Date: 18:00-19:30, 12 June 2018
Venue: Committee Room 11, House of Commons
Speakers: Dr Jamie Shea and Admiral James Foggo III
You’ll see the first deliberate mistake is that I’m not Julian Lewis. Julian Lewis is an extremely distinguished member of Parliament and he is chairman of the defence select committee, but he is voting on really important legislation. There are a large number of Lords amendments to the EU withdrawal bill basically wrecking amendments, Jamie Shea would approve of all of them. Most of them have been reversed, I’m happy to say, by the house of commons. That’s a very important thing that he’s doing we are voting soon as well so I am keeping my eye on the monitor on the other side with the red screen as I may suddenly disappear. We are very happy to have with us Admiral James Foggo who is a very distinguished naval officer and he is commander of the Allied Joint Forces Command in Naples. It’s a great privilege to have him with use here this evening and we are much looking forward to hearing from him.
Thank you sir, good evening ladies and gentleman, Lord Hamilton, Dr Shea, Dr Hemmings, Dr Voxhall, and members of the public and the press who are observing. I have some prepared remarks that I would like to deliver and I know the best part of these sessions lies in the question and answer period. I cannot claim to be either as good looking or as funny as Dr Shea, who just gave a wonderful presentation back at the Henry Jackson Society. They are going to let me go first and he’s the clean-up man.
I want to start by being contrarian; I want to refute the premise of this conference that we live in an age of transatlantic uncertainty, I’m not convinced. I think that of course there are security challenges that are complex, obscure, and unpredictable. But the transatlantic alliance, NATO, is about to turn seventy years old, and it’s arguably the most powerful and the most resourceful alliance in history. Collective defence is the promise and frankly ladies and gentleman as far as I’m concerned you can take that to the bank under article five.
I’m here to talk to you both as a NATO operational commander and have two other hats: Commander of US naval forces in Europe, we are fortunate enough to have a carrier strike group in the Mediterranean right now the Harry S. Truman “give ‘em hell Harry”, and Commander of US naval forces in Africa, all around the African continent. We were talking outside about some of those challenges we had there and NATO’s strategic direction south. I think at the pinnacle of my time as the Commander of the sixth fleet I have been in Naples three times as a one-star, three-star, and now a four-star. Our top tonnage for US warships in the Med’ was about eight hundred and forty thousand tons we currently have five hundred and seventy thousand tons of US flag grey hall warships in the Mediterranean right now, that’s pretty good. And that is a commitment of the United States across the transatlantic bridge.
Now I’m really pleased to be here, I feel very comfortable here. I have a foot in both camps in a professional sense and a personal sense. I have European roots, better yet I’m a Scotsman. My father’s cousin Peggy married into the Glenlivet Estate she was the wife of William Smith Grant. After the second World War, they had a son named Russel, my first cousin, Russel unfortunately sold the Glenlivet in 1987 to the French. And so my family gets none of that, but I do enjoy the Glenlivet. I do wear a kilt and I have my own tartan the Foggo tartan does exist. Both of my grandfather’s fought in the battlefield of World War I and I heard today that the Americans arrive late, my father used to tell me that when I was a kid growing up I’m a naturalized American, both my grandfathers were there for four years each. And one of them was battlefield promoted from private to private captain and in my office I proudly display his picture coming out of Buckingham palace across from King George.
My dad went across the channel in 1944 with Operation Overlord, and then he went back to Canada after a year and a half on the continent and demobilized before staying in the military and returning to Europe to Rhinedahlen, NATO’s land component command, Monchengladbach a joint force headquarters. So I tell everybody ‘I was born into NATO’ and I think my dad is rolling over in his grave tonight thinking that a Navy Admiral is in charge of a Joint-Force Command in Naples, but that’s okay. He was a firm believer in the alliance and so am I. Somebody has been in a uniform in my family since the beginning of World War I.
I’ve served in the alliance throughout my career: I’ve done twelve years in submarine force underwater, probably fourteen years ten jobs at the Pentagon, which is fourteen years of my life I won’t get back, probably say I’ve done five tours, eight years on the continent of Europe, I’ve been a NATO commander three times a CTF Commander during Odyssey Dawn and Unified Protector in the Gulf of Sidra once. So I’ve served the alliance and I consider myself a Euro-Atlantacist. Euro-Atlantic Security is the founding principal that is as relevant today as it was sixty-nine years ago at the start of the Alliance.
Wherever I go I carry the NATO charter with me in my back pocket and I periodically refer to it. When I was up in Brussels yesterday and we were talking about the NATO strategic direction in South hub and had the temerity with the deputy perm reps, the people are on the committee who work very hard for the ambassadors, to pull it out and say the strategic direction south hub is not about article five, it’s about article two and we read it and it really is.
Sharing information for collective security not just here in the continent of Europe, but where there are problems that affect here and that would certainly be in the areas that contribute to no safe havens and allow for the influx of refugees and the establishment of networks of violent extremist organizations and also traffickers and all sorts of things: narcotics, weapons, people. This has got to be dealt with and I think this has to be dealt with and I think that’s the purpose of the strategic direction south. We got a long way to go.
