NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization

  • SATCOM Post-2000
    SATCOM Post-2000 Improved satellite communications for NATO The NATO SATCOM Post-2000 (NSP2K) programme gives the Alliance improved satellite communication capabilities, which is important as NATO forces take on expeditionary missions far beyond the Alliance’s traditional area of operations. Under the programme, a consortium formed by the British, French and Italian governments will provide NATO with advanced satellite communication (SATCOM) capabilities for a 15-year period from January 2005 until the end of 2019. The satellite capacity is provided on the three nations’ satellites under a capability provision agreement which has the flexibility to be changed depending on evolving operational requirements. Compared to previous generation SATCOM capabilities, the programme benefits include increased bandwidth, coverage and expanded capacity for voice and data communications, including communications with ships at sea, air assets and troops deployed across the globe. Components Under a memorandum of understanding (MOU), the programme provides NATO with access to the military segments of three national satellite communications systems – the French SYRACUSE 3, the Italian SICRAL 1 and 1Bis, and the British Skynet 4 and 5. This new satellite capability has replaced the two NATO-owned and -operated NATO IV communications satellites, which stopped their operational services in 2007 and 2010, respectively, after a combined operational life of 19 years. The NSP2K programme provides NATO access to Super High Frequency (SHF) and Ultra High Frequency (UHF) communications. UHF (300 MHz) is used for tactical communications, while SHF (7-8 GHz) is used for static and deployed ground stations with larger antenna dishes. The SYRACUSE, SICRAL, and Skynet 4/5 satellites can all provide SHF communications with military hardening features, while UHF communications are only provided by the SICRAL and Skynet satellites. Contract Evolution In May 2004, the NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A) selected the Franco-British-Italian proposal to provide SHF and UHF communications. The proposal submitted by the consortium was determined by NATO to be the lowest priced, technically compliant bid. It came in below the Alliance’s funding ceiling of EUR 457 million for SHF and UHF. The NSP2K Initial Operating Capability (IOC) started on January 2005 with limited SHF and UHF capacity and coverage, which was followed with a Final Operational Capability (FOC) as of 2008 with the full SHF and UHF capacity and extended coverage. Mechanisms The NSP2K capability provisioning is controlled through a Joint Programme Management Office (JPMO) in Paris staffed by officials from the British, French and Italian governments who report to NC3A, which administers the memorandum of understanding on behalf of NATO. NATO's Allied Command Operations (ACO), in conjunction with NC3A, plans and prepares the NATO operational requirements which are then discussed with the JPMO to ensure that suitable satellite capacity is made available to meet NATO’s changing requirements. Day-to-day communications requests are handled by the NATO Communications and Information Systems Agency (NCSA) at NATO's Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium. NCSA allocates user traffic to the satellite capacity. NCSA liaises with the co-located NATO Mission Access Centre (NMAC), which is manned by national contractors who provide the point of contact between national satellite control centres and the operators of the NATO network to manage and gain access to the allocated capacity.
  • Science and Technology Organization (STO), NATO -
    The NATO Science and Technology Organization (STO) The NATO Science and Technology Organization (STO) acts as NATO’s principal organization for science and technology research. It is composed of a Science and Technology Board (STB), Scientific and Technical Committees and three Executive Bodies; the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS), the Collaboration Support Office (CSO), and the Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE). Main tasks and responsibilities The mission of the STO is to help position both national and NATO science and technology investments as a strategic enabler of the knowledge and technology advantage for the defence and security posture of NATO Allies and partners. The Organisation aims to leverage and augment the science and technology capabilities and programmes to contribute to NATO’s ability to influence security and defence related development. It also supports decisions made at both national and NATO level by providing advice to the North Atlantic Council and national leadership. The Organization’s structure The Chief Scientist is the chairman of the STB and the senior science advisor to the North Atlantic Council.  The Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) is located in Brussels, Belgium at NATO HQ. The scientific and technical committees, composed of members from national and NATO bodies, will continue to direct and execute NATO’s collaborative science and technology activities. Executive and administrative support to NATO’s collaborative science and technology activities will be delivered by the Collaboration Support Office (CSO), formerly known as the Research and Technology Agency (RTA), located in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. The Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE), formerly known as the NATO Undersea Research Centre (NURC), located in La Spezia, Italy, will organise and conduct scientific research and technology development, centred on the maritime domain, delivering innovative solutions to address the Alliance’s defence and security needs. CMRE conducts hands-on scientific and engineering research for the direct benefit of NATO and its’ customers. The Centre operates NATO’s two research vessels that enable science and technology solutions to be explored and developed at sea. This allows unique and specialized research to be conducted in core areas of interest for NATO. CMRE’s engineering capability enables rapid exploitation of concept prototypes for use in trials and military experiments. The Centre has also a scientific and engineering knowledge base which is published for use across NATO. Evolution The STO was created through the amalgamation of the Research and Technology Organization (RTO) and the NATO Undersea Research Centre (NURC).  These bodies were brought together following a decision at the Lisbon Summit to reform the NATO agency structure. The standing-up of the STO is part of a three phase implementation process of these reforms. The first phase is the consolidation phase and runs from 1 July 2012 to 1 January 2013.  It comprises the stand-up of the STO, the delivery of the NATO Science and Technology Strategy, the production of the CMRE Business Plan and the delivery of the study pertaining to the Operational Research and Analysis (ORA) function. The second phase is the rationalization phase.  This phase begins on 1 January 2013 and lasts until 1 July 2014.  The phase comprises transition of the CMRE to its new business model, the implementation of the NATO Science and Technology Strategy, the implementation of the decisions pertaining to the ORA function and a further consolidation study. The third and last phase is the optimization phase.  It is planned between 1 July 2014 and 1 July 2015.  It comprises the optimization of the measures of the rationalization phase and the implementation of the decisions pertaining to a further consolidation study.
  • Science for Peace and Security
    The Science for Peace and Security Programme The Science for Peace and Security Programme, or SPS, is a policy tool for enhancing cooperation and dialogue with all partners, based on civil science and innovation, to contribute to the Alliance’s core goals and to address the priority areas for dialogue and cooperation identified in the new partnership policy.
  • Secretary General, The NATO -
    The NATO Secretary General The Secretary General is the Alliance’s top international civil servant. This person is responsible for steering the process of consultation and decision-making in the Alliance and ensuring that decisions are implemented. The Secretary General is also NATO’s chief spokesperson and the head of the Organization’s International Staff. The post is currently held by Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former Prime Minister of Denmark, who took up his responsibilities on 1 August 2009. The function of Secretary General is filled by a senior statesman with high-level political experience in the government of one of the member countries. The person is nominated by member governments for an initial period of four years, which can be extended by mutual consent. Three principal responsibilities Chairman of the North Atlantic Council and other key bodies First and foremost, the Secretary General chairs the North Atlantic Council - the Alliance’s principal political decision-making body - as well as other senior decision-making committees. These include the Nuclear Planning Group, the NATO-Russia Council, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and the Mediterranean Co-operation Group. Additionally, together with a Ukrainian representative, he is the chairman of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, as well as the chairman of the NATO-Georgia Commission. Above and beyond the role of chairman, the Secretary General has the authority to propose items for discussion and use his good offices in case of disputes between member states. He acts as a decision facilitator, leading and guiding the process of consensus-building and decision-making throughout the Alliance. He maintains direct contact with heads of state and government, foreign and defence ministers in NATO and partner countries, in order to facilitate this process. This entails regular visits to NATO and partner countries, as well as bilateral meetings with senior national officials when they visit NATO Headquarters. Effectively, his role allows him to exert some influence on the decision-making process while respecting the fundamental principle that the authority for taking decisions is invested only in the member governments themselves. Principal spokesperson The Secretary General is also the principal spokesman of the Alliance and represents the Alliance in public on behalf of the member countries, reflecting their common positions on political issues. He also represents NATO vis-à-vis other international organizations as well as to the media and the public at large. To this end the Secretary General regularly holds press briefings and conferences as well as public lectures and speeches. Head of the International Staff Third and lastly, the Secretary General is the senior executive officer of the NATO International Staff, responsible for making staff appointments and overseeing its work. Support to the Secretary General In his day-to-day work, the Secretary General is directly supported by a Private Office and a Deputy Secretary General, who assists the Secretary General and replaces him in his absence. The Deputy Secretary General is also the chairman of a number of senior committees, ad hoc groups and working groups. More generally speaking, the entire International Staff at NATO Headquarters supports the Secretary General, either directly or indirectly. The selection process The Secretary General is a senior statesman from a NATO member country, appointed by member states for a four-year term. The selection is carried through informal diplomatic consultations among member countries, which put forward candidates for the post. No decision is confirmed until consensus is reached on one candidate. At the end of his term, the incumbent might be offered to stay on for a fifth year. The position has traditionally been held by a European statesman.
  • Security Committee (SC)
    Security Committee (SC) The Security Committee (SC) examines all questions concerning NATO security policy and acts as an advisory body to the North Atlantic Council (NAC). It reviews the NATO security policy, makes recommendations for changes and examines questions related to the subject. The SC also reviews and approves the supporting directives and guidance documents in the areas of personnel security, physical security, security of information, industrial security and INFOSEC; and considers security matters referred to it by the NAC, a member country, the NATO Secretary General, the Military Committee, the NC3 (consultation, command and control) Board or the heads of NATO civil and military bodies, preparing appropriate recommendations on related subjects. The SC is composed of representatives from each member nation’s National Security Authority (NSA) supported, where required, by additional member country security staff.  Representatives of the International Military Staff, Strategic Commands and NATO C3 Board are present at meetings of the SC, as may be representatives of NATO civil and military bodies when matters of interest to them are addressed. The SC is chaired by the Director of the NATO Office of Security (NOS) and the day-to-day work of the committee is supported by the NOS.  The SC meets in different formats: at Principal’s level; in Security Policy Format (SP); and in Information Assurance Format (IA).  The SC may meet with partner countries, as appropriate. The SC meets on a regular basis, holding a minimum of two meetings per year at Principal’s level.  The SC in SP and IA Formats also meets on a regular basis, as required.  Chairmanship may be delegated to duly appointed staff members from the NOS.  The SC is directly responsible to the NAC, to which it reports at least once a year on the progress of its work.
  • Security tasks, NATO’s fundamental -
    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.
  • Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan, NATO's -
    NATO's Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan The Senior Civilian Representative carries forward the Alliance's political-military objectives in Afghanistan, liaising with the Afghan Government, civil society, representatives of the international community and neighbouring countries. He represents the political leadership of the Alliance in Kabul officially and publicly. Who is currently holding this function? Ambassador Maurits R. Jochems from the Netherlands took office as the NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan on 10 October 2012. What is his or her authority, tasks and responsibilities? Working closely with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the Senior Civilian Representative provides a direct channel of communication between the theatre, NATO HQ in Brussels, and the North Atlantic Council, the Alliance's principal decision-making body.  He provides the Council with advice on the most effective means of ensuring the overall coherence of the Alliance’s relations with Afghanistan, which includes responsibilities related to upholding NATO’s public perception. He liaises with senior members of the Afghan Government and co-ordinates with representatives of the international community and other international organisations engaged in Afghanistan, in particular the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and the European Union. The Representative also maintains contacts with representatives of neighbouring countries, as well as with various political actors, representatives of Afghan civil society and representatives of international NGOs. How is he or she selected and for how long? The Representative is appointed by the NATO Secretary General on an ad-hoc basis.  His mandate is limited in time and renewable in light of political developments in Afghanistan. How did it evolve? NATO created the position of a Senior Civilian Representative in October 2003, to represent the political leadership of the Alliance in Kabul.
