NATO defense ministers approve new space policy, discuss burden sharing

NATO defense ministers approved a new overarching space policy, which will guide NATO’s approach to space, the opportunities and challenges.

“We can play an important role as a forum to share information, increase interoperability, and ensure that our missions and operations can call on the support they need,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Ministers also addressed NATO’s defense and deterrence posture, including the Readiness Initiative. By 2020, Allies will make available 30 combat ships, 30 land battalions, 30 air squadrons, to be ready within 30 days.

The Secretary General announced that Allies have already generated around three-quarters of the forces required. “There is still work to do, but by the end of the year, we aim to be at full strength,” he said.

Ministers also discussed progress on burden sharing, in terms of cash, capabilities and contributions.

“Fair burden sharing underpins everything we do as an Alliance, and we are making major progress,” said the Secretary General.

He noted that 2019 will be the fifth consecutive year of real growth in defense spending by European Allies and Canada, and by the end of 2020, Allies will have added a cumulative total of well over 100 billion U.S. dollars. Stoltenberg stressed that burden sharing will be an important topic at the meeting of NATO leaders in London in December.