Sec Gen just announced yesterday that he is say full operational capability for the hub at the July Summit. And I fully support that declaration and we look forward to moving out smartly. NATO’s commitment is clear and since 2014 transatlantic declarations have updated and move forward on our core message. North America and Europe are bound by common security, these declarations have repeatedly recognized the strategic partnership is essential to security and the prosperity to our nations of the Euro-Atlantic area.
The common thread is the commitment to strengthening our transatlantic bonds and thereby enhancing the security of our allies. New NATO headquarters in Germany, Norfolk, Virginia represent that resolve. I couldn’t be any more certain as the task of me as the NATO commander and Europe is facing a range of significant and evolving security challenges. And we need NATO right now. Russia is seeking a return to great power status and pursuing a very aggressive foreign policy, you all know that. In the Russian inventory a nuclear capable and conventional military sponsored by state-sponsored information warfare. Subversion, media manipulation, and cyber operation are all tough challenges for us.
Our frontier NATO allies are all too aware of our looming threat. In the Balkans, Russia exerts malign influence in the Republic of Serbska Bosnia and may be implicated in the attempted coup in Montenegro, the jury is still out literally and figuratively. In the Black Sea region allies and partners look with great interest towards Crimea, in Iraq and Syria the War against ISIS is all but over. Iraq is recovering, but the military is weakened after years of brutal fighting. What I’d like to do now is explain is what allied Joint Command Naples is doing to address all of these challenges that I’ve just thrown out on the table.
I don’t just like to raise an issue and say it’s a problem without trying to figure out how we are going to solve it. First I’ll talk about Russia in the high north. What do we do to push back? Well in October I’ll be in command but I’ll be at sea and actually my Canadian deputy will be on the ground as the land component commander of Stavanger and Bodo Norway for one of the largest NATO exercises since 2002. Greater than forty thousand troops being deployed in Northern Norway trident juncture 2018 will be a live exercise that involves that involves thirty allies and partner countries and will combine forces coherently and effectively deepening our interoperability at every level. Finland and Sweden will be there, a reporter asked me about that yesterday and said, ‘don’t you think that’s provocative for the Russians?’ And I said, ‘it’s their choice they want to be there this is a training exercise.’ It’s about an article 5 scenario, but from the beginning we have been a defensive alliance and the two words I hear from the Secretary General of NATO, Secretary Stoltenberg, say more than any others, if you did a word map you would probably find these big bold words right in the middle of all his speeches, deter and defend. Nowhere does it say attack or offensive operations to take anybody else’s territory.
The exercise scenario for trident junction will focus on the Joint Task Force headquarters in force elements of the challenges in the Northern region against a capable adversary. I did, you know what the movie Butch and Sundance Kid is probably not, this conference yesterday with a Norwegian vice-admiral so it was Butch and Sundance sitting at the table talking about this exercise. I talked about the operational and tactical and talked about logistics as a new domain in warfare. And we are plussing up our logistics element in Naples and in Brunson in order to support the lift for forty thousand troops.
The Norwegian, he talked about how cold it was going to be and how hard it was going to be and how it was the end October there is going to be ice on every vehicle. You are going to wake up every morning, you are going to be freezing in your tent. You better keep your boots inside your sleeping bag because if you don’t they are going to be wet or they are going to be frozen in snow and ice. Weapons are going to freeze up, this is kind of environment that we need to operate in and we need to challenge ourselves, part of this is toughness training and I’m pretty proud of the fact that the United States Marine Corps is coming over in force and really looking forward to this. Those guys have had their boots in some places like Iraq or Afghanistan for a very long time. So this is the kind of warfare that they really like to get into and they like to train for, very challenging.
Exercise Trident Junction underlines the relevance and unparalled capability of the alliance to all audiences. It’s going to be very public and very visible. Don’t you think the size is provocative? Well we tell everybody that, I’m doing a press conference here, I just gave you the date of when it starts and the date that it finishes. I told you practically what the scenario was and how many people were in it. We don’t receive that kind of reciprocity from the country to the East. By 2020 the very high readiness Joint Task Force will be exercised in trident juncture and will be more effective than ever, we are going to test it out this year with the force moving rapidly into position.
You heard about the four thirties, I think that’s great: thirty, thirty, thirty, thirty. We have something in US vernacular, you know Americans love acronyms. You know the TPTF, I’ve heard it all my life: the time, phased, force deployment doctrine. It’s how you get stuff from North America across the other side of the world very quickly. So NATO has come up in its decision or discussion of flexibility and adaptation with the four thirties: thirty mechanized battalions, thirty air squadrons, thirty combat vessels, ready within thirty days or less, that’s fantastic. Can we achieve that, that’s a challenge? I want to quote from the Commander Sergeant Major of the United States Marine Corps, Ronald Green who was up in Norway with General Neller who is the Commander in the Marine Corps a couple of months ago talking about the marines and their presence and their participation in trident juncture and cold weather training and all that. And the reporter said ‘you American marines you’re in Varis now.’ He said ‘that’s right.’ ‘How many personnel do you have there?’ ‘300’ ‘That’s not a lot. That wouldn’t be a lot if something bad happened, if there was an article five scenario.’ And the Command Sergeant Major said, ‘300 today 3,000 tomorrow.’ And he wasn’t kidding, we can lift that much over night to Varis not a problem. And that’s the purpose of the thirty, thirty, thirty, thirty and it’s the purpose of exercising our forces in trident junction.
