NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization

  • Malta, NATO’s relations with -
    NATO’s relations with Malta Malta first joined the Partnership for Peace (PfP) in 1995. It suspended participation in 1996 but reactivated its PfP membership in April 2008. Malta recognises that it can help address emerging security challenges and contribute to international peace, security and stability through the PfP framework. Participation in the PfP programme is compatible with Malta’s commitment to the principle of neutrality. The country views it as an additional instrument that enhances European and Euro-Atlantic security. Malta shares the partnership values and principles of the protection and promotion of fundamental freedoms and human rights, and the safeguarding of freedom, justice and peace through democracy. Malta has much to offer the Alliance as its partnership with NATO develops. The country has special expertise in international maritime law, diplomatic studies and search and rescue, as well as in Arabic culture and language training. It is prepared to offer short courses and seminars in these fields to other partner countries. Framework for cooperation Areas of cooperation and specific events in which Malta wishes to participate within the Partnership for Peace are detailed in its Individual Partnership Programme (IPP), which is jointly agreed with NATO. Key areas of cooperation Security cooperation Malta is also considering future participation in the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP). This process would provide a basis for identifying and evaluating select national elements of the armed forces, which could provide capabilities that might be made available for multinational training, exercises and peace-support operations. Defence and security sector reform Malta is also seeking to exchange information and develop cooperation with NATO and other partner countries in several areas, including the promotion of transparency in defence planning and budgeting, the assurance of democratic control of the armed forces, arms control and the improvement of anti- and counter-terrorism capabilities. In the future, Malta may also consider working with Allies and other partners countries to possibly enhance maritime search-and-rescue operational capabilities, handle pollution at sea, in addition to further developing maritime law enforcement and airspace management. Civil emergency planning Looking forward, Malta may expand its relationship with NATO in several fields, including civil-military coordination and civil protection. 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 Malta is the embassy of the United States. Milestones in relations 1995 Malta joins Partnership for Peace programme. 1996 Malta suspends involvement in Partnership for Peace programme. 2008 Malta reactivates membership in Partnership for Peace programme.
  • Maritime domain, NATO’s -
    NATO’s maritime domain The world’s oceans are increasingly busy maritime highways. Today, 85 per cent of all international trade in raw material and manufactured goods travels by sea, and tankers carry more than half of the world’s oil. The stakes of maritime security are high, and NATO is determined to help protect its Allies from any possible threats at sea or from the sea. NATO’s Standing Naval Forces (SNF) and capabilities NATO has Standing Naval Forces that provide the Alliance with a continuous naval presence. This multinational deterrent force constitutes an essential maritime requirement for the Alliance. It carries out a programme of scheduled exercises, manoeuvres and port visits, and can be rapidly deployed in times of crisis or tension. NATO’s Standing Naval Forces consist of four groups: the Standing NATO Maritime Groups (SNMGs) composed of the SNMG1 and the SNMG2; and the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Groups (SNMCMG1 and SNMCMG2). All four groups are integrated into the NATO Response Force (NRF), the Alliance’s rapid-reaction force. SNMG1 and SNMG2 The Standing NATO Maritime Groups are a multinational, integrated maritime force made up of vessels from various Allied countries. These vessels are permanently available to NATO to perform different tasks ranging from exercises to operational missions. They also help to establish Alliance presence, demonstrate solidarity, conduct routine diplomatic visits to different countries, support partner engagement and provide a variety of maritime military capabilities to ongoing missions. SNMG1 and SNMG2 currently alternate for six-month rotations conducting NATO’s counter-piracy Operation Ocean Shield and otherwise function according to the operational needs of the Alliance, therefore helping to maintain optimal flexibility. Their composition varies and they are usually composed of between two and six ships from as many NATO member countries. SNMG1 and SNMG2 fall under the authority of Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM), Northwood, United Kingdom, following MARCOM’s December 2012 inauguration as the operational hub for all Alliance maritime operations. MARCOM also has two subordinate commands – Submarine Command (COMSUBNATO) and Maritime Air Command (COMMARAIR) – as well as the NATO Shipping Centre, which plays an important role in countering piracy. SNMCMG1 and SNMCMG2 The Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Groups SNMCMG1 and SNMCMG2 are multinational forces that primarily engage in search and explosive ordnance disposal operations. SNMCMG2 also conducts historical ordnance disposal operations to minimise the threat from mines dating back to the Second World War. Both SNMCMG groups are key assets in the NATO Response Force (NRF) and are able to fulfill a wide range of roles from humanitarian tasks to operations. They can deploy at short notice and are often the first assets to enter an operational theatre. SNMCMG1 was formed in the Belgian port of Ostend on 11 May 1973 to ensure safety of navigation around the ports of the English Channel and northwest Europe. Originally called “Standing Naval Force Channel”, its name was changed several times to reflect its expanding area of operation. Today, the Group is capable of operating nearly anywhere in the world. SNMCMG2 developed from an on-call force for the Mediterranean, which was created in 1969. It also evolved over time to reflect its new responsibilities. SNMCMG2 and SNMCMG1 were both given their current names in 2006. NATO’s maritime operations Built on the strength of its naval forces, NATO’s maritime operations have demonstrated the Alliance’s ability to achieve strategic objectives in vastly different contexts. Since October 2001, Operation Active Endeavour has been established to deter, detect, and if necessary disrupt the threat of terrorism in the Mediterranean Sea. The operation evolved out of NATO’s immediate response to the terrorist attacks against the United States of 11 September 2001 and, in view of its success, is being continued. Since 2009, Operation Ocean Shield has contributed to international efforts to suppress piracy and protect humanitarian aid shipments off the Horn of Africa. And in 2011, Operation Unified Protector delivered power from the sea and comprised a major maritime arms embargo on Libya. Alliance Maritime Strategy In order to address new threats, NATO adopted the Alliance Maritime Strategy in January 2011. In full consistency with the 2010 Strategic Concept, the Strategy sets out ways in which NATO’s unique maritime power could help resolve critical security challenges. There are four areas in which NATO’s maritime forces can contribute to Alliance security. The first three are the “core tasks” of NATO, as defined by the Alliance’s Strategic Concept: deterrence and collective defence; crisis management; and cooperative security. In addition, the Maritime Strategy sets out a fourth area: maritime security. Deterrence and collective defence NATO has significant maritime capabilities and inherently flexible maritime forces, which are key to deterring aggression. As such, maritime activities contribute to nuclear deterrence as well as to deterrence from conventional attacks. NATO will ensure it can deploy its maritime forces rapidly, control sea lines of communication, preserve freedom of navigation and conduct effective mine counter-measure activities. Crisis management NATO maritime forces can also play an important role in crisis management. These responsibilities can include enforcing an arms embargo, conducting maritime interdiction operations, contributing to the Alliance’s counter-terrorism efforts, and providing immediate humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of a natural disaster. Cooperative security NATO’s maritime forces not only contribute to ensuring Alliance security. Engagement with partners also helps to build regional security and stability, contributes to conflict prevention and facilitates dialogue. These efforts also promote cooperation and complementarity with other key actors in the maritime domain, such as the United Nations and the European Union. Maritime security The Alliance Maritime Strategy reiterates NATO’s commitment to help protect vital sea lines of communication and maintain freedom of navigation. This includes surveillance, information sharing, maritime interdiction, and contributions to energy security, including the protection of critical infrastructure. Looking to the future Maritime security is rising on NATO’s agenda and Allies are increasingly determined to implement the Maritime Strategy – an objective the Alliance has set itself for the Wales Summit in September 2014. This endeavour encompasses a complete revamping of NATO’s maritime forces, an extensive multi-year programme of maritime exercises and training, and the enhancement of cooperation between NATO and its partners, as well as other international actors, in particular the European Union. Video NATO Maritime Command 13 Feb. 2014 newYTPlayer('V-PCmx82IYw','111820',530,300); Blog by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen NATO Maritime Command 13 Feb. 2014 Blog by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen NATO's counter-piracy flagship tests readiness 11 Mar. 2014 One of NATO's most advanced air-defence war ships, the Aegis-capable Alvaro de Bazan of the Spanish Navy, fends off a simulated fighter aircraft attack by the French Air Force, 50 miles east of Djibouti in the Gulf of Aden. Fighting the freeze: Cold Response 2014 28 Mar. 2014 NATO Allies and partners worked together in the cold, harsh environment of northern Norway as part of exercise Cold Response 2014. Altogether more than 16,000 sailors, soldiers, airmen and Marines representing 15 nations participated in the exercise. NATO trains collective defence 21 May. 2014 At Exercise Trident Jaguar 2014, NATO has been training its core task -- collective defence. The scenario, developed over a year ago, involved coming to the aid of NATO member Estonia. NATO bolsters the Baltics 21 May. 2014 In light of the crisis in Ukraine, NATO is boosting its presence in Alliance member state waters in Eastern Europe. Special Forces - A smaller footprint 17 Jun. 2014 Not just the door-kickers portrayed in the movies, global special operations forces have the knowledge, technology and survivability to be a cost-effective solution to new threats undermining stability worldwide. BALTOPS 2014: strengthening interoperability between nations 01 Jul. 2014 A US-led exercise in the Baltic Sea, involving patrol assault tactics, onboard guerrilla simulations and training in chemical weapons treatment, tested how NATO countries worked with their partners. Black Sea ''Breeze'' 22 Jul. 2014 A NATO fleet arrives in the Bulgarian port of Burgas on the Black Sea. The ships will enhance maritime security and NATO's presence in the region. Nemo: the sunken sub saver 13 Jun. 2014 When a submarine is stranded at the bottom of the Baltic Sea, speed and efficiency are of the essence. No rescue mission is ever straightforward, but here the risks are greater and could even lead to fatalities.
