NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization

  • Fight against terrorism, The -
    The fight against terrorism http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/76706.htm
  • Finland, NATO’s relations with -
    NATO’s relations with Finland NATO and Finland actively cooperate on peace and security operations and have developed practical cooperation in many other areas, including education and training and the development of military capabilities. Finnish cooperation with NATO is based on its longstanding policy of military non-alignment and a firm national political consensus. It is set on developing a political dialogue with NATO, improving operational connectivity and contributing to capability development, selecting areas of cooperation that match joint objectives. An important area of cooperation is the country’s support for NATO-led operations. Finland currently works alongside the Allies in security and peacekeeping operations in Kosovo and Afghanistan, and has also indicated its willingness to participate in the post-2014 follow-on mission – the NATO-led Resolute Support mission - to train, advise and assist Afghan security forces. Moreover, Finland supports the implementation of the United Nation’s Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, and participates in several NATO-led Trust Funds. Finland started cooperating with NATO in 1994 when it joined the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme and has since been reinforcing its relations with NATO through a number of partnership tools, NATO-led operations and exercises, and capability development. Key areas of cooperation Security cooperation Since 2002, Finnish soldiers have been working alongside Allied forces as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. Finnish personnel are deployed in the country, primarily with a Provincial Reconstruction Team in the north of the country. The focus of the Finnish contribution is gradually shifting towards training and capacity-building of Afghan security forces. Since 2007, Finland has contributed €1.7 million to the Afghan National Army Trust Fund. Finland also contributes to a project conducted under the NATO-Russia Council aimed at training counter-narcotics personnel from Afghanistan and other Central Asian partner countries. Finnish forces have also played significant roles in securing peace in the former Yugoslavia. Finnish soldiers are currently operating with the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) and, in the past, Finland contributed a battalion to the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Finland started participating in the NATO Response Force (NRF) in 2012 and took part in Exercise Steadfast Jazz in November 2013, an exercise which inter alia was designed to test the different components of the next NRF rotation. Specific participation or involvement in any particular NRF operation requires a sovereign decision by Finland. Finland’s role in training the forces of partner countries, particularly in peacekeeping, is greatly valued by the Allies. In July 2001, NATO formally recognised the Finnish Defence Forces International Centre (FINCENT) in Tuusula as a PfP Training Centre. This centre provides training on military crisis management for staff employed by international organisations such as NATO, the United Nations and the European Union. Finland also regularly participates in NATO and PfP exercises, such as Iceland Air Meet in February 2014. Among other forces, Finland has declared one mechanised infantry battalion group and one combat engineer unit, a coastal mine hunter and a small number of fixed-wing aircraft as potentially available for exercises and operations. Maintaining operational interoperability at the end of the ISAF mission is not only crucial at the military level, but also at the political level. At the political level, consultation and dialogue will be reinforced and flexible formats encouraged with, for instance, meetings at 28 + 6 (28 + NATO’s six Western European partners, including Finland) taking place more frequently. Finland plays an active part in a number of multinational projects for the development of capabilities. It has joined the Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) programme, participating along with Sweden and several NATO Allies in the operation of three C-17 transport aircraft based in Hungary. Continuation of a related initiative, the Strategic Airlift Interim Solution (SALIS), which leases Russian and Ukrainian Antonov transport aircraft beyond 2012, is being evaluated. The country is also working on a multinational cyber defence capability development project with NATO, which will improve the means of sharing technical information and promote awareness of threats and attacks. It is also participating in the establishment of a joint multinational headquarters in Germany, a harbour protection system and a deployable system for the surveillance of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear agents. Finland is a member of the Movement Coordination Centre Europe (MCCE) and is participating in the Air Transport, Air-to Air Refueling and other Exchange of Services (ATARES), as well as the Air Situation Data Exchange (ASDE). Finland’s close ties with its neighbours Norway, Denmark and Sweden have resulted in Nordic Defence Cooperation (NORDEFCO), a further practical and efficient way for like-minded states to contribute to regional and international security.  