Okay so we are doing a lot in the high north, what about down in the Southeast? I just came out from Bucharest about a month and a half ago we stood up an entire multinational division in Southeast headquarters. Romania is the host nation it was certified for full operational capability in March. During exercise noble jump, one of the ramp ups of this certification, multinational division southeast conducted the deployment of 5,000 troops and 500 vehicles and a very high readiness Joint Task Force. The alliance successfully demonstrated rapid reception staging an onward movement across three countries in the Black Sea region. MND Southeast is prepared to do its part to defend the alliance on its South-eastern flank. What about the Western Balkans? We’ve been there a long time, I’ve been doing the Balkans since 2003 so it’s been eighteen years since the Adriatic naval blockade, used to call it Operation Sharp Guard. I had a big black eye all the time from spending time on a periscope in the Adriatic in Sharp Guard for months on end. I was happy to see that come to an end after NATO’s strikes brought the war to a conclusion.
We’ve had four security assistant missions demonstrate the alliances’ continuing commitment to the Balkans, it exists there right now. Kosovo force, KFOR NATO headquarters Sarajevo we turned over to the EU, but we brought back a number of people to help Bosnian-Herzegovina with its membership action plan. NATO liaison office in Scopia and the NATO military liaison office in Belgrade. We are also linked to the EU, the European Union, which is so important. Jamie talked earlier today about the EU in Africa and how if NATO is going to look south and have a strategic view South, we can’t go it alone we are going need to partner with the EU and so we partnered with the EU in the Balkans for that very reason.
KFOR was established in 1999 after the air war and it remains a force of 4,600 troops on the ground from NATO nations, twenty-one allies and nine partner countries. They are under my command; we have deployed over 2,000 personnel to help safeguard municipal elections with about twenty of our helicopters back in October of last year and I think the asset spot check of that operation was there were no incidents. We continue to see progress, but yet we still have problems. Robert Kaplan’s book Balkan Ghosts recounts the region as a journey through history, but we got to look to the future and not look to the past. Some of these animosities go very deep. I was discouraged in January this year, on the sixteenth of January when the assassination of Kosovo Serb Oliver Ivanovic took place. He was gunned down outside his office, about five six times in the back about 8:10 in the morning. It was like a gang line hit they did it on purpose, they did it at that time, and they made it very public and very visible.
After that happened, I called Major General Cuoci of ground forces in Pristina in KFOR and I said ‘hey I’m coming up and I want to go to the Mitrovica bridge, that’s the bridge of the Eibar river that separates Kosovo Serb, Northern Mitrovica from Kosovar Albanian Southern Mitrovica. I said, ‘Salvatore I want to go there I want to start in the South I want you to call the mayor I want you to ask him to come and see me and bring the chief of police.’ And after we meet we are going to walk across the bridge and I want to talk to the mayor of Norther Mitrovica and I want to talk to his chief of police. He said ‘great idea’, so we went. I flew up there in a helicopter and went to see the mayor on the Southern side, very pleasant nice town boutique shops people out eating living the lifestyle you would have close to Brussels. As you walked across the bridge, the bridge itself was blocked by jersey barriers and there was a line of reporters and cameras. I was surprised by the number of media that came out. They were yelling to me across the bridge, halfway across, and as I got closer I heard what they said, ‘are you here to maintain safety? Are you going to stay with us? Are you going to help us?’. They were all afraid as a result of this assassination. I said first of all there are other security apparatuses here, you have the Kosovo police, you got EULEX. That doesn’t necessarily alleviate the fears when KFOR is the one that has catalogue uniforms, the armoured vehicles and the weapons. I said, ‘we are not going anywhere’ and that was reassuring to the people. The mayor of northern Mitrovica came out and we had a great discussion with the mayor from the south and the deputy director of police and the police chief. After it was all said and done Cuoci said ‘why don’t we do a handshake, so it was a four-way handshake. I’ll never forget that I love that picture. It went viral in the Balkans newspapers, it just goes to show that there can be a little bit of reconciliation and collaboration. The goal is to get that bridge instead of blocking that bridge open that bridge and cross that bridge and get the flow of the Albanian South and the Serbian North going into the town. Otherwise we are never going to resolve these differences.