  • Mediterranean Dialogue
    NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue Background ?? NATO Mediterranean Dialogue NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue was initiated in 1994 by the North Atlantic Council. It currently involves seven non-NATO countries of the Mediterranean region: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia. ? more News
  • Member countries
    Member countries At present, NATO has 28 members. In 1949, there were 12 founding members of the Alliance: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States. The other member countries are: Greece and Turkey (1952), Germany (1955), Spain (1982), the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland (1999), Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia (2004), and Albania and Croatia (2009). Provision for enlargement is given by Article 10 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which states that membership is open to any “European State in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area”. Any decision to invite a country to join the Alliance is taken by the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s principal decision-making body, on the basis of consensus among all Allies. Currently, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ are aspiring members. Alphabetical list of NATO member countries Albania 2009 Belgium 1949 Bulgaria 2004 Canada 1949 Croatia 2009 Czech Republic 1999 Denmark 1949 Estonia 2004 France 1949 Germany 1955 Greece 1952 Hungary 1999 Iceland 1949 Italy 1949 Latvia 2004 Lithuania 2004 Luxembourg 1949 Netherlands 1949 Norway 1949 Poland 1999 Portugal 1949 Romania 2004 Slovakia 2004 Slovenia 2004 Spain 1982 Turkey 1952 United Kingdom 1949 United States 1949 About member countries and their accession The founding members On 4 April 1949, the foreign ministers from 12 countries signed the North Atlantic Treaty (also known as the Washington Treaty) at the Departmental Auditorium in Washington, D.C.: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States. Within the following five months of the signing ceremony, the Treaty was ratified by the parliaments of the interested countries, sealing their membership. The 12 signatories Some of the foreign ministers who signed the Treaty were heavily involved in NATO’s work at a later stage in their careers: Belgium: M. Paul-Henri Spaak (NATO Secretary General, 1957-1961); Canada: Mr Lester B. Pearson (negotiated the Treaty and was one of the “Three Wise Men”, who drafted the report on non-military cooperation in NATO, published in 1956 in the wake of the Suez Crisis); Denmark: Mr Gustav Rasmussen; France: M. Robert Schuman (architect of the European institutions, who also initiated the idea of a European Defence Community); Iceland: Mr Bjarni Benediktsson; Italy: Count Carlo Sforza; Luxembourg: M. Joseph Bech; the Netherlands: Dr D.U. Stikker (NATO Secretary General, 1961-1964); Norway: Mr Halvard M. Lange (one of the “Three Wise Men”, who drafted the report on non-military cooperation in NATO); Portugal: Dr Jose Caerio da Matta; the United Kingdom: Mr Ernest Bevin (main drive behind the creation of NATO and as Foreign Secretary from 1945 to 1951, he attended the first formative meetings of the North Atlantic Council); the United States: Mr Dean Acheson (as US Secretary of State from 1949 to 1953, he attended and chaired meetings of the North Atlantic Council).   Flexibility of NATO membership On signing the Treaty, countries voluntarily commit themselves to participating in the political consultations and military activities of the Organization. Although each and every signatory to the North Atlantic Treaty is subject to the obligations of the Treaty, there remains a certain degree of flexibility which allows members to choose how they participate. The memberships of Iceland and France, for instance, illustrate this point. Iceland When Iceland signed the Treaty in 1949, it did not have – and still does not have – armed forces. There is no legal impediment to forming them, but Iceland has chosen not to have any. However, Iceland has a Coast Guard, national police forces, an air defence system and a voluntary expeditionary peacekeeping force. Since 1951, Iceland has also benefitted from a long-standing bilateral defence agreement with the United States. In 2006, US forces were withdrawn but the defence agreement remains valid. Since 2008, air policing has been conducted on a periodic basis by NATO Allies. France In 1966, President Charles de Gaulle decided to withdraw France from NATO’s integrated military structure. This reflected the desire for greater military independence, particularly vis-à-vis the United States, and the refusal to integrate France’s nuclear deterrent or accept any form of control over its armed forces. In practical terms, while France still fully participated in the political instances of the Organization, it was no longer represented on certain committees, for instance, the Defence Planning Committee and the Nuclear Planning Group. This decision also led to the removal of French forces from NATO commands and foreign forces from French territory. The stationing of foreign weapons, including nuclear weapons, was also banned. NATO’s political headquarters (based in Paris since 1952), as well as the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe or SHAPE (in Rocquencourt since 1951) moved to Belgium. Despite France’s withdrawal from NATO’s integrated military structure, two technical agreements were signed with the Alliance, setting out procedures in the event of Soviet aggression. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, France has regularly contributed troops to NATO’s military operations, making it one of the largest troop-contributing states. It is also NATO’s fourth-biggest contributor to the military budget. From the early 1990s onwards, France distanced itself from the 1966 decision with, for instance, its participation at the meetings of defence ministers from 1994 (Seville) onwards and the presence of French officers in Allied Command Operations and Allied Command Transformation structures from 2003. At NATO’s Strasbourg/Kehl Summit in April 2009, France officially announced its decision to fully participate in NATO structures². The accession of Greece and Turkey Three years after the signing of the Washington Treaty, on 18 February 1952, Greece and Turkey joined NATO. This enabled NATO to reinforce its “southern flank”. At a time when there was a fear of communist expansion throughout Europe and other parts of the world (Soviet support of the North Korean invasion of South Korea in 1950), extending security to southeastern Europe was strategically important. Not only did NATO membership curb communist influence in Greece – a country recovering from civil war – but it also relieved Turkey from Soviet pressure for access to key strategic maritime routes. The accession of Germany Germany became a NATO member on 6 May 1955. This was the result of several years of deliberations among western leaders and Germany, whose population opposed any form of rearmament. Following the end of the Second World War, ways of integrating the Federal Republic of Germany into west European defence structures was a priority. The Federal Republic of Germany - or West Germany - was created in 1949 and although the new state was anchored to the west, its potential was feared. Initially, France proposed the creation of a European Defence Community – a European solution to the German question. However, the French Senate opposed the plan and the proposal fell through leaving NATO membership as the only viable solution. Three conditions needed to be fulfilled before this could happen: post-war victors (France, the United Kingdom, the United States and the Soviet Union) had to end the occupation of the Federal Republic of Germany; Italy and West Germany needed to be admitted to the Western Union Defence Organisation (the military agency of the Western Union) and then there was the accession procedure itself. When Germany joined the Western Union, the latter changed its name to become the Western European Union. This accession, together with the termination of the Federal Republic of Germany’s status as an occupied country, was bringing the country closer to NATO membership. The Federal Republic of Germany officially joined the Western Union on 23 October 1954 and its status as an occupied country came to an end when the Bonn-Paris conventions came into effect on 5 May 1955. The next day, it became NATO’s 15th member country. With the reunification of Germany on 3 October 1990, the länders of the former German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Republic of Germany in its membership of NATO. The accession of Spain Spain joined the Alliance on 30 May 1982 despite considerable public opposition. The end of Franco’s dictatorship in 1975, the military coup in 1981 and the rise of the Socialist Party (PSOE), the leading opposition party which was initially against NATO accession, made for a difficult social and political context, both nationally and internationally. Spain fully participated in the political instances of the Organization, but refrained from participating in the integrated military structure - a position it reaffirmed in a referendum held in 1986. With regard to the military aspects, it was present as an observer on the Nuclear Planning Group; reserved its position on participation in the integrated communication system; maintained Spanish forces under Spanish command and did not accept to have troops deployed outside of Spain for long periods of time. Nevertheless, Spanish forces would still be able to operate with other NATO forces in an emergency. Spain’s reservations gradually diminished. The Spanish Parliament endorsed