  • Serbia, NATO’s relations with -
    NATO’s relations with Serbia Serbia has been a member of NATO’s Partnership for Peace programme since December 2006. Democratic, institutional, and defence reforms are a key focus of cooperation. While not an aspirant for membership of the Alliance, the country is currently in discussions with NATO on deepening cooperation through the development of an Individual Partnership Action Plan. At the Chicago Summit in May 2012, Allied leaders reiterated their support for Serbia’s Euro-Atlantic integration. They also encouraged Belgrade to continue building a strong partnership with NATO, making full use of its Partnership for Peace (PfP) membership, while at the same time respecting Serbia’s policy of military neutrality. Work is ongoing to provide the framework for reinforced cooperation through the development of an Individual Partnership Action Plan. “Serbia’s future lies in peaceful cooperation with its neighbours and with the European Union and NATO. […] We have made good progress these past few years in developing a sound basis for partnership and cooperation. It is now up to Serbia to decide if it wants to move forwards in its cooperation with NATO, and how fast,” declared NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in a speech about the Western Balkans in June 2011. Kosovo is of course a key subject in NATO's dialogue with Serbia. The Alliance intervened militarily in early 1999 to bring an end to the violence in Kosovo, subsequently deploying the NATO-led Kosovo peacekeeping force (KFOR) to provide a safe and secure environment and facilitate reconstruction. KFOR remains crucial to guaranteeing security in Kosovo and will remain in Kosovo on the basis of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 to ensure a safe and secure environment, including freedom of movement for all people. At the Chicago Summit, Allied leaders called upon Serbia to support further efforts towards the consolidation of peace and stability in Kosovo. They urged Belgrade and Pristina to take full advantage of the opportunities offered to promote peace, security and stability in the region, in particular by the European Union-facilitated dialogue. The NATO Secretary General welcomed the Belgrade-Pristina Agreement on Normalisation, that was eventually concluded in April 2013 as a big step forward for regional peace and security. He underlined that NATO and in particular KFOR would support the implementation of this latest agreement to the best of its ability within its current mandate. Framework for cooperation Serbia indicated its intention to become an active participant in the Partnership for Peace (PfP) in its PfP Presentation Document submitted to NATO in September 2007. It submitted its first Individual Partnership Programme (IPP) under the PfP in early 2009. Areas of cooperation and specific events in which Serbia wishes to participate are detailed in this document, which is jointly agreed with NATO. In April 2011, the North Atlantic Council approved Serbia’s request to develop an Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) with NATO. The IPAP is a jointly agreed framework in which a partner nation lays out its reform goals and the areas where NATO can provide assistance to achieve those goals. It will help to organise bilateral cooperation, ensuring that NATO and individual Allies can provide support to Serbia in achieving its reform goals. The IPAP offers an important step forward in the relationship, as it will allow NATO and Serbia to deepen both their political consultation and practical cooperation. The NATO Military Liaison Office in Belgrade, established in December 2006, supports Serbian defence reforms, facilitates Serbian participation in activities in the framework of the Partnership for Peace programme and provides assistance to NATO’s public diplomacy activities in the region. Key areas of cooperation Security cooperation The Serbian armed forces have cooperated with KFOR for many years through the Joint Implementation Council (JIC), based on the 1999 Military Technical Agreement between KFOR and the Serbian armed forces (Kumanovo Agreement). In July 2005, Serbia signed a transit agreement with NATO to allow Allied forces serving as part of KFOR to pass through Serbian territory. This agreement between NATO and Serbia mirrors similar arrangements between NATO and other countries across and beyond Europe. The transit agreement provided for the establishment of the NATO Military Liaison Office in Belgrade, which liaises with the Serbian military authorities on the practical aspects of the implementation of the transit agreement. Training is an important part of security cooperation and Serbian personnel participate in activities organised under the PfP programme. Moreover, Serbia’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Training Centre in Krusevac was recognised as a Partnership Training and Education Centre in 2013, opening its activities to Allies and partners. Defence and security sector reform Defence and security sector reforms are core elements of cooperation. An important vehicle for this cooperation has been the Serbia/NATO Defence Reform Group (DRG). The group was jointly established in February 2006 to provide advice and assistance to the Serbian authorities on reform and modernisation of Serbia’s armed forces, and to build a modern, affordable, and democratically-controlled defence structure. Serbia also joined the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) in 2007. The PARP provides a structured basis for identifying partner forces and capabilities that could be available to the Alliance for multinational training, exercises and operations. It also serves as a planning tool to guide and measure progress in defence and military transformation efforts. The reforms undertaken within the DRG and the PARP are supported through the selection of training activities and exercises. The Alliance as a whole and individual Allies have considerable expertise upon which Serbia can draw in the area of defence and security sector reform. An important priority will be working together to further promote transparent democratic control over the armed forces. The Allies have supported a number of NATO/PfP Trust Fund projects in Serbia. These include a project to destroy 28,000 surplus small arms and light weapons, which was completed in 2003, and another for the safe destruction of 1.4 million landmines and ammunition, which was completed in June 2007. A third Trust Fund project for the destruction of approximately 2,000 tonnes of surplus ammunition and explosives was launched in July 2013. Another Trust Fund project to develop alternative livelihoods for former members of the Serbian armed forces was completed in 2011. The implementing agent for this project is the International Organization for Migration (IOM). This project, carried out over five years and worth €9.6 million, helped almost 6,000 discharged defence personnel in Serbia start small businesses. Science and environment Serbia has been actively engaged within the framework of the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme since 2007. The SPS Programme enables close collaboration on issues of common interest to enhance the security of NATO and partner nations. 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 Serbia are working to address a wide range of security issues, notably in the fields of defence against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) agents, counter-terrorism, environmental security and disaster forecast and prevention of natural catastrophes. Public information Serbia and NATO aim to improve public access to information on the benefits of cooperation with NATO and the key elements of NATO-Serbia cooperation. A broad and effective communications strategy is an important aspect of PfP cooperation. The NATO Military Liaison Office in Belgrade plays a role in this 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 Serbia is the embassy of the Slovak Republic. Evolution of relations 1999 A 78-day NATO air campaign is triggered by violence in Kosovo.   The NATO-led Kosovo peacekeeping force (KFOR) is deployed to maintain security and support reconstruction efforts. KFOR and Serbian Armed Forces sign Military Technical Agreement (Kumanovo Agreement) 2001 NATO and the newly elected government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia cooperate in crisis-management operations in southern Serbia 2003 Belgrade formally applies for PfP membership.   The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is replaced by a looser state union of Serbia and Montenegro.   NATO completes a PfP trust fund project to destroy 28,000 surplus small arms and light weapons in Serbia 2005 Serbia hosts a PfP trust fund workshop ‘Together reducing unsafe surplus tools of war’ in Belgrade.   Serbia and NATO sign a transit agreement for KFOR forces.   NATO launches a PfP trust fund project to develop alternative livelihoods for former Serbian armed forces personnel as the service is downsized 2006 Serbia joins the Partnership for Peace.   NATO opens a Military Liaison Office in Belgrade. 2007 Serbia joins the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP).   NATO completes a PfP trust fund project that safely removed 1.4 million anti-personnel landmines from Serbian territory.   In September, Serbia submits its PfP Presentation Document to NATO. 2009 Serbia agrees its first Individual Partnership Programme with NATO. 2010 NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen meets the President of the Republic of Serbia, Boris Tadic while in New York. 2011 In April, the North Atlantic Council approves Serbia’s request to undertake an Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) with NATO   In June, Serbia hosts the Allied Command Transformation Strategic Military Partners Conference, one of the largest NATO partnership events each year.  2012 At a meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council on 11 December, ambassadors observe a minute of silence in memory of the Serbian Ambassador to NATO, Branislav Milinkovic, who had passed away the previous week.  2013 NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen welcomes the Belgrade-Pristina Agreement on Normalisation, on 19 April, congratulating all parties for their constructive approach to finding a lasting solution through EU-mediated talks. He emphasises that NATO will continue to ensure a safe and secure environment throughout Kosovo and stands ready to support the implementation of this latest agreement.     In June, the North Atlantic Council accepts Serbia’s offer to make its Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Training Centre in Krusevac a Partnership Training and Education Centre, opening its activities to Allies and partners. A project was launched in July to assist the Serbian Ministry of Defence in the decommissioning of Serbia’s stocks of approximately 2,000 tonnes of surplus ammunition and explosives.
  • SILK-Afghanistan
    SILK-Afghanistan Expanding internet connectivity in Afghanistan Named after the Great Silk Road trading route linking Asia and Europe, the SILK-Afghanistan project provides high-speed internet access via satellite and fiber optics to 18 Afghan universities as well as some governmental institutions in Kabul. The project assists the Afghan authorities in developing their educational system. It became operational at Kabul University in Afghanistan in 2006 and the network has since been expanded to the provinces. Today, the vast majority of university students and lecturers from 18 universities in Baghlan, Balkh, Bamiyan, Faryab, Ghazni, Helmand, Herat, Jawzjan, Kabul (four universities), Kandahar, Khost, Kunduz, Nangarhar, Paktia and Parwan provinces are connected to the information highway through the SILK-Afghanistan project. A further four universities in Badakhshan, Kapisa, Samangan and Takhar, are expected to be added to the network by summer 2013. Over the past few years, the Afghan Ministry of Higher Education and some fifteen universities across the country have been equipped with video conferencing systems and the aim is eventually to equip all universities with this facility. A Metropolitan Area Network (MAN), which has been up-and-running since autumn 2009, provides internet connectivity to a number of government and academic institutions in Kabul. The MAN consists of a WiMax “blanket” connected to the network operation centre at Kabul University. SILK-Afghanistan is jointly funded by the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) programme and the US Department of State. In addition to connectivity, it provides extra funding to build information technology (IT) infrastructure and to train IT staff at the universities. The programme builds on NATO’s experience of initiating and running the “Virtual Silk Highway” project, which provided high-speed internet access (via satellite) in NATO’s partner countries in the South Caucasus and Central Asia from 2002 to 2010.
  • Situation Centre at NATO’s Headquarters (SITCEN)
    Situation Centre (SITCEN) The NATO Situation Centre (SITCEN) is designed to provide situational awareness and alerting to the North Atlantic Council and the Military Committee in fulfilling their respective functions during peace, in periods of tension and crisis and for high level exercises. This is to be achieved through the receipt, exchange and dissemination of information from all available internal and external sources. Working Mechanism The SITCEN is uniquely positioned between the civilian International Staff and the International Military Staff of NATO Headquarters. Its staff consists of both civilian and military personnel. The Secretary General, acting for the Council, has responsibility for the overall policy, general organization and effective functioning of the SITCEN. The Assistant Secretary General for Operations, on behalf of the Secretary General, is the senior staff official responsible for the development and control of the SITCEN. The Director General of the International Military Staff, acting for the Military Committee, is responsible for the co-ordination of the operations of the Centre with the Chief of the SITCEN. For day to day operations, this will be carried out on the Director General’s behalf by the Director Operations, IMS.   The SITCEN has an Admin Support/Registry office and one branch: the Watch Staff Support Branch. The Admin Support/Registry office is the SITCEN central point for Information Management and control, training co-ordination and financial management. The Watch Staff Support Branch is responsible for the receipt, exchange and dissemination of political, economic, terrorist and military information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Watch Staff Support Branch also provides geographic information services to NATO Headquarters and acts as a focal point for GEO matters in support of senior decision-makers, task forces and exercises.
  • Small arms and light weapons (SALW) and mine action (MA)
    Small arms and light weapons (SALW) and mine action (MA) The proliferation of small arms and light weapons (SALW) affects security while anti-personnel mines and explosive remnants of war kill and maim both people and livestock long after the end of hostilities. Both can have destabilising effects on social, societal and economic development and can represent major challenges to regional and national security. The illicit proliferation of SALW can fuel and prolong armed violence and support illegal activities and the emergence of violent groups. Access to illicit SALW contributes to the development of terrorism, organised crime, human trafficking, gender violence and piracy; and the diversion of weapons is closely linked to corruption and poor management practices. Small arms are weapons intended for use by an individual. They include pistols, rifles, submachine guns, assault rifles and light machine guns; light weapons are designed for use by two or more persons serving as a crew and include heavy machine guns, grenade launchers, mortars, anti-aircraft guns and anti-tank guns, all less than 100 mm in calibre. Anti-personnel mines and explosive remnants of war kill and maim both people and livestock long after the cessation of hostilities and are a major barrier to post-conflict recovery and development. Beyond the human tragedy they can cause, they also overload local and national health services, reduce the available workforce and disrupt the social and societal structures. In many countries, stockpiles of weapons and ammunition are not always properly managed, allowing illicit access or accidents that may affect security personnel and nearby populations. NATO is helping to address these issues by encouraging dialogue and cooperation among Allies and partners to seek effective solutions. It has two very effective mechanisms: the Ad Hoc Working Group on SALW and Mine Action (AHWG SALW/MA) and the NATO/Partnership Trust Fund mechanism. NATO also supports initiatives led by other international bodies, such as the United Nations (UN) Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in SALW in All Its Aspects (commonly known as the PoA) as well as the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). In the area of anti-personnel mines, the Alliance and its partners also assist signatories of the “Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and Their Destruction” (Ottawa Convention). Allies who are not party to this Convention facilitate efforts in the general realm of what is commonly called mine action, which includes: clearance of mine fields, providing victim assistance, raising mine risk awareness through education, and assistance in destroying mine stockpiles.   Highlights Landmines and explosive remnants of war are a major barrier to post-conflict recovery and development. As of early 2014, NATO Trust Fund projects have cleared 1,400 hectares of land. They have also destroyed 4,500,000 anti-personnel landmines and 2,000,000 hand grenades. NATO supports the international community's efforts to eradicate the illicit trade of conventional weapons. NATO has been contributing to the safety of civilian populations by focusing on weapon surplus clearance since the late 1990s. Tackling both issues together In 1999, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), which groups Allies and partner countries, established the Ad Hoc Working Group on SALW (AHWG SALW). Originally, this Working Group focused only on issues related to the impact of the proliferation of SALW on Alliance’s peacekeeping operations. In April 2004, the Working Group’s mandate was broadened to include mine action issues (therefore becoming the AHWG SALW/MA). It is one of the few forums in the world that meets on a regular basis (quarterly) to address these specific issues. The objective of the Working Group is to contribute to international efforts to reduce the impact of anti-personnel landmines, as well as the threats caused by the illicit trade of SALW. An annual work programme The Working Group organises its work around a work programme that it adopts annually. In practice, it uses a four-pronged approach to accomplish its work by: providing a forum in which EAPC members and certain implementing organisations can share information on SALW and ammunition projects they are conducting. These organisations include the European Union (EU), the NATO Support Agency (NSPA), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the South Eastern and Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SEESAC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). This exchange of information helps to improve coordination with donor countries and implementing organisations, with the aim of increasing effectiveness and avoiding duplication of work. The information is consolidated into the Project Information Matrix, a web-based information-sharing platform, which is regularly updated by the members of the AHWG SALW/MA; inviting speakers from non-governmental organisations (NGOs), regional and international organisations, and research institutes to share their views and recent research with delegations; facilitating the management and creation of the Trust Fund projects. This includes updating delegations on the status of Trust Fund projects and highlighting where more effort or volunteer donations are needed; organising regular international workshops, seminars and conferences on topics particularly pertinent to SALW and mine action. NATO's International Staff (IS) functions as the Working Group’s executive agent and implements the annual work programmes of the AHWG SALW/MA and organises its quarterly meetings. Training NATO conducts two courses related to SALW and/or mine action that are usually held at the NATO School in Oberammergau, Germany. The first is the “SALW and Mine Action Orientation Course”. Aimed at mid-level management personnel, it provides students with an overview of the most significant political, practical and regulatory issues needed to deal with SALW, conventional ammunition and mine action from a national, regional or global perspective. It includes cross-cutting issues, such as gender mainstreaming that will affect the various facets of issues related to SALW and mine action. The first iteration is currently scheduled for the first half of 2014. A second, more technical course entitled “SALW Implementation Course”, focuses on the practical and technical elements relevant for conducting site assessment visits, such as the development of appropriate standard operating procedures. Both courses are open to military and civilian personnel from EAPC countries. NATO support to UN global efforts The UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects (known as the PoA) was adopted in July 2001 by nearly 150 countries, including all NATO member countries. It consists of measures at the national, regional and global levels, in the areas of legislation, destruction of weapons that were confiscated, seized or collected, as well as international cooperation and assistance to strengthen the ability of states in identifying and tracing illicit arms and light weapons. Every two years, the UN holds the “Biennial Meeting of States to Consider the Implementation of the PoA”. The NATO Ad Hoc Working Group supports the implementation of the PoA through its activities and will continue to support major global events of this nature. On 1 August 2010, the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) entered into force and became a legally binding instrument. The CCM prohibits, for its signatories, all use, stockpiling, production and transfer of cluster munitions. Separate articles in the Convention concern assistance to victims, clearance of contaminated areas and the destruction of stockpiles. The NATO Working Group provides an additional forum for the discussion and facilitation of its implementation. On 2 April 2013, the UN General Assembly adopted the landmark Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), regulating the international trade in conventional arms, from small arms to battle tanks, combat aircraft and warships. The treaty aims to foster peace and security by interrupting the destabilising flow of arms to conflict regions. NATO supports the implementation of the ATT in particular through the activities of the Working Group on SALW and Mine Action and constitutes an additional forum for discussion and information-sharing on the issue. Trust Funds projects The end of the Cold War left a dangerous legacy of ageing arms, ammunition, anti-personnel mines, missiles, rocket fuel, chemicals and unexploded ordnance. In 1999, NATO established the NATO Partnership for Peace (PfP) Trust Fund mechanism to assist partners with these problems. Since then, Trust Fund projects have produced tangible results and, as such, represent the operational dimension of the Working Group’s efforts. Trust Fund projects focus on the destruction of SALW, ammunition and mines, improving their physical security and stockpile management, and also address the consequences of defence reform. Allies and partners fund and execute these projects through executive agents. Each project has a lead nation(s), which oversees the development of project proposals along with the NATO International Staff and the executive agent. This ensures a mechanism with a competitive bidding process, transparency in how funds are expended and verifiable project oversight, particularly for projects involving the destruction of munitions. Trust Funds may be initiated by a NATO member or partner country to tackle specific, practical issues linked to the demilitarization process of a country or to the introduction of defence reform projects. They are funded by voluntary contributions from individual NATO Allies, partner countries, and more recently NGOs. They are often implemented in cooperation with other international organisations and NGOs. As of early 2014, Allies and partners, through the Trust Fund projects, have destroyed or cleared: 162,000,000 rounds of ammunition 15,500,000 cluster sub-munitions 4,500,000 anti-personnel landmines 2,000,000 hand grenades 615,000 small arms and light weapons (SALW) 625,000 pieces of unexploded ordnance (UXO) 31,000 tonnes of various ammunition 10,000 surface-to-air missiles and rockets 1,470 man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS) 2,620 tonnes of chemicals, including rocket fuel oxidiser (“mélange”) 1,400 hectares cleared In addition, some 11,800 former military personnel have received retraining assistance through Trust Fund defence reform projects. The Trust Fund mechanism is open to countries participating in NATO’s PfP programme, the Mediterranean Dialogue and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative. For instance, in 2014, NATO has engaged in the improvement of safety and security of ammunition storage facilities in Mauritania and the destruction of excess ammunition in Jordan, thus enhancing safety of local communities. Trust Funds are also open to countries where NATO is leading a crisis-management operation. In 2010, NATO successfully completed a Trust Fund project in Afghanistan, achieving its aim of providing the Afghan National Army further means to manage munitions in a safe and efficient way. Once the project proposal is agreed by the lead nation and the partner country concerned, it is presented to the Political Partnerships Committee (PPC), which is the formal forum to discuss projects and attract volunteer donor support and resources. The Luxembourg-based NATO Support Agency has been selected by lead nations of most Trust Fund projects to be the executing agent, particularly for demilitarization projects. It plays a key role in the development and implementation of Trust Fund projects and offers technical advice and a range of management services.
