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01 noiembrie 2019 - Special reports - NATO - UE


Monitorul Apărării şi Securităţii

Romania could join the “Defender Europe 2020” exercise; The 2019 NATO-defence industry Forum; Intense discussions within EU on the 2020 budget; Norway does not allot funds for the antimissile defence system in 2020; European infrastructure, the Americans and assault bridges

Sursă foto: Mediafax


Romania could join the “Defender-Europe 2020” exercise

On October 7, the USEUCOM commander has officially announced that the “Defender-Europe 2020” it will have the greatest US army forces deployment in Europe for the past 25 years. Concretely, at the exercise, besides US, there will also participate 18 countries- 16 NATO members, but also Georgia and Finland. Out of the 37.000 military men to be present, 20.000 will be American military men dislocated from US, 9.000 US soldiers already dislocated in Europe and 8.000 will be the soldiers of the other NATO member states and partners.

As for the equipment, the US army will participate with 20.000 technique units, brought from the American continent and another 13.000 units from the American army’s endowment, which are prepositioned in Europe.

The exercise and the associated activities will increase NATO’s strategic interoperability and planning, by checking US army’s capacity to quickly deploy a trustable force (personnel, technique and logistics) and to answer, along with its partners and allies, to a possible crisis. The exercise is scheduled for May 2020, and personnel and equipment’s maneuver will be held from February until July 2020. The exercise supports NATO’s clear objectives to develop the training within the alliance and deter possible enemies.

Lt. General Christopher Cavoli, the USEUCOM commander, has stated: “The development of a tough, realistic training, together with our Europe partners and allies, is improving those professional relations which are creating trust between military men and increases our operability, availability and capacity to collectively deter possible threats”.

The surrogate of the US Chief of the General Stuff of the Army, general-lieutenant Charles Flynn, has stated that the Defender-Europe 2020 exercise will test US army forces’ capacity to quickly deploy their forces everywhere in the world and develop fight actions within the “multidisciplinary operations” concept.

For the past years, Europe has witnessed the biggest military exercises since the end of the Cold War. The “Anaconda 2016”, from Poland, enjoyed the participation of 31.000 military men, and at the “Trident Juncture 2018”, from Norway, Sweden and Finland were involved more than 40.000 military men. However, these numbers are quite “small” comparing to Russian Federation’s exercises. According to Western experts, the “Vostok 2018” had more than 300.000 military men and more than 36.000 technique units. This increase and frequency of the military exercises developed in Europe and the Russian Federation increases the distrusts and deteriorates the security relations in Europe, precisely between NATO and the Russian Federation. As for the Romanian participation, the Chief of the General Staff of the Army, general Nicolae Ciuca, has stated: “I have sent the participation documents, I have talked with the chief of the general staff from Poland and I also sent the approval letter within the USEUCOM, so that to have, in the following year, a consistent participation, accordingly with Romania’s ambition and role in terms of the allied decisions for NATO’s Eastern flank defence and deterrence”. However, on exercise’s internet page, our country’s flag is missing.

“Defender-Europe 2020” is created also following the interoperability principles. The necessary coordination efforts to smoothly develop the fight actions need a high interoperability level. Therefore, during the exercise, it will be analyzed, in detail, the recent evolutions and improvements and also the possible shortcomings in cross-border field and the railway and road infrastructure practicability. After the “Saber Guardian- 2017”, it was highlighted the bureaucracy blocking the forces and methods maneuver between the EU member states, but also outside it, as well as the precarious maintenance condition or the impracticability of road and railway communications.


The “2019 NATO-defence industry’ forum

Hosted by US the “2019 NATO-defence industry’ forum will be held in Washington D.C., on November 12 and 14th.

This forum is the main framework for the strategic dialogue between NATO and the defence industry in NATO capabilities planning and development field. Sponsored by the NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, the Forum is co-organized by the Supreme Allied Commander for Transformation, General Andre Lanata and the NATO Deputy Secretary General for defence investments, Camille Grand.

This year’s forum is organized given the challenging security environment, which is unpredictable and fluid, wherein the world that is more and more interconnected eases the global access to technology and information to have a great impact on the decision-making process. NATO, the partner countries, the international organizations and the defence industry should reflect more on the decision-making mechanisms to use innovative solution. The participants will present their new emergent technologies, which are allowing mechanisms, processes and decision-making procedures to adapt, allowing NATO to make its own decisions on the future solutions. The discussion will mainly focus on interoperability, innovation and technology, the NATO collaboration with the defence industry and will target the necessary changes identification to adapt the Alliance to the security environment challenges.

In the first day, within the fourth debate session, there will be approached the elements contributing to decision-making processes: understanding the geopolitical context, collecting information, process, exploit and disseminate them; the use of “big data”; the acknowledgement and operational prevention; the support for human decision-making.

On the second day of the forum, the plenary sessions will focus on the emergent tendencies influencing the decision-making and the analysis of intelligence change. The day will end with recommendations for NATO in the current geopolitical security environment.