the country’s participation in the integrated military command structure in 1996, a decision that coincided with the nomination of Dr Javier Solana as NATO’s first Spanish Secretary General (1995-1999). The first wave of post-Cold War enlargement The fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact after the end of the Cold War opened up the possibility of further NATO enlargement. Some of the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe were eager to become integrated into Euro-Atlantic institutions. In 1995, the Alliance carried out and published the results of a Study on NATO Enlargement that considered the merits of admitting new members and how they should be brought in. It concluded that the end of the Cold War provided a unique opportunity to build improved security in the entire Euro-Atlantic area and that NATO enlargement would contribute to enhanced stability and security for all. The Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland were invited to begin accession talks at the Alliance’s Madrid Summit in 1997 and on 12 March 1999 they became the first former members of the Warsaw Pact to join NATO. Drawing heavily on the experience gained during this accession process, NATO launched the Membership Action Plan - or MAP - at the Washington Summit in April 1999. The MAP was established to help countries aspiring to NATO membership in their preparations, even if it did not pre-judge any decisions. The second wave of post-Cold War enlargement Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia were invited to begin accession talks at the Alliance’s Prague Summit in 2002. On 29 March 2004, they officially became members of the Alliance, making this the largest wave of enlargement in NATO history. All seven countries had participated in the MAP before acceding to NATO. The accession of Albania and Croatia The most recent accessions are those of Albania and Croatia. Albania had participated in the MAP since its inception in 1999 and Croatia joined in 2002. They worked with NATO in a wide range of areas, with particular emphasis on defence and security sector reform, as well as support for wider democratic and institutional reform. In July 2008, they both signed Accession Protocols and became official members of the Alliance on 1 April 2009. Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name. However, France has chosen not to become a member of NATO's Nuclear Planning Group.
  • Membership Action Plan (MAP)
    Membership Action Plan (MAP) The Membership Action Plan (MAP) is a NATO programme of advice, assistance and practical support tailored to the individual needs of countries wishing to join the Alliance. Participation in the MAP does not prejudge any decision by the Alliance on future membership. Current participants in the MAP are the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia1, which has been participating in the MAP since 1999, and Montenegro, which was invited to join in December 2009. Welcoming progress made in its reform efforts, in April 2010, the Allies formally invited Bosnia and Herzegovina to join the MAP, pending the resolution of a key issue concerning immovable defence property. Countries participating in the MAP submit individual annual national programmes on their preparations for possible future membership. These cover political, economic, defence, resource, security and legal aspects. The MAP process The MAP process provides a focused and candid feedback mechanism on aspirant countries' progress on their programmes. This includes both political and technical advice, as well as annual meetings between all NATO members and individual aspirants at the level of the North Atlantic Council to assess progress, on the basis of an annual progress report. A key element is the defence planning approach for aspirants, which includes elaboration and review of agreed planning targets. Throughout the year, meetings and workshops with NATO civilian and military experts in various fields allow for discussion of the entire spectrum of issues relevant to membership. The MAP was launched in April 1999 at the Alliance’s Washington Summit to help countries aspiring to NATO membership in their preparations. The process drew heavily on the experience gained during the accession process of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, which became members in the Alliance’s first post-Cold War round of enlargement in 1999. Participation in the MAP Participation in the MAP helped prepare the seven countries that joined NATO in the second post-Cold War round of enlargement in 2004 (Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia) as well as Albania and Croatia, which joined in April 2009. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia1 continues to participate in the MAP – Allied leaders have agreed to invite the country to become a member as soon as a mutually acceptable solution to the issue over the country’s name has been reached with Greece. When NATO Foreign Ministers invited Montenegro to join the MAP in December 2009, they also assured Bosnia and Herzegovina that it will be able to join once it has achieved the necessary progress in its reform efforts. In April 2010, NATO Foreign Ministers at their meeting in Tallinn, reviewed progress in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s reform efforts and invited the country to join the Membership Action Plan. However, the North Atlantic Council will only accept the country’s first Annual National Programme  when the immovable property issue has been resolved. 1. Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name
  • Meteorology and oceanography
    Meteorology and oceanography Today, the Alliance is often operating, or monitoring conditions that affect its strategic interests, beyond the borders of its member nations. It therefore needs to have the most accurate, timely and relevant information – both current and forecasted – describing the meteorological and oceanographic (METOC) aspects of these environments. For example, comprehensive weather and flood forecasting and oceanographic features such as wave heights, temperature, salinity, surf and tidal movements, or even the presence of marine life, can seriously affect military activities. NATO cooperation in METOC support for its forces aims to ensure that Allies get the information they need through efficient and effective use of national and NATO assets. This information helps allied forces exploit the best window of opportunity to plan, execute, support and sustain military operations. Furthermore, it helps them optimize the use of sensors, weapons, targeting, logistics, equipment and personnel. To advise the Military Committee, a METOC working group was recently formed from two separate meteorology and oceanography groups. The NATO Meteorological and Oceanographic Military Committee Working Group The NATO Meteorological and Oceanographic Military Committee Working Group [MCWG(METOC)] advises the Military Committee on METOC issues. It also acts as a standardization authority by supervising two subordinate panels on military meteorology and military oceanography. MCWG(METOC), which comprises delegates from each allied country, meets annually to address military METOC policy, procedures and standardization agreements between NATO and partner countries. It relies to a large extent on the resources of NATO members, most of which have dedicated civil and/or military METOC organizations. The group supports NATO and national members in developing effective plans, procedures and techniques for providing METOC support to NATO forces and ensuring data is collected and shared. In a more general sense, it encourages research and development as well as liaison, mutual support and interoperability among national and NATO command METOC capabilities that support allied forces. NATO created the MCWG(METOC) by merging the former Military Oceanography Group and the Military Committee Meteorology Group in 2011. The role of NATO countries NATO member countries are expected to provide the bulk of METOC information and resources. At the same time, national delegates are able to steer policy, when needed, through the MCWG(METOC) and act as the approval authority for standardization. Among other tasks, nations are expected to: contribute to a network of data collection sites and platforms, provide METOC analysis and forecasts, and provide military METOC support products and services, such as tactical decision aids (TDAs) and acoustic predictions. NATO established a METOC Communications Hub collocated with the Bundeswehr Geo-Information Office in Germany to better enable information-sharing among Allies and partner countries. Other allied nations also contribute to data-sharing capabilities by, for example, sustaining databases of oceanographic information or taking a lead responsibility in supporting specified operations and missions. Climate change The interdependencies and importance of climate change was one of the motivating factors for combining the former oceanography and meteorology groups. NATO nations and partners monitor global situations like climate change that affect security interests. In this respect, it collaborates with international organizations such as the United Nations, the World Meteorological Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization. NATO military METOC policies and procedures, including those supported by the MCWG(METOC), facilitate hazard assessment and prediction capabilities and rapid response for natural disasters. The working group helps NATO members and partner countries look at how, within their national civil or military METOC capabilities, or within a collective capability, they are assessing and preparing for climate change and other national security threats.
