Partner countries have made and continue to make significant contributions to the Alliance’s operations and missions, whether it be supporting peace in the Western Balkans and Afghanistan, training national security forces in Iraq, monitoring maritime activity in the Mediterranean Sea, or helping protect civilians in Libya.
A number of tools have been developed to ensure that partner forces are capable of participating actively in NATO-led operations. They include the following:
The Planning and Review Process (PARP) helps develop the interoperability and capabilities of forces which might be made available for NATO training, exercises and operations. It also provides a framework to assist partners to develop effective, affordable and sustainable armed forces as well as promoting wider defence and security-sector transformation and reform efforts. PARP is open to Euro-Atlantic partners on a voluntary basis and is open to other partner countries on a case-by-case basis, upon approval of the North Atlantic Council. Under PARP, planning targets are negotiated with each country and regular reviews measure progress. PARP is conducted by Allies and participating partners together. (See also A-Z page on PARP)
The Operational Capabilities Concept (OCC) Evaluation and Feedback Programme is used to develop and train partner land, maritime, air or special operations forces that are declared available for NATO-led operations and the NATO Response Force, so that they meet NATO standards. This can often take a few years, but it ensures that partner forces are effective and interoperable with Allied forces once deployed. Some partners use the OCC as a strategic tool to transform their defence forces. The OCC has contributed significantly to the increasing number of partner forces participating in NATO-led operations and the NATO Response Force.
The Political Military Framework (PMF) sets out principles, modalities and guidelines for the involvement of all partner countries in political consultations and decision-shaping, in operational planning and in command arrangements for operations to which they contribute. A review of the Political-Military Framework for NATO-led PfP operations was launched at the Lisbon Summit to update the way NATO works together with partner countries and shapes decisions on the operations and missions to which they contribute. This review was conducted, in consultation with partners, in 2011.
The Training and Education Enhancement Programme (TEEP) is the primary tool to promote training to support military interoperability, especially through collaboration among national institutions focused on operational/tactical level training for staff taking part in multinational headquarters. Beyond Euro-Atlantic partners, the TEEP has been open to countries from the Mediterranean and Gulf region (i.e. Mediterranean Dialogue and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative partners) for a number of years, and steps are being taken to open the programme to other partners across the globe. The Military Training and Exercise Programme (MTEP) allows partners to take part in exercises to promote interoperability. Through the MTEP, a five-year planning horizon provides a starting point for exercise planning and the allocation of resources. The Bi-Strategic Command Military Cooperation Division, which is principally located at Allied Command Operation in Mons, Belgium, is responsible for supporting partner involvement in exercises. In addition, and on a case-by-case basis, Allies may invite partners to take part in North Atlantic Council-level Crisis Management Exercises that engage ministries in participating capitals, and national political and military representation at NATO HQ, in consultations on strategic management of exercise crises. (See also A-Z page on Education and training)
The Partnership Action Plan on Terrorism (PAP-T) is a framework through which Allies and partner countries work to improve cooperation in the fight against terrorism, through political consultation and a range of practical measures. It facilitates consultation and cooperation in areas such as intelligence-sharing, terrorism-related training and exercises, and the development of capabilities for defence against terrorist attack or for dealing with the consequences of such an attack. (See also A-Z page on PAP-T)
Opportunities for cooperation between NATO and partners in the areas of armaments, air defence and airspace and air traffic management are provided through the Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD), the Air Defence Committee (ADC) and the Air Traffic Management Committee (ATMC).