By C. Todd Lopez
WASHINGTON (May 10, 2023) -- At NATO Headquarters in Brussels today, members of the alliance's Military Committee met to discuss, among other things, Russia's war on Ukraine, planning for deterrence and defense, and development of regional plans.
U.S. Army Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli, who serves as both commander of U.S. European Command and supreme allied commander Europe spoke during a briefing that followed the meetings and provided an update on implementation of the Deterrence and Defense of the Euro-Atlantic Area concept, also called DDA.
"The DDA family of plans is really the 'how' of how the alliance will operate in peace, crisis and war to provide for our collective defense," Cavoli said. "The plans that come out of DDA, the strategic plans as well as the regional plans -- these will drive our structure, our operations, our activities, and importantly ... our investments into the future."
Cavoli said Allied Command Operations, which he heads and which is responsible for the planning and execution of all NATO military operations, has worked over the past several months to develop what he said are sound, objective defensive plans.
"I can proudly say that we are on track," he said. "We are rapidly increasing the readiness and enablement of our forces, and we're making sure that they are ready to face current as well as future threats."
The continued development of regional plans was a significant part of the meeting in Brussels. The geographically specific plans describe how NATO expects to defend key locations within the alliance against both Russia and terrorist groups.
"Our regional plans ... blend national defense plans of our frontline nations into NATO plans," Cavoli said. "And this optimizes NATO's ability to move forces ... to the right place at the right time. This change will move us from an alliance that was optimized for out-of-area contingency operations, to an alliance fit for the purpose of large-scale operations to defend every edge of the alliance's territory."
While planning for the future ensures the continued strength of the NATO alliance, Cavoli said the plans themselves are not NATO's best asset.
"Our strongest and most enduring advantage ... will continue to be the unmatched unity of this alliance," he said. "The DDA strategy is a powerful demonstration of this cohesion and it's designed to ensure our alliances remain strong, our citizens safe and our values secure."