NATO's Immediate Plans

NATO Meeting of Top Military Authorities

Demonstration in Finland, June 4, 2022 against joining NATO.

NATO's Military Committee, the aggressive alliance's highest military authority, met in Chiefs of Defence format at its headquarters in Brussels, Belgium on May 19. The Military Committee is the senior military authority in NATO and the oldest permanent body in NATO after the North Atlantic Council. NATO Chiefs of Defense are commonly the top military generals of the given country, such as General Wayne Eyre for Canada and General Mark Milley of the U.S., Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. While NATO has a Military Committee, it does not have its own armed forces. Instead, each country decides whether and how many forces to contribute to a given war or military aggression, under U.S. military command.

The Military Committee meeting was attended by the Chiefs of Defence from the 30 NATO member countries, as well as officials from Sweden and Finland, which had applied for NATO membership a few days earlier. The meeting was presided over by Admiral Rob Bauer of the Royal Netherlands Navy, who is Chair of the Military Committee. They were joined by Supreme Allied Commander Europe, U.S. General Tod Wolters, and Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, General Philippe Lavigne of France. The Chiefs of Defence also met with the officials from Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and the Republic of Korea regarding developments in the Indo-Pacific.

The meeting comes ahead of NATO's summit in Madrid from June 28-30, where heads of state of NATO countries are supposed to approve a range of recommendations "to further adapt and strengthen the Alliance as well as NATO's new Strategic Concept."

In his opening remarks, Admiral Bauer stated that "Adaptation is the main topic of our meeting here today. [...] In these past few months, NATO has shown that it is capable of swiftly and effectively changing its posture. The foundation for that response came from the work that this committee started years ago. Together with the Strategic Commanders we developed the NATO Military Strategy, followed by the Concept for the Deterrence and Defence of the Euro-Atlantic Area (the DDA), and the NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept (the NWCC)."[1][2] NATO's adaptation specifically means how it will expand its reach into various domains, including the governance of NATO countries -- using terms like "political leadership" -- as well as cyber space.

Despite all evidence to the contrary, Admiral Bauer went on to justify NATO warmongering in terms of collective defence against some imminent threat and preparing to "expect the unexpected, in any domain, from any potential aggressor, in any part of the Euro-Atlantic Area."

NATO's expansion as well as its invasions and occupations of Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Libya, have created ongoing instability and insecurity for the people of Europe, Asia and Africa. Nonetheless, Admiral Bauer claimed: "It is our adversary who determines the timeline, and it is up to us as a defensive Alliance to make sure that we are always ready to protect the one billion citizens who live on Allied soil, and deter and defend the threats from Russia and the international terror groups. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance for us to provide the political leadership with our unfettered military advice on NATO's future posture and the continued adaptation, which will in turn allow them to take informed decisions."

In the first session of the meeting, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg briefed the Military Committee on the current geopolitical situation, discussing the dramatically altered security environment and the further adaptation of NATO.

Demonstration in Gothenburg, Sweden, May 22, 2022, against joining NATO.

The second session focused on Russia's special military operation in Ukraine, with Chiefs of Defence from NATO, Finland, Sweden, and Ukraine participating.

General Wolters briefed the Military Committee on the implementation of the Concept for the Deterrence and Defence of the Euro-Atlantic Area and the longer-term posture of the Alliance.

General Lavigne provided an update on the implementation of NATO's Warfighting Capstone Concept, Multi-Domain Operations and the ongoing "digital transformation" of NATO. The Military Committee discussed the importance of the new Strategic Concept and how this could drive NATO's military adaptation.

On digital transformation, General Lavigne said: "We are, first of all, convinced that we have to continue with building our capacity to engage and be able to operate in multi-domain operations ... in all five operational domains: land, sea, air, space and cyber." The digital transformation will make the alliance "more agile, and even more coherent, and this digital transformation is the most important enabler of multi-domain operation," he added.

"Transformation is not only technology, it is innovation, it is a mindset change, it is people and their new skills," General Lavigne continued. "The Russian aggression in Ukraine, and the consequences that war produced for the security of the Euro-Atlantic area is an additional trigger to accelerate the path of transformation."

The digital transformation will make the alliance "more agile, and even more coherent, and this digital transformation is the most important enabler of multi-domain operation," he added.

General Lavigne stated that multi-domain operations are "both a strategic challenge and an opportunity. It is a challenge, because we have to develop the ability to deal and synchronize with multiple actors, military, governmental, civilian and industry. And it's also an opportunity because we will be stronger together."

The focus on cyber space as part of NATO's "multi-domain operations" is notable given the high level of disinformation about Ukraine and Russia's special military operation at this time. This emphasis can also be seen in Canada where cyber security agencies are attempting to defame those who criticize NATO and its warmongering as "agents of foreign powers." All of it is intended to undermine the people's longstanding opposition to the aggressive imperialist aims of the U.S.-led NATO alliance.


1. At a November 2021 meeting of the Military Committee, U.S. General Tod Wolters stated that the Concept for the Deterrence and Defence of the Euro-Atlantic Area "unites national, regional, and theatre-wide military efforts to a common purpose. It provides nations with a framework to align respective national military deterrence activities in peacetime and, if directed, defend in crisis and conflict... all nested underneath the NATO 2030 initiative."

This article was published in
Volume 52 Number 6 - June 5, 2022

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