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20 Dec 18. How the European Union was stymied by phishing. The tactics were “unremarkable” but the results were extraordinary. Chinese government hackers using basic phishing methods were able to infiltrate the European Union’s communication network, possibly for years, according to a Dec. 19 report by Area 1, a cybersecurity firm that specializes in anti-phishing activity. Information about the alleged hack come as the European Union and other organizations have warned about the danger of spearphishing tactics. The cyberattack was part of a broader hacking campaign by the Chinese government against the United Nations and the AFL-CIO, one of the United States’ largest unions, according to the firm.
“Very little about cyberattacks is cutting-edge computer science,” the report said, concluding that “there is a high level of creativity in the diverse phishing lures used to gain access,” to a victims network.
An email to the Chinese embassy in Washington D.C. was not returned. The New York Times first reported on Area 1’s findings, and the cybersecurity firm provided the newspaper with over 1,000 stolen cables from the European Union, which raised concern of experts.
According to a timeline laid out by the firm, the hackers used a simple plan to hack into governments, trade unions and think tanks.
Initial access was first gained through phishing attacks against network administrators and other senior staff members to steal their usernames and passwords.
Phishing attacks are among the most popular methods of entry for hackers and account for 41 percent of all digital fraud cases, according to an August report from the cybersecurity company RSA.
The European Union has advocated for the use of machine learning to prevent phishing attempts, a tactic the group’s leaders said they expect to rise in popularity in the coming years.
“More than 80% of cyber attacks and over 70% of those from nation states are initiated by exploiting humans rather than computer or network security flaws,” according to a fact sheet the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. A DARPA project experiments with using automated learning to warn users of phishing attempts.
“The fundamental weakness of cyber systems are humans,” the project’s description read.
In the case of the Chinese government, armed with the stolen credentials via phishing, the hackers created a backdoor inside the system to help the attacker map the network architecture.
“Once initial access to a machine is established, the attacker determines what other machines can be connected to, what data is available on those machines, and then rinses and repeats,” the report said.
When files were ready to be removed from the network they were sent to commercial could services such as Google Drive using publicly available tools. Google Drive was just one of the publicly available services that the hackers utilized during the breach, Area 1 said. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
20 Dec 18. Syria – There has been widespread coverage across broadcast, print and online media today concerning comments made by US President Donald Trump yesterday on US involvement in Syria.
A UK Government spokesperson said: “The Global Coalition against Daesh has made huge progress. Since military operations began, the Coalition and its partners in Syria and Iraq have recaptured the vast majority of Daesh territory and important advances have been made in recent days in the last area of eastern Syria which Daesh has occupied. But much remains to be done and we must not lose sight of the threat they pose. Even without territory, Daesh will remain a threat. As the United States has made clear, these developments in Syria do not signal the end of the Global Coalition or its campaign. We will continue to work with members of the Coalition on achieving this. We remain committed to the Global Coalition and the campaign to deny Daesh territory and ensure its enduring defeat, working alongside our critical regional partners in Syria and beyond. As the situation on the ground develops, we will continue to discuss how we achieve these aims with our Coalition partners, including the US. This Government will continue to do what is necessary to protect the British people and our allies and partners.” (Source: U.K. MoD)
19 Dec 18. Turkey sticking with Russian missile defence purchase, officials say. Turkey has not changed its decision to buy S-400 missile defence systems from Russia but welcomes a U.S. State Department approval of the possible purchase of a rival Patriot system from the United States, two Turkish officials said on Wednesday.
One official described the State Department decision as good signal for Ankara’s troubled relations with Washington, and Turkey was now waiting for the next U.S. step.
“Turkey has not changed the decision to buy the S-400 defence system from Russia,” the official said. “As an ally, the U.S. should sell it to Turkey…but we have been waiting their approval.” (Source: Reuters)
18 Dec 18. NATO Members Drive Fastest Increase in Global Defence Spending for a Decade, Jane’s by IHS Markit Reveals. Spending rose by nearly 5 percent in 2018 to reach USD1.78trn, driven by budget increases in North America and Europe. Global defence expenditure grew by 4.9 percent in 2018, the fastest growth rate since 2008, according to the annual Jane’s Defence Budget report, released today by business information provider IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO). Global defence spending grew for the fifth consecutive year to reach a total of USD1.78trn in 2018, significantly exceeding the post-Cold War record of USD1.69trn in 2010, according to the report. Fueling this global growth was a 5.8 percent boost to NATO spending, which totaled USD54bn, largely due to higher defence spending in the US. Jane’s by IHS Markit forecasts that overall NATO defence expenditure will exceed USD1trn in 2019.
