Military News

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

NATO Defense Chiefs Build 360-Degree Defense on Maturing Framework, Dunford Says


By Jim Garamone, DoD News, Defense Media Activity

MADRID -- The NATO Military Committee Meeting in Warsaw this past weekend was so productive because the alliance chiefs of defense were able to build on the three-year framework put in place, Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford told reporters here today.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the Military Committee was able to flesh out the NATO 360-degree approach to security matters.

Dunford, who came to the position three-years ago, said there was not the appreciation of the Russian challenge then, that there is today. “There was also not the appreciation for violent extremism and the risk of terrorism in everybody’s backyard as there is today,” he said.

Relevant Alliance

In 2015, the alliance began the debate on 360-degree security. “At that point, all the members of the alliance wanted to know if the alliance was relevant to the security challenges they confronted,” he said.

In the past three years, alliance heads of state have met twice – most recently at the Brussels summit in July. The political leaders affirmed the alliance will meet the 360-degree challenge. The alliance will defend against the threat posed by Russia and it will address the threats emanating from North Africa and the Middle East – primarily the risks of mass migration and acts of terror.

Political leaders also realized that alliance readiness levels were not where they needed to be, the chairman said. They affirmed that NATO needed to adapt both its command structure and capabilities in order to be relevant for the challenges faced today.

Three years ago, the alliance created enhanced forward presence to assure allies that NATO would act. That effort has matured and transformed into alliance deterrence, “and we need to project security to the South to mitigate the effects of violent extremism and terrorist acts,” Dunford said.

That political framework is in place now. As military leaders “we don’t have to debate what to do,” the general said.

The military leaders “have a very clear mandate” to adapt the NATO command structure. They also are working on the 4X30 readiness initiative that calls for 30 ships, 30 aircraft squadrons, 30 battalions of ground forces to be ready in 30 days. “So we have to figure how to implement that,” he said.

“Everyone has a different priority to the challenges we face, but we have cohesion in that the alliance is expected to address all 29 members security challenges whether that comes from the South or the East,” the general said. “It’s been the journey that we’ve been on in my three years as chairman.”

About Deterrence

The alliance is first and foremost about deterrence. Then, if deterrence fails, it is about collective defense. “That requires a diplomatic effort and capabilities that can convince an adversary … that the cost that will be imposed will be much higher than whatever gain they can achieve,” he said.

An effective deterrent posture is most important when confronting Russia. Deterrence is across the board. NATO must deter in the nuclear, conventional and cyber realms. They also must be ready for capabilities that fall below the threshold of armed conflict that would be by definition aggressive and provocative acts, Dunford said.

NATO adaptation, measures taken to enhance deterrence, the European Defense Initiative are “all clearly intended to send a message to Russia that there is an effective conventional deterrent and a collective defense of NATO,” he said. “All of the activity that we do – our exercises, our training, our force posture – is all designed to ensure that our deterrence is effective.”

Dunford Pleased DOD Enters Fiscal 2019 With Budget


By Jim Garamone, DoD News, Defense Media Activity

MADRID --  For the first time in a long time, the Defense Department entered the fiscal year with a budget, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said troops should be extremely pleased with the development.

“What the troops have seen is a commitment from the executive and legislative branches of government to give them the wherewithal to do their jobs,” Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford said during an interview with reporters traveling with him.

President Donald J. Trump signed the appropriations bill on Friday meaning the Defense Department starts fiscal year 2019 with money in the bank. The president signed the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act in August. Both bills must be passed before DOD can operate.

Defense leaders had made the case for the budget through “identifying the challenges we face and also the demonstrated performance of our men and women in uniform every day,” Dunford said. Congress understood that the U.S. military needs these capabilities, “and we can be entrusted to make good use of them.”

His message to Congress and the American people this year is for an appropriate, sustained level of funding. “It took us years to get into this problem and you don’t spend money efficiently, you don’t spend money as good steward, if you lurch from year to year,” he said. “You can’t plan a program and develop capabilities over time.”

Predictability will allow the department to build effective partnerships with industry. This will allow companies to deliver capabilities on time and on cost.

“We need to have predictability to properly prioritize what we are going to invest in,” he said. “Every year, no matter how big the budget is, you have to make choices. We are much better at making choices if we are informed by a three-to five-year look ahead and predict what level of funding we will have.”

Dunford: Russia, China Pose Similar Challenges to U.S., Rules-Based Order


By Jim Garamone, DoD News, Defense Media Activity

MADRID -- The challenges the United States sees from Russia and China are similar because both have studied the America way of war, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said yesterday.

Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford is here visiting Spanish officials after attending the NATO Military Committee meeting in Warsaw, Poland, over the weekend.

The bottom line for the United States and the country’s greatest source of strength strategically “is the network of allies we’ve built up over 70 years,” Dunford told reporters traveling with him. At the operational level, he added, the U.S. military’s advantage is the ability to deploy forces anywhere they are needed in a timely manner and then sustain them.

“Russia has studied us since 1990,” Dunford said. “They looked at us in 2003. They know how we project power.”

Russian leaders are trying to undermine the credibility of the U.S. ability to meet its alliance commitments and are seeking to erode the cohesion of the NATO alliance, he said.

Russia has devoted serious money to modernizing its military, the chairman noted, and that covers the gamut from its nuclear force to command and control to cyber capabilities. “At the operational level, their goal is to field capabilities that challenge our ability to project power into Europe and operate freely across all domains,” Dunford said. “We have to operate freely in sea, air and land, as we did in the past, but now we also must operate [freely] in cyberspace and space.”

The nature of war has not changed, but the character of war has. The range of weapon systems has increased. There has been a proliferation of anti-ship cruise missiles and land-to-land attack missiles. Cyber capabilities, command and control capabilities and electronic warfare capabilities have grown.

Great Power Competition

These are the earmarks of the new great power competition. Russia is the poster child, but China is using the same playbook, the chairman said.

“What Russia is trying to do is … exactly what China is trying to do vis-a-vis our allies and our ability to project power,” Dunford said. “In China, what we are talking about is an erosion of the rules-based order. The United States and its allies share the commitment to a free and open Pacific. That is going to require coherent, collective action.”

Against Russia, the United States and its NATO allies have a framework in place around which they can build: a formal alliance structure allows the 29 nations to act as one, Dunford said.

However, he added, a similar security architecture is not in place in the Pacific.

The United States has treaties with Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Thailand. Politically and economically, the United States works with the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

“I see the need for all nations with an interest in the rules-based architecture to take collective action,” Dunford said. “The military dimension is a small part of this issue, and it should be largely addressed diplomatically and economically.”

He said the military dimension is exemplified by freedom of navigation operations, in which 22 nations participated with more than 1,500 operations in the past year. “These are normal activities designed to show we will fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows, and not allow illicit claims to become de facto,” the chairman said.