NATO defence ministers meet in Brussels to discuss countering Russia

NATO defence ministers meet in Brussels to discuss countering Russia

Today, defence ministers from NATO member countries gather in Brussels. Topping their agenda will be a proposed North Atlantic Command

Photo: Thomson Reuters

Photo: Thomson Reuters

Today, defence ministers from NATO member countries gather in Brussels.

Topping their agenda will be a proposed North Atlantic Command to patrol and defend shipping routes between Europe and North America, a successor to the Atlantic command that was abolished in 2002. If created, it would be the first new command established in two decades, a dramatic reversal from NATO’s downsizing since 2011.

The command would counter an increasing Russian submarine presence in the North Atlantic, which has reached a level unprecedented since the end of the Cold War. The number of submarines increased by 50% from 2014 to 2015 and has continued to rise.

Despite fears the Russia-friendly Donald Trump would act on anti-NATO campaign rhetoric, expansion of trans-Atlantic security cooperation continues apace. NATO has even expanded its military cooperation with Finland, a neighbour of Russia who leans towards NATO though it is not a member. Expect NATO to continue to mobilise, both externally and internally, to counter Russia aggression in Europe.