“Hagel said he is concerned with suggestions that NATO can handle only one threat, and that he is worried about a division between northern and southern allies,” the press release, issued on Thursday, said.
Hagel said NATO was focused on deterring Soviet aggression during the Cold War, but then it became focused on the Balkans and Afghanistan, and now the alliance faces multiple challenges and threats, according to the press release.
“The alliance and its members must be prepared to address all of these challenges at once — territorial defense and hybrid warfare on its eastern frontier, stability operations on its southern periphery, and out-of-area operations such as our training mission in Afghanistan and coalition counter-ISIL operations in Iraq,” Hagel was quoted as saying in the release.
NATO allies disagree about providing lethal aid to Ukraine. German Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed Tuesday that Germany will not provide weapons to Ukraine and will pursue a peaceful solution to the military conflict. However, US Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain continues to urge the Obama administration to provide Ukraine with defensive lethal assistance.