In Finland’s case, this activity is pursued alongside the Nordic Battle Group. Defence and security sector reform Finland has participated in the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) since 1995, which – along with participating in the Operational Capabilities Concept – influences Finnish planning and activities. Cooperation in these frameworks is aimed at enhancing Finland’s ability to take part in peace-support operations, as well as allowing Allies and other partners to benefit from Finnish expertise. Finland has developed a new military crisis-management concept as the basis for a revised national pool of forces for crisis-management operations. All of these forces should be evaluated under Operational Capability Concept Evaluation and Feedback programme by the end of 2016. Finland is contributing to the development of the EU Battlegroup concept. It is cooperating with Estonia, Sweden and Norway, among other countries, in the development of a multinational rapid-reaction force for EU-led peace-support operations. Alongside NATO Allies, Finland contributes to NATO’s programme of support for security-sector reform in the western Balkans, southern Caucasus and Central Asia. It is an active supporter of Partnership Trust Fund projects in other partner countries and has contributed to nearly a dozen so far. Currently, it is supporting a project for the repacking, centralising and destruction of chemicals in Moldova; ammunition stockpile management in Tajikistan and the Building Integrity Programme. Finland has also shown an interest in supporting an upcoming Trust Fund project focused on multiplying the possibilities for women to work in the Jordan armed forces. Civil emergency planning Civil emergency planning is a major area of bilateral cooperation. The aim is for Finland to be able to cooperate with NATO Allies in providing mutual support in dealing with the consequences of a major accident or disaster in the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) area. This could include dealing with the consequences of incidents involving chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear agents, as well as humanitarian disaster-relief operations. In line with this, Finnish civil resources have been listed with the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC). Finland has also provided valuable civil emergency training to Allies and partners. Science and environment Under the Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme, scientists from Finland have participated in numerous advanced research workshops and seminars on a range of topics. Topics have included border security and the fight against terrorism, environmental security in harbours and coastal areas, and bioremediation of contaminated soils. Public information In every partner country an embassy of one of the NATO member states serves as a contact point and operates as a channel for disseminating information about the role and policies of the Alliance. The current NATO Contact Point Embassy in Finland is the embassy of Denmark. Framework for cooperation An Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme (IPCP), which is jointly agreed for a two-year period, lays out the programme of cooperation between Finland and NATO. Key areas include security and peacekeeping cooperation, crisis management and civil emergency planning. An important objective in Finland’s participation in the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme is to develop and enhance interoperability between NATO and partner forces through a variety of PfP instruments and mechanisms. Finland joined the PfP programme at its inception in 1994. Milestones in relations 1994 Finland joins the Partnership for Peace (PfP). 1995 Finland joins the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP). 1996 Finland contributes forces to the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 1997 Finland joins the newly created Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. 1999 Finnish forces participate in the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo, KFOR. 2001 The Finnish Defence Forces International Centre in Tuusula becomes a PfP training centre. 2002 Finnish forces begin their contribution to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. 2006 The mine layer Pohjanmaa passed NATO maritime evaluation (MAREVAL) during Exercise Brilliant Mariner 2006. 2008 Finland hosts the June 2008 Uusimaa Civil Crisis Management Exercise. Finland decides that it is open in principle to NATO Response Force (NRF) participation. 2009 Finland and the NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A) (currently known as the NATO Communications and Information Agency) sign a Memorandum of Understanding on mutual cooperation in key defence technology areas. An F-18 squadron, part of Finland’s Rapid Deployment Force passed a full NATO tactical evaluation (TACEVAL). 2010 Finland co-hosts “NATO’s New Strategic Concept – Comprehensive Approach to Crisis Management” with Sweden in Helsinki. 2011 Following the signature of an agreement in October, senior Finnish officials visit the NATO C3 Agency (currently known as the NATO Communications and Information Agency) in November to discuss the details of a multi-year programme of work for cooperation on advanced technology. 2012 In March, Finnish fighter jets take part in a NATO exercise over the Baltic region aimed at practising air policing skills.   In November, Finland takes part in Exercise Steadfast Juncture, an exercise organised at the Amari Air Base, Estonia, focused on the command and control of a fictitious crisis-response operation involving the NRF; and the Cyber Coalition procedural exercise, focused on cyber defence capabilities.   NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen visits Helsinki on 15 November. 2013 In November, Finland takes part in Exercise Steadfast Jazz. 2014 Finland and Sweden participate in Iceland Air Meet 2014, under the command of Norway. This occurred during Norway’s deployment to Iceland to conduct NATO’s mission to provide airborne surveillance and interception capabilities to meet Iceland’s peacetime preparedness needs.
