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NATO Prepares for the Future

(FILE) Infantry fighting vehicles during a NATO exercise in Poland.
(FILE) Infantry fighting vehicles during a NATO exercise in Poland.

The NATO alliance is "strengthening its deterrence and defense,” said Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith.

NATO Prepares for the Future
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Strong, unified support for Ukraine as it defends itself from Russia’s brutal war is a top priority for NATO. That’s because “The Ukrainian military forces are not only fighting to defend their own territory, but they are also fighting to protect the values at the core of the NATO Alliance and the UN Charter,” said U.S. Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith.

Indeed, NATO’s strategic concept “Calls out Russia as a threat to the Alliance,” said Ambassador Smith. “But it also talks about many of the challenges that we face, whether it's the PRC and its efforts to divide the Alliance from within or some of the other challenges like cybersecurity, climate security challenges stemming from emerging and disruptive technologies or even challenges associated with space.”

“This strategic concept is in essence NATO for the future,” said Ambassador Smith. “We're looking at things like cyber security or malicious cyber-attacks, and there the Alliance is coming together to first and foremost protect its own networks and also focus on developing new tools, new initiatives that will better protect all of us from countries that use cyber-attacks to threaten us or to try and divide us or to push us towards one position or another. We're simultaneously looking at other hybrid tactics that our adversaries like to rely on. Some countries, Russia, for example, increasingly rely on disinformation. That is a topic of conversation. Energy security is another topic of conversation.”

“The Alliance is [also] looking very closely at critical undersea infrastructure, particularly in the wake of the attacks on Nord Stream one and two,” said Ambassador Smith. And finally, NATO is looking forward to welcoming two new Allies: Sweden and Finland, who requested membership in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“These are two countries that represent the values that … we are here to protect. They’re full-fledged democracies, but they're also extremely capable allies. These are two countries that have exercised and trained with NATO's forces for many years, and they've also participated in NAITO missions,” she said.

“Coming together, the alliance is looking at traditional military conventional challenges by strengthening its deterrence and defense,” said Ambassador Smith. “But the alliance is looking well beyond that, well beyond its core mission to take on a variety of new challenges that we are all facing.”