  • Military Committee, The -
    The Military Committee The Military Committee (MC) is the senior military authority in NATO and the oldest permanent body in NATO after the North Atlantic Council, both having been formed months after the Alliance came into being. It is the primary source of military advice to NATO’s civilian decision-making bodies – the North Atlantic Council and the Nuclear Planning Group. Its advice is sought prior to any authorization for military action and, consequently represents an essential link between the political decision-making process and the military structure of NATO. It also provides military guidance to the Alliance’s two Strategic Commanders and assists in developing overall strategic policy and concepts for the Alliance. In this context, it prepares an annual long-term assessment of the strength and capabilities of countries and areas posing a risk to NATO's interests. It meets frequently at the level of Military Representatives (MILREPs) and three times a year at the level of Chiefs of Defence (CHODs). It is chaired by the Chairman of the Military Committee, who is nominated for a three-year term. Roles and responsibilities Consensus advice on military matters The Committee’s principal role is to provide consensus-based advice on military policy and strategy to the North Atlantic Council and direction to NATO’s Strategic Commanders. It is responsible for recommending to NATO's political authorities those measures considered necessary for the common defence of the NATO area and for the implementation of decisions regarding NATO’s operations and missions. The Military Committee’s advice is sought as a matter of course prior to authorization by the North Atlantic Council of NATO military activities or operations. It therefore represents an essential link between the political decision-making process and the military command structure of NATO and is an integral part of the decision-making process of the Alliance. Strategic direction The Military Committee also plays a key role in the development of NATO’s military policy and doctrine within the framework of discussions in the Council, the Nuclear Planning Group and other senior bodies. It is responsible for translating political decision and guidance into military direction to NATO’s two Strategic Commanders – Supreme Allied Commander Operations and Supreme Allied Commander Transformation. In this context, the Committee assists in developing overall strategic concepts for the Alliance and prepares an annual long-term assessment of the strength and capabilities of countries and areas posing a risk to NATO's interests. In times of crises, tension or war, and in relation to military operations undertaken by the Alliance such as its role in Afghanistan and Kosovo, its advises the Council of the military situation and its implications, and makes recommendations on the use of military force, the implementation of contingency plans and the development of appropriate rules of engagement. It is also responsible for the efficient operation of agencies subordinate to the Military Committee. Committee representatives The Military Committee is made up of senior military officers (usually three-star) from NATO member countries who serve as their country’s Military Representatives (MILREPs) to NATO, representing their Chief of Defence. It represents a tremendous amount of specialised knowledge and experience that helps shape Alliance-wide military policies, strategies and plans. The MILREPs work in a national capacity, representing the interests of their countries while remaining open to negotiation and discussion so that a NATO consensus can be reached. A civilian official represents Iceland, which has no military forces. The Committee is chaired by the Chairman of the Military Committee, who is NATO’s senior military official. He directs the day-to-day business of the Military Committee and acts on its behalf. He is also the Committee’s spokesman and representative, making him the senior military spokesman for the Alliance on all military matters. Working mechanisms of the Committee The Committee meets at least once a week in formal or informal sessions to discuss, deliberate and act on matters of military importance. These meetings follow closely those of the North Atlantic Council, so that the Committee may follow up promptly on Council decisions. In practice, meetings are convened whenever necessary and both the Council and the Military Committee normally meet much more frequently than once a week. As a result of the Alliance's role for instance in Afghanistan, Kosovo, the Mediterranean and off the Horn of Africa, the need for the Council and Military Committee to meet more frequently to discuss operational matters has greatly increased. The work of the Military Committee is supported by the International Military Staff (IMS), which effectively acts as its executive body. The IMS is responsible for preparing assessments, studies and other papers on NATO military matters and ensures that decisions and policies on military matters are implemented by the appropriate NATO military bodies. High-level meetings Like the political decision-making bodies, it also meets regularly at its highest level, namely at the level of Chiefs of Defence (CHODs). Meetings at this level are normally held three times a year. Two of these meetings occur in Brussels and one in the form of an informal Military Committee Conference is hosted by a NATO member country, on a rotational basis. Cooperation with partners In the framework of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and Partnership for Peace programme, the Military Committee meets regularly with partner countries at the level of national Military Representatives (once a month) and at the level of Chiefs of Defence (twice a year) to deal with military cooperation issues. The Military Committee also meets in different formats in the framework of the NATO- Russia Council, the NATO-Ukraine Commission, the NATO-Georgia Commission, and with the CHODs of the seven Mediterranean Dialogue countries.
  • Military organisation and structures
    Military organisation and structures NATO’s military organisation and structures comprise all military actors and formations that are involved in and used to implement political decisions that have military implications. The key elements of NATO’s military organisation are the Military Committee, composed of the Chiefs of Defence of NATO member countries, its executive body, the International Military Staff, and the military Command Structure (distinct from the Force Structure), which is composed of Allied Command Operations and Allied Command Transformation, headed respectively by the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and the Supreme Allied Commander, Transformation (SACT). The Force Structure consists of organisational arrangements that bring together the forces placed at the Alliance’s disposal by the member countries, along with their associated command and control structures. These forces are available for NATO operations in accordance with predetermined readiness criteria and with rules of deployment and transfer of authority to NATO command that can vary from country to country. Working mechanisms In practice, the Chairman of the Military Committee presides over the Military Committee where each member country has a military representative (or Milrep) for his/her Chief of Defence. This committee, NATO’s most senior military authority, provides the North Atlantic Council and the Nuclear Planning Group with consensus-based military advice– that is, advice agreed to by all of NATO’s Chiefs of Defence. The Military Committee works closely with NATO’s two Strategic Commanders – SACEUR, responsible for operations and SACT, responsible for transformation. They are both responsible to the Military Committee for the overall conduct of all Alliance military matters within their areas of responsibility. On the one side, the Military Committee provides the Strategic Commanders with guidance on military matters; and on the other side, it works closely with the Strategic Commanders to bring forward for political consideration by the North Atlantic Council, military assessments, plans, issues and recommendations, together with an analysis that puts this information into a wider context and takes into account the concerns of each member country. The Military Committee is supported in this role by the International Military Staff. In sum, the Military Committee serves, inter alia, as a link between the political leaders of the HQ and the two Strategic Commanders. The capacity to adapt Over and above these working mechanisms, there are two phenomena that have a direct impact on the military structure, the way it functions and the way it evolves: first and foremost, international developments and events; and secondly, the constant interaction between the political and military bodies. Evidently, political events with far-reaching consequences such as the end of the Cold War and military operations such as ISAF in Afghanistan do trigger extensive reforms, especially within NATO’s military Command Structure. To keep pace with all these changes and future challenges, the Command Structure and way of doing business is constantly evolving. Additionally, the permanent exchange of information and specialized knowledge and experience between military experts and the political actors at NATO Headquarters is a constant and continual means of mutual education. This ability of the military and the civilian to work closely together makes NATO a unique organisation.