  • former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹, NATO’s relations with the
    NATO’s relations with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ Cooperation between the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ and NATO takes place across a wide range of areas: operationally in Afghanistan and in support of KFOR, practically with a particular emphasis on defence and security sector reform. The country joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace in 1995 and aspires to become a NATO member. It joined the Membership Action Plan in 1999, a programme of advice, assistance and practical support tailored to the needs of countries wishing to join NATO. At the April 2008 Bucharest Summit, Allies agreed that an invitation to join the Alliance will be extended to the country as soon as a mutually acceptable solution to the issue over its name has been reached with Greece. This agreement has been consistently reiterated at subsequent Summits. The Allies are committed to keeping NATO’s door open to Western Balkan partners that wish to join the Alliance, share its values and are willing and able to assume the responsibilities and obligations of membership. Euro-Atlantic integration is seen as the best way to ensure long-term, self-sustaining security and stability in the region. NATO also remains committed to the long-term peace and stability of the region.  At Skopje’s request, the Alliance engaged in operations Essential Harvest, Allied Harmony and Amber Fox (2001-2003), with the aim of creating a safe and secure environment and reducing tension between the country’s ethnic Albanian minority and national security forces. A  NATO military headquarters created in Skopje during the operational period has since been downsized and transformed into a Liaison Office which assists with security sector reform and host nation support to the Kosovo Force (KFOR). Beyond the ongoing work on reform, another important area of cooperation is the country’s support for NATO-led operations. For many years, it has been providing valuable support to KFOR troops transiting the country. It also contributes to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan and has indicated its willingness to participate in the post-2014 follow-on mission to train and assist Afghan security forces, after ISAF’s mission has ended. Key areas of cooperation The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was a key partner in supporting NATO-led stabilisation operations in Kosovo in 1999 and NATO forces were deployed to the country to halt the spread of the conflict as well as to provide logistical support to KFOR. The Allies also provided humanitarian assistance as refugees from Kosovo fled into the country. The country continues to provide valuable host nation support to KFOR troops transiting its territory. NATO came to the assistance of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, when violence between ethnic Albanian insurgents and security forces broke out in the west of the country in February 2001. The insurgents had taken control of a number of towns near the border with Kosovo, bringing the country to the brink of a civil war. NATO facilitated the negotiation of a ceasefire in June of that same year, which paved the way for a political settlement – the Ohrid Framework Agreement – in August 2001. In support of the settlement, NATO deployed a task force, “Essential Harvest”, to collect weapons handed over by the insurgents, as they prepared to disband. The NATO-led international monitoring mission continued to operate in support of the implementation of the Ohrid Agreement until 31 March 2003, when the European Union assumed the lead. A key objective of cooperation is to develop the ability of the country’s armed forces to work alongside Allied forces in peace-support and crisis-management operations. Participation in NATO’s PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) has provided a framework for cooperation in this area. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has been supporting ISAF in Afghanistan since 2002; it currently contributes some 150 troops. The country has also indicated its willingness to participate in the post-2014 NATO-led mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan forces, which will be deployed once the transition to Afghan security lead has been completed and ISAF’s operation is terminated. Defence and security sector reform The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has initiated wide-ranging reforms that NATO is supporting. In the areas of defence and security sector reform, NATO and individual Allies have considerable expertise that the country can draw upon. In consultation with the Allies, the country continues to implement a wide range of reforms in line with its Strategic Defence Review. The country’s participation in the PARP has facilitated cooperation in the area of defence reform. The Allies have assisted in the development of a transformation plan for the country’s armed forces. The plan includes detailed programmes covering logistics, personnel, equipment, training and a timetable for the restructuring of key military units. Other key objectives include improving ethnic minority representation in civil/military defence structures and judicial and police reform. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia joined the Operational Capabilities Concept (OCC) in 2005. The OCC is a mechanism through which units available for PfP operations can be evaluated and better integrated with NATO forces to increase operational effectiveness. The country is working with NATO to promote the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, which recognises the disproportionate impact that war and conflicts have on women and children. UNSCR 1325 calls for full and equal participation of women at all levels in issues ranging from early conflict prevention to post-conflict reconstruction, peace and security. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is also working to strengthen good governance in the defence and security sector through participation in the Building Integrity Programme. This Programme seeks to raise awareness, promote good practice and provide practical tools to help nations enhance integrity and reduce risks of corruption in the security sector by strengthening transparency and accountability. Training is an important part of security cooperation with the country and its personnel regularly participate in activities organised under the PfP programme. Moreover, the country’s Public Affairs Regional Centre in Skopje was recognised as a Partnership Training and Education Centre in 2013, opening its activities to Allies and partners. Civil emergency planning The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is enhancing its national civil emergency and disaster-management capabilities in cooperation with NATO and through participation in activities organised by the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre. In consultation with NATO, a national crisis-management system has been established to ensure that the structures in place serve effectively and efficiently in the case of a national crisis. Science and environment