European Interest

Prevention is better than combat intervention, says NATO chief

Flickr/EU2017EE Estonian Presidency/CC BY 2.0
“Prevention is better than intervention“, underlined NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

NATO will bring together the EU and the US to address three issues of concern: terrorism, relations with Russia, and new and emerging challenges such as artificial intelligence, autonomous weapons platforms, and big data, said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addressing the MEPs on Tuesday.

He stressed the importance of building global capacity by enabling local forces in the fight against terrorism, instead of solely relying on NATO combat operations. He pointed to current efforts in Afghanistan, Jordan, Tunisia, and, especially, Iraq. “Prevention is better than intervention“, he underlined. “If we don’t react in Iraq now, we risk going into a combat”, he said discussing the security situation in Europe and the world with MEPs from the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET), Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE), and Delegation for relations with NATO Parliamentary Assembly (DNAT).

Regarding relations with Russia, the NATO chief stressed the importance of maintaining a dialogue between the US and Russia in order to achieve results in arms control.

More defence spending

Referring to transatlantic relations, he said that the US is not leaving Europe, but is rather increasing its military presence in the region, adding that Europe is also stepping up its efforts. The NATO Chief also underlined that Europe needs to increase its defence spending since tensions are currently increasing.

When asked to share his thoughts on Europe´s efforts towards strategic autonomy, he stated that he supports the increase of the EU’s defence capabilities, stressing, however, that NATO will continue to be the corner stone of European defence.

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