  • Smart Defence
    Smart Defence
  • Somalia, Assisting the African Union in -
    Assisting the African Union in Somalia Information on NATO assistance to the African Union can be found on: Information on NATO assistance to the African Union can be found on:
  • Special Operations Forces (SOF)
    Special Operations Forces Lithuanian Special Operations Forces NATO Special Operations Forces (SOF) provide capabilities that complement those of NATO air, maritime and land forces and are relevant across the full range of military operations. These SOF capabilities are also applicable to the Alliance’s core tasks of collective defence, crisis management and cooperative security. The NATO Special Operations Headquarters (NSHQ) is the primary point of development, coordination and direction for all NATO Special Operations activities. Located at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium and under the daily direct operational command of the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), the NSHQ focuses on ensuring Allied Joint 1 SOF personnel possess a multinational foundation to allow them to operate as effectively, efficiently and coherently as possible in support of the Alliance’s objectives from the strategic to the tactical level. Twenty-six NATO member countries and three partners (Austria, Finland and Sweden) are represented among 200 plus headquarters staff. The NSHQ is a unique hybrid organisation. It is involved in a very diverse set of activities such as NATO SOF policy, doctrine, capabilities, standards, training and education. On a daily basis the NSHQ is actively coordinating, advocating and advising reference SOF across NATO. These activities include areas such as SOF-specific intelligence, aviation, medical support and communications.  The NHSQ also supports SOF involvement in NATO operations. This includes assisting with SOF force generation, integration into strategic and operational planning, and SOF-specific intelligence analysis. There is a Special Operations Component Command element responsible for command and control of SOF within the NATO Response Force (NRF). This element is provided on a rotational basis by a handful of countries which possess the requisite SOF capacity and capability. Enhancing SOF command and control mechanisms is also an area where the NSHQ works diligently to better integrate SOF into NATO exercises from their initial inception and design all the way through gathering of lessons learned. As a Connected Forces Initiative (CFI) deliverable, the declaration of full operational capability of a Special Operations Component Command is scheduled for the Wales Summit in September 2014. This is a scalable expeditionary NATO SOF command and control capability, agile and responsive, capable of deploying to support NATO operations. It serves to provide an additional deployable NATO SOF command and control option to complement other existing mechanisms provided by NATO member countries. The NSHQ is also a pillar of the CFI, which aims to ensure that Allies and partners retain the progress made in terms of interoperability and collaboration from their experience working together during multinational deployments, such as in Afghanistan, Libya, the Horn of Africa and the Balkans. 1. ‘Joint’ refers to activities, operations and organisations in which elements of at least two services participate (land, air, maritime, SOF). Connecting forces The NSHQ plays a vital part in connecting forces – planning and coordinating missions, and improving cooperation and connectivity between the countries’ SOF personnel. The raison d’être for the NSHQ is the need to better connect SOF personnel from NATO Allies so as to enable their coherent deployment on NATO operations. The SOF network is underpinned by a sophisticated technological network and associated tools that enable real-time collaboration from the strategic to the tactical level. These ingredients collectively allow NATO SOF personnel to operate with confidence in today’s complex and uncertain operational security environment. Training and education Training and education is the main effort at the NSHQ because these efforts create the long-term effect of building a coherent framework for NATO SOF.  NSHQ training largely takes place at the purpose-built NATO SOF School on nearby Chièvres Air Base, where the students are exposed to a wide array of subjects, common doctrine and current NATO processes. These tools enable NATO SOF personnel from multiple countries to seamlessly come together on operations and in exercises employing common methods. While most of the SOF relationships are formed in the field or during training, the NSHQ also uses advanced communications connectivity such as secure video teleconferencing to complement face to face interaction and bring together personnel from all areas of operations for conferences, workshops and exchanges of views on a daily basis. While the origins of the NSHQ stem from the NATO SOF Transformation Initiative announced at the 2006 Riga Summit, the NSHQ has only really been on the scene since March 2010. In that short time, the NSHQ and its precursor organisation, the NATO SOF Coordination Centre, have made immense, rapid strides in bringing SOF capabilities to the fore in the Alliance.
  • Standardization
    Standardization The ability to work together is more important than ever for the Alliance. States need to share a common set of standards, especially among military forces, to carry out multinational operations. By helping to achieve interoperability – the ability of diverse systems and organizations to work together – among NATO’s forces, as well as with those of its partners, standardization allows for more efficient use of resources. It therefore greatly increases the effectiveness of the Alliance’s defence capabilities. NATO standardization bodies are grouped together under the NATO Standardization Organization (NSO). The NSO includes the Committee for Standardization (CS), which, under the authority of the North Atlantic Council, issues policy and guidance for all NATO standardization activities. The NSO also comprises the NATO Standardization Agency, its executive arm. Definitions Standardization NATO standardization is the development and implementation of concepts, doctrines and procedures to achieve and maintain the required levels of compatibility, interchangeability or commonality needed to achieve interoperability. Standardization affects the operational, procedural, material and administrative fields. This includes common doctrine for planning a campaign, standard procedures for transferring supplies between ships at sea, and interoperable material such as fuel connections at airfields. It permits the many NATO countries to work together, as well as with their partners, preventing duplication and promoting better use of economic resources. Military Operational Standardization The development and implementation of standards in the area of military operations helps multinational forces work more effectively and efficiently together. Standard Document, established by consensus and approved by a recognized body, that provides, for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context. Note: Standards should be based on the consolidated results of science, technology and experience, and aimed at the promotion of optimum community benefits.(AAP-42) NATO standardization agreement A standardization agreement (STANAG) is a NATO standardization document that specifies the agreement of member Nations to implement a standard, in whole or in part, with or without reservation, in order to meet an interoperability requirement.(AAP-03J) Allied publication The name given to both standards and standards-related documents published by NATO. (AAP-42) NATO standardization bodies Committee for Standardization (CS) The Committee for Standardization (CS) is the senior NATO committee for Alliance standardization and operates under the authority of the North Atlantic Council. It issues policy and guidance for all NATO standardization activities. The CS is chaired by the Secretary General, normally represented by two permanent Co-Chairmen, namely the Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment and the Director General of the International Military Staff. Since September 2000, Partner countries have become actively involved in the Committee’s activities. The CS meets in full format twice a year and comprises 28 NATO countries and more than 30 Partner countries. It is assisted by National Representatives (CSREPS) with delegated authority, who meet four times a year. The work of the CSREPs focuses on harmonizing standardization activities between NATO and national bodies and promoting interaction between them in all fields of standardization. The Committee is the Board of Directors of the NATO Standardization Agency, directing and managing the latter’s work in accordance with its Terms of Reference. The NATO Standardization Organization (NSO) The NATO Standardization Organization (NSO) is a NATO subsidiary body responsible for harmonizing and coordinating all standardization activities of the member states of the Alliance, NATO’s Strategic Commands and principal committees, and its Partner countries. The NSO operates under the authority of the North Atlantic Council (NAC), which established the NSO in 1995 by agreeing on a founding charter describing NSO tasks and responsibilities. Each NATO member state is responsible, to the extent that it is capable, to support the NSO’s work. The NSO has two main functional elements: the Committee for Standardization and the NATO Standardization Agency. The Tasking Authorities are senior NATO committees that can task subordinate groups to produce Standardization Agreements and Allied Publications. They are therefore deeply involved in NSO activities within their respective fields of standardization. The NATO Standardization Agency (NSA) A single, integrated body, the NATO Standardization Agency (NSA) has the authority to initiate, co-ordinate, support and administer standardization activities conducted under the authority of the Committee for Standardization. It is composed of military and civilian staff. In addition, it especially supports the Military Committee (MC) Joint, Maritime,  Land, Air and Medical Standardization Boards through four military operational oriented branches within the NSA. Each of these boards acts as a Delegate Tasking Authority for operational standardization, including doctrine, as delegated by the MC. The Director of the NSA is the principal advisor to the MC on operational standardization and to the Secretary General on overall standardization matters. He or she is selected by the CS, endorsed by the MC and appointed by the Secretary General, normally for a three-year period. The authority to promulgate NATO Standardization Agreements and Allied Publications is vested in the Director. NATO Standardization Staff Group (NSSG) The NATO Standardization Staff Group (NSSG) assists the Director, NSA. Its principal task is to harmonize standardization policies and procedures and to coordinate all NATO standardization activities at the staff level. It is responsible for liaising with staff and preparing documentation that contributes to the formulation of standardization requirements for NATO’s military commands and standardization objectives for the NATO Standardization Programme. Civil standards within NATO It is NATO policy to use suitable civil standards to the greatest extent practical. This includes adopting existing civil standards and transferring NATO standards to civil Standards Developing Organizations (SDOs). The aim is to convert the latter into civil standards and re-adopt them, taking into account Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). NATO’s IPR Policy was approved by NATO member states in 2008. Technical Cooperation Agreements form the legal basis for the relationship between NATO and civil SDOs. Since 2004, the NSA has established such agreements with 10 SDOs. Achievements and Products The NATO Standardization Agency (NSA) administers the NATO Standardization Program (NSP), a classified database that prioritizes Alliance standardization requirements as a result of the Force Planning process to achieve interoperability. Force planning aims to promote the availability of national forces and capabilities for the full range of Allied missions. NATO terminology is stored and managed by means of the NATO Terminology Database, which contains more than ten thousand definitions of NATO terms, helping to promote common understanding. Combined Operations, reinforced by the forces of NATO partner and other states, cannot be efficient without common standards. Partners’ force contributions to NATO-led operations can only succeed by using the Alliances’ proven portfolio of standards in all standardization fields – operational, procedural, material and administrative. The products of the NSA ensure that the armed forces of the Alliance and their force-contributing partners can operate efficiently and effectively together. STANAGs and APs promulgated by the NSA are essential for the Tactical Evaluation programme of the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR). The programme provides SACEUR with a statement describing a unit’s capability to execute its assigned mission. Furthermore, NSA-supported standards are needed to certify units that are selected to become part of the NATO Response Force.
  • Standardization, Committee for -
    Committee for Standardization (CS) The Committee for Standardization (CS) is the senior NATO committee for Alliance standardization, composed primarily of representatives from all NATO countries. Operating under the authority of the North Atlantic Council (NAC), it issues policy and guidance for all NATO standardization activities. For NATO, standardization is the development and implementation of concepts, doctrines and procedures that aim to achieve and maintain compatibility, interchangeability or commonality needed for interoperability. Interoperabilty – the ability to work in synergy in executing assigned tasks – can greatly increase the effectiveness of NATO’s operations and activities through a more efficient use of resources. The Committee for Standardization meets twice yearly and reports annually to the NAC on standardization activities. It was created in 2001 to oversee the work of the NATO Standardization Organization, which resulted from the merger of two separate standardization bodies, one civilian and one military. Role and responsibilities As the senior body responsible for supervising all standardization activities across the Alliance, the Committee on Standardization steers the development of the NATO Policy for Standardization and monitors its implementation. It helps formulate standardization requirements for NATO’s defence planning and facilitates the implemenation of NATO standards. The Committee provides coordinated advice on overall standardization matters to the NAC, to which it reports, as well as guidance and procedures to all NATO bodies as needed. It also acts as the Board of Directors for the NATO Standardization Agency, the implementing body for the Alliance’s standardization work. Working mechanisms The Committee for Standardization, comprising delegates from 28 NATO countries and more than 30 partner countries, meets in full format twice a year. It is assisted by National Representatives (CSREPS) with delegated authority, who meet four times a year. The work of the CSREPs focuses on harmonizing standardization activities between NATO and national bodies, and promoting interaction between them in all areas of standardization. The Committee reaches decisions on the basis of consensus among national representatives. Other representatives have no power of reservation, but have the right to have their views recorded. If consensus among NATO nations cannot be reached, the issue in question can be referred to the NAC. Normally once a year, the Committee reports to the NAC on progress made in NATO Standardization, proposing actions as needed. It also presents a programme of work for the upcoming year. The Committee is chaired by the NATO Secretary General, normally represented by two permanent Co-Chairmen, namely the Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment and the Director General of the International Military Staff. Since September 2000, partner countries have become actively involved in the Committee’s activities. Evolution The NATO Standardization Agency evolved from the merger of two separate standardization bodies, one military and one civilian. The Military Standardization Agency was established in London in 1951 and was renamed the Military Agency for Standardization later the same year. It moved to Brussels in 1970. In 1995, the Office of NATO Standardization was created by the NAC as part of the Alliance’s International Staff to address broader standardization issues. After a review of NATO Standardization between 1998 and 2000, the two bodies were merged into one, giving birth to the NATO Standardization Agency as the staffing element of the new NATO Standardization Organization. The Committee was created in 2001 to oversee the work of the NATO Standardization Organization.