The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has been actively engaged within the framework of the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme since 1998. The SPS Programme enables close collaboration on issues of common interest to enhance the security of NATO and partner countries. By facilitating international efforts, in particular with a regional focus, the Programme seeks to address emerging security challenges, support NATO-led operations and advance early warning and forecast for the prevention of disasters and crises. Today, scientists and experts from the country are working to address a wide range of security issues, notably in the fields of cyber defence, defence against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) agents, environmental security and disaster forecast and prevention of natural catastrophes. A hands-on cyber defence training course took place in April 2013. The aim of the training course was to create institutional capability and increase awareness on cyber threats with a view to enhancing the resiliency of national IT infrastructures. Future areas for concrete cooperation were discussed by national government officials, scientists and experts at an SPS ‘Information Day’ held in Skopje in June 2013. Public information Given that the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia aims to join NATO, it is important to continue to ensure public awareness of how NATO works and of the rights and obligations which membership brings. Public diplomacy activities also aim to develop and maintain links with civil society actors and to facilitate security-related activities and programmes in the country. NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division plays a key role in this area, as do individual Allies and partner countries. In every partner country an embassy of one of the NATO member states serves as a contact point and operates as a channel for disseminating information about the role and policies of the Alliance. The Embassy of Turkey in Skopje acts as a Contact Point Embassy (CPE) for NATO. Framework for cooperation The country cooperates with NATO and other partners in a wide range of areas through the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC). In the Membership Action Plan (MAP) framework, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia sets out its reform plans and timelines in its Annual National Programme (ANP). Key areas include political, military and security sector reforms. Important priorities are efforts to meet democratic standards and ensure free and fair elections, as well as support for reducing corruption and fighting organised crime, judicial reform, improving public administration and promoting good neighbourly relations. NATO Allies provide feedback on the envisaged reforms and evaluate their implementation. More specific and technical reforms in the defence area are developed through the Partnership for Peace Planning and Review Process (PARP), which the country joined in 1999. The role of the PARP is to provide a structured basis for identifying forces and capabilities that could be available to the Alliance for multinational training, exercises and operations. It also serves as the principal mechanism used to guide and measure defence and military reform progress. A biennial process, the PARP is open to all partners on a voluntary basis. The NATO Liaison Office, Skopje, plays a role in assisting the implementation of the defence reform plans, including through its NATO Advisory Team, which is located within the country's defence ministry. Milestones in relations 1995 The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia joins the Partnership for Peace (PfP). 1996 The country hosts its first PfP training exercise ”Rescuer”. 1997 The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia becomes a member of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC). 1999 The country plays a key role in supporting NATO operations in Kosovo, and the Allies provide assistance to ease the humanitarian crisis as refugees from Kosovo flood into the country. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia joins NATO's Membership Action Plan (MAP) and the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP). 2001 Violence flares up in the west of the country. NATO plays a key role in facilitating negotiations on a cease-fire reached in June. NATO Allies deploy a task force to collect arms from former combatants (Operation Essential Harvest) and support the implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement. Subsequently, they deploy a mission to protect international monitors (Operation Amber Fox), which is extended until December 2002. 2002 The country deploys personnel in support of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. NATO HQ Skopje is created, in April, to advise on military aspects of security sector reform. 2003 The NATO-led peace-monitoring mission (Operation Allied Harmony) in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is handed over to the European Union. 2005 A combined medical team of the three MAP countries joins NATO-led forces in Afghanistan in August. 2007 The country hosts the EAPC Security Forum in Ohrid. 2008 In April, Allies agree that the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia will be invited to start accession talks as soon as a mutually acceptable solution to the issue over the country’s name has been reached. 2010 The Secretary General visits Skopje in June 2010. 2012 Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski addresses the North Atlantic Council on 25 January.   President Gjorge Ivanov attends a meeting at NATO’s Summit, joining counterparts from countries that are supporting the NATO-led stabilisation mission in Afghanistan. Also, Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki joins fellow foreign ministers from the three other countries that are aspiring to NATO membership in a meeting chaired by NATO's Deputy Secretary General.   During a visit to NATO Headquarters of President Gjorge Ivanov on 4 September, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen welcomes Skopje's commitment to continuing reforms and expresses his strong hope that a mutually acceptable solution to the issue of the country’s name could be reached as soon as possible within the framework of the United Nations. 2013 In June, the North Atlantic Council accepts the country’s offer to make its Public Affairs Regional Centre in Skopje a Partnership Training and Education Centre, opening its activities to Allies and partners. 2014 In February, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski visits NATO Headquarters in Brussels and in May, the NATO Secretary General visits Skopje. 1. Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.
  • former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹, Peace support operations in the -
