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Jens Stoltenberg: NATO Allies Stopped Budget Cuts to Build Up Defenses in 2015

Jens Stoltenberg
Jens Stoltenberg

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said NATO member countries ceased to implement cuts to their defense budgets in 2015 amid emerging challenges and threats, DoD News reported Thursday.

Jim Garamone writes Stoltenberg told the press in Brussels during the presentation of his annual NATO report that five allies have spent at least 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense programs and equipment.

“We implemented the greatest strengthening of our collective defense since the end of the Cold War,” Stoltenberg said, according to the report.

He also outlined the efforts NATO has launched to fight hybrid warfare and address security challenges in the eastern and southern parts of the alliance.

These include updates to cyber defenses, the spearhead force’s initial deployment exercise under NATO’s response force and the presence of aerial warning and control system aircraft in Turkey.

Stoltenberg also mentioned the initial test flight of one of NATO’s Northrop Grumman-built Global Hawk unmanned aerial systems that will work to support the alliance’s intelligence missions.

The secretary general told the press that NATO plans to bolster the number of allied military exercises in 2016 as well as start construction work on a new facility for the Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense system in Poland by spring of this year.

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