That brings me to NATOs strategic direction South. We’ve gone from the North to the South-east to the Balkans and now we are looking South. This is called the hub. It’s the alliances bold new initiative to connect, consult, and coordinate with countries across the Middle East and North Africa. It went to initial capability in September of last year under my predecessor Admiral Michelle Howard to bridge together allies, partners and subject matter experts to understand security challenges and seize opportunities for security cooperation in the African Continent, in Southern Europe, and in the Middle East. With a holistic and collaborative approach, the hub monitors and assesses the dynamic destabilizing conditions that proliferate violent extremism and set the conditions for refugee flows that flood into Southern and Eastern Europe. And you saw the recent exchange between Italy and Spain on the refugees from the Aquarias just this week. Were Italy refused to let them in and Italy has been the greatest proponent of Operation EU Sophia that has rescued thousands at sea. This is a real tragedy and it’s something we have got to rectify. The only way we are going to stop it is to help that area in North Africa the Middle East and down into the Sahel and Pan-Sahel create safe havens and restore government and rule of law. It’s not going to happen in a year, it’s going to be a very long process. If NATO is committed and wants to do this on the headquarters responsibility, we are ready to go and we’ve been doing it. We started last September and we’ve been going great guns ever since. The mission is to help coordinate and synchronize NATO activities across the South optimize resources and maximize effectiveness. When I read that to the Deputy yesterday somebody said ‘If you can do that, you need to come to Brussels and help us.’ We’ll start in the South first and see how we do. The hub ties the entire South together, combined all create a network to understand and counter the security threats. Working together across the alliance with expanded coordination and cooperation between partner nations and partner organizations we can protect every point in the compass if we’re smart enough about it. This is not putting boots on the ground, this is creating a fusion centre: connect, consult, and coordinate. What do you do when you have extremist organizations or traffickers doing illegal things? You can put boots on the ground, but you can do it other ways like helping nations solve their own problems by helping build their security forces. You can also assist them with whatever intelligence we gather on the network. You can go after the money; you can shut the money down. We can stop things faster than anything I’ve seen in my last four years.
As innovative thinkers I welcome all of you in the Henry Jackson Society and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and other organizations to get involved. As we say in the Navy, ‘All Aboard.’ I look forward to hearing from you. Last thing, NATO training and capacity building activity in Iraq, it’s fascinating I didn’t think as a Navy admiral I would have responsibility for NATO troops on the ground in Iraq, but I do. I’m really excited about this mission, it’s an activity right now, it’s probably going to become a mission in the July Summit and the Secretary general has talked a lot about this. I’ve been to Iraq many times to work for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, we travelled all the time there with Admiral Mullen. This time I went back and I met the people in Baghdad, a very small number of economy force. It’s like seven NATO officers headed by an Italian brigadier general who is a special operator and a number of other nations that are out in the field facilitating training for the Iraqis: medical training, counter-ID training, unexploded ordnance training, and fixing old broken Soviet tanks and EMPs which Armed Personnel carriers that keep them in the fight against Daesh. So it has gone pretty well, NATO likes this mission, a lot of people volunteer for it and because it’s going well Daesh has been hammered down and is on its last legs right now and we want to make sure it doesn’t resurface. So we want to help the Iraqis help themselves, this is a trained-trainer activity which could become a mission and it could become much bigger. And I’m a big believer in this and so are every of the other nations that I’ve talked to. We are excited to see what comes out of the Summit on this and if tasked, we’ll be ready to go. We’ve already done the O-Plan we are just waiting for political direction and guidance. In conclusion thank you for your indulgences this evening I think you can tell from at least my attitude that I am a steadfast, trans-atlanticist, I believe in the alliance, I am committed to the alliance, I’m committed to Euro-Atlantic security, I will do everything in my power while I’m in office down in Naples to make that happen. Thank you very much.
Admiral I think we found that enormously encouraging, when we think of the conversations we’ve been having this morning, that the United States is committed to NATO defence in Europe. I think we feel very encouraged that it certainly is. We’ve already heard from Jamie Shea this morning; he promises me that he’s going to say something entirely different this afternoon. If you were here this morning, don’t worry he’s got another speech to give you. Jamie is a very modern man, we’re all being told these days that we’ve got to change careers constantly from one area to another and this is the future for all of us. Jamie has been doing that for years now and we have to admire him. He is now, as you probably know, the Assistant Secretary General for emerging security challenges in NATO. Jamie we look forward to hearing from you again.
Thank you Lord. I’m still the Deputy in that role so I have something else to inspire to if I can get NATO to prolong beyond my pension. First of all, let me say how glad I am to be at a NATO meeting where there are more people in the audience than on the panel. The other thing of course is that it’s a good NATO principle that before civilians pontificate, they listen to sound military advice first. I’m very pleased to have the other Jamie here, the one with the uniform has spoken first. I know that all of you want to stand up and ask questions so let me not repeat it, though I could do it in French which would at least make it sound different. But just sort of fill in a little bit, we are coming up to a NATO Summit in July. In fact, by this time in one month on the 12th of July we will be finishing. As we prepare for that Summit I think we are all aware we are in a new situation where NATO can no longer afford to do one thing in one place at one time, stay for ten or twenty years make all of the mistakes and then get it right and devote all of its resources to one geographical area, those years are over.
We have three fronts: East, the admiral referred to that, South, but also the internal front, the hybrid warfare front, the functionality of our societies and their ability to withstand, over the long run, the efforts and the sacrifices, the adherence that are needed for effective effects. There is no need for having a first class army if there is not a political will or decision making structural public support, when push comes to shove to actually employ that. Three fronts would be complicated enough, but it’s even more complicated because different allies have a different sense of which front has the priority. Where you stand of course is where you sit. The strategy that sort of gets you the impact of the East: mutual defence, nuclear deterrence, doesn’t get you very far when you are dealing with failed states in the South let alone dealing with cyber-attacks at home. So you need three different, but nonetheless coherent strategies. You need to properly resource all three fronts. And you need just not to say I’m not having an impact. But I’m not having the impact that I want to which is often a different thing. Am I, despite all this activity, being effective?