    Peace support operations in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ On the request of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ NATO engaged in three separate operations to quell tension between the country’s ethnic Albanian minority and national security forces. On 13 August 2001, the Skopje government and ethnic Albanian representatives signed the Ohrid Framework Agreement. Under this agreement, the government pledged to improve the rights of its ethnic Albanian population. In exchange, ethnic Albanian representatives agreed to abandon separatist demands and hand over weapons to a NATO force. This was the beginning of NATO’s short-term military presence in the country (2001-2003). The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 1 has been a NATO Partner country since 1995 and joined the Membership Action Plan in 1999. NATO set up a military headquarters in Skopje to assist with security sector reform. At the 2008 Bucharest Summit, NATO leaders agreed to extend an invitation to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 1 to join the Alliance as soon as a mutually acceptable solution to the issue over its name has been reached with Greece. Three separate NATO operations Setting the scene Violence broke out in the country when ethnic Albanian extremists challenged government authorities to grant the ethnic Albanian community more rights. On 20 June 2001, President Boris Trajkovski sent a letter to Lord Robertson, the then NATO Secretary General, to request NATO assistance in keeping civil war at bay. He wanted NATO to assist his government in demilitarising the National Liberation Army (NLA) and disarming ethnic Albanian extremists operating across the country. Diplomatic efforts and peace talks had been initiated but stalled over a series of delicate issues, including the question of whether Albanian would be recognised as an official language. NATO adopted a dual-track approach: it condemned the attacks but urged the government to adopt constitutional reforms to increase participation of ethnic Albanians in society and politics. NATO approved the operation on 29 June, but its conditions for deployment were that the political dialogue between the various parties in the country had a “successful outcome’ and a cease-fire was respected. Only then would NATO send troops with “strong rules of engagement” to collect weapons from the ethnic Albanian extremists. On 15 August, two days after the signature of the political framework agreement – the Ohrid Framework Agreement – the North Atlantic Council authorised the immediate deployment of the Headquarters of Task Force Harvest on the ground. This was the first of three operations to be launched: Operation Essential Harvest; Operation Amber Fox; and Operation Allied Harmony. Collecting weapons NATO officially launched Operation Essential Harvest on 22 August and effectively started operations on 27 August. The 30-day mission aimed to disarm ethnic Albanian insurgents on a voluntary basis. Approximately 3,500 NATO troops, with logistical support, were sent to the country. Nearly 4,000 weapons and several hundred thousand more items, including mines and explosives, were collected. The operation finished on 26 September 2001. Protecting international monitors Following the conclusion of Operation Essential Harvest, the Allies launched Operation Amber Fox. The Operational Plan was approved on 26 September 2001 and the mission officially started the next day. Operation Amber Fox was mandated to assist in the protection of international monitors from the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe who oversaw implementation of the Ohrid Agreement. The mission was deployed under German leadership with the participation of other NATO member countries, and consisted of 700 Allied troops joining 300 troops already based in the country. Initially, Operation Amber Fox had a three-month mandate, but it was subsequently extended until 15 December 2002. Minimizing the risks of destabilization In response to an additional request from President Trajkovski, the North Atlantic Council agreed to continue supporting the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ with a new mission that would help minimise the risks of destabilisation. While acknowledging that Operation Amber Fox could be finalised, the Council agreed that there was a requirement for a follow-on international military presence in the country. Operation Allied Harmony was launched on 16 December and its objectives were to provide continued support for international monitors and to assist the government in taking ownership of security throughout the country. On 17 March 2003, the North Atlantic Council decided to terminate Operation Allied Harmony as of 31 March, and to hand over responsibility for a continued international military presence to the European Union. NATO HQ Skopje NATO remains committed to helping the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ integrate into Euro-Atlantic structures. To that end, NATO HQ Skopje was created in April 2002 to advise on military aspects of security sector reform. 1. Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.
  • Fundamental security tasks, NATO’s -
    NATO’s fundamental security tasks NATO’s essential and enduring purpose is to safeguard the freedom and security of all its members by political and military means. Collective defence is at the heart of the Alliance and creates a spirit of solidarity and cohesion among its members. NATO strives to secure a lasting peace in Europe, based on common values of individual liberty, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Since the outbreak of crises and conflicts beyond the borders of NATO member countries can jeopardize this objective, the Alliance also contributes to peace and stability through crisis management operations and partnerships. Essentially, NATO not only helps to defend the territory of its members, but engages where possible and when necessary to project its values further afield, prevent crises, manage crises, stabilize post-conflict situations and support reconstruction.  NATO also embodies the transatlantic link by which the security of North America is tied to the security of Europe. It is an intergovernmental organization which provides a forum where members can consult together on any issues they may choose to raise and take decisions on political and military matters affecting their security. No single member country is forced to rely soley on its national capabilities to meet its essential national security objectives. The resulting sense of shared security among members contributes to stability in the Euro-Atlantic area. NATO’s fundamental security tasks are laid down in the Washington Treaty. They are sufficiently general to withstand the test of time and are translated into more detail in strategic concepts. Strategic concepts are the authoritative statement of the Alliance’s objectives and provide the highest level of guidance on the political and military means to be used in achieving these goals; they remain the basis for the implementation of Alliance policy as a whole. During the Cold War, NATO focused on collective defence and the protection of its members from potential threats emanating from the Soviet Union. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, along with the rise of non-state actors affecting international security, many new security threats emerged. NATO now focuses on countering these threats by utilizing collective defence, managing crisis situations and encouraging cooperative security, as outlined in the 2010 Strategic Concept.