“Following a challenging period for NATO members in the wake of the global financial crisis, countries have begun to increase defence spending again, in response to emerging threats,” said Fenella McGerty, principal analyst, Jane’s by IHS Markit. “This has slowed the rebalance in defence expenditure toward emerging markets.”
Jane’s by IHS Markit projects that global defence spending growth will moderate to a level of around 2 percent per year over the next five years as budget increases in Europe and North America slow and emerging markets again become the key source of growth.
“In 2018, we’ve seen a reversal of recent trends with Western states driving growth,” said Craig Caffrey, principal analyst at Jane’s by IHS Markit. “Going forward we still see Asia and the Middle East as the key sources of sustainable increases in defence spending.”
NATO members increase spending
In 2010, NATO member spending accounted for two thirds of global defence expenditure. As emerging markets expanded and developed economies implemented cuts over the decade, the balance of global defence expenditure shifted dramatically. The NATO share of expenditure steadily declined to just 55 percent in 2017 with non-NATO spending on track to surpass NATO expenditure by the early-2020s.
“As 24 of the 29 NATO members increased their defence budget in 2018, the decline in the NATO share of global spending has stalled,” McGerty said. “The recommitment to defence in Western states means the global balance of expenditure between NATO and non-NATO markets is now more likely to shift from the mid-2020s.”
Nine NATO members will reach the 2 percent of GDP benchmark for defence expenditure in 2019 – compared to just four members in 2014. These countries are the US, Greece, Estonia, Lithuania, United Kingdom, Poland, France, Latvia and Romania.
US continues to invest in modernisation
US defence spending increased by USD46bn in 2018 to reach USD702.5bn as the Pentagon sought to improve military readiness and bolster missile defence capabilities. The 7 percent boost to the Pentagon’s budget represents the largest increase in US defence spending since 2008.
“Modernisation accounts will reach USD244.1bn in FY19 – the highest level of investment funding since the period FY07-10, which experienced the maximum Overseas Contingency Operations and maximum US Department of Defense (US DoD) spending levels,” said Guy Eastman, senior analyst at Jane’s. “The funding levels for FY18 and FY19 have enabled the US DoD to start on the road to improved readiness and acquire improved warfighting capabilities.”
Eastern European budgets continue to expand, while Germany’s 11 percent spending boost will bolster Western Europe’s total
Six of the ten fastest growing defence budgets in the world in 2018 were situated in Eastern Europe. Defence spending in the region grew by almost 9 percent in 2018 with Poland, Romania and the Ukraine driving increases. Notably, spending on military equipment has more than doubled in the region since the annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Western European defence spending increased for the third consecutive year in 2018 to reach USD248bn – 2.4 percent higher than 2017. In 2019, regional spending should exceed pre-financial crisis levels as growth accelerates to 3.6 percent driven by a major 11 percent increase in the German defence budget.
“As fiscal balances have improved, countries are able to respond to a markedly poorer security environment and address the capability gaps that have emerged,” McGerty said. “European defence cooperation is also a driving factor as countries look to bolster domestic capabilities but also partner on new technologies, all of which requires greater investment.”
While the outlook for defence spending growth in Europe appears on an upward trend, this hinges on a stable UK defence budget and therefore upon the outcome of Brexit negotiations and the impact on the UK economy.
Strong economic conditions in Asia-Pacific drive accelerated growth
Growth in Asia-Pacific accelerated to 3.6 percent in 2018 but remains below the average 4.8 percent rate seen over the past decade. Total regional spending reached a record high of USD465bn in 2018.
Despite security concerns, economic growth continues to be the primary driver of defence budget growth in Asia.
“Strategic drivers are undoubtedly becoming more important, but trends continue to be dictated by economic and fiscal conditions. Strong underlying economic fundamentals mean that Asia is where we expect the majority of the sustainable long-term growth will come from,” Caffrey said. “From a budgetary perspective, we’re still seeing very few indicators that an arms race is underway in Asia.”