At the end of the day, it’s like a car with three wheels. If you succeed with two, but not all three you risk failure. If we succeed in the East, the South remains a permanent source of instability. If we manage to block any attempt in the classical military aggression, our adversaries will run havoc on our domestic elections, our key economic interests, our sense of what is truth in the media then we’re going to be in trouble. So the challenge today for NATO is to provide a degree of coherence in all three areas and persuade allies who may feel that the main focus is on the East devote the energy and resources helping out other allies in the South. A form of generosity where everyone is prepared to take care of everybody else’s problems.
Admiral Foggo made a key point about the East. We’ve got off to a good start with the Italians in the Baltics States. In Poland we’ve deployed NATO improved integration units and command structure. As we go forward in the detail before we can do with some questions there are four or five big things that we still need to tackle. One and the Admiral mentioned this and that is reinforcements. We don’t have 346,000 American troops with 13,500 tank 20,500 armoured personnel characters and 7,000 aircraft that we had during the Cold War. Therefore, we can fight today but the question is being are we able to fight tomorrow? This time the strategy is based on reinforcements quicker. So the question is do we have those reinforcements? What the Admiral mentioned with the four thirties: the thirty days to deploy in theatre thirty battalions, thirty air squadrons, thirty ships are a good start. Out Supreme Allied Commander is going to need much greater visibility about what is left in the tank in terms of military capacity. In all other nations in the sense of where those reinforcements ultimately are going to come from.
Second problem, readiness. We’ve had twenty years of dealing with the Balkans and Afghanistan where we were able to cannibalize the bulk of our forces spare parts in order to have one brigade or one battalion in theatre. The problem therefore is that we have in terms of number quite a number, but as you’ve seen from recent headlines in the British Press, the French Press, virtually every press a lot of that equipment isn’t ready to fly or isn’t ready to deploy or isn’t ready to sail. And the fact that it cannot be deployed doesn’t deter anybody. So what can we do which will persuade countries to devote more of their resources to de-mothballing that equipment and getting it into a higher state of readiness.
The third problem is mobility. We need to move stuff around Europe, during the Cold War that was easy, we had autobahns and bridges that could take sixty-five ton American tanks, we had ports we had corridors in the hands of governments, now it’s in the hands of the private sector. We had railways systems that could put tanks onto railways and transport. This is all gone and we need to recreate that infrastructure. Yesterday at NATO we had a good start where we had the EU commissioner transport, Butch who was there, explaining how the EU could possibly help us in that venture by devoting 6.5 billion Euros to upgrading its infrastructure so that it would be suitable to military transportation purposes.
And finally we need to overhaul our decision making because we’ve been through a period where we had lots of time in places like the Balkans and Afghanistan to sort out the intelligence picture, to sort out our strategy, to take the decisions and to make the adjusts as they went along. Could we, for example, react in deterrence in 24 hours if we were presented with a short notice, out of the blue attack. Are our decision making systems geared to our NATO decision making systems, is our intelligence picture good enough to give our political leaders the key facts that they would need to have when they would potentially make far reaching decisions? We need to focus on that as well.
And finally all of these various elements, plans for the Baltics, plans for the High North, plans for Black Sea, plans for the Mediterranean are they coherent in terms of a joined up response 360 degrees. Have we integrated the elements of power whether it be land, air, sea, logistics, nuclear deterrence, cyber in a way that would give us best deterrent capability? Particularly these are the adverse regimes who have shown there are very good at integrating all these elements of power.
The South I’ll skip, that’s the second point, because Admiral Foggo has said that more eloquently than I could. But the final front is the home front. This drip of provocations of interference with our affairs where a single cyber-attack, in itself may not constitute an article five armed attack. But our inability to deter this kind of activity from being high gain-low risk into low gain-high risk is encouraging adversaries to continue. What can we do about that? Well we started looking at resilience, what are those critical infrastructures that we depend upon? How can we make sure they’re resilient to interference or sabotage or cyber-attacks? How can we instrumentalise our allies to invest more in these resilience areas. For example, through a cyber-defence pledge. Again how can we improve the intelligence picture so we can spot these kind of hybrid campaigns early on and deal with them. Attribution is a key issue there and can we at least in nature have a common sense in what elements we would need to be able to do effective attribution. And finally you don’t want to escalate, you don’t want to respond with a hybrid attack with a military instrument, but you don’t want to sit on your hands and do nothing either. So what is the toolbox of useful things that you can do? If you go out tomorrow and buy a nuclear weapon, if you could do such a thing, bring it into this room, you would get everybody’s attention right away. You would be the primary focus of discussion, but what kind of instruments do we have? We have the expulsion of diplomats as the Salisbury incident, is it sanctions? Is it naming and shaming? What are the tools that we have to deter and respond to this activity in a way which makes it less likely in the future that adversaries would have recourse to those hybrid activities?