  • Funding, NATO -
    NATO funding Member countries make direct and indirect contributions to the costs of running NATO and implementing its policies and activities. The greatest part of these contributions is indirect and comes through participation in NATO-led operations and missions, and in efforts to ensure that national armed forces are interoperable with those of other member countries. Member countries incur the deployment costs involved whenever they volunteer forces to participate in NATO-led operations. With a few exceptions, member countries also pay for their own military forces and military capabilities. Direct contributions to budgets managed by NATO are made by members in accordance with an agreed cost-sharing formula based on relative Gross National Income. These contributions represent a very small percentage of each member’s overall defence budget, and finance the expenditures of NATO’s integrated structures. Direct contributions generally follow the principle of common funding, that is to say, member countries pool resources within a NATO framework. There are three budgets that come under common funding arrangements: the civil budget; the military budget, and the NATO Security Investment Programme. Common funding covers collective requirements such as the NATO command structure, NATO-wide air defence, command and control systems or Alliance-wide communications systems, which are not the responsibility of any single member. Projects can also be jointly funded, which means that the participating countries can identify the requirements, the priorities and the funding arrangements, but NATO provides political and financial oversight. Financial management of these different types of contributions is structured to ensure that the ultimate control of expenditure rests with the member countries supporting the cost of a defined activity, and is subject to consensus among them. The North Atlantic Council, NATO’s highest political decision-making body, approves NATO budgets and investments, and exercises oversight over NATO financial management. The Council takes into account resource considerations in its decision-making. The Resource Policy and Planning Board (RPPB) advises the Council on resource policy and allocation. For example, when the Council decided to undertake the Libya operation, it did so with the benefit of a full evaluation of the costs from Allied Command Operations and the RPPB. The Budget Committee and the Investment Committee, which report to the RPPB, also review and approve planned expenditures. Voluntary, indirect funding of NATO When the North Atlantic Council unanimously decides to engage in an operation, there is no obligation for each and every country to contribute to the operation unless it is an Article 5 collective defence operation, in which case expectations are different. In all cases, contributions are voluntary and vary in form and scale, from for instance a few soldiers to thousands of troops, and from armoured vehicles, naval vessels or helicopters to all forms of equipment or support, medical or other ¹. These voluntary contributions are offered by individual Allies and are taken from their overall defence capability to form a combined Alliance capability. The two per cent defence expenditure guideline In 2006, NATO member countries agreed to commit a minimum of two per cent of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to spending on defence. This guideline principally serves as an indicator of a country’s political will to contribute to the Alliance’s common defence efforts. Additionally, the defence capacity of each member country has an important impact on the overall perception of the Alliance’s credibility as a politico-military organisation. The combined wealth of the non-US Allies, measured in GDP, exceeds that of the United States. However, non-US Allies together spend less than half of what the United States spends on defence. This imbalance has been a constant, with variations, throughout the history of the Alliance and more so since the tragic events of 11 September 2001, after which the United States significantly increased its defence spending. The gap between defence spending in the United States compared to Canada and European members combined has therefore increased. Today, the volume of the US defence expenditure effectively represents 73 per cent of the defence spending of the Alliance as a whole. This does not mean that the United States covers 73 per cent of the costs involved in the operational running of NATO as an organisation, including its headquarters in Brussels and its subordinate military commands, but it does mean that there is an over-reliance by the Alliance as a whole on the United States for the provision of essential capabilities, including for instance, in regard to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; air-to-air refuelling; ballistic missile defence; and airborne electronic warfare. The effects of the financial crisis and the declining share of resources devoted to defence in many Allied countries have exacerbated this imbalance and also revealed growing asymmetries in capability among European Allies. France, Germany and the United Kingdom together represent more than 50 per cent of the non-US Allies defence spending, which creates another kind of over-reliance within Europe on a few capable European Allies. Furthermore, their defence spending is under increasing pressure, as is that of the United States, to meet deficit and indebtedness reduction targets. With disparities persisting and defence spending generally being reduced, significant and worrying deficiencies in some key capabilities have been revealed. While the two percent of GDP guideline alone is no guarantee that money will be spent in the most effective and efficient way to acquire and deploy modern capabilities, it remains, nonetheless, an important indicator of the political resolve of individual Allies to devote to defence a relatively small, but still significant, level of resources at a time of considerable international uncertainty and economic adversity. The major equipment spending guideline National defence budgets cover essentially three categories of expenditures: personnel expenses and pensions; research, development and procurement of defence equipment; and, lastly, operations, exercises and maintenance. Budget allocation is a national, sovereign decision, but NATO Allies have agreed that at least 20 per cent of defence expenditures should be devoted to major equipment spending, perceived as a crucial indicator for the scale and pace of modernisation. Although investment across the Alliance in the development and procurement of defence equipment rose between 2003 and 2010 as a result of increases in spending by the United States, several other Allies also increased their equipment expenditures to meet the particular modernisation requirements associated with expeditionary operations in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Where expenditures fail to meet the 20 percent guideline, however, there is an increasing risk of block obsolescence of equipment, growing capability and interoperability gaps among Allies, and a weakening of Europe’s defence industrial and technological base. 1. Even though all Allies may not contribute forces to an operation, Allies have agreed that the funding for the deployment of the NATO part of a NATO-led operation would be commonly funded. The direct funding of NATO’s three budgets Direct contributions to NATO come principally in two different forms: common funding and joint funding. They can also come in the form of trust funds, contributions in kind, ad hoc sharing arrangements