30 Jul 14. Ukraine must be a wake-up call for NATO, says Defence Committee. TOWARDS THE NEXT DEFENCE AND SECURITY REVIEW: PART TWO – NATO. The Defence Committee, in its report published today, argues that recent events in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine should be a wake-up call for NATO and the UK. It argues that NATO is not well prepared to face the new threat posed by Russia. NATO has serious deficiencies in its command and control structures, in its ability to predict and give adequate warning of potential attack, and in the readiness of its forces. NATO may not have the collective political will to take concerted action to deter attack. Russian Federation actions in Ukraine have now raised the prospect, however unlikely, of a Russian attack on a NATO Member State. The risk of a conventional attack by the Russian Federation on a NATO state is low, but NATO needs to take much more action to deter that risk. The risk of an unconventional attack using the “ambiguous warfare” tactics deployed in Ukraine and elsewhere, whilst still small, is more substantial and would be even more difficult to counter. NATO needs to reorder, train and exercise its capabilities to be able to defend against both eventualities. The Committee calls on the UK Government to take the lead at the NATO Summit in Wales in September to ensure that NATO is ready to face such threats.
The Committee’s specific recommendations call for:
* The pre-positioning of military equipment in the Baltic States;
* A continuous presence of NATO troops on training and exercises in the Baltic;
* The re-establishment of large-scale military exercises including all NATO Member States and involving political decision makers;
* Improvements to the NATO rapid reaction force and the possible establishment of a new Standing Reserve Force for NATO;
* Improvements to processes for warning of imminent attack;
* Radical improvements in Russian expertise in the UK government, allowing for real analysis and assessment of the Russian threat;
* The development of new tactics to respond to the threat of “ambiguous” attacks from Russia – including how to counter threats from cyber, information warfare, and irregular militia; and
* A reconsideration of Article 5, to allow response to less conventional attacks.
The committee concludes that the threats to UK security are increasingly dynamic in their scale, complexity, uncertainty and urgency. NATO needs radical reform to be able to anticipate, plan and respond to these threats. Threats from terrorism and failed states continue to increase, change and develop. Meanwhile, events in Ukraine and Crimea represent the re-emergence of a real state on state threat to NATO’s eastern borders.
29 Jul 14. The Defence Committee published the following Special Reports on Tuesday 29 July 2014 at 11 am.
* Intervention: Why, When and How?: Government Response to the Committee’s Fourteenth Report of Session 2013–14: Fourth Special Report, HC 581
* Afghanistan: Government Response to the Committee’s Fifteenth Report of Session 2013–14: Fifth Special Report, HC 582
* Remote Control: Remotely Piloted Air System – current and future UK use: Government Response to the Committee’s Tenth Report of Session 2013–14: Sixth Special Report, HC 611