Speaking at a NATO Transformation Seminar in Paris, the secretary general repeated his concern that Russia's incursion into Ukraine, annexation of Crimea, and escalation along Ukraine's eastern border "raises serious questions about Euro-Atlantic security."
He called upon NATO members to use the upcoming Wales Summit in September to prepare a readiness action plan. Such an action plan, he said, has application beyond the current crisis in Ukraine.
"Because from Sevastopol to Syria and the Sahel, we are facing a dangerous world. Where threats are complex, unpredictable and interconnected. Newer challenges, such as terrorism, failed states, cyber and missile attacks. And old challenges in new guises, such as attempts to redraw borders by force.
"We must develop an action plan to strengthen our readiness. And this requires the right training, the right posture, and the right capabilities."
Rasmussen proposed a three point strategy to accomplish a NATO readiness action plan.
'"First, training and exercising. This is about our people and platforms being properly prepared. Exercised together. Trained together. And ready to be deployed together -- wherever and whenever required. ...
"The second element in a readiness action plan is the NATO Response Force. We have it, and we must use it. To do that, we should place parts of it at very high readiness. ...
"The third element for improved readiness is improved capabilities. We need to procure the high-end capabilities that we currently lack – joint intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; missile defence; air command and control; and air lift. ...
"My... final point is that the bond between North America and Europe remains vital for our shared security. And we must reinforce it."
The NATO secretary general concluded his remarks by encouraging feedback from member states "So that NATO remains ready and robust in an unpredictable world."