NATO Washington Summit: Focus on continued reinforced capability and deterrence

Ahead of this year's summit, NATO notes that the organisation is entering a new era for collective defence. The security situation is serious and requires continued development of both the alliance's deterrence and defence capabilities.

ÖB Micael Bydén
ÖB Micael Bydén
Chief of Defence General Micael Bydén, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Photo: Bezav Mahmod/Försvarsmakten

The 2024 summit is held on 9 to 11 July in Washington D.C., and is the first time that Sweden participates as an ally. Sweden is represented by Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, Foreign Affairs Minister Tobias Billström and Defence Minister Pål Jonson.

2024 also marks NATO's 75th anniversary, which will be highlighted during the Washington summit. However, the summit will focus on discussing three key topics: deterrence and defence, support to Ukraine, and global partnerships.

“The topics to be discussed during the summit are crucial to the entire alliance, including Sweden and the Swedish Armed Forces. Now, Sweden is fully integrated in the alliance's decision-making, as well as planning and implementation. Sweden has a vote in all of the decisions that are made, and is part of the deterrence and collective defence. We participate and deliver with the existing resources and capabilities of the Swedish Armed Forces”, says Major General Johan Pekkari, chief of the Defence Staff's Strategy Unit.

The first topic is about continuing to strengthen defence, including implementing the alliance's plans for deterrence and defence, with the aim to prevent war and conflict. The NATO members are contributing military resources at a level not seen in many years. Today, the alliance has extensive units at high readiness across all domains.

The second topic of this year's summit is support for Ukraine. NATO stands behind Ukrainian victory, but for this purpose, Ukraine needs support. It is in the alliance's collective interest to provide that support.

During the meeting, nations will launch a NATO-led programme for security and training support. This means NATO will coordinate all support and training packages, manage logistics, and support the long-term development of Ukraine's armed forces. The hope is also that allies will agree on a long-term financial commitment to Ukraine. The allied nations will also discuss the path toward potential Nato membership for Ukraine.

The third topic of the NATO meeting is global partnerships, particularly regarding the Indo-Pacific region. The war in Ukraine has shown that security is not a regional phenomenon, but has a global impact. China, North Korea, and other countries support Russia in their warfare, both directly by providing material and weapons support and indirectly by supporting the Russian defence industry and circumventing sanctions and export controls. This has consequences for European security and increases the urgency for NATO to strengthen cooperation with global partners.

“All the issues discussed and decided at the summit affect Sweden and, by extension, the Swedish Armed Forces. Our military representation in Brussels, combined with close and ongoing dialogue with the government offices here in Stockholm, ensures that we are well-versed in the issues now being discussed in Washington. This is also a result of our ongoing NATO integration.”

NATO is stronger today than ever before. The transatlantic link between Europe and North America has ensured the freedom and security of the alliance for 75 years. Together our deterrence is more credible, our support to Ukraine more consistent and our collaboration with partners more efficient.