Oslo (Reuters) —
A top military official from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization or NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) warned on Saturday (16/9) that the drastic increase in ammunition prices would also increase countries’ defense spending allocations. However, this increase in spending does not automatically result in better security. To that end, he called for more private investment in defense companies.
“Equipment and ammunition prices are skyrocketing. Today, we pay more for the same thing,” said Dutch Admiral Rob Bauer, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, on Saturday (16/9) after a meeting of NATO defense leaders in Oslo.
“That means we cannot be sure that increased defense spending actually results in better security,” he said.
The Chair of NATO’s Military Committee, Admiral Rob Bauer addresses a press conference during the NATO Military Committee Conference 2023 (MCC23) at the Holmenkollen Scandic hotel in Oslo, Norway, on September 16, 2023. (Photo by Lise Åserud / NTB / AFP)
NATO has urged increased defense production to meet demand for weapons and equipment that has soared since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This is because the allies not only send supplies to Kyiv, but also have to supply their own domestic supplies.
One of the main concerns was a shortage of 155 mm artillery shells, and Kyiv fired up to 10,000 rounds every day.
In February, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned Kyiv was consuming bullets much faster than the West could produce them.
Bauer encouraged more private investment in the defense sector to increase production capacity. He also urged pension funds and banks to stop labeling defense investments as unethical.
“Long-term stability must take precedence over short-term profits. “As we saw in Ukraine, war is a society-wide event,” he said, adding that such investments are also in the strategic interest of the private sector.
“Forty percent of (Ukraine’s) economy evaporated in the first days of the war, most of it was private money, that money was gone,” he said.
US soldiers of an artillery unit stand in a personnel army vehicle during the NATO exercise ‘Saber Junction 23’ at the Hohenfels trainings area, southern Germany, on September 14, 2023.
Bauer also urged business players to accelerate the expansion of the weapons industry’s production capacity.
However, there is no correlation between the ammunition shortage and the difficulty of progressing the counteroffensive in Ukraine, according to Bauer.
“The reason why it takes time is because it is very dangerous, because there is a very large number of mines in a very deep minefield – more than 10 kilometers – with five or six mines per square meter,” he said.
In 2024, NATO will hold its largest collective defense exercises since the Cold War. More than 40,000 troops from across the alliance are expected to take part in the Steadfast Defender exercises in Germany, Poland and the three Baltic countries. (ah/ft)