The head of the Pentagon presented a new US defense initiative at a meeting of NATO Defense Ministers

Mark Esper drew the meeting’s attention to the growing threats from Russia and China.

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper attended his 6th meeting of NATO Defense Ministers on Friday, delivering a speech during a meeting where the allies focused on containing threats and increasing the Alliance’s resilience.

The Minister drew the audience’s attention to strengthening defense and deterrence, fair distribution of the financial burden, and unity of the Alliance, using the new Pentagon initiative “Guide to the development of alliances and partnerships” as a topic for discussion.

Esper noted problems associated with “increased Russian aggression,” including Washington’s concerns about Moscow’s growing missile capabilities. He also considered the risks of China’s dependence on technology and critical infrastructure as Beijing continues to undermine the international world order.

Mark Esper welcomed the progress made by the allies in improving conventional weapons. He also stressed the importance of meeting NATO’s defense capability goals to provide the Alliance with the military means and weapons necessary to counter any threat.

Defense spending by allies rose for the sixth year in a row, the Pentagon chief said. Esper confirmed the US commitment to the North Atlantic Alliance and expressed confidence in its ability to meet modern challenges.

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