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About Deter and Defend

NATO is a defensive alliance whose members are committed to safeguarding the freedom and security of each other, against all threats, from all directions. Deterrence and defence is one of NATO’s core tasks. Allies are significantly strengthening the deterrence and defence of the Alliance as the backbone to their Article 5 commitment to defend each other.

  • Russia’s aggression against Ukraine poses the gravest threat to Euro-Atlantic security in decades, shattering peace in Europe and reinforcing the need for NATO to ensure that its deterrence and defence posture remains credible and effective.
  • In response, NATO has activated its defence plans, deployed elements of the NATO Response Force and significantly increased the number of forces on its eastern flank.
  • On 24 March 2022, at an extraordinary summit, NATO Leaders agreed to deploy four battalions in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia, in addition to the four already present in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
  • At the Madrid Summit in June 2022, NATO Leaders approved a new Strategic Concept, which describes the security environment facing the Alliance and identifies NATO’s core tasks. The Strategic Concept states that Russia is the most significant and direct threat to Allies’ security and to peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area. It also states that terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, is the most direct asymmetric threat to the security of the Alliance’s citizens and to international peace and prosperity.
  • At the Summit, Allies also committed to deploying additional robust in-place combat-ready forces to NATO’s eastern flank, to be scaled up from the existing battalion-sized battlegroups to brigade-size units, where and when required, and to ensure these forces will be underpinned by credible rapidly available reinforcements, prepositioned equipment, and enhanced command and control. Allies agreed a new force model, which will strengthen and modernise the NATO Force Structure, support NATO’s core tasks and will resource the Alliance’s new generation of military plans.
  • NATO continues to face distinct threats and challenges emanating from all strategic directions; from state and non-state actors as well as from cyber and hybrid attacks. Pervasive instability, rising strategic competition and advancing authoritarianism challenge the Alliance’s interests and values.
  • Two military concepts set the direction for NATO’s ongoing adaptation: the Concept for Deterrence and Defence of the Euro-Atlantic Area focuses on force employment to deter and defend today, while the NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept offers a vision to guide the Alliance’s long-term warfare development to remain militarily strong now and in the future.
  • Allies have made considerable progress in increasing defence spending and investing in major equipment, taking steps toward fairer burden-sharing within NATO. 2022 will be their eighth consecutive year of increased defence spending, with European Allies’ and Canada’s cumulative investment of almost USD 350 billion since 2014.

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