stoltenberg smuggled a new nuclear doctrine into a speech about cyber

NATO gives itself a new military strategy
Christoph Schiltz, Die Welt, May 25 2019

For the first time in decades, NATO will present a new military strategy. Sec-Gen Stoltenberg told Welt am Sonntag:

Our military experts have decided this week a new military strategy for the Alliance.

Stoltenberg justifies the move with the “nuclear threat” that Russia deploys against the West. He warns Germany to increase defense spending. The process is “not about appeasing Pindo Pres Trump.” Since 2014, there has been a “new security environment” and new challenges in the East and South, Stoltenberg explained the move. In addition, Russia is increasingly using the “nuclear threat” against the West. He said:

It is a question of continuing to be fully defensive and to be able to create stability. This sometimes requires new military concepts. Our strength is that we are able to change ourselves when necessary.

Stoltenberg welcomed the planned increase in the defense expenditure in Germany to 1.35% of GDP this year as an “important contribution” to NATO’s defence capability. He said:

I expect that Germany will continue to increase its defense spending in the coming years. This has been promised by Germany like all other NATO countries. And I am firmly convinced that her neighbouring state will welcome Germany’s compliance with this commitment. All NATO states agreed in 2014 to invest 2% of GDP in defense. This is not an artificial number. It reflects the need for military capabilities. It’s not about appeasing Pindo Pres Donald Trump. It’s that we need to significantly improve our military capabilities in difficult times. In view of the Washington-Taliban peace negotiations in Afghanistan and the NATO training mission, which includes up to 1200 German soldiers, NATO must prepare to remain in Afghanistan for a period of time, possibly following a possible peace agreement with the Taliban, in order to train security forces and thus further assist the government in the reconstruction of the country.

NATO Adopts New Strategy to Counter “Russia’s Nuclear Threat”
Sputnik News, May 25 2019

Moscow has repeatedly denied plans to attack any NATO member state and insists that the alliance has continued to allege that Russia poses a threat in order to increase its military presence along Russia’s borders. The German newspaper Die Welt am Sonntag has quoted NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg as saying that the alliance’s new military strategy was adopted this week in response to what he described as “Russia’s nuclear threat.” Stoltenberg noted:

Sometimes, it’s necessary to hammer out new military concepts. Our strength is that we are able to change when necessary. Our new military strategy is about significantly improving our military capabilities in difficult times, not merely appeasing Pindo Pres Donald Trump.

In April, Trump said that he would like to see NATO members pay at least 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defence – a shift from Trump’s speech last year when he told NATO leaders to increase defence spending to 4 percent of GDP, adding that the US pays 4.3 percent of its GDP on defence. Stoltenberg’s remarks come after he told officials at the Cyber Defence Pledge Conference in London on Thursday that NATO won’t hesitate to use all means necessary to respond to cyberattacks, moving forward. He noted that NATO officials have agreed that a cyberattack could in the future trigger Article 5 of the bloc’s founding treaty, which dictates that an attack against one member can and will be treated as an attack against the whole of the military alliance. Stoltenberg spoke after UK Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt’s speech at the conference, in which the latter specifically accused Russia of perpetrating cyber-attacks on the infrastructure of several countries in a bid to find vulnerabilities. Moscow has repeatedly denied allegations that it has carried out such attacks against other states. Russia has repeatedly expressed its concerns regarding an increased NATO military presence in Europe, including the alliance’s eastward expansion. The Kremlin has underscored that Russia poses no threat to other nations, but will not ignore actions which endanger its interests. According to Moscow, the alliance continues to allege that Russia poses a threat in order to expand its military clout along Russia’s borders.

Stoltenberg says NATO pushes limits of what the alliance can do in cyber-space
Patrick Tucker, Defense One, May 24, 2019

North Atlantic Council Foreign Ministers Session 2 at Foggy Bottom, Apr 4 2019.

In the latest signal NATO is adopting a tougher posture against cyber and electronic attacks, Sec-Gen Jens Stoltenberg this week said that the defensive alliance will not remain purely defensive. He told attendees at the Cyber-Defence Pledge conference in London:

We are not limited to respond in cyber-space when we are attacked in cyber-space. We have agreed to integrate national cyber-capabilities or offensive cyber into Alliance operations and missions.

But the parameters of a NATO response to cyber-attacks remains undefined. In 2015, Stoltenberg said that a cyber-attack against one member nation could trigger an Article 5 collective response by all members. Yet only once has a collective response ever been invoked, at the request of Pindostan following 9/11. NATO is a defensive organization, so what an offensive cyber-posture looks like remains something of a mystery. An Article 5 response can take many different forms, according to NATO Deputy Gen Sec Rose Gottmoeller, but while an Article 5 response can be unpredictable, it must be coordinated, which can be tricky with many different partners in possession of many different capabilities. At an event in May, Gottmoeller said:

We are in the process of establishing a new innovation board to bring together all of the parts of and pieces of NATO that have to wrestle with these new technologies to really try to get a flow of information. Many of you having served in any international institution or government, you know how things can get stove-piped. So we are resolved to break down those stove-pipes, particularly where innovation is concerned.

NATO is building a cyber-command that is scheduled to be fully operational in 2023 and will coordinate and conduct all offensive cyber-operations. Until then, whatever NATO does offensively, it will rely heavily on Pindostan and the discretion of Pindo commanders, according to Sophie Arts, program coordinator for security and defense at the German Marshall Fund, who explains in this December report. She told Defense One:

Yesterday’s remarks indicate that NATO’s leadership is thinking more seriously about buttressing the alliance’s deterrence posture in cyber-space and address threats that fall under the threshold of an Article 5 violation. This tracks recent shifts in strategy adopted by Pindostan itself and several NATO vassals, which integrate offensive cyber-operations as an important tool to proactively address growing instances of cyber-interference from hostile actors.

But Arts points out there is no field manual for coordinating cyber-offensive operations among individual vassals, including big players in cyber like Estonia, Britain & Pindostan, who keep command and control over their assets. In 2017, Gregory Edwards, then director of infrastructure services at NATO’s communication and information agency laid out what its response to attack might look like.

You could make a case-by-case decision. You need to have a policy that says, if our operation is disturbed, we will take a specific action. The action will be listed. It will be listed what things the commander is allowed to do in that regard. It will be a specific action.

At an April meeting of NATO policy planners in Faschingstein, Kiron Kanina Skinner, director of Policy Planning at the State Dept, said:

We spent most of our time during the meeting discussing how to coordinate cyber effects and policy. This issue rivals the Russian military build-up on the borders of Eastern Europe. Today we didn’t talk about the Eastern flank. We talked about cyber-security.


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