  • Missile defence, Ballistic -
    Ballistic missile defence Ballistic missiles pose an increasing threat to Allied populations, territory and deployed forces. Over 30 countries have, or are acquiring, ballistic missile technology that could eventually be used to carry not just conventional warheads, but also weapons of mass destruction. The proliferation of these capabilities does not necessarily mean there is an immediate intent to attack NATO, but it does mean that the Alliance has a responsibility to take this into account as part of its mission to protect its European populations, territory and forces. Beginning in early 2010, NATO acquired the first phase of an initial capability to protect Allied deployed forces against limited ballistic missile threats. At the November 2010 NATO Summit in Lisbon, NATO’s leaders decided to develop a ballistic missile defence (BMD) capability to pursue its core task of collective defence. To this end, they decided that the scope of the existing Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence (ALTBMD) programme’s command, control and communication capabilities will be expanded beyond the capability to protect forces to also include NATO European populations and territory. In this context, the US European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) and other national contributions were welcomed as valuable to the NATO BMD architecture. NATO’s work on BMD started in the early 1990s in response to the increasing threat posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems, including ballistic missiles. The initial focus was on protecting deployed NATO troops (theatre missile defence), but study work was expanded in 2002 to include considerations on the protection of population centres and territory (territorial missile defence). Components The Alliance is conducting three BMD-related activities: 1. Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence System capability The aim of this capability is to protect deployed NATO forces against short- and medium-range ballistic missile threats (up to 3,000-kilometer range). In order to manage the risk associated with the development of such a complex capability, ALTBMD will be fielded in several phases. The completed capability will consist of a system of systems, comprising low- and high-altitude defences (also called lower- and upper-layer defences), including battle management, communications, command and control and intelligence (BMC3I), early-warning sensors, radars and various interceptors. NATO member countries will provide the sensors and weapon systems, while NATO will develop the BMC3I segment and facilitate the integration of all these elements into a coherent and effective architecture. In 2005, the North Atlantic Council (NAC) established the NATO Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence Programme Management Organization (ALTBMD PMO) to oversee the ALTBMD Programme. The NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A) and the NATO Air Command and Control System Management Agency (NACMA) are other key NATO bodies involved in the programme. As part of the NATO agencies reform, this programme is now managed by the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA). The initial activities were mainly focused on system engineering and integration work, and on the development of an integration test bed hosted at the NCIA facilities in The Hague, the Netherlands. The integration testbed is essential to validate development work. In early 2010, the first operational ALTBMD capability (called Interim Capability) was fielded. It provides military planners with a planning tool to build the most effective defence design for specific scenarios or real deployments. A more robust version of that capability was fielded at the end of 2010 and provides shared situational awareness. The next version will be delivered in the 2016-2017 timeframe. After that, ALTBMD will be merged with the BMD effort detailed below. 2. BMD for the protection of NATO European territory, populations and forces At the Lisbon Summit in November 2010, NATO leaders decided to develop a BMD capability. They agreed that an expanded ALTBMD Programme should form the command, control and communications backbone of such a system. That decision was based on almost eight years of studies and discussions. As part of the US European Phased Adative Approach (EPAA), Turkey announced in autumn 2011 its decision to host a US-owned and -operated BMD radar at Kürecik. Romania and the United States agreed in 2011 to base Aegis Ashore capabilities at Deveselu airbase in Romania, and a similar basing agreement between the United States and Poland entered into force in 2011 to host Aegis Ashore at the Redzikowo military base. Also in 2011, Spain and the United States announced an agreement to base four Aegis missile defence ships in Rota, Spain. These assets are national contributions, and are integral parts of the NATO BMD capability. In September 2011, the Netherlands announced plans to upgrade four air-defence frigates with extended long-range missile defence early-warning radars as its national contribution to NATO's ballistic missile defence capability. . Separately, France is studying options to develop an early-warning system for the detection of ballistic missiles. In February 2012, Germany announced that its Patriot air- and missile-defence systems would form a national contribution to the NATO BMD system.  In May 2012 at the Chicago Summit, NATO leaders declared the Interim NATO BMD capability operational. It offers the maximum coverage within available means to defend NATO’s populations, territory and forces across southern Europe against a limited ballistic missile attack. The Alliance aims to provide full coverage and protection for all NATO European populations, territory and forces against the increasing threats posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles. This coverage is based on the principles of indivisibility of Allied security and NATO solidarity, equitable sharing of risks and burdens, as well as reasonable challenge. It also takes into account the level of threat, affordability and technical feasibility, and is in accordance with the latest common threat assessments agreed by the Alliance.  Should international efforts reduce the threats posed by ballistic missile proliferation, NATO missile defence can, and will, adapt accordingly. 3. Missile defence cooperation with Russia In 2003, under the auspices of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC), a study was launched to assess possible levels of interoperability among the theatre missile defence systems of NATO Allies and Russia. Together with this study, several successful computer-assisted exercises have been held to provide the basis for future improvements to interoperability, and to develop mechanisms and procedures for joint operations in the area of theatre missile defence. NATO and Russia also examined possible areas for cooperation on territorial missile defence. At the Lisbon Summit, the NRC agreed to discuss pursuing ballistic missile defence cooperation, and to resume territorial missile defence cooperation. They agreed on a joint ballistic missile threat assessment, and to continue dialogue in this area. The NRC was tasked to develop a comprehensive joint analysis of the future framework for BMD cooperation. In April 2012, NATO and Russia successfully conducted a computer-assisted missile defence exercise hosted by Germany. In October 2013, NATO-Russia missile defence-related discussions were paused by Russia, and in April 2014, NATO suspended all cooperation with Russia in response to the Ukraine crisis. Mechanisms The Defence Policy and Planning Committee (Reinforced) (DPPC(R)) is the senior NATO committee that oversees and coordinates all efforts to develop the NATO ballistic missile defence capability at the political-military level, as well as providing political-military guidance and advice on all issues related to NATO BMD policy. The Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD) is the senior policy committee responsible for the ballistic missile defence programme. Evolution The key policy document providing the framework for NATO’s activities in the area of ballistic missile defence is NATO’s Strategic Concept. In addition, ballistic missile defence is an important aspect of the Deterrence and Defence Posture Review of 2012. The Strategic Concept recognises, inter alia, that “the proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, threatens incalculable consequences for global stability and prosperity. During the next decade, proliferation will be most acute in some of the world’s most volatile regions.” Therefore, NATO will “develop the capability to defend our populations and territories against ballistic missile attack as a core element of our collective defence, which contributes to the indivisible security of our Alliance. We will actively seek cooperation on missile defence with Russia and other Euro-Atlantic partners.” As a defensive capability, BMD will be one element of a broader response to the threat posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles. The Deterrence and Defence Posture Review of 2012 states that missile defence can complement the role of nuclear weapons in deterrence; it cannot substitute for them. It is a purely defensive capability and is being established in the light of threats from outside the Euro-Atlantic area. It is expected that NATO’s missile defence capabilities would complicate an adversary’s planning, and provide damage mitigation.  