Finally, and then I’ll stop. I think there are four big things that are always going to be lurking in the background. One, I’m sure this will come up, we spoke about it a lot during the seminar today is the burden sharing. How can we do this in a way which persuades those allies who have been perhaps free riding or at least been dependent for far too long on the major contributions of other allies to step up to the plate and pay their fair share? What is fair? Yes, it’s more money, but if the money is spent on the wrong things it doesn’t necessarily help NATO. If countries have high defence budgets, but refuse to send forces to Afghanistan or other operations it doesn’t help NATO either. So how can we have a generally agreed view of burden sharing which allows us to go forward in a constructive way. Second issue, the EU is now developing its own defence corporation. Good, because if everybody spends two percent more but duplicates each other we are not going to get the value for that money. So how can EU and NATO work together so that what the EU does on its side also benefits NATO and helps solve their problems. Thirdly how can we engage Russia in a dialogue which we are not particularly friends or going back to our old culpable part ship which doesn’t get us into an arms race or an endless confrontation or escalation that allows us to put some stabilizers into this military balance, particularly East through things like arms control, inspections, transparency measure. So at least we can avoid an escalation due to a miscalculation or accident. And finally NATO’s great genius in the past was that we got out of trouble both through the military instrument but also through political means. We were innovative, we were partnerships with other countries, we worked on non-proliferation issues. How can we make sure that as we go forward we don’t only become a military NATO because that would only be a 50% of the solution? But manage to keep the political side of things as well so we have all of the levers at our disposal so we can look for all ways of solving issues, also using political means. That was in the Harmel Report you remember defence but also dialogue, deterrence but also détente that took us through the cold war. I don’t think its redundant simply because it was done in the 1960s, but how do we apply that approach to the problems of today? So those are the kind, if you use a Christmas expression, some stocking fillers to compliment what was said by Admiral Foggo already.
Thank you very much. I told you that Jamie was a serious prose. He can certainly come here and give a totally separate speech and equally entertaining and informative in both. We will now have some questions, I don’t think we are going to have microphones so I’d like everybody to get up, stand up, and say who they are and speak slowly and deliberately so we can hear everything you say. We’ll start with you sir.
Thank you very much indeed, both speakers. My question for both of you: Admiral what more can the European countries do on submarine warfare and anti-submarine warfare [inaudible]? For both of you this phrase home front, which countries in Europe are particularly getting traction upon that phrase? And I’m thinking as much perhaps outside defence committee as in it. The danger of preaching to the converted, but are there any indications that this is getting attention from those who would not give it attention a few years ago.
I’ll make Jamie a deal and I’ll take the submarine question and he takes the home front question.
Dr Jamie Shea:
A very good division of labour.
A great question, Mr. Grant about submarine warfare. The advantage I have is I came to Naples as a one-star commander as the command of a submarine group 8 and the commander of submarine south before it was disbanded and came here to London as part of com-sub NATO. So I saw a lot what was going down in the Mediterranean theatre. I went back as a six fleet commander and I head responsibility for submarine circuit and aviation activities and now I’m back again like a bad penny, as Richard Quest would say. It’s a team sport and if you ask what Europe or what other European countries can do what we have in Montenegro. I believe it’s twenty-two nations that have some kind of maritime force small maritime force the Balts are small, Montenegro is small but they have a large heart and they are punching above their weight class. What can all Navy’s of all sizes do? When I say a team sport I used to work for Admiral Jonathan Greenert who was a submariner also before Admiral John Richardson who would say you cannot find another submarine with another submarine even if it’s the best in the world, a brand new Virginia class submarine like John Warner did the strike mission a couple of months ago in Syria. Astute is a very good submarine too, it’s tough out there it’s like founding a needle in the haystack because the adversaries are getting quiter and quiter. The Russians have the hybrid diesel 6 brand new diesel class sent across the Black Sea, but a couple of them remain in Syria and shoot calibre missiles. They are very quiet. The SSGN, very quiet. This is a team approach and there are other nations out there that have submarines that could be threatening or someday be threatening to the alliance to Europe to North America. You need surface ships with capable sonar systems bow mounted you need marine patrol aircraft. The United Kingdom is buying the P-8 it’s a wonderful aircraft. I have seven of them in Siganowa, state of the art. A magnitude greater than the P-3 which was the workhouse for years. Or in your case your former marine patrol aircraft that you phased out. The P-8 is great. If you can’t do those things that are high ticket items like buy submarines or surface ships, buy very expensive marine patrol aircraft, share intelligence or tell us what’s going on in the maritime domain. Contribute to interoperability through a common operating picture and when you see things that don’t look right let the allies in the rest of the alliance or if you’re a partner nation like Finland and Sweden who were in an area they are always concerned about submarine warfare in their backyard, share that information with us and we’ll try to help you do something about it. So I hope that’s an answer to your question, thank you.
