OTTAWA — Canada and other members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are being urged to share more information faster in a bid to get ahead — and stay ahead — of Russia and other threats to the military alliance.
The request came Thursday from NATO assistant secretary general Arndt Freytag von Loringhoven as senior military intelligence officers from across the 29-country alliance wrapped up two days of closed-door meetings in Ottawa.
“I think we need to work on the rapidity of intelligence,” von Loringhoven told a group of journalists. “So we are encouraging to send us, to share intelligence with us at the speed of relevance, as quickly as possible.”
The comments coincide with a renewed focus on military intelligence by the Trudeau government, whose defence policy has promised to assign hundreds more service members and civilians to such tasks in the coming years.
They also come as NATO has struggled to predict and counter Russia’s unpredictability and use of hybrid warfare, which includes propaganda, misinformation and cyberattacks to destabilize countries and keep Canada and its allies off balance.
Yet despite their shared commitment to countering Russia’s tactics and keeping it in check, von Loringhoven said NATO members have often been reluctant to provide timely information to their allies.
“Because you have to speak about vulnerabilities in your own countries and this has to be balanced against the benefits for all of us to know what’s going on,” said von Loringhoven, who previously led Germany’s foreign intelligence agency.
Rear-Admiral Scott Bishop, Canada’s chief of defence intelligence who hosted the meeting, said Canada shares as much intelligence with NATO as possible and has been pushing other countries to do the same.