NATO’s top commanders meet in Istanbul to discuss Ukraine, Syria

NATO’s top commanders meet in Istanbul to discuss Ukraine, Syria

NATO’s top commanders meet in Istanbul to discuss Ukraine, Syria

AP photo

NATO’s highest military authority, the Military Committee, will convene in Istanbul for a three-day session starting Sept. 11 to review security challenges in Europe and the Middle East, as well as ongoing operations in Afghanistan.

The meeting will be hosted by Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar.

The meeting will focus on the implementation and progress of the readiness action plan, regional security and its challenges, NATO’s current mission in Afghanistan – Resolute Support – and the Western Balkans. 

Turkey hosted a ministerial NATO summit in May in Antalya earlier this year. 

A chiefs of defense meeting will be the second top NATO meeting hosted by Turkey in the same year. 

The meeting comes at a time when tension between NATO and Russia over the Ukrainian crisis is mounting with an alliance decision to increase its deterrence in the Black Sea, Baltic Sea and Eastern Europe. The top soldiers of the alliance will also talk about the growing concern regarding the threat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) poses to global peace and security, while also discussing the unrest in Syria.   

The chiefs of defense will further discuss additional guidance and direction with regard to NATO’s force posture, future adaption and transformation requirements. Lastly, they will elect the next director-general of the International Military Staff.

The meeting will be chaired by Gen. Petr Pavel, the current chairman of the NATO Military Committee. He will be supported in each session by Gen. Philip Breedlove (Supreme Allied Commander Europe - SACEUR) and Gen. Jean-Paul Paloméros (Supreme Allied Commander Transformation - SACT). In addition, presentations will be made by Akar; Breedlove; Paloméros; Gen. Mikhail Kostarakos, chief of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff; Gen. John F. Campbell, commander of Resolute Support; and Gen. Sir Adrian Bradshaw (DSACEUR).

The Military Committee meets twice a year at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, at the level of chiefs of defense to discuss NATO operations and missions and provide the organization with consensus-based military advice on how the alliance can best meet global security challenges, as well as once a year in an allied member country. On a day-to-day basis, their work is carried out by permanent military representatives at NATO headquarters in Brussels.