Members of NATO's military committee meet (Picture: NATO).
NATO’s most senior military chiefs have gathered in Brussels for the biannual meeting of the Military Committee.
The committee’s chairman, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, coordinates turning political decisions into military action.
“We as an alliance have troops deployed all over the globe serving away from home and in difficult and arduous conditions to provide security peace and stability to over one billion citizens of our world,” Air Chief Marshal Peach told delegates and journalists.
On the agenda was the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, a country where NATO troops have been deployed for over 17 years.
The Government in Kabul runs only half the country but there is growing hope that some kind of peace agreement can be reached with the Taliban.
But the rebels may have little incentive to talk if, as many fear, America pulls its troops from the nation.
NATO's message is that it's staying put:
“Our commitment to Afghanistan is unwavering,” said Air Chief Marshal Peach.
“The security situation remains challenging. Nevertheless, the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces are working very hard to secure their country and deny safe haven to terrorists.”
Earlier this month, the chair of the Defence Select Committee told Forces News it was "fanciful" to believe British forces could stay in Afghanistan if the US pulls out.
Another headache for the alliance is Russia; Moscow continues to flex its military might and it was no coincidence that Ukraine’s most senior military officer was in attendance.
The bloc says that its,“concerns about Russia’s continued destabilising pattern of military activities and aggressive rhetoric go well beyond Ukraine.”
Moscow-backed fighters are in the country which has already lost Crimea to Russian annexation. Kiev increasingly requests NATO help and its forces are adopting alliance standards.
NATO’s website states that:
“Since 2014, in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, cooperation has been intensified in critical areas.”