Saudi surpasses France as fifth largest defence spender
Higher oil prices over the course of 2018 contributed to an uptick in growth in the Middle East and North Africa with total spending in the region reaching USD180 bn. Saudi Arabia increased its defence outlay by 7 percent to hit USD56 bn, making the Kingdom the fifth largest spender on defence globally.
“The large increase in Saudi Arabia’s defence budget drove trends in MENA,” Caffrey said. “With oil prices falling again in the latter part of the year, regional growth is likely to remain relatively conservative in the short term.”
Brazil dominates defence spending in Latin America
Latin America’s defence spending grew by 10.4 percent in 2018, reaching a new high of almost USD62bn. Brazil’s allocation of USD29.9bn accounted for 48.3 percent of this total.
“The recovery in Latin American defence budgets continued this year, but aside from Venezuela, where hyperinflation necessitated massive spending supplements, growth was markedly slower than in 2017,” said Andrew MacDonald, senior analyst at Jane’s by IHS Markit. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
18 Dec 18. Britain eyes a more lethal force in newly revealed defense modernization review. Britain is to rebuild weapon stockpiles, strengthen Joint Forces Command and earmark cash to rapidly innovate as part of a long-awaited defense modernization review revealed Tuesday by Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson.
The defense secretary told Parliament on Dec. 18 that the review, known as the Modernising Defence Programme, would improve the lethality, reach and mass of the armed forces. However, he stopped short on detailing where the cash would coming from and who the long-term winners and losers might be in regard to capabilities and programs as priorities change. Although Williamson told lawmakers he would do “everything within my power to make sure that the U.K. remains a tier-one military power,” his statement disappointed some in the defense sector for its blandness.
Labour, the main opposition party in Britian, called the statement “waffle” and said Williamson had done nothing to address a funding shortfall of between £7bn and £15bn (U.S. $8.8bn and $18.9bn) in equipment budgets over the next 10 years.
Some analysts also felt the yearlong review had failed to deliver.
“It’s an announcement about future announcements, it’s the [Ministry of Defence] keeping lots of option open, “ said Jon Louth, the director of defense, industries and society at the Royal United Services Institute think tank in London. “It’s all about seeing what can be achieved in next year’s governmentwide departmental spending review.”
Howard Wheeldon, a British-based defense commentator, said the review had “hardly a specific detail of anything that really matters other than some minimal strategic intentions to be found amongst the prose. Perhaps the best that can be said is that while it contains many strategic positives, loads of ambition and intent, at the very least it doesn’t contain any new specifics in relation to planned cuts.”
Alex Ashbourne-Walmsley of Ashbourne Strategic Consulting said the review was an “anti-climax.”
“We have waited all year for this, and what we have is a very thin document. It’s hard to fault the aspiration, but making it a reality is a different matter. Where’s the money coming from?” she said.
Ashbourne-Walmsley and Louth agreed the MoD’s success, or otherwise, in securing additional funds when the government’s departmental medium-term spending plans are agreed sometime next year is the key.
“For the MoD, it’s all about next year’s departmental spending review. It’s unfortunate that the moment the review came on the horizon, that invalidated most of the things that the modernizing defense review could have hoped to achieve,” Ashbourne-Walmsley said.
“A lot of these plans are hostage to fortune in terms of the spending review [known as the comprehensive spending review], economic damage from Brexit and even a change of government,” she added.
The MoD has secured an additional £1.8 bn in funding this year from the Treasury for spending on items like the nuclear deterrent, anti-submarine warfare and cipher capabilities, but the department still has considerable work to do to balance the books on a total budget slated to top £39bn next year.
The National Audit Office, the government’s financial watchdog, reckons the MoD is at least £7bn overcommitted on its 10-year, £186bn equipment plan. But, the office admits, it could be a lot more.
Williamson acknowledged the MoD had to create “financial headroom for modernization,” but told Parliament this could be achieved through efficiencies. “Based on our work to date, we expect to achieve over the next decade the very demanding efficiency targets we were set in 2015, including through investment in a program of digital transformation,” he said.
Analysts here reckon that’s an optimistic target without capability cuts; although there was no mention of any reductions in the statement.
“We all know that you cannot [achieve efficiency targets] without taking the knife to something. So what we may be able to deduce or fear is that hidden out there somewhere is a chapter of probable announcements of what might yet be to come,” Wheeldon said.
One thing appears: Spending priorities are set to change as the MoD reacts to the growing threat from potential adversaries. That includes rebuilding depleted weapons stockpiles.
