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ESP CHOD addresses a lecture on the geostrategic environment at the 'Nueva Economía' forum

April 5, 2022
  • Admiral general López Calderón has analysed the security and defence challenges we are facing

Chief of Defence Staff, admiral general Teodoro Esteban López Calderón, has engaged today at the Europe Forum’s working breakfast hosted by the 'Nueva Economía' Forum in Madrid.

During the conference, admiral López Calderón addressed three key issues: current strategic environment and its impact on Spain’s areas of interest, the strategic alignment between the European Union and NATO and the adjustment of the Armed Forces to the environment.

ESP CHOD has started by analyzing the current situation in Ukraine and stressed that "Russia surpassed all limits with the false excuse of its security, went beyond and clearly and notoriously violated the principles of international law with its illegitimate attack and invasion of Ukraine". Despite everything, "Spain, like all other EU and NATO countries, has always been in favour of diplomacy and maintaining a fluid dialogue with Russia, but always on the premise of respect for international law".

Regarding the threats affecting Spain, Admiral López Calderón referred to China, terrorism, mainly of a Jihadist nature, regional tensions in the Maghreb and SAHEL, and vulnerabilities in new areas (cyberspace, outer space and cognitive).

On the strategic alignment between the European Union and NATO, he referred to the new strategic concept that the Alliance will endorse at the Madrid Summit in June and which is currently being drafted. He believes that "for obvious reasons, deterrence and collective defence will gain substantial weight". With regard to the European Union, he stressed the importance of the so-called "Strategic Compass", a guide that the Union has just agreed upon, which establishes the orientation of "all the initiatives and developments in security and defence that are being developed within the EU".

ESP CHOD finished his lecture, speaking about the Armed Forces' adjustment to the new scenario that is being shaped. The new defence planning is based on the National Defence Directive, and the new events we are experiencing are influencing in its drafting. "The sudden change in the European Security and Defence architecture will necessarily imply the reinforcement of our current deterrence and defence capabilities". Admiral General López Calderón pointed out that "effective deterrence is undoubtedly expensive, but if it fails, an armed conflict is always much more expensive, and particularly if lost, the cost is unaffordable".

Regarding the increase in the defence budget, he stressed that " in Spain, both for our Armed Forces and the industry, the optimal situation would probably be to have a predictable and stable budget scenario that allows us to plan and synchronise procurement and maintenance with the available resources".