White House lays out expectations for NATO summit

US President Joe Biden departs the White House onboard Marine One on Wednesday, June 9.
US President Joe Biden departs the White House onboard Marine One on Wednesday, June 9. Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The White House on Sunday laid out its expectations for the NATO summit on Monday in a fact sheet. 

Among the items the US says the members will announce is a new “strategic concept” that would guide the alliance’s approach going forward as the strategic environment changes, including threats from China and Russia. They expect it to be adopted at next year’s NATO summit.

They also preview heightened attention to cyber issues, climate change, and supply chain issues.

The White House is also highlighting increased defense spending among member states, citing a pledge adopted by the Obama administration in 2014. However, Trump has taken credit for the rise in defense spending, claiming it was his attention on the issue that drove other countries to spend more.

Here are “Key Summit Outcomes” the White House is highlighting:

  • A New Strategic Concept: Allies will agree to revise NATO’s Strategic Concept, a framework that will guide the alliance’s approach to the evolving strategic environment, which includes Russia’s aggressive policies and actions; challenges posed by China to our collective security, prosperity, and values; and transnational threats such as terrorism, cyber threats, and climate change. The new Strategic Concept will be prepared for adoption at the NATO Summit in 2022. 
  • Updating Cyber Defenses: Leaders will endorse a new Cyber Defense Policy for NATO that will strengthen allied coordination to ensure the alliance is resilient against the increasingly frequent and severe threats we face from malicious cyber activity perpetrated by state and nonstate actors, including disruptive ransomware attacks against critical infrastructure. This updated policy will also provide strategic guidance for NATO’s political, military, and technical cyber efforts to deter, defend against, and counter the full spectrum of cyber threats. Leaders will also affirm the importance of defending our networks and ensuring Allies rely on trustworthy providers for next-generation telecommunication networks. 
  • Preserving our Technological Edge: Leaders will affirm that NATO’s ability to ensure our common defense relies on maintaining our technological edge. Allies will launch a Defense Innovation Accelerator to facilitate their technological cooperation and speed the adoption of emerging technologies that will enhance the Alliance’s defense and security. 
  • Combatting Climate Change: Leaders will agree to a Climate Security Action Plan and set the ambition for NATO to become the leading international organization for understanding and adapting to the impact of climate change on security. They will agree to reduce greenhouse gases from military activities and installations in line with national commitments under the Paris Agreement, and agree to initiate a regular high-level global climate and security dialogue. 
  • Strengthened Deterrence and Defense: Allies will commit to implementation of new military concepts and strategies that strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defense posture to meet threats from Russia and elsewhere. NATO also continues to monitor the Russian deployments in and around Ukraine. 
  • Greater Sharing of Responsibility: Non-US defense spending has risen for seven consecutive years since the Wales Defense Investment Pledge adopted during the Obama-Biden Administration in 2014. Allied leaders will recommit to the Wales Pledge in its entirety and to providing NATO with cash, capabilities, and contributions of ready forces. 
  • Investing in NATO: Allies will also commit to ensuring NATO is led, staffed, and resourced at levels necessary to deliver on the decisions taken at the summit. Leaders will agree to identify the additional resources, including through NATO common funding, to enhance NATO’s ability to meet security challenges today and in the future. 
  • Increased Consultation and Cohesion: Allies will commit to enhance political coordination at NATO on all matters related to their individual and collective security. Leaders will also reaffirm their commitment to their common values, including individual liberty, human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. 
  • Stronger Societies: Recognizing the increasingly complex threats to our security, Allied leaders will affirm that national and collective resilience are essential for credible deterrence and defense, and vital to safeguard our societies, citizens, and shared values. Allied leaders will issue a Strengthened Resilience Commitment to outline future priorities, including on the security of supply chains, critical infrastructure, and energy networks, as well as preparedness for pandemics and natural disasters. 
  • Deeper Partnerships: Allies will enhance NATO’s ability to strengthen the rules-based international order by increasing dialogue and practical cooperation with the Alliance’s partners, including the European Union and those in the Indo-Pacific (Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and the Republic of Korea). Leaders will recommit to NATO’s Open Door Policy, which provides a path to membership for any European country that shares our values and meets the necessary responsibilities and obligations.


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