COLOGNE, Germany — As NATO officials hash out reform proposals aimed at reinvigorating the alliance, there will be a dedicated push to enhance military technology development among member states, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced this week.
“As part of NATO 2030, I intend to put further proposals on the table to maintain our technological edge, to develop common principles and standards for new technologies, and to enhance cooperation between allies in areas like joint research and development,” Stoltenberg said during a speech at the Globsec think tank’s Bratislava Forum event.
The NATO 2030 drill encompasses various strands of analyses by experts inside and outside the alliance command structure. The reform push goes back to a resolution from the 2019 London summit, which tasked the Norwegian prime minister at the time to lead a “reflection process” that would incorporate new threats like cyberwar, the rise of China, Russian saber-rattling, climate change and terrorism.
Over the summer, Stoltenberg unveiled a new political tack emanating from the NATO 2030 study, postulating that the alliance would strive to increase its global reach, including in the Indo-Pacific.
“Military strength is only part of the answer,” Stoltenberg said in a June speech. “We also need to use NATO more politically.”
He reiterated that objective this week, saying the alliance would seek deeper ties with “like-minded” nations outside of NATO.
Resilience is another key prong of the reform agenda, and Stoltenberg previewed a new push for member states to shore up their defenses against potentially hostile forces seeking to undermine the alliance through the back door. Such measures could come in the form of a common monitoring regime for keeping foreign investors from snapping up “critical infrastructure, companies and technologies,” Stoltenberg said.
“And we should agree common principles and whether to export technologies that we rely on for our security,” he added.
Also on the docket in the course of the reform process is a new strategic concept that would replace the existing version dating from 2010, Stoltenberg announced.
Sebastian Sprenger is associate editor for Europe at Defense News, reporting on the state of the defense market in the region, and on U.S.-Europe cooperation and multi-national investments in defense and global security. Previously he served as managing editor for Defense News. He is based in Cologne, Germany.