and donations. Several factors influence the choice of funding source to address a given priority. These include the required level of integration or interoperability, affordability at the national level, the complexity of the system involved, and the potential for economies of scale. Often, a combination of funding sources is used. The principle of common funding When a need for expenditure has been identified, countries in the Resource Policy and Planning Board discuss whether the principle of common funding should be applied – in other words whether the requirement serves the interests of all the contributing countries and should therefore be borne collectively. The criteria for common funding are held under constant review and changes may be introduced as a result of changing circumstances, for instance, the need to support critical requirements in support of Alliance operations and missions. Common funding arrangements principally include the NATO civil and military budgets, as well as the NATO Security Investment Programme (NSIP). These are the only funds where NATO authorities identify the requirements and set the priorities in line with overarching Alliance objectives and priorities. Where military common funding is concerned - the military budget and the NATO Security Investment Programme – the guiding principle for eligibility is the “over and above” rule: “Common funding will focus on the provision of requirements which are over and above those which could reasonably be expected to be made available from national resources.” Member countries contribute to NATO in accordance with an agreed cost-sharing formula based on Gross National Income. The civil budget The civil budget provides funds for personnel expenses, operating costs, and capital and programme expenditure of the International Staff at NATO Headquarters. It is financed from national foreign ministry budgets (in most countries), supervised by the Budget Committee and implemented by the International Staff. The civil budget for 2014 is €217 million. The civil budget is formulated on an objective-based framework, which establishes clear links between NATO’s strategic objectives and the resources required to achieve them. There are four frontline objectives and four support objectives. The frontline objectives comprise support for: active operations; Alliance capabilities; consultation and cooperation with partners; and public relations. The four support objectives consist in: providing support to the consultation process with Allies; maintaining the facilities and site of NATO Headquarters (Headquarters operational environment); governance and regulation through the monitoring of business policies, processes and procedures; and Headquarters security. The military budget This budget covers the operating and maintenance costs of the international military structure. It is composed of over 50 separate budgets, which are financed from national defence budgets (in most countries). It is supervised by the Budget Committee and implemented by the individual budget holders. In all cases, the provision of military staff remains a nationally-funded responsibility. The military budget for 2014 is €1.4 billion. The military budget effectively provides funds for the International Military Staff, the strategic commanders and the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control (NAEW&C) Force and, more specifically for: the Military Committee, the International Military Staff and military agencies; the two strategic commands and associated command, control and information systems; theatre headquarters for deployed operations and support of critical theatre-level enabling capabilities such as theatre medical capabilities or theatre engineering capabilities; the NATO Standardization Agency, the NATO ACCS Management Agency, the NATO Command and Control Agency and the NATO CIS Services Agency; the NATO static and deployable Combined Air Operations Centres, deployable ARS and radar systems, and deployable HQ communication systems; the Joint Warfare Centre (Norway), the Joint Force Training Centre (Poland), the Joint Analysis & Lessons Learned Centre (Portugal), the NATO Defense College (Italy), the Communications and Information Systems School (Italy), the NATO Programming Centre (Belgium), the Multi-Service Electronic Warfare Support Group (United Kingdom); the Scientific Programme of Work of the NC3A, Allied Command Transformation experimentation funds, the Research and Technology Agency (France) and the NATO Undersea Research Centre (Italy); limited partnership support activities and part of the Military Liaison Offices in Moscow and Kyiv. During a crisis-management operation, when an operational decision with financial implications is taken by the North Atlantic Council (NAC), the Resource Policy and Planning Board (RPPB) is immediately consulted for the availability of funds. Effectively, this means that in the throes of a crisis, the RPPB can at times be in quasi-permanent session, as was sometimes the case for instance during the Libya operation (March-October 2011). The NATO Security Investment Programme The NATO Security Investment Programme (NSIP) covers major construction and command and control system investments, which are beyond the national defence requirements of individual member countries. It supports the roles of the NATO strategic commands by providing installations and facilities such as air defence communication and information systems, military headquarters for the integrated structure and for deployed operations, and critical airfield, fuel systems and harbour facilities needed in support of deployed forces. The NSIP is financed by the ministries of defence of each member country and is supervised by the Investment Committee. Projects are implemented either by individual host countries or by different NATO agencies and strategic commands, according to their area of expertise. The 2014 ceiling for the NSIP is €650 million. Joint funding Joint funding arrangements are structured forms of multinational funding within the terms of an agreed NATO charter. The participating countries still identify the requirements, the priorities and the funding arrangements, but NATO has visibility and provides political and financial oversight. Joint funding arrangements typically lead to the setting-up of a management organisation within a NATO agency. NATO agency activities range from the development and production of fighter aircraft or helicopters to the provision of logistic support or air defence communication and information systems. NATO agencies also coordinate research and development activities or are active in the fields of standardization and intelligence-sharing. Jointly funded programmes vary in the number of participating countries, cost-share arrangements and management structures. Other forms of funding In addition to common funding and joint funding, some projects can take the form of trust fund arrangements, contributions in kind, ad hoc sharing arrangements and donations. The most important trust fund is the one supporting the sustainment of the Afghan National Security Forces. Management and control Financial management within NATO is structured to ensure that the ultimate control of expenditure rests with the member countries supporting the cost of a defined activity, and is subject to consensus among them. Under the overall authority of the NAC, various bodies exercise managerial control over all four of the principal elements of the Organization’s financial structure: the International Staff, financed by the civil budget; the international military structure, financed by the military budget; the NATO Security Investment