Then Leaders seek to best enhance security in cyberspace, outer space, and emerging technologies as they come together to plan to modernize the 72-year-old military alliance.
US President Joe Biden’s first NATO summit on Monday will ‘hone’ the ‘technological edge’ of the 30-member group, secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said, and strengthen its response to potential threats from Russia and China .
The leaders’ rally in Brussels comes amid a myriad of internal tensions and questions about how the Cold War-era pact will modernize, as it prepares to withdraw from Afghanistan after nearly two decades.
“NATO leaders will agree today on an ambitious forward-looking agenda, NATO’s 2030 Agenda,” Stoltenberg told reporters at the alliance’s imposing headquarters on the outskirts of the Belgian capital. “It’s about strengthening our collective defense, strengthening our resilience and sharpening our technological lead. “
Heads of state and government are expected to approve a confidential cyber defense strategy, which includes extending existing powers to invoke NATO’s “article 5” collective defense principle in the event of cyber attacks, Jake Sullivan told reporters , US National Security Advisor. .
“[This] enhance the defense, policy and intelligence dimensions of cyber across the alliance, ”said Sullivan. “And in the statement that will be issued, there will be a strong commitment to NATO’s focus on cyber deterrence and collective defense.”
Speaking ahead of the summit, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stressed the importance for allies to invest in better cyber defenses in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, when hostile states were accused of leading cyber attacks on the health systems of allies.
“NATO owes the billion people we protect every day to constantly adapt and evolve to meet new challenges and face emerging threats,” said Johnson.
Recent ransomware attacks against the US colonial pipeline and Irish health services have highlighted the risks that hackers pose to critical national infrastructure.
Write in the Financial TimesAlex Younger, former head of UK secret intelligence, MI6, said ransomware attacks were no longer just a criminal issue “but also a national security and geopolitical issue”.
“The people behind these cyber attacks need a place to live and enjoy their ill-gotten gains. . . The reality is that many are in Russia, and as long as they don’t infringe on Russian interests, they will be left alone, ”Younger wrote.
NATO leaders also needed to push through measures to build capacity in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, added officials. NATO countries are increasingly concerned about the expanding theaters of potential conflict, from the war of disinformation to the growing activities of China and Russia in Cosmos.
Some European countries are hoping that Biden’s presidency will help re-energize NATO and reduce conflicts seen under his predecessor Donald Trump, who called the alliance “obsolete” during the 2016 election campaign.
But the Biden administration maintains long-standing American pressure on European countries to spend more on their armed forces. He also lobbied for harsher language on the potential threats posed by China, notably through its military and economic presence in the traditional Euro-Atlantic sphere of NATO operations.
In addition to external threats, NATO faces chronic internal tensions, particularly between Turkey and certain member states such as France in the eastern Mediterranean.