NATO Initiative Strengthens Weapons Cooperation

Six NATO nations signed a letter of intent to join together on an initiative to strengthen cooperation within the munitions sector during the NATO Wales Summit last week. Denmark, the Czech Republic, Greece, Norway, Portugal, and Spain agreed to share the burden of financing procurement and fielding of air-to-ground precision-guided munitions—a move designed to address issues around supply limitations. Moving forward, the countries will evaluate mutual loan agreements, common storage options, multinational procurement, and the creation of multinational weapon stocks. “Danish experiences from the air operation over Libya in 2011 showed us that national munitions stockpiles are not always sufficient … and they cannot easily be re-supplied within the short timeframe needed during operations,” said Lt. Gen. Per Pugholm Olsen, Danish national armaments director. “Therefore we must pursue innovative and more flexible approaches towards provision of munitions in general and specifically air-to-ground precision-guided munitions.” Though the US has not signed on as a participant, a NATO release says the United States “is actively supporting the project in addressing US export control issues for US-type PGMs.”