An Inflection Point

It’s time for a conceptual reawakening in NATO, Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said during a speech in Brussels. For example, he said, NATO “might consider standing up a new operational fires force,” which would allow troops throughout NATO to call in fires. Such an idea would improve the Alliance “because it is inherently defensive, and would also, hopefully, convince any Russian military planner that they would not be able to succeed,” Work said, according to a DOD press release about the speech. Work said the US and NATO are “at an inflection point in the strategic landscape,” with Europe and NATO facing threats from the south, east, north, and from within. Work assured members of the European Policy Center that the US is strengthening deterrence in Europe with the European Reassurance Initiative, noting that “every time a brigade moves out, another brigade will come in,” resulting in an armored brigade combat team on European soil every day of the year.” But Work also urged NATO to “consider doing more” in the fight against ISIS. “The lasting defeat” of ISIS and other terrorist groups is “a global undertaking” because they are a global threat, he said.