  • Standby Force, Contributing to the establishment of an African -
    Contributing to the establishment of an African Standby Force Fore more information on go to NATO's assistance to the African Union Information on NATO assistance to the African Union can be found on:
  • Strategic airlift
    Strategic airlift Giving Alliance forces global reach NATO member countries have pooled their resources to acquire special aircraft that will give the Alliance the capability to transport troops, equipment and supplies across the globe. Robust strategic airlift capabilities are vital to ensure that NATO countries are able to deploy their forces and equipment rapidly to wherever they are needed. By pooling resources, NATO countries have made significant financial savings, and have the potential of acquiring assets collectively that would be prohibitively expensive to purchase as individual countries. There are currently two initiatives aimed at providing NATO nations and participating partners with strategic airlift capabilities: the Strategic Airlift Interim Solution (SALIS) initiative, and the Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC).   Strategic Airlift Interim Solution Context A multinational consortium of 14 countries is chartering Antonov AN-124-100 transport aircraft as a Strategic Airlift Interim Solution (SALIS). SALIS provides assured access to up to six AN-124-100 aircraft (mission-ready within nine days in case of crisis) in support of NATO/EU operations. The Russian and Ukrainian Antonov aircraft are being used as an interim solution to meet shortfalls in the Alliance’s strategic airlift capabilities, pending deliveries of Airbus A400M aircraft. This is why the project is called Strategic Airlift Interim Solution (SALIS). The SALIS initiative is planned to continue until the end of 2014.  Participating nations have already expressed a need for the continuation of the initiative but will adjust their requirement as the Airbus A400M aircraft come into service, and as the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan comes to a close. Components The SALIS contract provides two Antonov AN-124-100 aircraft on part-time charter, two more on six days’ notice and another two on nine days’ notice. The consortium countries have committed to using the aircraft for a minimum of 2,800 flying hours per year for 2013, and for a minimum of 2,450 flying hours for 2014. Additional aircraft types such as IL-76 and AN-225 are included in the contract and can be used subject to availability. A single Antonov AN-124-100 can carry up to 120 tons of cargo. NATO has used Antonovs in the past to transport equipment to and from Afghanistan, deliver aid to the victims of the October 2005 earthquake in Pakistan, and airlift African Union peacekeepers in and out of Darfur.  Today, support missions for forces in Afghanistan and Africa are predominant. Participants The consortium includes 12 NATO nations (Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the United Kingdom) and two partner nations (Finland and Sweden). Mechanisms The capability is coordinated on a day-to-day basis by the Strategic Airlift Coordination Cell, which is collocated with the NATO Movement Coordination Centre Europe (MCCE) based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. The NATO Support Agency (NSPA) provides support by managing the SALIS contract and the SALIS partnership. Evolution In June 2003 , NATO Ministers of Defence signed letters of intent on strategic air- and sealift. At the June 2004 Istanbul Summit , defence ministers of 15 countries signed a memorandum of understanding to achieve an operational airlift capacity for outsize cargo by 2005, using up to six Antonov AN-124-100 transport aircraft. In addition, the Defence Ministers of Bulgaria and Romania signed a letter of intent to join the consortium. In January 2006 , the 15 countries tasked the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (currently known as the NATO Support Agency) to sign a contract with Ruslan SALIS GmbH, a subsidiary of the Russian company Volga-Dnepr, based in Leipzig. In March 2006 , the 15 original signatories were joined by Sweden at a special ceremony in Leipzig to mark the entry into force of the multinational contract. The contract’s initial duration was for three years, but this has now been extended until the end of 2014. Finland and Poland have also joined the SALIS programme. The SALIS contract was re-competed in 2012, and Ruslan SALIS GmbH was awarded a new two-year contract (2013/2014) with options to extend until December 2017. The NATO Support Agency (NSPA) has contractual arrangements with the Russian company Volga-Dnepr and Ukraine’s ADB airlines to provide SALIS aircraft and Antonov AN-124-100 aircraft to support the Afghanistan mission, with weekly sorties to and from Europe/Afghanistan. The capabilities of SALIS play a significant role in the ongoing Afghanistan redeployment.  Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) Context The second initiative aimed at providing NATO nations and partners with access to strategic airlift is the Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC), which has procured several Boeing C-17 transport aircraft on behalf of a group of ten Allied and two partner nations. The first C-17 was delivered in July 2009 with the second and third aircraft following in September and October 2009, respectively. Its operational arm, the Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW) at Pápa Airbase in Hungary operates the aircraft. The HAW is manned by personnel from all participating nations and its missions support national requirements. Operations have included support to ISAF (Afghanistan), the Kosovo Force (KFOR), Operation Unified Protector in Libya, humanitarian relief in Haiti and Pakistan, African peacekeeping, and assistance to the Polish authorities following the air disaster in Russia. In addition, there are national procurement programmes in place to improve airlift capabilities, including the acquisition by seven NATO nations of 180 Airbus A400M aircraft, and the purchase by Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States of C-17s for national use. Components The C-17 is a large strategic transport aircraft capable of carrying 77,000 kilograms (169,776 pounds) of cargo over 4,450 kilometres (2,400 nautical miles) and is able to operate in difficult environments and austere conditions. The planes are configured and equipped to the same general standard as C-17s operated by the US Air Force. The crews and support personnel are trained for mission profiles and standards agreed by the countries. These strategic lift aircraft are used to meet national requirements, but could also be allocated for NATO, UN or EU missions, or for other international purposes. Participants The participants include ten NATO nations (Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and the United States) and two partner nations (Finland and Sweden).  Membership in the airlift fleet remains open to other countries upon agreement by the consortium members. Mechanisms The Multinational SAC Steering Board has the overall responsibility for the guidance and oversight of the programme and formulates its requirements. The NATO Airlift Management Programme provides administrative support to the Heavy Airlift Wing at Pápa Airbase. Evolution On 12 September 2006,  a Letter of Intent (LOI) to launch contract negotiations was publicly released by 13 NATO countries. In the intervening period, Finland and Sweden joined the consortium and NATO participation evolved to the current ten members. In June 2007 , the North Atlantic Council (NAC) approved the Charter of a NATO Production and Logistics Organisation (NPLO), which authorises the establishment of the NATO Airlift Management Organisation (NAMO).  The Charter came into effect upon signature to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and notification to the North Atlantic Council, in September 2008 .  The Charter authorised the establishment of the NATO Airlift Management Agency (NAMA), which acquired, manages and supports the airlift assets on behalf of the SAC nations. On 1 July 2012 , in line with NATO Agencies Reform decisions, NAMO/NAMA became part of the NATO Support Agency.
  • Strategic Concepts
    Strategic Concepts The Strategic Concept is an official document that outlines NATO’s enduring purpose and nature and its fundamental security tasks. It also identifies the central features of the new security environment, specifies the elements of the Alliance’s approach to security and provides guidelines for the adaptation of its military forces. In sum, it equips the Alliance for security challenges and guides its future political and military development. A new Strategic Concept was published at the Lisbon Summit in November 2010, reflecting a transformed security environment and a transformed Alliance. New and emerging security threats, especially since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, NATO’s crisis management experience in the Balkans and Afghanistan, and the value and importance of working with partners from across the globe, all drove NATO to reassess and review its strategic posture. Transformation in the broad sense of the term is a permanent feature of the Organization. Since its inception, NATO has regularly reviewed its tasks and objectives in view of the evolution of the strategic environment. Preparations for the very first Strategic Concept – “The Strategic Concept for the Defense of the North Atlantic Area” - started in October 1949. In the course of more than half a century, both the Alliance and the wider world have developed in ways that NATO's founders could not have envisaged. Such changes have been in each and every strategic document that NATO has produced since then. The current Strategic Concept The 2010 Strategic Concept “Active Engagement, Modern Defence” is a very clear and resolute statement on NATO’s core tasks and principles, its values, the evolving security environment and the Alliance’s strategic objectives for the next decade. After having described NATO as “a unique community of values committed to the principles of individual liberty, democracy, human rights and the rule of law”, it presents NATO’s three essential core tasks - collective defence, crisis management and cooperative security. It also emphasizes Alliance solidarity, the importance of transatlantic consultation and the need to engage in a continuous process of reform. The document then describes the current security environment and identifies the capabilities and policies it will put into place to ensure that NATO’s defence and deterrence, as well as crisis management abilities are sufficiently well equipped to face today’s threats. These threats include for instance the proliferation of ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons, terrorism, cyber attacks and fundamental environmental problems. The Strategic Concept also affirms how NATO aims to promote international security through cooperation. It will do this by reinforcing arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation efforts, emphasizing NATO’s open door policy for all European countries and significantly enhancing its partnerships in the broad sense of the term. Additionally, NATO will continue its reform and transformation process. NATO’s essential core tasks and principles After having reiterated NATO’s enduring purpose and key values and principles, the Strategic Concept highlights the Organization’s core tasks. “The modern security environment contains a broad and evolving set of challenges to the security of NATO’s territory and populations. In order to assure their security, the Alliance must and will continue fulfilling effectively three essential core tasks, all of which contribute to safeguarding Alliance members, and always in accordance with international law: Collective defence . NATO members will always assist each other against attack, in accordance with Article 5 of the Washington Treaty. That commitment remains firm and binding. NATO will deter and defend against any threat of aggression, and against emerging security challenges where they threaten the fundamental security of individual Allies or the Alliance as a whole. Crisis Management . NATO has a unique and robust set of political and military capabilities to address the full spectrum of crises – before, during and after conflicts. NATO will actively employ an appropriate mix of those political and military tools to help manage developing crises that have the potential to affect Alliance security, before they escalate into conflicts; to stop ongoing conflicts where they affect Alliance security; and to help consolidate stability in post-conflict situations where that contributes to Euro-Atlantic security. Cooperative security . The Alliance is affected by, and can affect, political and security developments beyond its borders. The Alliance will engage actively to enhance international security, through partnership with relevant countries and other international organisations; by contributing actively to arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament; and by keeping the door of membership in the Alliance open to all European democracies that meet NATO’s standards.” Defence and deterrence The 2010 Strategic Concept states that collective defence is the Alliance’s greatest responsibility and “deterrence, based on an appropriate mix of nuclear and conventional capabilities, remains a core element” of NATO’s overall strategy. While stressing that the Alliance does not consider any country to be its adversary, it provides a comprehensive list of capabilities the Alliance aims to maintain and develop to counter existing and emerging threats. These threats include the proliferation of nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles and other weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery; terrorism, cyber attacks and key environmental and resource constraints. Crisis management NATO is adopting a holistic approach to crisis management, envisaging NATO involvement at all stages of a crisis: “NATO will therefore engage, where possible and when necessary, to prevent crises, manage crises, stabilize post-conflict situations and support reconstruction.” It is encouraging a greater number of actors to participate and coordinate their efforts and is considering a broader range of tools to be more effective across the crisis management spectrum. This comprehensive, all-encompassing approach to crises, together with greater emphasis on training and developing local forces goes hand-in-hand with efforts to enhance civil-military planning and interaction. Cooperative security The final part of the 2010 Strategic Concept focuses on promoting international security through cooperation. At the root of this cooperation is the principle of seeking security “at the lowest possible level of forces” by supporting arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. NATO states that it will continue to help reinforce efforts in these areas and cites a number of related initiatives. It then recommits to NATO enlargement as the best way of achieving “our goal of a Europe whole and free, and sharing common values”. A fundamental component of its cooperative approach to security is partnership, understood between NATO and non-NATO countries, as well as with other international organizations and actors. The Strategic Concept depicts a more inclusive, flexible and open relationship with the Alliance’s partners across the globe and stresses its desire to strengthen cooperation with the United Nations and the European Union. It also seeks “a true strategic partnership between NATO and Russia” and reiterates its commitment to develop relations with countries of the Mediterranean and the Gulf region. Finally, the Strategic Concept describes the means NATO will use to maximise efficiency, improve working methods and spend its resources more wisely in view of the priorities indentified in this concept. The drafters and decision-makers behind the strategies Over time and since 1949, the decision-making process with regard to the Strategic Concept has evolved, but ultimately it is the North Atlantic Council (NAC) that adopts the Alliance’s strategic documents. Of the seven Strategic Concepts issued by NATO since 1949, all were approved by the NAC, with the exception of MC 14/3. Issued in 1968, MC 14/3 was adopted by the then Defence Planning Committee (DPC), which had the same authority as the NAC in its area of responsibility. After the withdrawal of France from the integrated military structure in 1966, it was decided that responsibility for all defence matters in which France did not participate was given to the DPC, of which France was not a member. However, shortly after France decided to fully participate in NATO’s military structures (April 2009), the DPC was dissolved during a major overhaul of NATO committees, June 2010, which aimed to introduce more flexibility and efficiency into working procedures. Before reaching the NAC, there are many stages of discussion, negotiating and drafting that take place. Interestingly, during the Cold War, strategic concepts were principally drawn up by the military for approval by the political authorities of the Alliance. They were classified documents with military references (MC), which are now accessible to the public. Since the end of the Cold War, the drafting has clearly been led by political authorities, who have been advised by the military. This reversal stems from the fact that since 1999, NATO has adopted a far broader definition of security, where dialogue and cooperation are an integral part of NATO’s strategic thinking. In addition, the 1991, 1999 and the 2010 Strategic Concepts were conceived and written to be issued as unclassified documents and released to the public. The added novelty of the 2010 Strategic Concept was the importance given to the process of producing the document. The process of reflection, consultations and drafting of the Strategic Concept was perceived as an opportunity to build understanding and support across numerous constituencies and stakeholders so as to re-engage and re-commit NATO Allies to the renewed core principles, roles and policies of the Alliance. In addition, the debate was broadened to invite the interested public, as well as experts, to contribute. Furthermore, it was the first time that a NATO Secretary General initiated and steered the debate. He designated a group of high-level experts who were at the core of the reflection and produced a report “NATO 2020: Assured Security; Dynamic Engagement” that guided the debate, before eventually consulting with member country representatives and drafting the document. Final negotiations took  place before the document was officially adopted by the NAC meeting at the level of Heads of State and Government at the 2010 summit in Portugal.  