Leaders of the NATO Alliance this week are expected to announce a new “Strategic Concept” that includes key changes from the last concept 12 years ago, including the threat posed by Russian and a discussion of China, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Tuesday.
The previous “Strategic Concept described Russia as a strategic partner and did not refer to China,” Sullivan said during a media gaggle aboard Air Force One en route to Madrid, Spain, where alliance leaders are gathering from June 28-30 to sign off on the new Strategic Concept, greater support for Ukraine and strengthening defense and deterrence.
“The Document is expected to make clear that Allies consider Russia as the most significant and direct threat to NATO’s security, while addressing China for the first time and the challenges that Beijing poses toward Allied security, interests and values,” says a June 28 NATO statement.
Cybersecurity, climate change and terrorism are included in the new concept.
Sullivan said the Strategic Concept “will also address modern and emerging threats, cyber and emerging technologies, hybrid warfare, the growing national security implications of climate change, and, of course, the evolving threat of terrorism, which has changed over the course of the 20 years since the Alliance went into Afghanistan back in 2001.”
NATO will also agree to funding targets for its budgets to ensure adequate funding for the “strategic lines of effort” in the Strategic Concept and for the Alliance to “carry out its activities,” he said.
Sullivan also said that the commitment by individual NATO members to increasing their defense spending will be on display in Madrid. He said a “strong majority” are now at, or will be by 2024, the 2 percent benchmark of defense spending to their respective gross domestic product.
“And we’re seeing a real commitment across the board for countries to actually make the contributions to national capabilities necessary for the Alliance to be very strong,” Sullivan said.