NATO must work to achieve new vision: Rasmussen | Pakistan Today

NATO must work to achieve new vision: Rasmussen

NATO must adopt a new vision to combat modern threats and broaden partnerships with emerging powers such China and India, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Friday.
Rasmussen called for an alliance to face 21st century dangers such as cyber attacks, ballistic missiles and global terrorism as he outlined his views on a new “strategic concept” that NATO leaders will adopt in November.
The time had come for “an alliance which can defend the 900 million citizens of NATO countries against the threats they face today, and will face in the coming decade,” he said in a speech ahead of a meeting of NATO foreign and defence ministers next Thursday in Brussels.
The document has been drafted by Rasmussen following proposals by experts.
It will replace a text adopted in 1999 and be adopted by NATO leaders at a summit in Lisbon on November 19-20.
NATO must first modernise its defence and deterrence capabilities but the concept of collective defence will always remain a pillar of the military alliance, he told the German Marshall Fund think tank.
The alliance must be ready to taken on “21st Century crisis management” following the experience in Afghanistan, a nine-year-old war that now counts around 150,000 international troops, he said.
“Afghanistan has taught us some very clear lessons, lessons we have learned at a very high price,” Rasmussen said, regretting that it took until 2008 to set up a training mission for Afghan forces.
“Waiting that long was a mistake. We won’t repeat it,” he said. “I hope the strategic concept will mandate NATO to set up a standing training capacity, so we can help others stand on their feet, rather than leaning on us.”
The NATO secretary general wants the alliance to deepen partnerships with key partners in the Asia-Pacific region such as Australia and South Korea, but also with Mediterranean countries including Israel and Egypt.
He suggested that the alliance should create a system of political and military consultations with emerging powers.
“It makes sense to extend our range of consultations to also include countries like China and India in our regular consultations,” Rasmussen told reporters after the speech. AFP

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