NATO’s strategic documents since 1949 Generally speaking, since the birth of NATO, there have been three distinct periods within which NATO’s strategic thinking has evolved: the Cold War period; the immediate post-Cold War period; and the security environment since 9/11. One could say that from 1949 to 1991, NATO’s strategy was principally characterized by defence and deterrence, although with growing attention to dialogue and détente for the last two decades of this period. From 1991 a broader approach was adopted where the notions of cooperation and security complemented the basic concepts of deterrence and defence. From 1949 until the end of the Cold War, there were four Strategic Concepts, accompanied by documents that laid out the measures for the military to implement the Strategic Concept (Strategic Guidance; The Most Effective Pattern of NATO Military Strength for the Next Few Years; Measures to Implement the Strategic Concept); In the post-Cold War period, three unclassified Strategic Concepts have been issued, complemented by classified military documents (MC Directive for Military Implementation of the Alliance’s Strategic Concept; MC Guidance for the Military Implementation of the Alliance Strategy; and MC Guidance for the Military Implementation of NATO’s Strategic Concept) Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, NATO’s military thinking, resources and energy have given greater attention to the fight against terrorism and the spread of weapons of mass destruction; NATO has committed troops beyond the Euro-Atlantic area and reached a membership of 28; new threats have emerged such as energy security and cyber-attacks. These are among the factors that brought Allied leaders to produce a new Strategic Concept in 2010. From 1949 until the end of the Cold War From 1949 to 1991, international relations were dominated by bipolar confrontation between East and West. The emphasis was more on mutual tension and confrontation than it was on dialogue and cooperation. This led to an often dangerous and expensive arms race. As mentioned above, four Strategic Concepts were issued during this period. In addition, two key reports were also published during those four decades: the Report of the Committee of Three (December 1956) and the Harmel Report (December 1967). Both documents placed the Strategic Concepts in a wider framework by stressing issues that had an impact on the environment within which the Strategic Concepts were interpreted. NATO’s first Strategic Concept NATO started producing strategic documents as early as October 1949. But the first NATO strategy document to be approved by the NAC was “The Strategic Concept for the Defense of the North Atlantic area (DC 6/1), 6 January 1950 - the Alliance’s first strategic concept. DC 6/1 provided an overall strategic concept for the Alliance. The document stated that the primary function of NATO was to deter aggression and that NATO forces would only be engaged if this primary function failed and an attack was launched. Complementarity between members and standardization were also key elements of this draft. Each member’s contribution to defence should be in proportion to its capacity – economic, industrial, geographical, military – and cooperative measures were to be put into place by NATO to ensure optimal use of resources. Numerical inferiority in terms of military resources vis-à-vis the USSR was emphasized, as well as the reliance on US nuclear capabilities. DC 6/1 stated that the Alliance should “insure the ability to carry out strategic bombing promptly by all means possible with all types of weapons, without exception”. Although DC 6/1 was quite detailed, more guidance was needed for use by the five Regional Planning Groups that existed at the time. As a consequence, the Strategic Guidance paper (SG 13/16) was sent to the Regional Planning Groups on 6 January 1950. Entitled “Strategic Guidance for North Atlantic Regional Planning”, SG 13/16 was formally approved by the Military Committee on 28 March 1950 as MC 14. MC 14 enabled Regional Planning Groups to develop detailed defence plans to meet contingencies up to July 1954, a date by which the Alliance aimed to have a credible defence force in place. Its key objectives were to “convince the USSR that war does not pay, and should war occur, to ensure a successful defence” of the NATO area. In parallel, SG 13/16 was also being used by the Regional Planning Groups as the basis for further, more comprehensive defence plans. These plans were consolidated into “The North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medium Term Plan” (DC 13), which was approved by the Defence Committee on 1 April 1950, just one year after the signing of the Washington Treaty. NATO’s strategy was effectively contained in three basis documents: DC 6/1 which set forth the overall strategic concept; MC 14/1 which provided more specific strategic guidance for use in defence planning; and DC 13 which included both of these aspects as well as considerable detailed regional planning. The Korean War and NATO’s second Strategic Concept The invasion of South Korea by North Korean divisions on 25 June 1950 had an immediate impact on NATO and its strategic thinking. It brought home the realization that NATO needed to urgently address two fundamental issues: the effectiveness of NATO’s military structures and the strength of NATO forces. On 26 September 1950, the North Atlantic Council (NAC) approved the establishment of an integrated military force under centralized command; on 19 December 1950, the NAC requested the nomination of General Dwight D. Eisenhower as NATO’s first Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR); in January 1951, from Hotel Astoria in Paris, Allies were already working to get the Supreme Headquarters, Allied Forces, Europe (SHAPE) into place and on 2 April 1951, the new SHAPE HQ was activated. Other structural changes were implemented, including the abolition of the three European Regional Planning Groups, and the replacement in 1952 of the North Atlantic Ocean Regional Planning Group by Allied Command Atlantic (SACLANT), leaving only the Canada-US Regional Planning Group in existence. These structural changes, together with the accession of Greece and Turkey, needed to be reflected in the Strategic Concept. This led to the drafting of NATO’s second Strategic Concept: “The Strategic Concept for the Defense of the North Atlantic Area”, which was approved by the NAC on 3 December 1952 (MC 3/5(Final)). The new Strategic Concept respected the core principles outlined in DC 6/1 and, in this sense, did not differ fundamentally from this document. Consequently, the strategic guidance also needed updating. MC 14 was thoroughly revised and reviewed so as to include the information that had been previously contained in DC 13. MC 14 and DC 13 became one document: “Strategic Guidance” (MC 14/1) approved by the NAC at the 15-18 December 1952 Ministerial Meeting in Paris. It was a comprehensive document, which stated that NATO’s overall strategic aim was “to ensure the defense of the NATO area and to destroy the will and capability of the Soviet Union and her satellites to wage war…”. NATO would do this by initially conducting an air offensive and, in parallel, conducting air, ground and sea operations. The Allied air attacks would use “all types of weapons”. There was another issue which the Korean invasion raised, but was only addressed years later: the need for NATO to engage in a “forward strategy”, which meant that NATO wanted to place its defences as far east in Europe as possible, as close to the Iron Curtain as it could. This immediately raised the delicate issue of Germany’s role in such a commitment. This issue was not resolved until 1954 when NATO invited the Federal Republic of Germany to become a member, which it effectively did on 6 May 1955. The “New Look” In the meantime, while structural issues had moved forward, the strength of NATO forces remained a problem. At its meeting in Lisbon, in February 1952, the NAC set very ambitious force goals that proved to be financially and politically unrealistic. As a consequence, the United States, under the leadership of NATO’s former SACEUR, Dwight D. Eisenhower, decided to shift the emphasis of their defence policy to greater dependency on the use of nuclear weapons. This “New Look” policy offered greater military effectiveness without having to spend more on defence (NSC 162/2, 30 October 1953). However, although alluded to in the strategic documents, nuclear weapons had not yet been integrated into NATO’s strategy. SACEUR Matthew B. Ridgway stated in a report that this integration would imply increases instead of decreases in force levels. His successor, General Alfred Gruenther, established a “New Approach Group” at SHAPE in August 1953 to examine this question. In the meantime, the United States, together with a number of European members, called for the complete integration of nuclear policy into NATO strategy. Massive retaliation and NATO’s third Strategic Concept The work of the “New Approach Group”, combined with other submissions gave birth to “The Most Effective Pattern of NATO Military Strength for the Next Five Years” (MC 48), approved by the Military Committee on 22 November 1954 and by the NAC on 17 December 1954. It provided strategic guidance pending the review of MC 14/1 and contained concepts and assumptions that were later included in NATO’s third strategic concept. MC 48 was the first official NATO document to explicitly discuss the use of nuclear weapons. It introduced the concept of massive retaliation, which is normally associated with MC 14/2 – NATO’s third Strategic Concept. An additional report entitled “The Most Effective Pattern of NATO Military Strength for the Next Few Years – Report 2” was issued, 14 November 1955. It did not supersede MC 14/1 but added that NATO was still committed to its “forward strategy” even if there were delays in German contributions that would push the implementation of the “forward strategy” to 1959 at the earliest. After considerable discussion, MC 14/2, “Overall Strategic Concept for the Defence of the NATO Area” was issued in its final form on 23 May 1957 and was accompanied by MC 48/2, “Measures to Implement the Strategic Concept”, on the same day. MC 14/2 was the Alliance’s first Strategic Concept which advocated “massive retaliation” as a key element of NATO’s new strategy. While some Allies strongly advocated massive retaliation since it had the advantage of helping to reduce force requirements and, therefore, defence expenditures, not all member countries wanted to go so far. A degree of flexibility was introduced in the sense that recourse to conventional weapons was envisaged to deal with certain, smaller forms of aggression, “without necessarily having recourse to nuclear weapons.” This was also reflected in the accompanying strategic guidance. Despite this flexibility, it was nonetheless stated that NATO did not accept the concept of limited war with the USSR: “If the Soviets were involved in a hostile local action and sought to broaden the scope of such an incident or prolong it, the situation would call for the utilization of all weapons and forces at NATO’s disposal, since in no case is there a concept of limited war with the Soviets.” In addition to including the doctrine of “massive retaliation”, MC 14/2 and MC 48/2 reflected other concerns including the effects on the Alliance of Soviet political and economic activities outside the NATO area. This was particularly relevant in the context of the Suez crisis and the crushing of the Hungarian uprising by the Soviet Union in 1956. The importance of out-of-area events was reflected in a political directive, CM(56)138, given from the NAC to NATO’s Military Authorities, 13 December 1956: “Although NATO defence planning is limited to the defence of the Treaty area, it is necessary to take account of the dangers which may arise for NATO because of developments outside that area.” The Report of the Three Wise Men While NATO was hardening its military and strategic stance, in parallel, it decided to reinforce the political role of the Alliance. A few months before the adoption of MC 14/2, in December 1956, it published the Report of the Committee of Three or Report on Non-Military Cooperation in NATO. This report, drafted by three NATO foreign ministers – Lester Pearson (Canada), Gaetano Martino (Italy) and Halvard Lange (Norway) - gave new impetus to political consultation between member countries on all aspects of relations between the East and West. The Report was adopted in the midst of the Suez Crisis, when internal consultation on security matters affecting the Alliance was particularly low, jeopardizing Alliance solidarity. This was the first time since the signing of the Washington Treaty that NATO had officially recognized the need to reinforce its political role. The Report put forward several recommendations, including the peaceful settlement of inter-member disputes, economic cooperation, scientific and technical cooperation, cultural cooperation and cooperation in the information field. Similarly to the Harmel Report, published in 1967, the Report of the Three Wise Men contributed to broadening the strategic framework within which the Alliance operated. Both reports could be perceived as NATO’s first steps toward a more cooperative approach to security issues. Massive retaliation put into question As soon as NATO’s third Strategic Concept was adopted, a series of international developments occurred that put into question the Alliance’s strategy of massive retaliation. This strategy relied heavily on the United States’ nuclear capability and its will to defend European territory in the case of a Soviet nuclear attack. Firstly, Europeans started to doubt whether a US President would sacrifice an American city for a European city; secondly, the USSR had developed intercontinental ballistic missile capabilities and, more generally, its nuclear capability. As the USSR’s nuclear potential increased, NATO’s competitive advantage in nuclear deterrence diminished. Terms such as “Mutually Assured Destruction or MAD” started to be used. The outbreak of the second Berlin crisis (1958-1962), provoked by the Soviet Union, reinforced these doubts: how should NATO react to threats that were below the level of an all-out attack? NATO’s nuclear deterrent had not stopped the Soviets from threatening the position of Western Allies in Berlin. So what should be done? In 1961, J.F. Kennedy arrived at the White House. He was concerned by the issue of limited warfare and the notion that a nuclear exchange could be started by accident or miscalculation. In the meantime, the Berlin crisis intensified, leading to the construction of the Berlin Wall, and in October 1962, the Cold War peaked with the Cuban missile crisis. The United States started advocating a stronger non-nuclear posture for NATO and the need for a strategy of “flexible response”. Initial discussions on a change of strategy were launched among NATO member countries, but there was no consensus. The Athens Guidelines NATO Secretary General Dirk Stikker presented a special report on NATO Defence Policy (CM(62)48), 17 April 1962, on the issue of the political control of nuclear weapons. It was basically NATO’s first attempt to temper its policy of massive retaliation by submitting the use of nuclear weapons to consultation under varying circumstances. Other attempts at introducing greater flexibility followed, but these caused resistance from several member countries. This internal resistance combined with the fact that the US Administration had been shaken by the assassination of Kennedy and was increasingly concerned by US military involvement in Vietnam, momentarily froze all discussions on a revised Strategic Concept for NATO. NATO’s fourth Strategic Concept and the doctrine of flexible response NATO’s fourth Strategic Concept – Overall Strategic Concept for the Defence of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Area (MC 14/3) – was adopted by the Defence Planning Committee (DPC) on 12 December 1967 and the final version issued on 16 January 1968. It was drafted after the withdrawal of France from NATO’s integrated military structure in 1966. There were two key features to the new strategy: flexibility and escalation. “The deterrent concept of the Alliance is based on a flexibility that will prevent the potential aggressor from predicting with confidence NATO’s specific response to aggression and which will lead him to conclude that an unacceptable degree of risk would be involved regardless of the nature of his attack”. It identified three types of military responses against aggression to NATO: Direct defence: the aim was to defeat the aggression on the level at which the enemy chose to fight. Deliberate escalation: this added a series of possible steps to defeat aggression by progressively raising the threat of using nuclear power as the crisis escalated. General nuclear response, seen as the ultimate deterrent. The companion document, “Measures to Implement the Strategic Concept for the Defence of the NATO Area (MC 48/3) was approved by the DPC on 4 December 1969 and issued in final form on 8 December 1969. Both MC 14/3 and MC 48/3 were so inherently flexible, in substance and interpretation, that they remained valid until the end of the Cold War. The Harmel Report As NATO was setting its strategic objectives for the next 20 years, it also decided to draw up a report that provided a dual-track approach to security: political and military. In the context of the questioning, by some, of the relevancy of NATO, the “Harmel Report” or the “Report on the Future Tasks of the Alliance” was drawn up. It provided a broad analysis of the security environment since the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty in 1949 and advocated the need to maintain adequate defence while seeking a relaxation of tensions in East-West relations and working towards solutions to the underlying political problems dividing Europe. It defined two specific tasks: political and military; political, with the formulation of proposals for balanced force reductions in the East and West; military, with the defence of exposed areas, especially the Mediterranean. The Harmel Report, drafted during a moment of relative détente, introduced the notion of deterrence and dialogue. In that respect, as already stated in the context of the Report of the Three Wise Men, it set the tone for NATO’s first steps toward a more cooperative approach to security issues that would emerge in 1991. However, between 1967 and 1991, there were still moments of great tension between the two blocs, as there were instances that gave rise to hope of a less turbulent relationship. Tensions increased with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the deployment of Soviet SS-20 missiles to which NATO reacted by initiating its Double-Track Decision, December 1979: it offered the Warsaw Pact a mutual limitation of medium and intermediate-range ballistic missiles