Saturday, September 08, 2018

Northern European Chiefs of Defense Address Russian Deterrence

OSLO, Norway -- Chiefs of defense from 11 northern European countries gathered here today to discuss a variety of topics at the 2018 Northern European Chief of Defense Conference.

The main focus of the conference was deterring Russian aggression, U.S. European Command officials said.

Army Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, the Eucom commander, was the senior U.S. military official who attended the conference, which was hosted by Adm. Haakon Bruun-Hanssen, the Norwegian chief of defense.

The two leaders opened the conference by highlighting their mutual appreciation for one another’s collaboration and the benefits of partnering to address the regional challenges faced today.

“The United States and Norway have a long history of cooperation, and we value your partnership,” Scaparrotti said. “We’re pleased to be here today and to work so closely with you.”

Enhancing Cooperation

The objective of the conference was to facilitate an open and candid dialogue to enhance cooperation among the northern European countries in support of enduring stability and peace during a period of emerging challenges.

Presentations from both U.S. and Norwegian leaders helped to facilitate the discussion among the group. Topics focused on how nations can work more closely together to address disinformation and Russian malign influence, cyber threats and critical infrastructure protection, future military deployments and exercises in the region.

“We must be resolute and adaptable as we work together as a team to maintain our momentum,” Scaparrotti said.

Conference participants represented Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Sweden and the United States.

U.S., India Talks Demonstrate Shared Commitment, Pentagon Official Says

WASHINGTON -- The Sept. 6 “two-plus-two” dialogue in New Delhi between Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and Defense Secretary James N. Mattis and their Indian counterparts provided “a demonstrable signal of the U.S. and India’s shared commitment to a forward-looking strategic partnership based on shared values and strategic interests,” chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said.

India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman hosted Pompeo and Mattis for the first such talks between the United States and India.

“Both sides welcomed the signing of the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement, an agreement that will deepen our interoperability and facilitate India’s access to advanced defense systems,” White said in a statement summarizing the talks. “They also look forward to initiating negotiations on the Industrial Security Annex, a second enabling agreement that will facilitate greater defense industrial cooperation.”

The United States reaffirmed the strategic importance of India’s designation as a major defense partner, and the ministers committed to expanding the scope of that status to encompass greater strategic and security coordination, White said. They also welcomed the establishment of a new tri-service military exercise as a tangible commitment to increase military-to-military ties and growing interoperability, she added.

Importance of Defense Trade and Innovation

“Both sides acknowledged the increasing importance of defense trade and defense innovation in our strategic partnership,” White said. “Towards that end, the ministers welcomed the signing of a memorandum of intent between the U.S. Defense Innovation Unit and the Indian Defence Innovation Organization - Innovation for Defence.”
The ministers also committed to start exchanges between U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and the Indian navy, underscoring the importance of deepening their maritime cooperation in the western Indian Ocean, White said.