Effective missile defence could also provide valuable decision space in times of crisis. Like other weapons systems, missile defence capabilities cannot promise complete and enduring effectiveness. NATO missile defence capability, along with effective nuclear and conventional forces, will signal our determination to deter and defend against any threat from outside the Euro-Atlantic area to the safety and security of our populations. Key milestones Theatre Missile Defence May 2001 NATO launches two parallel feasibility studies for a future Alliance theatre missile defence system. June 2004 At the Istanbul Summit, Allied leaders direct that work on theatre missile defence be taken forward expeditiously. March 2005 The Alliance approves the establishment of a Programme Management Organization under the auspices of the CNAD. September 2006 The Alliance awards the first major contract for the development of a testbed for the system. February 2008 The testbed is opened and declared fully operational nine months ahead of schedule. Throughout 2008 The system design for the NATO command and control component of the theatre missile defence system is verified through testing with national systems and facilities via the integrated testbed; this paves the way for the procurement of the capability. March 2010 The Interim Capability (InCa) Step 1 is fielded. June 2010 NATO signs contracts for the second phase of the interim theatre missile defence capability, which will include the capability to conduct a real-time theatre missile defence battle.   At the June 2010 meeting of NATO Defence Ministers, it is agreed that, should Allies decide at the Lisbon Summit to develop a ballistic missile defence capability for NATO which would provide protection to European Allied populations and territory against the increasing threat posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles.  An expanded theatre missile defence programme could form the command, control and communications backbone of such a system. The US EPAA would provide a valuable national contribution to this capability. July 2010 The more robust Interim Capability (InCa 2) passes key tests during the Dutch Air Force Joint Project Optic Windmill 2010 exercise. December 2010 At the end of 2010, all InCa 2 components – including BMD sensors and shooters from NATO nations – are linked and successfully tested in an ‘ensemble’ test prior to handover to NATO’s military commanders. InCa 2 is subsequently delivered to the Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) in Uedem, Germany. Territorial Missile Defence November 2002 At the Prague Summit, Allied leaders direct that a missile defence feasibility study be launched to examine options for protecting Alliance forces, territory and populations against the full range of ballistic missile threats. April 2006 The study concludes that ballistic missile defence is technically feasible within the limits and assumptions of the study. The results are approved by NATO’s CNAD. 2007 An update of a 2004 Alliance assessment of ballistic missile threat developments is completed. April 2008 At the Bucharest Summit, Allied leaders agree that the planned deployment of European-based US BMD assets should be an integral part of any future NATO-wide missile defence architecture. They call for options for a comprehensive ballistic missile defence architecture to extend coverage to all Allied territory not otherwise covered by the US system to be prepared in time for NATO’s next Summit. April 2009 At the Strasbourg/Kehl Summit, Allies recognise that a future US contribution of important architectural elements could enhance NATO elaboration of the Alliance effort and judge that ballistic missile threats should be addressed in a prioritised manner that includes consideration of the level of imminence of the threat and the level of acceptable risk. September 2009 The United States announces its plan for the EPAA. November 2010 At the Lisbon Summit, the Allies agree to acquire a territorial missile defence capability. They agree that an expanded theatre missile defence programme should form the command, control and communications backbone of such a system. The NRC agrees to discuss pursuing missile defence cooperation. June 2011 NATO Defence Ministers approve the NATO Ballistic Missile Defence Action Plan. September 2011 Turkey announces a decision to host a US-owned missile defence radar as part of the NATO BMD capability. September 2011 Romania and the United States sign an agreement to base a US Aegis Ashore system in Romania as part of NATO’s BMD capability. September 2011 An agreement between Poland and the United States on basing a US Aegis Ashore system in Poland enters into force. September 2011 The Netherlands announces plans to upgrade four air-defence frigates with extended long-range radar systems as its national contribution to NATO’s BMD capability. October 2011 Spain and the United States announce an agreement to port US Aegis ships in Rota, Spain, as part of the US contribution to NATO’s ballistic missile defence capability. February 2012 Germany announces a decision to offer its Patriot air- and missile-defence systems as a national contribution to NATO’s BMD capability. April 2012 NATO successfully installs and tests the command and control architecture for the Interim Capability at Allied Air Command in Ramstein, Germany. May 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago. Declaration of the Interim BMD Capability. December 2012 NATO decides to augment Turkish air defence against missiles from Syria. Germany, the Netherlands and the United States deploy Patriot air- and missile-defence systems to eastern Turkey. March 2013 The Unites States announces a revised EPAA. October 2013 Ground-breaking ceremony for the US Aegis Ashore system in Deveselu, Romania. February 2014 First US Aegis destroyer stationed in Rota, Spain. NATO-Russia Council (Theatre) Missile Defence Cooperation 2003 A study is launched under the NRC to assess possible levels of interoperability among theatre missile defence systems of NATO Allies and Russia. March 2004 An NRC theatre missile defence command post exercise is held in the United States. March 2005 An NRC theatre missile defence command post exercise is held in the Netherlands. October 2006 An NRC theatre missile defence command post exercise is held in Russia. January 2008 An NRC theatre missile defence computer-assisted exercise takes place in Germany. December 2010 First meeting of the NRC Missile Defence Working Group aimed at assessing decisions taken at the Lisbon Summit and exploring a possible way forward for cooperation on ballistic missile defence. June 2011 NRC Defence Ministers take stock of the work on missile defence since the 2010 Lisbon Summit. April 2012 Computer-assisted exercise in Ottobrunn, Germany. October 2013 Russia unilaterally pauses the discussions on missile defence in the NRC framework. April 2014 In response to the Ukraine crisis, NATO suspends all cooperation with Russia, including missile defence.
  • Moldova, NATO’s relations with the Republic of -
    NATO’s relations with the Republic of Moldova NATO and the Republic of Moldova actively cooperate on democratic, institutional and defence reforms, and have developed practical cooperation in many other areas. The country’s Individual Partnership Action Plan lays out its programme of cooperation with NATO and, since early March 2014, Moldova has been contributing troops to the NATO-led mission in Kosovo – KFOR. Moldova is constitutionally neutral and is seeking to draw closer to Euro-Atlantic standards and institutions, the ultimate aim being European integration. The extent of NATO-Moldova cooperation depends on the country’s willingness to continue its democratic reform process and strengthen its existing democratic institutions. Framework for cooperation Areas of cooperation, reform plans and political dialogue processes are detailed in the Republic of Moldova’s Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP), which is jointly agreed with NATO for a two-year period.  A revised IPAP is currently being developed for 2014-2015. Key areas of cooperation include support to wide-ranging reforms, assistance to the preparation of strategic documents, defence planning and budgeting and enhancing military education and training in Moldova. Beyond supporting reform, another key objective of NATO’s cooperation with Moldova is to develop the ability of the 22nd Peacekeeping Battalion’s forces to work together with forces from other countries, especially in crisis-management and peacekeeping operations. Since 8 March 2014, for instance, two “combat-ready” units from this battalion have been participating in KFOR. Moldova is also seeking to develop a new training programme for the armed forces and has been taking part in multinational exercises organised by NATO. Through the Partnership for Peace (PfP) and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), Moldova’s cooperation with NATO has mushroomed into other areas such as cyber defence, building integrity and accountability in the defence and security sectors, science, disaster response and the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on women, peace and security. Key areas of cooperation Security cooperation Through regular participation in PfP training exercises, Moldova has taken steps to bring elements of its forces closer to full interoperability with Allied forces. Moldova has declared a range of units available for PfP activities, on a case-by-case basis. Four Moldovan helicopters currently support the UN mission in Afghanistan. Moldova contributes to the fight against terrorism through cooperation with the Allies on enhancing national counter-terrorist training capabilities and improving border and infrastructure security. Work on enhancing military education and training in Moldova is focused on the Military Academy and its Continuous Training Centre – an accredited Partnership Training and Education Centre – both of which are working closely with NATO experts. One of the programmes in which Moldova has engaged is NATO’s Defence Education Enhancement Programme or DEEP. Through DEEPs, the Alliance advises partners on how to build, develop and reform educational institutions in the security, defence and military domain. NATO has no direct role in the conflict resolution process in the region of Transnistria. However, NATO closely follows developments in the region. The current NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, has also previously stated that the Alliance fully expects Russia to abide by its international obligations, including respecting the territorial integrity and political freedom of neighbouring countries. Defence and security sector reform Defence and security sector reforms are core areas of cooperation. NATO and individual Allies have considerable expertise, which Moldova can draw upon in this area. NATO supports the wider democratic, institutional and judicial reform process underway in Moldova. In consultation with NATO, Moldova has developed strategic documents on defence and security sector reform.  