and, failing a positive reaction from Moscow, threatened to deploy Pershing and cruise missiles, which it eventually did. Détente increased with the signing of the US-Soviet agreements on Strategic Arms Limitations (SALT I) and anti-ballistic missile systems, and SALT II (although not ratified), as well as the signing of US-Soviet Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START) and the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. By the mid- to late 80s, both blocs moved to confidence-building. However, mutual distrust still characterized East-West relations and it was not until the fall of the Berlin Wall, the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the break-up of the Soviet Union that relations could start on a new basis. The immediate post-Cold War period In 1991, a new era commenced. The formidable enemy that the Soviet Union had once been was dissolved and Russia, together with other former adversaries, became NATO partners and, in some case, NATO members. For the Alliance, the period was characterized by dialogue and cooperation, as well as other new ways of contributing to peace and stability such as multinational crisis management operations. During the immediate post-Cold War period, NATO issued two unclassified Strategic Concepts that advocated a broader approach to security than before: The Alliance’s Strategic Concept, November 1991; The Alliance’s Strategic Concept, April 1999. Both of these were accompanied by a classified military document: respectively MC 400 and MC 400/2. NATO’s first unclassified Strategic Concept The 1991 Strategic Concept differed dramatically from preceding strategic documents. Firstly, it was a non-confrontational document that was released to the public; and secondly, while maintaining the security of its members as its fundamental purpose (i.e., collective defence), it sought to improve and expand security for Europe as a whole through partnership and cooperation with former adversaries. It also reduced the use of nuclear forces to a minimum level, sufficient to preserve peace and stability: “This Strategic Concept reaffirms the defensive nature of the Alliance and the resolve of its members to safeguard their security, sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Alliance’s security policy is based on dialogue; co-operation; and effective collective defence as mutually reinforcing instruments for preserving the peace. Making full use of the new opportunities available, the Alliance will maintain security at the lowest possible level of forces consistent with the requirements of defence. In this way, the Alliance is making an essential contribution to promoting a lasting peaceful order.” The 1991’s Strategic Concept’s accompanying document was - and still is - classified. It is entitled: “MC Directive for Military Implementation of the Alliance’s Strategic Concept (MC 400), 12 December 1991. NATO’s second unclassified Strategic Concept In 1999, the year of NATO’s 50th anniversary, Allied leaders adopted a new Strategic Concept that committed members to common defence and peace and stability of the wider Euro-Atlantic area. It was based on a broad definition of security which recognized the importance of political, economic, social and environmental factors in addition to the defence dimension. It identified the new risks that had emerged since the end of the Cold War, which included terrorism, ethnic conflict, human rights abuses, political instability, economic fragility, and the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and their means of delivery. The document stated that the Alliance’s fundamental tasks were security, consultation, and deterrence and defence, adding that crisis management and partnership were also essential to enhancing security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area. It noted that NATO had managed to adapt and play an important role in the post-Cold War environment, and established guidelines for the Alliance’s forces, translating the purposes and tasks of the preceding sections into practical instructions for NATO force and operational planners. The strategy called for the continued development of the military capabilities needed for the full range of the Alliance’s missions, from collective defence to peace support and other crisis-response operations. It also stipulated that the Alliance would maintain for the foreseeable future an appropriate mix of nuclear and conventional forces. The 1999 Strategic Concept was complemented by a strategic guidance document that remains classified: “MC Guidance for the Military Implementation of the Alliance Strategy” (MC 400/2), 12 February 2003. The security environment since 9/11 The 9/11 terrorist attacks against the United States brought the threat of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction to the fore. NATO needed to protect its populations both at home and abroad. It therefore underwent major internal reforms to adapt military structures and capabilities to equip members for new tasks, such as leading the UN-mandated International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. NATO also proceeded to deepen and extend its partnerships and, essentially, accelerate its transformation to develop new political relationships and stronger operational capabilities to respond to an increasingly global and more challenging world. These radical changes need to be reflected in NATO’s strategic documents. A first step in that direction was taken in November 2006 when NATO leaders endorsed the “Comprehensive Political Guidance”. This is a major policy document that sets out the framework and priorities for all Alliance capability issues, planning disciplines and intelligence for the next 10 to 15 years. It analyses the probable future security environment and acknowledges the possibility of unpredictable events. Against that analysis, it sets out the kinds of operations the Alliance must be able to perform in light of the Alliance’s Strategic Concept and the kinds of capabilities the Alliance will need. Later, at the Strasbourg-Kehl Summit in April 2009, NATO leaders endorsed the “Declaration on Alliance Security” which, inter alia, called for a new Strategic Concept. This provoked a thorough debate and analysis of NATO issues and, together with the economic context, has presented an opportunity for rethinking,  reprioritising and reforming NATO. The 2010 Strategic Concept was issued in Lisbon and is accompanied by the Military Committee Guidance MC 400/3, March 2012.
  • Strategic sealift
    Strategic sealift NATO member countries have pooled their resources to assure access to special ships, giving the Alliance the capability to rapidly transport forces and equipment by sea. This multinational consortium finances the charter of up to 11 special “roll-on/roll-off” ships (commonly, Ro/Ro; so called because equipment can be driven onto and off of the ships via special doors and ramps into the hold). The consortium includes Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia and the United Kingdom. Components The Sealift Consortium provides the Alliance with access to the Sealift Capability Package (SCP), which consists of: three Ro/Ro ships on assured access; residual capacity of five Danish/German ARK Ro/Ro ships on full-time charter; residual capacity of four UK Ro/Ro ships; and a Norwegian Ro/Ro ship on dormant contract. The three assured access ships are covered by an Assured Access Contract (AAC) through the NATO Support Agency (NSPA) based in Luxembourg. Finance is provided by eight of the eleven signatories (all but Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom). Denmark and Germany provide the residual capacity of five ARK Ro/Ro vessels, which are chartered on a full-time contract basis until 2021. The United Kingdom offers the residual capacity of their four Ro/Ro vessels being provided to its Ministry of Defence under a Private Finance Initiative contract. This contract lasts until December 2024. In addition, Norway has a dormant contract for one Ro/Ro ship. As an example of the capacity of the ships, the Danish/German ARK ships and UK ships can each carry around 2,500 lane meters of vehicles and equipment – in other words, if the vehicles and equipment were parked one behind the other in single file, the line would stretch for two and a half kilometres. Evolution To overcome the shortfall in Alliance strategic sealift capabilities, a High Level Group on Strategic Sealift was established at the NATO Prague Summit in 2002. NATO countries agreed to increase their multinational efforts to reduce the strategic sealift shortfalls for rapidly deployable forces by using a combination of full-time charter and multinational assured access contracts. In June 2003, at the annual spring meeting of NATO Defence Ministers in Brussels, 11 ministers signed a letter of intent on addressing the sealift shortfalls on behalf of Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Turkey. Six months later at the autumn meeting of NATO Defence Ministers, nine countries (Canada, Denmark, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom) signed an agreement to implement the letter of intent, which resulted in the formation of the Multinational Sealift Steering Committee (MSSC) In February 2004, the consortium, led by Norway, signed a contract with the NATO Support Agency (NSPA) (formerly the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA)) for the provision of the sealift capability. The countries pursued an incremental approach, using 2004 as the trial year, with the aim of developing further capacity for subsequent years. At the 2004 Istanbul Summit, the defence ministers of Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Romania and Slovenia signed a supplementary letter of intent on strategic sealift, where they declared their intent to improve strategic sealift and to provide additional sealift capacity for rapidly deployable forces. Mechanisms The SCP has been coordinated by the Sealift Coordination Centre (SCC) since its establishment in September 2002. Since July 2007, this role has been taken over by the Movement Coordination Centre Europe (MCCE). Through improved coordination, the SCC and, now, the MCCE have managed to establish many sealift requirement matches between nations. By making more efficient use of available assets, these nations have made, and are making, significant financial savings. The activation of the Assured Access Contract can be undertaken by either an authorised national representative, or by NSPA, under bilateral arrangements between the activating nation and NSPA.
  • Summit meetings
    NATO summit meetings NATO summit meetings provide periodic opportunities for Heads of State and Government of member countries to evaluate and provide strategic direction for Alliance activities. These are not regular meetings, but rather important junctures in the Alliance’s decision-making process. For instance, summits have been used to introduce new policy, invite new members into the Alliance, launch major new initiatives and build partnerships with non-NATO countries. From the founding of NATO in 1949 until today there have been twenty-five NATO summits. The most recent one took place in Chicago, United States, 20-21 May 2012. The next one will be hosted by the United Kingdom on 4-5 September 2014 in Newport, Wales. Summit meeting agendas NATO summit meetings are effectively meetings of the North Atlantic Council (NAC) - the Alliance’s principal political decision-making body - at its highest level, that of Heads of State and Government. Due to the political significance of summit meetings, agenda items typically address issues of overarching political or strategic importance. Items can relate to the internal functioning of the Alliance as well as NATO’s relations with external partners. Major decisions Many of NATO’s summit meetings can be considered as milestones in the evolution of the Alliance. For instance, the first post-Cold War summit was held in London, 1990, and outlined proposals for developing relations with Central and Eastern European countries. A year later, in Rome, NATO Heads of State and Government published a new Strategic Concept that reflected the new security environment. This document was issued as a public document for the first time ever. At the same summit, NATO established the North Atlantic Cooperation Council – a forum that officially brought together NATO and partner countries from Europe, Central Asia, and the Caucasus. The 1997 Madrid and Paris Summits invited the first countries of the former Warsaw Pact – Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland – to join NATO, and established partnerships between NATO and Russia and Ukraine, while the 2002 Prague Summit saw major commitments to improving NATO’s capabilities and transformed the military command structure. These are just a few of the many decisions that have been taken over the decades (a full summary of all NATO summit meetings can be found under “Previous summit meetings”). Implementation of summit decisions Typically, the decisions taken at a summit meeting are issued in declarations and communiqués. These are public documents that explain the Alliance's decisions and reaffirm Allies’ support for aspects of NATO policies. The decisions are then translated into action by the relevant actors, according to the area of competency and responsibility: the NAC’s subordinate committees and NATO’s command structure, which cover the whole range of NATO functions and activities. Timing and location Timing Summits are convened upon approval by the NAC at the level of Permanent Representatives (or Ambassadors) or foreign and defence ministers. They are usually called on an ad hoc basis, as required by the evolving political and security situation. From the founding of NATO until the end of the Cold War – over forty years – there were ten summit meetings. Since 1990, their frequency has increased considerably in order to address the changes brought on by the new security challenges. In total, twenty-four summit meetings have taken place between 1949 and 2011. Location NATO summit meetings are held in one of the member countries, including Belgium, at NATO HQ. Members volunteer to host a summit meeting and, after evaluating all offers, the NAC makes the final decision concerning the location. In recent years, summit locations have held some thematic significance. For example, the Washington Summit of 1999 commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty in that city. Istanbul – which hosted a summit meeting in 2004 – connects Europe and Asia and is where the Alliance launched the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative. This initiative is intended to foster linkages between NATO and the broader Middle East.  Previous summit meetings The first time that Heads of State and Government from NATO countries met was at the actual signing ceremony of the North Atlantic Treaty on 4 April 1949, but this was not a summit meeting. The first summit meeting was held six years later, in Paris in 1957, and subsequent summits occurred at key junctures in the history of the Alliance. Paris, 16-19 December 1957 Reaffirmation of the principal purposes and unity of the Atlantic Alliance; Improvements in the coordination and organization of NATO forces and in political consultation arrangements; Recognition of the need for closer economic ties and for cooperation in the spirit of Article 2 of the Treaty, designed to eliminate conflict in international policies and encourage economic collaboration (Report of the Committee of the Three on Non-Military Cooperation in NATO, the so-called report of the Three Wise Men). Brussels, 26 June 1974 Signature of the Declaration on Atlantic Relations adopted by NATO foreign ministers in Ottawa on 19 June, confirming the dedication of member countries of the Alliance to the aims and ideals of the Treaty in the 25th anniversary of its signature; Consultations on East-West relations in preparation for US-USSR summit talks on strategic nuclear arms limitations. Brussels, 29-30 May 1975 Affirmation of the fundamental importance of the Alliance and of Allied cohesion in the face of international economic pressures following the 1974 oil crisis; Support for successful conclusion of negotiations in the framework of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) (to result in 1975, in the signing of the Helsinki Final Act). London, 10-11 May 1977 Initiation of study on long-term trends in East-West relations and of a long-term defence programme (LTDP) aimed at improving the defensive capability of NATO member countries. Washington D.C., 30-31 May 1978 Review of interim results of long-term initiatives taken at the 1977 London Summit; Confirmation of the validity of the Alliance’s complementary aims of maintaining security while pursuing East-West détente; Adoption of 3% target for growth in defence expenditures. Bonn, 10 June 1982 Accession of Spain; Adoption of the Bonn Declaration setting out a six-point Programme for Peace in Freedom; Publication of a statement of Alliance’s goals and policies on Arms Control and Disarmament and a statement on Integrated NATO Defence. Brussels, 21 November 1985 Special meeting of the North Atlantic Council for consultations with President Reagan on the positive outcome of the US-USSR Geneva Summit on arms control and other areas of cooperation. Brussels, 2-3 March 1988 Reaffirmation of the purpose and principles of the Alliance (reference to the Harmel Report on the Future Tasks of the Alliance published in 1967) and of its objectives for East-West relations; Adoption of a blue print for strengthening stability in the whole of Europe through conventional arms control negotiations. Brussels, 29-30 May 1989 Declaration commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Alliance setting out Alliance policies and security objectives for the 1990s aimed at maintaining Alliance defence, introducing new arms control initiatives, strengthening political consultation, improving East-West cooperation and meeting global challenges; Adoption of a comprehensive Concept of Arms Control and Disarmament. Brussels, 4 December 1989 Against the background of fundamental changes in Central and Eastern Europe and the prospect of the end of the division of Europe, US President Bush consults with Alliance leaders following his summit meeting with President Gorbachev in Malta. While the NATO summit meeting is taking place, Warsaw Pact leaders denounce the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia and repudiate the Brejhnev Doctrine of limited sovereignty. London, 5-6 July 1990 Publication of the London Declaration on a Transformed North Atlantic Alliance, outlining proposals for developing cooperation with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe across a wide spectrum of political and military activities including the establishment of regular diplomatic liaison with NATO. Rome, 7-8 November 1991 Publication of