Dr Jamie Shea:
You gave me quite a big topic so I’ll just give you a couple of thoughts the first thing is you need to build an entirely new set of relationships. For example, if you have a meeting at NATO about nuclear deterrence they need a couple of people in uniform, a couple of people in grey suits, certainly my age, who follow this in the old days who are all like-minded people sharing a strategic culture around the table. You have a NATO meeting on cyber defence you have the academics and you have the smaller-medium size enterprises that are at the forefront of innovation, you have people with earrings with T-Shirts and who look as they come out of the Hackey community if you give them a bad day or a bad meeting they may all go back to it. You have the private sector so it’s a completely different class of characters which you need to be effective and a much bigger coalition than nuclear deterrence. When it comes to cyber intelligence the private sector is our first port of call at NATO and we have at the moment sixteen different partnerships with sixteen different companies that will provide us immediately with what we need to know. The home front requires a much larger mobilization of civil society. For example, in Israel they talk about resilient cities, the resilient individual who knows what to do at his or her level in terms of coping with a disaster or an attack or whatever. Nobody expects the state to be there doing everything all the time and responding immediately to every incident. I think on the home front we have seen a decentralization of security. For example, in a city like Manchester you remember last year the terrible terrorist attack which had exercised in advanced to deal with the hospitals and the evacuation of important people. This prevented people from going to the wrong hospital and that showed how that amount of preparation could save a lot of lives. Identifying people when it comes to the situation so it’s a different type of world we live in. For example, if you live in cyber-areas in NATO, NATO is hiring cyber reservists who work in the tech industry during the week but who are on call should there be a major cyber-attack to be mobilized immediately to the ministry of defence, into the armed forces, into the government, to be able to lend their skills to cope. For example, a place like the Baltics where NATO has a small battalion and special operation forces from time to time, they are also managing with disaster management agencies with the border guards to deal with little green men, that we saw in Crimea should they be coming over the border. To be able to lend a help to deal with hybrid situations as well.
Finally, the final example of how this world is changing we had a couple of days ago a cyber-exercise called lock shield. What we did is we got Siemens, the German company, to design a NATO airfield and went through every type of realistic cyber-attack you could have on the electricity, the grid, the communication systems in that airfield. The job of the NATO defenders was how we are going to deal with that sector. Of course, a NATO airbase needs F-16s and F-35s but it needs to fuel which will need communications and to work it will need the electricity and so on. How therefore can we cope with critical vulnerabilities that create fractures. So it’s just one little example of how we need on the home front to see how the civilian sector could help us and in return how our military experts can help the civilian sector.
Yesterday when I was attending an embassy reception and I asked the Russian ambassador about Roman Abramovich he was a bit reticent to talk but basically he said that it was an internal decision of the UK. My question is have created an own goal because Roman Abramovich invested a lot of money into Chelsea and Chelsea are not going to be able to expand their stadium which is a £2 billion development and he says he’s not going to sell the club; he’s going to hold onto the club. Have we made the right decision, we do know that Abramovich is close to Putin and that’s the reason he’s been targeted, but do we think about the bigger picture and look at jobs in the UK and Chelsea itself? Should jobs in the Chelsea area be considered as well?
Dr Jamie Shea:
Well I have to give you a kind of official answer to this because I can do nothing else. Which is to say at NATO I’m not in the position and I wouldn’t dare try to go there in second guessing the UK in terms of the decisions of granting Visas. It’s up to the UK, it’s the sovereign right of every country to control who comes and goes in its territory. I’m certainly not going to comment on that. The UK government did make it clear with our allies feeling the same way that it is important to limit the activities of proxy groups to ensure that the there is transparency. That is a particular problem of hybrid warfare to bring murky activities out of the murky mist in terms of transparency. I’m not a Chelsea supporter (laughter) but I think for the time being Daniel Levy is safe and secure where he is.
Let me abuse the position of chairman. I think we should owe an enormous debt to the United States for the role the Fed has played in making it extremely difficult that these oligarchs that are close to Putin to operate at all. They made quite clear to all the major branches of the United States they will get fined eye watering money if they deal with these people. Actually the United States is doing more by bringing Putin up with a jolt by anybody else.
What about the jobs in Chelsea?
Well you can’t go on paying the dangle I’m afraid. Next question.
Is there a change within the respect to Turkey given the evolution of Turkey’s own approach to international relations? Are they still considered a reliable ally?
Dr Jamie Shea:
Well again you are looking at me. The Admiral may have some thoughts as well. Turkey has been a member of NATO since the early 1950s. It provides the second largest army in NATO. And if you look what Turkey’s military commitments to NATO are it provides all of those military commitments. The Turks sometimes turn to NATO and say is the alliance providing all of its promises to us in terms of what was promised in terms of air defence and rapid response forces because I think one thing the Turks have done, not only the Turks, but the Turks have said look article five comes from the south rather than from the east. We don’t have an article five for X and a different article five for Y in the alliance with three hundred and sixty degrees. The ability to deliver on that article five commitment has to be as solid in our area as it would be in other areas of NATO and I do think that’s a fair point. In terms of what NATO measures which are allies that are meeting its commitments to NATO. I think the answer is yes and I think that at a time when relations between an ally and others in different organizations can be difficult. That happens from time to time you know the fact is that NATO is the thing that binds Turkey, which is an incredibly important country strategically to the West. If you wake up tomorrow and suddenly Turkey is out of NATO, you have to ask yourself is NATO in a better place than we are now or European security in a better place? No, so it’s better to keep people in and work through issues inside the family rather than to have them outside the family. I think that’s something that over the years has been able to keep NATO together and keep everybody around the table and keep everybody talking.
