NATO defense ministers to decide on updated command structure

NATO defense ministers are expected to take decisions to modernize the alliance’s command structure at meetings later this week, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of the meetings, Stoltenberg said the ministers would agree to establish a new joint force command for the Atlantic, and a new support command to improve the rapid movement of troops and equipment within Europe.

The new Atlantic command “will focus on protecting sea lines of communication between North America and Europe, as well as critical infrastructure,” Stoltenberg said, adding, “The command would play a crucial role in crisis and conflict.”

Noting that another new command would focus on improving mobility within Europe, Stoltenberg said, “this is a key part of our collective deterrence and defense.”

NATO defense ministers agreed on the basis for a revision of the command structure at meetings in November of last year.

During this week’s meetings, the ministers will also address other issues including fair burden-sharing, cooperation with the Europan Union, and the alliance’s role in fighting terrorism.



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