On 19 July, NATO conducted a missile defence exercise to ensure that it is able to connect real-time missile defence capabilities to sensors and launchers. General Alessandro Pera, Director of NATO`s Active Team Anti-Missile Programme (ALTBMD), stressed the importance of NATO`s multilateral approach to building a missile defence system, which is a national defence network. Overall, this exercise has confirmed the system`s capability and NATO can begin to extend missile protection to all of its territory and civilians. On 16 June, NATO held a roundtable discussion at the University of Montenegro in Podgorica to discuss the role of science in coordinating efforts to strengthen the detection of unexploded combat (UXO), cyber defence and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) resilience. On 4 October, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg issued a statement on Russian cyberattacks condemning Russia`s “ruthless behaviour” and referring to efforts to strengthen NATO`s cyber defence. On 8 and 9 February, NATO defence ministers met in Seville, Spain, to discuss the organization`s future policy and the way forward. Topics included the future of Kosovo (the desire for a quick conclusion was stressed), NATO`s military role in Afghanistan (which was supported), missile defence and, finally, the terrorist threat in the Mediterranean. The third NATO-Russia summit was also held in Lisbon and resulted in a joint declaration that it was “working towards a genuine and modernised strategic partnership”. Participants agreed on closer cooperation on emerging security challenges, missile defence and Afghanistan.
The joint declaration also endorsed the first joint review of the common security challenges of the 21st century and agreed on a joint assessment of the threat of mandic ballistic missiles. Nato`s Secretary General hailed these achievements as historic and noted that “we face many security challenges, but we are not a threat to each other.” On 23 February, the fourth seminar on NATO`s new strategic concept was held in Washington, D.C. The meeting focused on NATO`s ability to adapt to new challenges. Several speakers stressed that US nuclear weapons used in Europe were one of the most important manifestations of appeasement and shared responsibility within NATO and that their withdrawal could have serious consequences. Others argued that these nuclear weapons were a security responsibility and that the alliance as a whole should strive to consolidate and eliminate them.