several key documents: the Alliance’s new Strategic Concept, of the Rome Declaration on Peace and Cooperation and of statements on developments in the Soviet Union and the situation in Yugoslavia. Brussels, 10-11 January 1994 Launching of the Partnership for Peace (PfP) initiative; All North Atlantic Cooperation Council Partner countries and members of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) are invited to participate; Publication of the Partnership for Peace Framework Document; Endorsement of the concept of Combined Joint Task Forces (CJTFs) and other measures to develop the European Security and Defence Identity; Reaffirmation of Alliance readiness to carry out air strikes in support of UN objectives in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Paris, 27 May 1997 Signing of the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between the Russian Federation and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The Founding Act states that NATO and Russia are no longer adversaries and establishes the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council. Madrid, 8-9 July 1997 Invitations to the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland to begin accession talks; Reaffirmation of NATO’s Open Door Policy; Recognition of achievement and commitments represented by the NATO Russia-Founding Act; Signature of the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership between NATO and Ukraine; First meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council at summit level that replaces the North Atlantic Cooperation Council; An enhanced Partnership for Peace; Updating of the 1991 Strategic Concept and adoption of a new defence posture; Reform of the NATO military command structure; Special  Declaration on Bosnia and Herzegovina. Washington D.C., 23-24 April 1999 Commemoration of NATO's 50th Anniversary; Allies reiterate their determination to put an end to the repressive actions by President Milosevic against the local ethnic Albanian population in Kosovo; The Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland participate in their first summit meeting; Adoption of the Membership Action Plan; Publication of a revised Strategic Concept; Enhancement of the European Security and Defence Identity within NATO; Launch of the Defence Capabilities Initiative; Strengthening of Partnership for Peace and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, as well as the Mediterranean Dialogue; Launch of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Initiative. Rome, 28 May 2002 NATO Allies and the Russian Federation create the NATO-Russia Council, where they meet as equal partners, bringing a new quality to NATO-Russia relations. The NATO-Russia Council replaces the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council. Prague, 21-22 November 2002 Invitation of Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia to begin accession talks; Reaffirmation of NATO’s Open Door Policy; Adoption of a series of measures to improve military capabilities (The Prague Capabilities Commitment, the NATO Response Force and the streamlining of the military command structure); Adoption of a Military Concept for Defence against Terrorism; Decision to support NATO member countries in Afghanistan; Endorsement of a package of initiatives to forge new relationships with partners. Istanbul, 28-29 June 2004 Participation of seven new members to the event (Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia); Expansion of NATO’s operation in Afghanistan by continuing the establishment of Provincial Reconstruction Teams throughout the country; Agreement to assist the Iraqi Interim Government with the training of its security forces; Maintaining support for stability in the Balkans; Decision to change NATO’s defence-planning and force-generation processes, while strengthening contributions to the fight against terrorism, including WMD aspects; Strengthening cooperation with partners and launch of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative with countries from the broader Middle East region. Brussels, 22 February 2005 Leaders reaffirm their support for building stability in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq, and commit to strengthening the partnership between NATO and the European Union. Riga, 28-29 November 2006 Review of progress in Afghanistan in light of the expansion of ISAF to the entire country and call for broader international engagement; Confirmation that the Alliance is prepared to play its part in implementing the security provisions of a settlement on the status of Kosovo; Measures adopted to further improve NATO’s military capabilities; NATO Response Force declared operational; Comprehensive Political Guidance published. Initiatives adopted to deepen and extend relations with partners; Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia invited to join Partnership for Peace. Bucharest, 2-4 April 2008 At Bucharest, Allied leaders review the evolution of NATO’s main commitments: operations (Afghanistan and Kosovo); enlargement and the invitation of Albania and Croatia to start the accession process (the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia* will also be invited as soon as ongoing negotiations over its name have led to an agreement); the continued development of military capabilities to meet.  Strasbourg/ Kehl, 3-4 April 2009 Against the backdrop of NATO’s 60th anniversary, adoption of a Declaration on Alliance Security, calling for a new Strategic Concept; adherence to basic principles and shared values, as well as the need for ongoing transformation; in-depth discussion on Afghanistan, NATO’s key priority; welcoming of two new members: Albania and Croatia, and the pursuit of NATO’s open door policy (invitation extended to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia* as soon as a solution to the issue surrounding the country’s name is reached); France’s decision to fully participate in NATO structures and the impact of this decision on the Alliance’s relations with the European Union; and NATO’s relations with Russia. Lisbon 19-20 November 2010 Publication of a new Strategic Concept; gradual transition process to full Afghan security responsibility to start in 2011, backed by Allied agreement on a long-term partnership with Afghanistan; decision to develop a NATO missile defence system to protect populations and territory in Europe, in addition to deployed troops, against potential ballistic missile attacks; Russia invited to cooperate as part of a broader “reset” of relations with NATO; adoption of a comprehensive approach to crisis management, including a greater role in stabilization and reconstruction for the Alliance and greater emphasis on training and developing local forces; continue to support arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation efforts, and maintain an appropriate mix of nuclear and conventional forces; adoption of the Lisbon Capabilities Package that identifies critical capabilities; agreement to develop a NATO cyber defence policy and action plan; streamlining of NATO’s military command structure and rationalization of NATO agencies; new impetus given to relations with partners and NATO’s partnership policy in the broad sense of the term. Chicago 20-21 May 2012 NATO leaders set out a strategy to conclude the transition of security responsibility to Afghan forces by the end of 2014 and commited to a new post-2014 mission to train, advise and assist Afghan forces. The ISAF coalition of 50 states was joined by an unprecedented number of partners committed to Afghanistan’s stability, bringing the total number of countries and organisations represented at Chicago to over 60. NATO leaders approved the Defence and Deterrence Posture Review and adopted a Defence Package and new policy guidelines on counter-terrorism. An Interim Ballistic Missile Capability was declared and initiatives taken in other key capability areas such as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and air policing. NATO leaders confirmed efforts to pursue cooperative security and engage with partners across the globe as well as countries that aspire to NATO membership. Organising and holding these events NATO summit meetings are centred on the activities of the North Atlantic Council (NAC). As with all meetings of the NAC, the Secretary General chairs the meetings and plays an important role in coordination and deliberations, as well as acting as the principal spokesman of the Alliance. As with meetings at the levels of Permanent Representatives and ministers, the work of the NAC is prepared by subordinate committees with responsibility for specific areas of policy. The Deputies Committee, which consists of Deputy Permanent Representatives is responsible for drafting declarations and communiqués after meetings of heads of state and government, as well as foreign and defence ministers. Other aspects of political work may be handled by the Political and Partnerships Committee. Depending on the topic under discussion, the respective senior committee with responsibility for the subject assumes the lead role in preparing Council meetings and following up Council decisions. Support to the Council is provided by the Secretary of the Council, who is also Director of the ministerial and summit meeting Task Forces. The Secretary of the Council ensures that NAC mandates are executed and its decisions recorded and circulated. A small Council Secretariat ensures the bureaucratic and logistical aspects of the Council’s work, while the relevant divisions of the International Staff support the work of committees reporting to the NAC. Participation NATO summit meetings normally involve member countries only. However, on occasion, and provided Allies agree, meetings can be convened in other formats although there is no formal obligation to hold such assemblies. They include, for instance, meetings of defence or foreign ministers, Heads of State and Government of countries belonging to the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, the NATO-Russia Council, the NATO-Ukraine Commission or the NATO-Georgia Commission. They can also include leaders from ISAF troop-contributing countries, as was the case at the Lisbon Summit. External stakeholders can also be involved: for instance, top representatives from international organizations such as the UN, the EU Commission or the World Bank.
  • Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR)
    Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) The Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) is one of NATO’s two strategic commanders and is the head of Allied Command Operations (ACO). He is responsible to NATO’s highest military authority, the Military Committee, for the conduct of all NATO military operations. SACEUR, traditionally a United States Flag or General officer, is dual-hatted as Commander of the US European Command. His NATO command is exercised from the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) at Casteau, near Mons, Belgium. The current Supreme Allied Commander Europe is General Philip M. Breedlove, United States Air Force. General Breedlove took up his functions on 13 May 2013 after having served as Commander,United States Air Force Europe; Commander United States Air Force Africa; Commander Headquarters, Allied Air Command, Ramstein; and Director, Joint Air Power Competence Centre. Role and responsibilities SACEUR is responsible for the overall command of NATO military operations. He conducts the necessary military planning for operations, including the identification of forces required for the mission and requests these forces from NATO countries, as authorised by the North Atlantic Council and as directed by NATO's Military Committee. SACEUR analyses these operational needs in cooperation with the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation. SACEUR makes recommendations to NATO's political and military authorities on any military matter that may affect his ability to carry out his responsibilities. For day-to-day business, he reports to the Military Committee, composed of Military Representatives for Chiefs of Defence of NATO member countries. He also has direct access to the Chiefs of Defence and may communicate with appropriate national authorities, as necessary, to facilitate the accomplishment of his tasks. In the case of an aggression against a NATO member state, SACEUR, as Supreme Commander, is responsible for executing all military measures within his capability and authority to preserve or restore the security of Alliance territory. SACEUR also has an important public profile and is the senior military spokesman for Allied Command Operations. Through his own activities and those of his public information staff he maintains regular contacts with the press and media. He also undertakes official visits to NATO countries and countries where NATO is conducting operations, or with which NATO is developing dialogue, cooperation and partnership. Other tasks that come under the responsibility of the Supreme Allied Commander Europe include: contributing to stability throughout the Euro-Atlantic area by developing and participating in military-to-military contacts and other cooperation activities and exercises undertaken in the framework of the Partnership for Peace and NATO’s relationships with Russia, Ukraine and Mediterranean Dialogue countries; conducting analysis at the strategic level designed to identify capability shortfalls and to assign priorities to them; managing the resources allocated by NATO for operations and exercises; and in conjunction with Allied Command Transformation, developing and conducting training programmes and exercises in combined and joint procedures for the military headquarters and forces of NATO and Partner countries. Selection process The SACEUR is appointed by the US President, confirmed by the US Senate, and approved by the North Atlantic Council of NATO. There is no assigned term for the SACEUR. It has ranged from one to eight years. Evolution of the function On 2 April 1951, the war hero General Dwight D. Eisenhower, US Army, became the Alliance’s first SACEUR. This post, together with that of the Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (SACLANT), was created before that of the Secretary General’s, which followed a year later in March 1952. SACEUR had the responsibility of safeguarding the area extending from the northern tip of Norway to southern Europe, including the whole of the Mediterranean, and from the Atlantic coastline to the eastern border of Turkey. Following the overall process of reform in 2002, when the Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (SACLANT) became the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT), the Supreme Allied Commander Europe did not change name but saw his responsibilities extended to cover all NATO operations, regardless of their geographical location.
  • Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT)
    Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) was created in 2002, in the overall process of reform of NATO’s command structure. He is one of NATO’s two strategic commanders and the commanding officer of Allied Command Transformation. SACT is responsible to NATO’s highest military authority, the Military Committee, for promoting and overseeing the continuing transformation of Alliance forces and capabilities. The current Supreme Allied Commander Transformation is French Air Force General Jean-Paul Paloméros. He took up his functions on 28 September 2012. Role and responsibilities SACT has the lead role at the strategic level for the transformation of NATO’s military structures, forces, capabilities and doctrines in order to improve the military effectiveness of the Alliance. He makes recommendations to NATO's political and military authorities on transformation issues. For day-to-day business, he reports to the Military Committee, composed of Military Representatives for Chiefs of Defence of NATO member countries. He also has direct access to the Chiefs of Defence and may communicate with appropriate national authorities, as necessary, to facilitate the accomplishment of his tasks. In cooperation with Allied Command Operations, he analyses NATO’s operational needs, in order to identify and prioritize the type and scale of future capability and interoperability requirements and to channel the results into NATO’s overall defence planning process. He also leads efforts to explore new concepts and doctrines by conducting experiments and supporting the research, development and acquisition of new technologies and capabilities. The SACT is responsible for NATO’s training and education programmes, which are designed to ensure that the Alliance has at its disposal staffs trained to common NATO standards and capable of operating effectively in a combined and joint force military environment. Other tasks that come under the responsibility of the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation include: managing commonly funded resources allocated for NATO’s transformation programmes in order to provide timely, cost-effective solutions for operational requirements; supporting the exercise requirements of Allied Command Operations throughout their planning, execution and assessment phases. Selection process The SACT is proposed by a NATO member country and approved by the North Atlantic Council of NATO. There is no assigned term for the SACT. Evolution of the function From 2002 to 2009, SACT has been a United States Flag or General officer, and dual-hatted as Commander of the U.S. Joint Forces Command, the post responsible for maximizing future and present military capabilities of the United States. His command is exercised from the Headquarters of Alliance Command Transformation in Norfolk, Virginia, United States, which is also where U.S. Joint Forces Command has its Headquarters. Since 2009, the year France decided to fully participate in NATO structures following its withdrawal from the integrated military structure in 1966, a French General officer has held the position: General Stéphane Abrial from 2009 to 2012 and, currently, General Jean-Paul Paloméros. The first SACT was Admiral Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr. from 2002 to 2005, followed by General Lance L. Smith from 2005 to 2007, and then General James Mattis from 2007 to 2009. Prior to 2002, before the reform, the then Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (SACLANT), was responsible for safeguarding the Allies’ sea lines of communication, supporting land and amphibious operations, and protecting the deployment of the Alliance’s sea-based nuclear deterrent. Allied Command Atlantic extended from the North Pole to the Tropic of Cancer and from the coastal waters of North America to those of Europe and Africa, including Portugal, but not including the Channel and British Isles, which were part of what was Allied Command Europe at the time (now Allied Command Operations).
