Admiral Rob Bauer, head of the NATO military group, sees the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine as a turning point. As Ukraine fights an existential battle for its survival, Western forces and leaders must drastically change the way Kiev helps deter invading forces, he told a board meeting on Wednesday. Fear of democracy is also behind Russian President Vladimir Putin's justification for war.
At two days of talks in Brussels, NATO's top military officials are expected to unveil plans for this year's biggest military exercises since the Cold War. With them, NATO wants to demonstrate strength and a willingness to defend all members of the military alliance against attacks.
Bauer advocated a “whole of society approach” to tackle the challenge beyond military planning, against the backdrop of the increasingly dire military situation in Ukraine and the suspension of aid from the European Union and the United States.
“Public and private actors must shift their mindset from an era where everything can be planned, predictable, controllable and focused on efficiency to one where anything can happen at any moment. An era where we must expect the unexpected,” Bauer said at the start of the meeting. To be fully operational, NATO must be transformed.
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