Programme; and NATO agencies. When cooperative activities do not involve all member countries, they are, for the most part, managed by NATO production and logistics programmes within NATO agencies. They have their own supervisory boards and boards of directors, as well as finance committees and distinct sources of financing within national treasuries. Financial regulations applied at NATO provide basic unifying principles around which the overall financial structure is articulated. They are approved by the NAC and are complemented by rules and procedures adapting them to specific NATO bodies and programmes. Financial management of the civil and military budgets The civil and military budgets are annual, coinciding with the calendar year. Each budget is prepared under the authority of the head of the respective NATO body and is reviewed by the Budget Committee composed of representatives of contributing member countries, and approved for execution by the NAC. Failure to achieve consensus before the start of the financial year entails non-approval of the budget and the financing of operations, under the supervision of the Budget Committee, through provisional allocations limited to the level of the budget approved for the preceding year. This regime may last for six months, after which the NAC is required to decide either to approve the budget or to authorise continuation of interim financing. When the budget has been approved, the head of the NATO body has discretion to execute it through the commitment and expenditure of funds for the purposes authorised. This discretion is limited by different levels of constraint prescribed by the Organization’s financial regulations regarding such matters as recourse to competitive bidding for contracts for the supply of goods and services, or transfers of credits to correct over- or under-estimates of the funding required. Financial management of the NATO Security Investment Programme Implementation of the NATO Security Investment Programme starts from capability packages. These packages identify the assets available to and required by NATO military commanders to fulfil specified tasks. They assess common-funded supplements (in terms of capital investment and recurrent operating and maintenance costs) as well as the civilian and military manpower required to accomplish the task. They are reviewed by the RPPB and then approved by the NAC. Once they are approved, authorisation for individual projects can move forward under the responsibility of the Investment Committee. The “host nation” (a term which refers to either the country on whose territory the project is to be implemented, or a NATO agency or strategic command responsible for implementing a project) prepares an authorisation request. Once the Committee has agreed to the project, the host nation can proceed with its final design, contract award and implementation. Unless otherwise agreed by the Investment Committee, the bidding process is conducted among firms from those countries contributing to the project. The financial management system which applies to the NSIP is based on an international financial clearing process. Host nations report on the expenditure foreseen on authorised projects within their responsibility. Following agreement of the forecasts by the Investment Committee, the International Staff calculates the amounts to be paid by each country and to be received by each host nation. Further calculations determine the payment amounts, currencies and which country or NATO agency will receive the funds. Once a project has been completed, it is subject to a joint final acceptance inspection to ensure that the work undertaken is in accordance with the scope of work authorised. As soon as this report is accepted by the Investment Committee, it is added to the NATO inventory. Financial control With respect to the military and civil budgets, the head of the NATO body is ultimately responsible for the correct preparation and execution of the budget. The administrative support for this task is largely entrusted to the Financial Controller of the agency or NATO body. Each Financial Controller has final recourse to the Budget Committee in the case of persistent disagreement with the head of the respective NATO body regarding an intended transaction. The Financial Controller is charged with ensuring that all aspects of execution of the budget conform to expenditure authorisations, to any special controls imposed by the Budget Committee, and to the financial regulations and their associated implementing rules and procedures. He may also, in response to internal auditing, institute such additional controls and procedures as he deems necessary for maintaining accountability. The International Board of Auditors The independent International Board of Auditors for NATO (IBAN) is responsible for auditing the accounts of the different NATO bodies. Its principal task is to provide the NAC and member governments with the assurance that joint and common funds are properly used for the settlement of authorised expenditure and that expenditure is within the physical and financial authorisations granted. The Board’s mandate includes not only financial but also performance audits, which extend its role beyond safeguarding accountability to the review of management practices in general. IBAN is composed of officials normally drawn from the national audit bodies of member countries. These officials are appointed by and responsible to the NAC. Bodies involved The North Atlantic Council approves NATO budgets and investments, and exercises oversight over NATO financial management. It takes into account resource considerations in its decision-making. The RPPB advises the Council on resource policy and allocation. For example, when the Council decided to undertake the Libya operation, it did so with the benefit of a full evaluation of the costs from Allied Command Operations and the RPPB. The Budget Committee and the Investment Committee, which report to the RPPB, also review and approve planned expenditures. The NATO Office of Resources brings together all members of the NATO International Staff working on resource issues. The office provides integrated policy and technical advice to the NAC and the Secretary General, NATO resource committees, and other NATO bodies. The office facilitates agreements on resource matters among member countries. The Resource Policy and Planning Board The Resource Policy and Planning Board (RPPB) is the senior advisory body to the NAC on the management of all NATO resources. It has responsibility for the overall management of NATO’s civil and military budgets, as well as the NATO Security Investment Programme (NSIP) and manpower. Both the Budget Committee and the Investment Committee report to the RPPB. The Budget Committee The Budget Committee is responsible to the Resource Policy and Planning Board for NATO’s civil and military budgets. The civil budget covers all costs related to NATO’s International Staff at NATO Headquarters in Brussels; the military budget covers all costs related to the International Military Staff at NATO Headquarters, the strategic commands and the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control (NAEW&C) Force. The Investment Committee The Investment Committee is responsible to the Resource Policy and Planning Board for the implementation of the NATO Security Investment Programme (NSIP). The NSIP finances the provision of the installations and facilities needed to support the roles of the two strategic commands – Allied Command Operations and Allied Command Transformation - recognised as exceeding the national defence requirements of individual member countries.