“To improve the combat effectiveness of our forces, we will re-prioritize the current defense program to increase weapon stockpiles. And we are accelerating work to assure the resilience of our defense systems and capabilities,” Williamson said.
“We will improve the readiness and availability of a range of key defense platforms: major warships, attack submarines, helicopters and a range of ISTAR platforms,” he added, without concrete details.
Williamson also said Joint Forces Command capabilities are set to be upgraded. “A major new step will involve an improved Joint Forces Command that will be in a better position so that defense can play a major role in preventing conflict in the future and improve our cyber operations and capabilities across the armed forces, but also across government as well,” he said.
“Our adversaries and competitors are accelerating the development of new capabilities and strategies. We must keep pace and conceive of our joint force as consisting of five domains — air, land, sea, cyber and space — rather than the traditional three,” he told lawmakers.
The review might have been short on details, but the MoD is pledging to drive the military modernization effort with funding, albeit a small amount, for innovation.
Britain already has a small defense innovation fund, which this year has £20m to put toward projects in areas including unmanned air systems, virtual reality training and enhanced digital communications. The fund will grow to £50m in the next financial year.
New “Spearhead” innovation programs will apply cutting-edge technologies to areas including subsurface threats to submarines; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities; and command and control in the land environment.
For now, the MoD is investing £160m to create a transformation fund, but additional money may be available in the upcoming comprehensive spending review if Williamson can make the case for it.
“I will ring-fence £160m of MoD’s budget to create this [transformation] fund available for innovative new military capabilities. I will look to make a further £340m available as part of the spending review. This fund will be available for new innovative military capabilities, which allows us to stay one step ahead of our adversaries,” Williamson argued. (Source: Defense News)
BATTLESPACE Comment: This announcement has done nothing to address the shortfall in Land Systems’ contracts in particular with the budget shortfall of several billions for systems such as MIV, MRV(P), Warrior WCSP and Challenger 2 LEP let alone the E-£ Wedgetail replacement. Look for more delays in Army Programmes. Another looming problem is the £3bn required for a Galileo replacement which is threatening the Skynet 6 and Morpheus Programmes. This announcement, in effect, kicks the can down the road until the Comprehensive Spending Review due in May at a time when the pound’s fall adds millions to such Programmes as the Oshkosh MRV(P) reputed to be $100m, $800m to $900m and Wedgetail where the proposed procurement comes at a time when the budget is in its biggest deficit of £5bn.
18 Dec 18. Dozens working on ‘critical’ Turkish defense programs detained in probe. Several dozen engineers and officials working for what law enforcement authorities described as “critical indigenous programs” have been detained as part of a government probe in Turkey. A total of 48 people were detained as part of an investigation into the dealings of Fethullah Gülen, a Muslim cleric accused of being the mastermind behind the July 2016 coup attempt. Gülen, once a staunch political ally but now a political nemesis of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, lives in self-exile in the United States. Erdogan’s government has vehemently demanded his extradition.
Gülen tops Turkey’s official list of terrorists. The 48 defense industry officials detained on request by a Turkish prosecutor are accused of having links with Gülen.
Turkish officials said on condition of anonymity that the detainees include 25 engineers working for Aselsan, a military electronics specialist and Turkey’s largest defense company. They reportedly work for “critical indigenous programs.”
The detainees also include 17 officials working for Turkish Aerospace Industries; military software specialist Havelsan; the procurement authority SSB; and Tubitak, a state scientific research institute. Six other detainees are identified as “private sector officials with links to the defense industry.”
The probe was launched after evidence was produced by the Turkish intelligence and anti-fraud agency.
A law enforcement official said the detainees were found to be working on several critical programs including avionics; gun systems development; an active protection system for the Altay, Turkey’s first indigenous main battle tank in the making; a radar development program for the TF-X, Turkey’s first indigenous fighter jet program; electronic warfare suites; and electro-optical systems.
In March 2017 Turkish prosecutors launched a probe into scores of personnel at Aselsan. An Ankara prosecutor’s office said at the time it had launched legal proceedings against 84 Aselsan employees on charges of relation to a terrorist organization allegedly connected to Gülen.
Turkish officials claim Gülen was the mastermind of a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, in which more than 250 people, including civilians, were killed.
