Chief of Defence hosted NATO’s highest military authority, the Military Committee, for discussions on important strategic issues for the Alliance with the 31 Allied Chiefs of Defence and Invitee counterpart from Sweden. General Philippe Lavigne, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, attended the conference to provide context on overarching Alliance transformation objectives and support the Chiefs of Defence in Alliance decision-making processes.
Chaired by Admiral Rob Bauer, the Military Committee Conference provided the grounds for collaborative doctrinal and planning discussions among Allied nations and invitee Sweden. This year’s Military Committee Conference also allowed the Chiefs of Defence to coordinate on the implementation of the decisions adopted during the 2023 Vilnius Summit. Among the most important of these initiatives is facilitating a new era of collective defence in line with the transformational Defence and Deterrence of the Euro-Atlantic Area Family of Plans, which will define NATO’s longer-term deterrence and defence posture across domains and requirements.
Speaking on the outcome of the Military Committee Conference, Chairman of the Military Committee Admiral Bauer asserted that:
“never before have NATO and national defence plans been so closely interlinked, and that means that it is crucial that we not only firmly move forward but also closely consult each other every step of the way.”
The Chiefs of Defence held several important meetings on the Alliance’s issues of strategic importance. The ongoing drive for the Alliance’s agile capability development featured as a major topic of discussion in an effort to ensure the alignment of future defence and operational plans among Alliance stakeholders. Allied Command Transformation’s Warfare Development Agenda, which is the planning arm to implement the NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept, seeks to coordinate the NATO’s future Military Instrument of Power across the Alliance.
Gen. Lavigne also led discussions on the Minimum Capability Requirements 2024, assessing the challenges facing Allied nations and working with the Chiefs of Defence to reach a consensus on expectations on Capability Target Packages. This analysis is an important piece of Allied Command Transformation’s contribution to overall NATO’s Defence Planning Process. The Chiefs of Defence also discussed the ongoing situation in Ukraine as well as ongoing defence and deterrence initiatives.
The Military Committee Conference provided the opportunity for Gen. Lavigne to attend a bilateral meeting with the Chief of Defence from Türkiye in order to better understand Ankara’s challenges and coordinate with Turkish leaders to reach Alliance goals. Türkiye is an important member of the Alliance, holding a geostrategic and geopolitical position in Europe that is vital for ongoing European defence and deterrence objectives. The bilateral meeting was highlighted by productive, informative dialogue on Allied Command Transformation’s overarching objectives and shows Türkiye’s commitment to further Alliance Warfare Development. Allied Command Transformation is grateful for the important contributions of Türkiye to overall Alliance objectives.
In addition to important strategic and doctrinal agreements, the NATO Chiefs of Defence collectively agreed to extend the mandate of current Chair of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Rob Bauer, for an extra six months. The Chiefs of Defence then decided that Admiral Bauer will be succeeded by the Italian Chief of Defence, Admiral Guiseppe Cavo Dragone.
The Military Committee meets three times a year in Chiefs of Defence Sessions: twice a year at NATO Headquarters in Brussels and once a year in a Conference setting held by an Allied member state. The Military Committee convenes to discuss ongoing operations, adaptation and transformation of the NATO Military Instrument of Power to provide the North Atlantic Council with unfettered, consensus-based military advice on how the Alliance can best address global security challenges and transform to maintain the ability to out-pace, out-think and out-partner its adversaries.