These documents were necessary to conduct a Strategic Defence Review.  Consultations were also conducted on the steps needed for establishing a transparent defence planning and budgeting system. NATO and individual Allies continue to assist Moldova in creating modern, mobile, high-readiness, well-equipped and cost-effective forces that are interoperable with those of other countries. Moldovan participation in the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) since 1997 is instrumental in this process. Key reform projects include improving command and control structures, military logistics, personnel management, training and strengthening Moldova’s border patrol capabilities. Moldova has agreed to train and develop designated units to achieve full interoperability with NATO and other partner forces.  These units could be made available for NATO peace-support operations, as was the case in March 2014 with the deployment of a total of 41 Moldovan troops to Kosovo, comprising an Infantry Manoeuvre Platoon, an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team and a meteorological specialist.  The Operational Capabilities Concept supports this process. Civil emergency planning For Moldova, civil emergency planning is a priority area for cooperation with the Allies. Through participation in activities organised by NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC), Moldova is developing its national civil emergency and disaster-management capabilities. In consultation with the Allies, the country is also working on enhancing the legal framework for coping with such emergencies, and working to establish a civil crisis information system to coordinate activities in the event of an emergency. In late August 2011, Moldova hosted the EADRCC exercise Codrii 2011. Science and environment Under the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme, Moldova has received grant awards for about 18 cooperative projects. Projects include seismic risk reduction studies and river monitoring activities. In particular, Moldova aims to increase scientific cooperation in several key areas, including research into counter-terrorism and defending against chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and ecological terrorism, the removal of dangerous chemicals, and reducing the risk and impact of environmental radiological contamination. Other projects include a landslide susceptibility assessment in central Moldova and identifying buildings vulnerable to seismic activity in the Vrancea zone through the analysis of strong earthquakes that have occurred in the area. In total, scientists and experts from Moldova have had leading roles in 65 activities. In 2009, Moldova hosted an advanced training course on cyber terrorism organised by the NATO Centre of Excellence for Defence against Terrorism. During the five-day programme, which was held within the framework of the Science for Peace Programme, participants learned how to identify and assess cyber threats, as well as ways to counter cyber terrorism.  This has been followed by similar activities, the most recent was a training course set up in January 2014 for public sector network/system administrators, within the framework of the SPS Programme. The aim of the course was to improve the resilience of Moldova’s IT structure. Over a number of years, a NATO/Partnership Trust Fund project (in cooperation with the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility) has helped to ensure the identification, analysis, repackaging and safe storage of over 3,200 tonnes of dangerous chemicals and pesticides. The third and final phase of the Trust Fund project, the destruction of the repackaged substances is now well advanced. Public information Moldova and NATO aim to improve public awareness of and access to information on NATO and the benefits of NATO-Moldova cooperation. With the support of NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division, an Information and Documentation Centre on NATO was inaugurated at the Chisinau State University in October 2007. NATO also supports Moldova in improving the training of public information specialists within the country’s armed forces. 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 Moldova is the embassy of Bulgaria. Milestones in relations 1992 Moldova joins the North Atlantic Cooperation Council, renamed the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1997. 1994 Moldova joins the Partnership for Peace (PfP). 1997 Moldova joins the PfP Planning and Review Process. 2002 A Moldovan platoon participates in a civil emergency relief exercise in Russia with Allies and partner countries. 2005 Moldova hosts a PfP Civil Protection Committee plenary meeting in September.   President Voronin visits NATO Headquarters in June. 2006 Moldova agrees its first Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) with NATO.   Moldova hosts the PfP training exercises Cooperative Longbow and Cooperative Lancer.   President Voronin visits NATO Headquarters in June. 2007 An IPAP assessment identifies areas of progress and issues to be addressed.   President Voronin visits NATO Headquarters in December. 2008 Moldova hosts the ‘South Caucasus and Moldova Clearing House’ event, which coordinates Allied and partner assistance programmes.   The NATO Secretary General, while visiting Moldova, gives a speech at Chisinau State University, visits the Information and Documentation Centre on NATO, and holds talks with President Voronin, the Foreign Minister and the Defence Minister. 2009 Prime Minister Vlad Filat and Foreign Minister Iurie Leanca visit NATO.   Moldova hosts an international workshop in Chisinau which focuses on ways to improve the cooperation between public authorities, the media and civil society in combating terrorism. 2010 Iurie Leanca, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, and Minister of Defence Vitalie Marinuta meet NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and address the North Atlantic Council.   A new IPAP was agreed with Moldova on 20 August 2010. Allies also agreed a subsequent request from Chisinau that the document be declassified, allowing the Moldovan authorities to release it to the public. 2011 Moldova hosts the annual EAPC/APAG meeting in June.   The Minister of Defence, Vitalie Marinuta, and the Deputy Foreign Minister, Andrei Popov, meet the Secretary General and address the North Atlantic Council in July.   Moldova hosts the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) exercise Codrii 2011 in August. 2012 Prime Minister Filat of Moldova visits NATO Headquarters and meets the Secretary General and the North Atlantic Council. 2013 A NATO Science for Peace and Security information day is held in Chisinau (June) to explore additional areas of cooperation.   In July, a NATO week is held, coinciding with the launch of Phase III of the Trust Fund on the destruction of pesticides and other dangerous chemicals. 2014 On 10 February, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Mrs Natalia Gherman, meets the Secretary General.   On 17 March, the Deputy Foreign Minister, Valeriu Chiveri, meets the Deputy Secretary General to discuss ways of bolstering ties with NATO.
  • Mongolia, NATO’s cooperation with -
    NATO’s cooperation with Mongolia Over recent years, NATO has developed relations with a range of countries beyond the Euro-Atlantic area. Mongolia is counted among these countries, which are referred to as “partners across the globe.” Building on cooperation in peace-support operations that has developed since 2005, NATO and Mongolia agreed to further develop relations by launching an Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme. In a spirit of mutual benefit and reciprocity, NATO’s partnership with Mongolia aims to promote common understanding through consultation and cooperation. Based on a shared commitment to peace, democracy, human rights, rule of law and international security, Mongolia and NATO adopted in March 2012 an Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme (IPCP) which sets out plans to enhance interoperability, address global security issues, develop mechanisms for crisis prevention and management, and build capacity. Recent political engagment has served to identify the strategic priorities for the development of partnership relations. Mongolia has hosted high-level NATO delegations, such as those led by Director General of the International Military Staff  LtGen Juergen Bornemann in September 2011 and by Deputy Assistant Secretary General James Appathurai in May 2011. In November 2010, President Tsakhia Elbegdorj attended the Lisbon Summit. These exchanges provided opportunities to discuss NATO-Mongolia cooperation and Mongolia’s current and future involvement in international crisis management. In addition to promoting political dialogue at various levels and formats, the two-year IPCP with Mongolia foresees practical cooperation in the fields of training and education, science, emerging security challenges, public diplomacy, and peace-support operations. Mongolia has contributed troops to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan since March 2010, when it first deployed an infantry platoon to ISAF’s Regional Command North. The country also supports the Training Mission in Afghanistan with infantry, artillery and air mentor trainers. In addition, Mongolia participated in the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) from December 2005 to March 2007. To further enhance the interoperability of its armed forces with NATO forces, Mongolia plans to exchange best practices, participate in a wide range of NATO courses and training activities, and consider the possibility of select forces taking part in the Operational Capabilities Concept. The Mongolian Five Hills Peace Support Operations Training Centre is also being prepared for consideration to be part of the network of Partnership Training and Education Centres. Cooperation in the area of emerging security challenges focuses in particular on counter-terrorism, non-proliferation and cyber defence. Proposals for cooperation in the field of science and technology – notably through the Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme – include the rehabilitation of former military sites and the development of resilience and security in information communications technology.
