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NATO to increase cyber weaponry to combat Russia

AFP  |  Brussels 

members agreed today to increase the use of cyber weaponry and tactics during military operations, with the alliance also upgrading other capabilities to combat a resurgent

The changes are part of the alliance's biggest shakeup since the Cold War, with defence ministers backing the creation of two new command centres to help protect


The revamp reflects the "changed security environment" of recent years, chief Jens Stoltenberg said at a meeting of defence ministers in Brussels.

The threat to the alliance's eastern flank has grown as a concern after Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014.

"We are now integrating cyber effects into missions and operations to respond to a changed and new security environment where cyber is part of the threat picture we have to respond to," Stoltenberg said.

"In any military conflict cyber will be an integral part and therefore we need to strengthen our cyber defences and our cyber capabilities," he added, noting that such tactics have been effective in the fight against IS in Iraq and Syria.

After years of stripping back its command structure since the end of the Cold War, wants to add the new command centres -- one to protect lines of communication across the Atlantic and one to coordinate the movement of troops and equipment around

The creation of a new cyber operations hub comes as the alliance faces hundreds of attacks on its networks every month and fears grow over the Kremlin's electronic tactics.

declared cyber -- where attackers disrupt websites, intercept communications and sabotage technologies used in combat -- as a conflict domain last year, putting it on a par with land, sea and air.

"We have seen a more assertive Russia, we have seen a which has over many years invested heavily in their military capabilities," Stoltenberg said.

"has to be able to respond to that. We are constantly adapting and what we are doing in now is part of that adaptation."

Cyber capabilities will now be included in missions in the same way as planes, tanks and ships -- fully integrated but still under the control of the contributing country.

The two-day meet at headquarters will also cover the North Korean nuclear crisis, which will be the focus of a working dinner today, where defence ministers will be joined by the EU's diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 09 2017. 05:22 IST
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