The Turkish government has since asked for Gülen’s extradition from the U.S., but the American government has said independent U.S. courts should decide the matter. (Source: Defense News)
18 Dec 18. MoD puts 3,500 troops on standby for no-deal Brexit. Treasury to detail spending on preparing EU exit as PM says deal is still top priority. Defence secretary Gavin Williamson said on Tuesday the Ministry of Defence had put 3,500 military personnel on standby to respond to any disruption caused by a no deal Brexit. After a cabinet meeting in which ministers sparred over whether a “managed no-deal” scenario made sense, Mr Williamson told MPs he had put the troops on notice even though he had not yet received formal requests for military assistance from other government departments. “What we are doing is putting contingency plans in place and what we will do is have 3,500 personnel held at readiness, including regulars and reserves, in order to support any government department on any contingencies they need,” the defence secretary said. MoD officials said Mr Williamson informed other ministers of the availability of the troops at Tuesday morning’s cabinet meeting. The 3,500 personnel, who are in addition to 5,000 troops kept on standby to help cope with a UK terror attack, have been set aside for no-deal contingencies under a plan codenamed operation yellow hammer. The MoD says the personnel, who will include engineers, mechanics and drivers mostly drawn from a number of different army regiments, will be ready to deploy and provide “manpower” to deal with any crisis if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal. The UK has put troops on notice on other occasions in the recent past. The coalition government called on 3,500 troops for back up security during the 2012 London Olympics, while Mrs May put 1,200 troops on standby in 2016 ahead of expected flooding in England. The government is also stepping up other preparations for no-deal, even though a spokesman for the prime minister said Theresa May’s “top priority” was still to seek an agreement with the EU. But, with no sign yet that parliament will approve the exit treaty Mrs May has agreed with Brussels, there are growing fears about whether the government would be ready to cope with no-deal. A rift also emerged at the cabinet meeting over the idea of a so-called managed no-deal. While as many as 11 cabinet ministers endorsed the idea as a plan B to an agreement with the EU, several others highlighted the associated risk. David Gauke, justice secretary, said that idea was “not a viable option”, adding: “The responsibility of cabinet ministers is not to propagate unicorns but to slay them.” Amber Rudd, work and pensions secretary, added: “Just because you’ve put a seatbelt on, it doesn’t mean you should crash the car.” One problem is that if there is no deal with the EU, the government would need to push through vital legislation on issues such as immigration, trade and fisheries in just a few weeks ahead of the UK’s scheduled March 29 exit. The Treasury is due soon to lay out detailed plans for spending £2bn allocated for Brexit, with £500m set to go to the Home Office for border security and handling the settlement scheme for EU nationals who want to remain in the country. Another £400m will go to Defra, the environment department, for projects including ensuring clean drinking water, which the UK treats with chemicals and gases imported from the EU. Mrs May also told the House of Commons on Monday that Cobra, the Cabinet Office’s emergency committee, was already holding no-deal planning meetings and these would occur more frequently in January. Some commentators suggest that such preparations are intended to bolster the UK’s negotiating power by showing Brussels that the UK can manage without a deal. But others question the effectiveness of measures embarked on just 100 days before Brexit is due to take place, while the EU has said that it does not intend to renegotiate the treaty draft already agreed with Mrs May. Downing Street also announced a new publicity campaign to encourage businesses to accelerate their own preparations for a no-deal scenario. But business groups are becoming increasingly concerned about the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. This week the government will send out 80,000 emails to executives with a 100-page PDF explaining how to deal with the customs and regulatory changes that could occur. “So far we have done technical notices but haven’t seen much change in behaviour in terms of preparation,” said one official. “There are only 15 weeks to go, obviously if there are changes that need to be done it’s important for companies to do so.”