The forum will include NATO military representatives and ambassadors’ contributions, the representative of the host nation, European institutions, executive directors of defence industry companies, security and commerce, as well as representatives of think-tanks and the academic environment.



Intense topics inside EU on the 2020 budget

In its 2020 budget, the Commission has proposed the establishment of a total level of commitments to 168,3 billion euro, and the payments to 153,6 billion euro. Afterwards, the Council has adopted, on September 3rd, a decision by which the 2020 budget includes total commitments worth of 1,5 billion euro, less than Commission’s proposal and smaller payments, with 0.5 billion euro.

The EU parliamentarians have approved on Wednesday (October 23rd) the 2020 EU budget, stating that its must offer a “starting point for the launch of a new EU programs generation”. Therefore, the parliament asked for an increase of the total commitments to 171,0 billion euro and the payments to 159,1 billion euro.

The European parliament underlines that, in its resolution program, the EU budget for 2020 is “EU’s last chance to get closer to achieving its established political commitments for that period, including to reach the climate protection objective”. It must open the door towards the new 2021-2027 EU budget on long-term, the so-called multiannual financial framework.

EU parliamentarians have increased Commission’s budget project, adding a total of more than 2 billion euro to protect the climate. Also, they have offered more money for the “Youth Employment Initiative”, the “Erasmus +” programs and have approved also supplementary support accordingly with Parliament’s priorities in fields like IMMs, research, digitalization, migration and foreign policy, including through humanitarian support and development.

The conciliation committee will meet on November 4 and 15. Also on November 15 it will be held the ECOFIN Council (Budget) to offer the European presidency some direction for their discussion with the Parliament. If they do not get to any agreement until the end of the conciliation time (November 18th), the Commission must present a new budget project for 2020.



Norway does not allot funds for the antimissile defence system in 2020

The Norwegian govern has announced that the 2020 defence budget, worth of $218 million, will not include the participation to NATO’s antimissile defence systems.

Therefore, the budget dedicated to 2020 defence will be worth of $6,56 million and will include the introduction of new short range of action anti-air defence systems, tanks’ acquisition, F-35 hunting aircrafts maintenance and P-8 maritime patrol aircrafts’ reception.

In Government’s press release, issued after approving the budget, it is also revealed that, after a detailed analysis of the political and geostrategic environment, the government decided that Norway will not participate at the sensors or defence missiles acquisition that could participate at NATO’s defence missile systems.

The antimissile system started in 2011 and many states, mostly from the Mediterranean Sea area, are joining it. The project foresees that, through the SM-3 Block IIB interceptor implementation, to improve also medium and intermediate range of action combat missile capabilities, in 2020, and the possible intercontinental ballistic missiles to be developed in the future.

Norway’s decision was, most likely, made to avoid antagonizing its relations with Russia, a country wherewith it shares a 200km border, even if, repeatedly, NATO stated that the system is not targeting Russia.

Thus, Norway will only contribute to NATO’s effort with aircrafts and fight ships.


The European infrastructure, the Americans and assault bridges

Getting back to the “Defender Europe 2020” exercise, in a statement made during the AUSA 2019 (Association of The US Army), the commanding general of the Army Corps of Engineers stated that “If you took all the bridging in NATO and put it together we couldn’t get a Brigade Combat Team across a 400-meter river.”

For all the brigade fight groups, the capacity to execute crossings over the water or natural obstacles is crucial, but for the US forces operating in Western or Eastern Europe this desideratum is quite difficult to reach. According to studies made by American engineers, a brigade fight group would meet smaller water obstacles every 20 km, large 100-meter-wide water obstacles every 35-60 km, and significant 100-400-meter-wide rivers every 250-400 km.

Neither US, not the NATO European member states have enough assault bridges necessary to ease crossing these obstacles, said the American general.

According to general-lieutenant Todd Semonite, the most serious issue is being recorded in the space between Germany and Estonia, where are six major rivers ( Danube, Volga, Rhine, Elbe, Oder, and Dnieper rivers and more than 4.500 bridges- of which 800 have more than 100 m length. If 1% of those bridges were degraded, 5,500 meters of military assault bridges would be required to replace them. Also, we must consider that, currently, the tanks on NATO states’ endowment are too heavy to force the existent bridges’ resistance. Most of Europe bridges can only handle below 70 tons, given that German tanks, Leopard, are weighing around 80 tons, British Challengers around 95 tons and American Abrams around 91 tons. Also, they must consider that a division needs at least two crossing points.

General-lieutenant Todd Semonite states that one of the answers to such challenge is the new JAB (Joint Assault Bridge), which will soon replace the Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge (AVLB).

The new JAB, alike its predecessor, will be built by Leonardo DRS, based on a contract with the army forces, worth of $400 million, and it will include the production of 337 systems, wherewith we add the maintenance tests and program. Currently, the program is in its initial production and operational testing phase. Between 2020 and 2023, all ALVB should be replaced by JAB.

The JAB system is a track-wheeled vehicle built on a modified M1 Abrams chassis, to be able to launch a bridge with 95 tons resistance and 18,3 meters length. Bridge’s suspension is copied from the M1A2 tank model.

Translated by Andreea Soare