British Prime Minister David Cameron (center) joined NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (left) and U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, at Allied Command Operations headquarters in Mons, Belgium, on August 4 to discuss the impact of the Ukraine crisis on NATO’s collective security.
Rasmussen said NATO “stands determined” to defend all allies against any threat. “We are at a crucial point in history. As we remember the devastation of World War I, our peace and security are once again being tested, now by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. And the criminal downing of Flight MH17 has made clear that a conflict in one part of Europe can have tragic consequences around the world,” he said.
Breedlove explained his assessment of recent events in Ukraine. They also discussed the NATO summit scheduled for September 4–5 in Wales.
Rasmussen said the summit will be a turning point for the alliance. “We will adopt an action plan to boost our readiness in a changed world,” he said. “We are looking closely at the forces we need, where they should be deployed, how fast they should be able to respond and how to reinforce them.”
Rasmussen also said a new exercise schedule is being developed, and that the allies are considering ways to strengthen the NATO Response Force so the alliance “can respond quickly to any challenge, old or new.”