17 Dec 18. Defence secretary pledges to maintain UK status as tier one power. Gavin Williamson to set out plans for MoD ‘transformation fund.’ Gavin Williamson, the UK defence secretary, has pledged to maintain the country’s “tier one” military status following the conclusion of a review into how to modernise its stretched armed forces. In a statement to MPs on Tuesday, Mr Williamson will set out plans for a new £500m transformation fund to tackle emerging threats, giving defence chiefs more flexibility over procurement and plans for new equipment. Cyber capabilities and artificial intelligence will be given greater focus. But the final update of the Modernising Defence Programme (MDP) will also stress the need to make the UK’s conventional military forces “more lethal and better able to protect our security”. Mr Williamson will tell MPs: “We are one of very few countries able to mobilise a full spectrum of security, economic and influence capabilities. And, where necessary and appropriate, we will make sure we are able to act independently. “I will make sure that the UK remains a tier one military power in the decade ahead.” National security challenges have become more complex, intertwined and dangerous since 2015 Defence secretary Gavin Williamson Although there is no formal definition of what constitutes a tier one power, military chiefs have interpreted it as having a full spectrum of military capabilities, including an independent nuclear deterrent and a navy, army and air force capable of being deployed anywhere in the world. The defence secretary’s commitment comes after prime minister Theresa May asked Mr Williamson in June to justify Britain’s position as a leading military power. The Ministry of Defence launched the MDP in January, breaking defence off from a wider national security review, to assess the ability of Britain’s armed forces to meet a dramatic shift and escalation in the threat from adversaries, most notably Russia. It was also seen by analysts as way for Mr Williamson to leverage more money from the Treasury to help address a shortfall in funding for the UK’s defence equipment plan, which the government’s spending watchdog the National Audit Office estimates could reach £15bn over the next decade. In October, Mr Williamson secured a notable victory after Philip Hammond, chancellor, used his budget to award an extra £1bn to defence. Recommended Analysis Companies Is the UK’s proposed new fighter jet a pipe dream But more money will be needed from the upcoming spending review to plug future shortfalls and pay for the modernisation plans. Mr Williamson will tell MPs that his new fund will receive £160m of ringfenced money next year with a further £340m to be found in the spending review. He will add that the new money awarded in the budget will ensure no cuts will need to be made to existing capabilities. “Our adversaries and competitors are accelerating the development of new capabilities and strategies,” Mr Williamson will say. “National security challenges have become more complex, intertwined and dangerous since 2015, faster than we anticipated. Persistent, aggressive state competition now characterises the international security context.” (Source: FT.com)
14 Dec 18. Netherlands Government Approves NATO National Plan. The Netherlands government has today approved the national plan on the NATO Defence Investment Pledge. This plan includes the government commitment to designate additional funds from the national budget next spring. As part of this commitment, the government intends to increase defence spending. The security environment has become more unstable. This calls for additional investment in Defence. The number of threats we are facing has grown, and they have also become increasingly complex. Furthermore, Europe has an obligation to improve its ability to provide its own security, and to reduce its reliance on the United States in this respect.
It is for these reasons that at the July 2018 NATO summit, government leaders and heads of state agreed to announce by the end of 2018 their plans on how to increase their defence spending up to 2024. With the publication of this national plan, the Netherlands is complying with this agreement. NATO allies had already agreed in 2014 to increase their defence spending over a 10year period to achieve the NATO norm of 2% of GDP.
Netherlands Minister of Defence Ank Bijleveld-Schouten: “With this plan, the government has sent a clear signal that it is taking current threats seriously. The government is announcing its commitment to invest in Defence. This is not without obligation, as it is important for the Netherlands to take steps to remain a reliable ally.”
In the plan, the government has set out its intention to invest in 5 prioritised targets: additional F-35 combat aircraft, increase of firepower on land and at sea, and reinforcement of special operations forces and of the cyber and information domains. These priorities will help to ensure that the Netherlands armed forces can respond more rapidly, operate more robustly and sustain operations for longer periods of time. The guiding principle in this prioritisation is that every euro allocated to defence spending in the Netherlands should benefit the striking power of NATO and the EU. Investment in these priorities will also offset current NATO and EU shortfalls.
Additional follow-up steps: personnel
The 5 priorities set out in the national plan are only part of the NATO capability targets the Netherlands needs to meet. The Netherlands armed forces still have considerable strides to make, and follow-up steps are required. These steps will be included in the review of the Defence White Paper in 2020. This review will transcend the question of how to meet the additional NATO capability target, and will include matters such as personnel, operational management, national security and knowledge and innovation.
Netherlands Minister of Defence Ank Bijleveld-Schouten: “Trust in the organisation must be restored. Not only to retain our current personnel, but also with a view to recruiting sufficient new personnel. This will take more than just procuring more equipment. We are well aware of that. This plan, however, was drawn up for the purpose of presenting our allies with an overview of how we intend to meet the NATO capability targets.” (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Dutch Ministry of Defense)
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