Warsaw, Poland Although it’s early to start thinking about the next NATO summit, likely to be held in 2018, some of the agenda items are already becoming clear, US diplomats told reporters in Friday background briefings. Some of those include streamlining the ability of multinational forces to move through each other’s countries in a crisis, more formal designation of follow-on forces, and more attention to NATO’s own integrated air defense system. Russia’s IADS, particularly over Kaliningrad, have the ability to target aircraft well inside neighboring NATO countries, and “that’s something we have to look at,” in terms of countermeasures, one diplomat said. NATO also has to step up its game in electronic warfare, he said, because Russia’s capabilities in that arena are “world class.” In both arenas, “we’ve got ways to work around” Russia’s strengths—the stand-up of the ballistic missile defense system will “help” in this regard—but distributing those counter-anti-access systems among more allied forces will be important. Broadly, though, one diplomat said the two-year summit schedule is going to have to give way to a longer look. “We have to plan five, 10, 15 years” into the future in order to more rationally build deterrence and responsiveness, he said.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.