Dutch Admiral Rob Bauer, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, has said a sharp rise in ammunition prices means an upsurge in allied defence spending, which does not automatically lead to an increase in the security of NATO countries. The admiral called for more private investments in defence companies.
Source: Voice of America (VOA)
Quote: "Prices for equipment and ammunition are shooting up. Right now, we are paying more and more for exactly the same. That means that we cannot make sure that the increased defence spending actually leads to more security."
Details: NATO is pushing to increase defence production to meet the demand for weapons and military equipment that has grown since Russia invaded Ukraine, as allies not only rush to supply Ukraine but also build up their own stockpiles of weapons.
One of the critical issues is the shortage of 155mm artillery projectiles, up to 10,000 of which are fired by Ukrainian forces daily.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg voiced concern in February that Ukraine was firing shells much faster than the West was producing them.
Bauer called for more private investments in the defence sector to expand production capacity and urged pension funds and banks to stop calling investments in the defence sector unethical.
"Long term stability needs to prevail over short term profits. As we have seen in Ukraine, war is a whole of society event," the admiral said, noting that such investments also meet the strategic interests of the private sector.
"Forty per cent of the (Ukrainian) economy evaporated in the first days of the war, that was private money to a large extent, that money is gone," Bauer pointed out.
He also urged the heads of military facilities to galvanise the increase in production capacity.
However, Bauer believes that the ammunition shortage and the Ukrainian counteroffensive's progress have nothing in common.
The admiral sees the reason for the slow progress of the Ukrainian counteroffensive as the extensive minefields on the territory that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are trying to retake. "The reason why it takes time is because it is extremely dangerous, because there's an enormous amount of mines in a very deep minefield - more than 10 kilometres - with five, six mines per square meter".
Bauer stressed that Ukraine is still advancing by 200 to 300 metres daily.
NATO will conduct its largest collective defence exercise since the end of the Cold War in 2024: over 40,000 troops from across the Alliance will take part in Steadfast Defender in Germany, Poland and the three Baltic states.