  • Montenegro, NATO’s relations with -
    NATO’s relations with Montenegro NATO Secretary General Rasmussen and President Vujanović of Montenegro Democratic, institutional, security sector and defence reforms are a key focus of NATO’s cooperation with Montenegro. Shortly after regaining its independence in June 2006, the country joined the Partnership for Peace (PfP) in December 2006. Montenegro is working to draw closer to Euro-Atlantic standards and institutions, with the aim of joining the Alliance. It was invited to join the Membership Action Plan in December 2009. Following the June 2014 NATO Foreign Ministers meeting, the Secretary General announced that NATO will open intensified and focused talks with Montenegro and will assess at the latest by the end of 2015 whether to invite Montenegro to join the Alliance. The Membership Action Plan (MAP) is a NATO programme of advice, assistance and practical support tailored to the individual needs of countries wishing to join the Alliance. Participation in the MAP does not prejudge any decision by the Alliance on future membership. Montenegro began its first MAP cycle in the autumn of 2010 with the submission of its first Annual National Programme. It has identified key challenges that will need to be addressed, including reinforcing the rule of law, meeting NATO standards in security sector reforms and fighting corruption and organised crime. “NATO is committed to the future of the Western Balkans as a natural part of the Euro-Atlantic family. So I look forward to seeing Montenegro join the Euro-Atlantic family as soon as you are ready ,” said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen during his visit to the country in May 2014. 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. Beyond supporting reform, another key objective of NATO’s cooperation with Montenegro is to develop the ability of the country’s forces to work together with forces from NATO countries and other partners, especially in peacekeeping and crisis-management operations. Since 2010, the country has contributed to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. It has also 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 Security cooperation In support of NATO's efforts to equip and train the Afghan National Army, Montenegro offered a donation which included 1,600 weapons and 250,000 rounds of ammunition. In February 2010, Montenegro decided to contribute troops to ISAF in Afghanistan, which were deployed there together with a Croatian unit. Montenegro has 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. The government has also pledged financial support for the future development of the Afghan National Security Forces. Participation in joint planning, training and military exercises is a significant element of cooperation within the PfP. Defence and security sector reform Defence and security sector reforms continue to be key elements of cooperation. The Alliance as a whole and individual Allies have considerable expertise that the country can draw upon in this area. The Allies also support the wider democratic, institutional and judicial reform process underway in Montenegro. In 2013, Montenegro conducted a new Strategic Defence Review and produced a long-term development plan for its army. These documents have provided a basis for a comprehensive reform of the country’s defence system. The country’s participation in the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) helps to develop forces that will be fully capable of conducting peacekeeping and relief operations with NATO and partner forces. Montenegro is also 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. In September 2013 for instance, Montenegro hosted a high-level seminar on the role of women in building integrity and promoting good practices in the defence and security sector. Montenegro is interested in participating in cyber defence initiatives. It is also contributing to NATO’s Building Integrity Programme to strengthen good governance in the defence and security sector. This Programme seeks to raise awareness, promote good practice and provide practical tools to help countries enhance integrity and reduce risks of corruption in the security sector by strengthening transparency and accountability. Surplus and obsolete armaments and ammunition remain a significant issue for Montenegro in terms of both security and environmental concerns. NATO Allies have previously supported NATO/PfP Trust Fund work in this area, including a project in both Serbia and Montenegro to remove anti-personnel landmines.  Further Trust Fund activities with Montenegro are now being developed. Civil emergency planning In cooperation with the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC), Montenegro intends to take the necessary steps to establish a national early warning system, build a national crisis situation centre and develop its emergency response capabilities. Science and environment Montenegro has been actively engaged within the framework of the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme since 2006. 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 Montenegro are working to address a range of security issues, notably in the fields of environmental security and disaster forecast and prevention of natural catastrophes. Public information Montenegro’s participation in the Membership Action Plan (MAP) requires good public access to information on the benefits of cooperation and membership with NATO. NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division cooperates actively with the Montenegrin authorities as well as with a wide range of civil society partners, media representatives, members of parliament, local municipalities, etc. Public diplomacy programmes, such as visits to NATO Headquarters, seminars, speaking tours and educational youth programmes, aim to raise public awareness about NATO and the membership process. 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 Montenegro is the embassy of Slovenia. Framework for cooperation Since regaining its independence in 2006, Montenegro has been undertaking a wide-ranging programme of structural and institutional reforms. The instruments available within the Partnership for Peace (PfP) can greatly assist in this process. Initially the country chose to strengthen the reform focus of cooperation by developing an Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) with NATO in 2008. It moved through a successful IPAP cycle from 2008 to 2010, before shifting in the autumn of 2010 to an Annual National Programme within the Membership Action Plan framework.  Montenegro has also been participating in the PARP since 2006. 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. To facilitate cooperation, Montenegro has established a mission to NATO as well as a liaison office at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). Milestones in the evolution of relations The NATO Allies recognised Montenegro’s independence very shortly after it was declared in June 2006 and invited the country to join the Partnership for Peace (PfP) at the November 2006 Riga Summit. The country formally joined the Partnership in December of that same year and increased the focus on reform by developing an Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) in 2008. This IPAP focused on the full range of political, military, financial, and security issues relating to its aspirations to membership. Montenegro received an invitation from the Allies to join the Membership Action Plan (MAP) in December 2009. NATO Allies are committed to supporting the country on its path to Euro-Atlantic integration.  However, the key reforms and political decisions needed to achieve the standards of NATO membership must be taken by the leaders of Montenegro themselves. Key milestones 2003 The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is replaced by a looser state union named Serbia and Montenegro. 2006 Montenegro votes for independence on 21 May and the parliament formally declares independence on 3 June.   The country joins the Partnership for Peace in December. 2007 In support of NATO's efforts to equip and train the Afghan National Army, Montenegro donates weapons and ammunition. 2008 NATO Heads of State and Government agree to start an Intensified Dialogue with Montenegro on its membership aspirations and related reforms. Montenegro starts working with NATO on its Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) agreed with NATO in July 2008.  2009 First IPAP assessment.   In December, NATO Foreign Ministers invite Montenegro to join the Membership Action Plan. 2010 In February, Montenegro decides to contribute to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.   Summer 2010, Montenegro leaves the IPAP process and, in the autumn, submits its first Annual National Programme, under the Membership Action Plan. 2011 In June, the NATO Secretary General attends an Adriatic Charter meeting and delivers a major speech “NATO and the Western Balkans” in Montenegro. 2012 Prime Minister Luksić addresses the North Atlantic Council on 21 March. 2013 On 16 October, President Filip Vujanović comes to NATO Headquarters, Brussels. 2014 Prime Minister Milo Djukanović holds talks with the NATO Secretary General and addresses the North Atlantic Council at NATO Headquarters. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen holds talks with top officials in Podgorica. Following the June 2014 NATO Foreign Ministers meeting, the Secretary General announces that NATO will open intensified and focused talks with Montenegro and will assess at the latest by the end of 2015 whether to invite Montenegro to join the Alliance.