Turkey is our NATO ally and we are in good standing right now. My job as a uniformed officer is made easier by the fact I wear this cloth of my nation and I’m a NATO alliance officer. One of these tensions with the alliance between nations, individual nations, or individual nations in Brussels are political. Military to military the relationship is solid. I know and have met both the Turkish CNO in the past when I was the sixth fleet commander we have an excellent relationship and a collaborative relationship. He has a very professional Navy, I like working with his Navy and his submarine force. We try to help in any way that we can. The Turkish chief of defence was at the conference in Belgrade where we discussed some of these bridging issues inside the Balkans. He is a very articulate and eloquent man, General Akar. I found him to be refreshing on my first official meeting four star to four star with him. He runs a very professional force and as Jamie said it is to the advantage to the alliance to keep that force inside NATO and working with NATO. That is the political challenge that we have and I think overall we have been able to work out these differences. Incirlik air base is crucial to NATO not just NATO operations but bilateral operations for inherent resolve in Iraq and Syria. The Turks work very collaborative with us, when we first brought aircraft carrier strike groups into the Mediterranean and we hadn’t done this since 2002 to run strikes into ISIS compounds in Iraq or Syria. You can do that from the Gulf and you can fly directly into Iraq but through the Mediterranean over a land bridge you have to upload different routes. The Turks were essential allies in allowing us to use their air space and facilitating that including refuelling aircraft. That’s the mil to mil side of the question.
I’ve got a division and Julian Lewis is going to take over so you have the genuine article now.
How does the Turkish purchase of Russian aircraft affect the NATO alliance? Is there any legal framework for the Turkish government to do so?
Dr Jamie Shea:
I can take this because it’s a political question again. Obviously the Admiral has all the authority to comment on political issues but I think with Turkey it’s important to see the full picture. This S-400 business has had a lot of publicity obviously and I can understand why. What has had far less publicity is that Turkey is in negotiations with the United States for the Patriot system. Turkey has placed an order for F-35 aircraft, a substantial number. Turkey is negotiating with the Eurosam Consortium to develop a medium range air defence system. Turkey is currently a candidate to have a NATO land command so no question of easing out of NATO in fact the Turks are very much going to have a very important land command as part of the new NATO command structure. One of the reasons why two years ago in Warsaw that we were able to side between NATO and the EU, the joint declaration pushing for that declaration is because to be perfectly frank, notwithstanding the differences between the Turkey and the EU the Turks decided that they were happy for that to go ahead. They had difficulties with Israel after the Mavi Marmara incident, remember the ship captured by Israeli commandos that led to some friction. The Turks after a period of time agreed that Israel should open the mission to NATO. I understand the questions and they’re all legitimate, but all I’m asking is that you just look at the full picture and the staff groups suggested that maybe Turkey is distancing itself from getting the publicity. But the far greater weight is that Turkey if anything is probably more integrated into NATO today than it has ever been.
Julian Lewis MP:
I would like to thank Archie Hamilton for having stood in for me throughout this very long and unusual period of voting which is going to start again at a quarter past seven. I’ve been advised by our principal organizer that we’ll need to wrap up pretty much at this point. So could I just invite the members of the panel if they have any last thoughts or general reflections on what I’m sure has been an absolutely fascinating discussion up to this point to make them now starting at the far end. Jamie any last thoughts about the overall exercise?
Dr Jamie Shea:
You know once some critic was asked to describe Wagner’s music he said, ‘it’s better than it sounds.’ I think getting in the vein of the last question when you look at the reality of NATO below the surface turbulence it still, thank god, better than it sounds. Let’s do our best to keep it that way.
Julian Lewis MP:
Thanks, I hope the same is true of Brexit. Admiral would like to say some last thoughts?
I would, first of all thank you for having me, Henry Jackson Society and John and Andrew and sir thank you for hosting in this beautiful place, in Parliament. Really a special opportunity for me to come here and be in this place. I want to thank Dr Shea for his tried and true loyalty to the organization of NATO which he and I both love. Articulate men and women like Dr Shea that defend the alliance, that believe in the alliance is truly the future of the alliance and there are plenty of up and coming young people in that headquarters in Brussels who someday will relieve you in the mantle of leadership and take over. I believe in them I was there in the new headquarters, it was the first time I’ve been in since people moved in yesterday, I ran into the Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller and she said ‘what do you think?’ I said ‘it’s beautiful and it’s impressive.’ General Mattis said he believes that somebody said it looks like the bridging of destroyers and ships that are coming together inside. We were in the cafeteria before Dr Gottemoeller had to leave for her trip to the United States and I said ma’am it reminds that there is a hustle and bustle, there is a certain vibrancy with the people. I saw it when it was empty, but now it’s alive when you bring a ship to life in the United States Navy when you commission it the order given by the Executive Officer to the crew, ‘bring this ship to life.’ And they come out of all the holes in the ship and the radar starts to turn and the horns go off and the guns turn and you bring that ship to life, that’s what we’ve done to the NATO headquarters I hope for another seventy years because as Jamie said there are some wharts and there are some bumps in the road but along the seventy-year journey for NATO it has been bar none the most successful security alliance in the world and I think it has a bright future and I look forward to hearing all the good things that come out of the Summit on July 11th. Thank you.