  • Surveillance and Reconnaissance (JISR), Joint Intelligence, -
    Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (JISR) Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance is vital for all military operations. It provides information and intelligence to decision-makers and action-takers, helping them make informed, timely and accurate decisions. While surveillance and reconnaissance can answer the questions “what,” “when” and “where”, the combined elements from various intelligence sources and disciplines provide the answers to “how” and “why”. When all of this is combined, you create Joint ISR. For over 60 years, the enduring success of NATO has been achieved through the close cooperation between Allies who are driven by a shared set of democratic beliefs and values.  These Allies work together in NATO to bring stability to a complex 21 st century security environment. NATO’s 2012 Chicago Summit established the objective to strengthen cooperation and ensure tighter connections between Allied forces. During the Summit, the Allied Heads of State and Government expressed the ambition to provide NATO with an enduring and permanently available JISR capability, giving the Alliance the eyes and ears it needs to achieve strategic decision advantage. Components Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) provides the foundation for all military operations, and its principles have been used in warfare for centuries. The individual elements of ISR are: Intelligence : the final product derived from surveillance and reconnaissance, fused with other information; Surveillance : the persistent monitoring of a target; and Reconnaissance : information-gathering conducted to answer a specific military question. Both surveillance and reconnaissance can include visual observation (for example soldiers on the ground covertly watching a target, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) with cameras), as well as electronic observation. The difference between surveillance and reconnaissance has to do with time and specificity; surveillance is a more prolonged and deliberate activity, while reconnaissance missions are generally rapid and targeted to retrieve specific information. Once surveillance and reconnaissance information has been obtained, intelligence specialists can analyse it, fuse it with other information from other data sources and produce the intelligence which is then used to inform military and civilian decision-makers, particularly for the planning and conduct of operations. While all countries have their own sources and methods for the production of intelligence, it is not always easy for them to share their intelligence with Allies.  Sometimes this is due to security concerns, sometimes to internal procedural requirements, and sometimes to technological constraints. The objective of NATO Joint ISR is to champion the concept of “need to share” over the concept of “need to know.”  This does not mean that all Allies will automatically share everything, but rather that NATO can facilitate the procedures and technology to promote sharing while simultaneously providing information assurance (i.e., the protection of data and networks).  This way, Allies can have a holistic picture of whatever crisis is occurring and NATO decision-makers can make well-informed, timely and accurate decisions. To achieve this ambition, the following must be in place: Trained ISR experts Having a cadre of experts within NATO who fully understand how to use ISR to support NATO’s decision-makers; and Information assurance: protection of data and networks Special procedures need to be in place to provide information assurance; it takes time and resources to obtain a genuinely efficient, secure, holistic and relevant Joint ISR system. In fact, it took ten years to develop the successful mission network used in Afghanistan, and NATO intends to capitalise on that effort. Mechanism The experience the Alliance gained from its operations in Afghanistan and Libya has resulted in collection assets (for example information gathering equipment such as surveillance aircraft) becoming far more accessible to military personnel, even at the lowest tactical levels. Assets that would have been used only for strategic purposes at the discretion of military generals 15 years ago are now widely available and their use is decentralised. This shift occurred because NATO member countries procured significant numbers of maritime, land and airborne collection assets to help them locate adversaries, who often operate in complex environments and among civilian populations. To enable information-gathering to take place, and to ensure that information is analysed and intelligence is produced for decision-makers, there are a number of primary actors involved, including: Surveillance and reconnaissance collection assets Their role is to collect information. Examples include Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS), AWACS aircraft which use radar, observation satellites, electronic assets and special ground reconnaissance troops. Intelligence analysts Their role is to exploit and analyse information from multiple sources. Examples include national military and civilian analysts working at the strategic level in intelligence organisations, imagery analysts at all levels, and encryption experts. Decision-makers Their role is to use intelligence to inform their decision-making. Examples include political leaders and military commanders. Evolution Based on the experience NATO Allies gained in recent operations, the Alliance is looking to establish a permanent, effective ISR system. NATO aims to provide Allies with a mechanism which brings together: data and information gathered through Smart Defence projects such as the Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system or the AWACS; and a wide variety of national ISR capabilities, including troops on the ground, maritime and air assets, space-based platforms such as satellites, and Special Operations Forces. To provide a foundation for NATO’s Joint ISR ambition, the Alliance is currently developing a JISR project aimed at providing the following pillars: Training and education The personnel involved with the Joint ISR capability in NATO will possess expertise to guarantee the efficiency of the JISR enterprise. This area of the project examines ways to ensure that NATO personnel receive the highest standard of ISR training and education. Doctrine and procedures To improve interoperability, efficiency, coherence and effectiveness, Joint ISR doctrine and procedures will be continuously developed and reviewed, from strategic thinking to tactical procedures. Networking environment NATO communication and information systems (CIS) will guarantee efficient collaboration and sharing of ISR data, products and applications between the Allies. This is the core business of NATO’s Joint ISR effort. Technical trials take place every two years in order to demonstrate and assess progress on the Alliance’s JISR capabilities in a real-world environment.  The latest trial, Unified Vision, took place in Norway in 2014. It was the largest JISR event in the history of the Alliance.
  • Sweden, NATO’s relations with -
    NATO’s relations with Sweden Carl Bildt, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen NATO and Sweden actively cooperate in peace and security operations and have developed practical cooperation in many other areas including education and training, and defence reform. Swedish cooperation with NATO is based on a longstanding policy of military non-alignment and a firm national consensus. From this basis, Sweden is not pursuing NATO membership, but selects areas of cooperation with NATO that match joint objectives. The Allies view Sweden as an effective and pro-active partner and contributor to international security, which shares key values such as the promotion of international security, democracy and human rights. An important area of cooperation is the country’s support for NATO-led operations. Sweden is currently contributing to the peacekeeping operations in Kosovo and Afghanistan, and is planning to contribute to the post-2014 mission in Afghanistan. In the past, it supported the NATO-led operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sweden is one of the Alliance’s most active partners. It has been cooperating with NATO since the creation of the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme in 1994 and has since been utilising partnership tools to expand this relationship and exchange knowledge and experience with Allied and partner countries in a myriad of different fields. Key areas of cooperation Security cooperation Sweden is an active contributor to NATO-led operations. Its first contribution dates back to 1995 when it sent a battalion to the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since 1999, Sweden has provided a mechanised company and support units to the peacekeeping force in Kosovo. Since 2003, Swedish personnel have been working alongside Allied forces as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, providing specialist units and logistical support. Sweden led the multinational Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Mazar-e Sharif from 2006. The PRT became a Transition Support Team in 2012, under the lead of Sweden’s Senior Civilian Representative in northern Afghanistan. Sweden is planning to be an operational partner in the post-2014 NATO-led mission in Afghanistan – Resolute Support. In April 2011, Sweden decided to contribute to Operation Unified Protector (OUP), NATO’s military operation in Libya under United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973. As part of Operation Unified Protector, the Swedish Air Force deployed eight JAS Gripen aircraft to Sigonella Air Base in Sicily, Italy to enforce the no-fly zone over Libya, supported by an air-to-air refuelling capable C-130. Sweden participates in numerous PfP exercises. The country makes a number of units available, on a case-by-case basis, for multinational operations, training and exercises, including EU- and NATO-led. The objective for the Swedish Armed Forces is to be able to sustain up to 2,000 personnel continuously deployed on operations, either nationally or internationally. This pool of forces includes significant land, naval and air assets, including mechanised and armoured units, submarine, corvettes, combat and transport aircraft with a deployable airbase unit, combat and combat service support elements, as well as specialist support. In 2013, Sweden joined the NATO Response Force (NRF), alongside Finland and Ukraine, and it participated in Exercise Steadfast Jazz which served to certify the NRF rotation for 2014. Sweden’s role in training the forces of NATO partner countries is also greatly valued by the Allies. In April 1999, NATO formally recognised the military training centre in Almnäs as a PfP Training Centre. In 2004, the centre moved to new premises in Kungsängen, north of Stockholm. SWEDINT, the Swedish Armed Forces International Centre’s activities include exercises and training, with a focus on humanitarian assistance, rescue services, peace-support operations, civil emergency planning and the democratic control of the armed forces. The centre regularly organises courses and training exercises within the PfP. In January 2012 - in support of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and related resolutions on strengthening the role of women, peace and security – the Nordic countries established a Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations, to make sure that gender perspectives continue to be integrated into military operations. Sweden’s close ties with its neighbours Norway, Denmark and Finland are reflected in its participation in Nordic Defence Cooperation (NORDEFCO), a further practical and efficient way for like-minded states to contribute to regional and international security and to practise cooperation, including pooling and sharing. In Sweden’s case this activity is pursued alongside the Nordic Battlegroup and regionally around the Baltic Sea and in northern Europe. Sweden participates in the Operational Capabilities Concept (OCC). It continues to submit its land, maritime and air force units for evaluation in accordance with the NATO OCC Evaluation and Feedback programme. Sweden participated in the March 2011 Baltic Region Training Event (BRTE). Conducted by NATO Air Command Ramstein, BRTE is a series of planning, training and execution events for enhancing interoperability and building capabilities in the Baltic States. Defence and security sector reform Participating in peacekeeping and peace-support operations alongside NATO Allies has complemented Sweden’s own process of military transformation. Participation in the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) influences Swedish planning and activities, aimed at developing the capabilities and enhancing the interoperability of the Swedish Armed Forces. The Allies and other partners also benefit from Swedish expertise. For instance, Sweden contributes to NATO’s programme of support for security-sector reform in the western Balkans, southern Caucasus and Central Asia. Sweden is contributing to the development of the EU Battlegroup concept. It is cooperating with Estonia, Finland and Norway, among other countries, in the development of a multinational rapid reaction force for EU-led peace-support operations. During periods that the Swedish parts of the force are not on stand-by for EU needs, they will be available for operations led by both the UN and NATO. Sweden joined the Strategic Airlift Interim Solution (SALIS) in March 2006 and is also participating in the Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) initiative. Designed to meet the strategic airlift requirements of SAC member nations for national missions, SAC resources can be used for NATO, UN, EU or other international missions. Sweden has also supported a number of Trust Fund projects conducted in other partner countries which were focused on areas such as the retraining and reintegration of military personnel, stockpile management and the destruction of surplus weapons. Civil emergency planning Civil emergency planning is a major area of bilateral cooperation. The aim is for Sweden 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 EAPC (Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council) area. In line with this, Sweden has participated in numerous NATO Crisis Management Exercises, in addition to several maritime exercises. Additionally, Swedish civil resources have been listed with the EADRCC (Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre). Units include search and rescue teams, medical experts and protection and decontamination units. Sweden has also previously worked with NATO to improve both emergency response and crisis management. In April 2011, Sweden conducted a joint civil-military-police exercise, Viking 11. It took place in six different countries simultaneously with Sweden as the lead nation and with participants from the United Nations, a wide range of non-governmental organisations and agencies, armed forces from about 25 countries and civilians and police from various countries and organisations. The overall objective of Viking 11 was to train and educate the participants in planning and conducting a UN-mandated Chapter VII Peace Operation/Crisis Response Operation. Science and environment Under the Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme, scientists from Sweden have participated in numerous advanced research workshops and seminars on a range of topics. Topics have included information security, mesoscopic physics, the environmental role of wetlands, the protection of civilian infrastructure against terrorism, and human trafficking. Framework for cooperation NATO and Sweden detail areas of cooperation and timelines in Sweden’s Individual Partnership Cooperation Programme (IPCP), which is jointly agreed for a two-year period. Key areas include security and peacekeeping cooperation, crisis management and civil emergency planning. Participation in the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) is helps develop the interoperability and capabilities of Swedish forces which might be made available for NATO training, exercises and multinational crisis-management and peace-support operations. Evolution of relations Sweden has a longstanding policy of military non-alignment that remains in effect today. In line with this, Sweden is not pursuing NATO membership but joined the new Partnership for Peace in 1994 to work alongside Allies in areas where bilateral aims converge. In 1997, the country joined the new Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC). Sweden has demonstrated a strong political commitment to the EAPC, and has been generous in its financial contributions to Partnership Trust Funds, as well as offering practical assistance to other partners though the provision of training. Sweden joined the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) in 1995 to foster interoperability with NATO forces in peace-support operations. Since joining PfP, Sweden has played an active role and offers expertise to other partners and Allies, with a special focus on peacekeeping, civil emergency planning and civil-military cooperation. Key milestones 1994 Sweden joins the Partnership for Peace (Pfp). 1995 Sweden joins the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP). 1996 Sweden contributes forces to the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 1999 Swedish forces participate in the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo. SWEDINT, the Swedish Armed Forces International Centre, is designated a PfP Training Centre. 2000 Swedish forces join NATO-led forces in Afghanistan. 2008 Sweden hosts live demonstration, involving NATO Allies and Swedish civilian and military forces, to test new ways of effectively sharing critical information in emergency situations (Exercise Viking 2008).   In September, Sweden conducts a joint exercise with NATO in Enköping designed to enhance civil-military cooperation during civil emergency. 2009 In May, Swedish Minister of Defence Sten Tolgfors visits NATO HQ. 2010 In March, Sweden co-hosts a seminar “NATO’s New Strategic Concept – Comprehensive Approach to Crisis Management” with Finland.   In April, Sweden participates in a NATO Response Force (NRF) maritime exercise (Brilliant Mariner).   In May, Sweden participates in an international cyber defence exercise (Baltic Cyber Shield) organised by several Swedish governmental institutions and the Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence. 2011 Sweden conducts multinational Exercise Viking 2011 with international organisations and NGOs participating in the operations.   In April, Sweden decides to contribute to Operation Unified Protector, NATO’s military operation in Libya under UN Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973. 2012 In January, a Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations is established, hosted by the Swedish Armed Forces International Centre. 2013 In January, NATO’s Secretary General visits Sweden to discuss how to further strengthen cooperation. Sweden contributes to the NATO Response Force and participates in Exercise Steadfast Jazz, which served to certify the NRF rotation for 2014. 2014 In January, NATO’s Secretary General visits Sweden to discuss further potential for the relationship. Sweden and Finland 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.
  • Switzerland, NATO's relations with -
    NATO's relations with Switzerland Swiss Liaison and Monitoring Team (LMT) officers in contact with Kosovo residents. Switzerland joined NATO's Partnership for Peace in 1996. NATO and Switzerland actively cooperate in crisis-management training and operations. Practical cooperation is also being developed in a range of other areas. NATO values its relations with Switzerland, which the Allies view as an effective partner and contributor to international security. The Allies and Switzerland share key values, such as the promotion of international security, democracy, human rights, international humanitarian law, fundamental freedom and the rule of law. NATO and Switzerland select areas of practical cooperation that match their joint objectives. Since joining the Partnership for Peace (PfP) and becoming a member of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), Switzerland has played an active role in the partnership. It offers expertise and education and training to other partner countries and Allies, with a special focus on humanitarian missions, humanitarian law, human rights and civil-military cooperation as well as on transparency and democratic control of armed forces. Another important area of cooperation is the country’s support for NATO-led operations. Switzerland continues to contribute to the peace-support operation in Kosovo. From 2004 to 2007, it supported the NATO-led operation in Afghanistan. Framework for cooperation NATO and Switzerland detail areas of cooperation in the country’s Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme (IPCP), which is jointly agreed every year. Also, Swiss participation in the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) sets targets to help develop the interoperability and capabilities which might be made available for NATO training, exercises and multinational crisis-management and peace-support operations. Key areas of cooperation include crisis-management and response operations; international efforts to promote regional stability, especially in south-eastern Europe; promotion of humanitarian law, transparency and democratic control of armed forces; training with other partner countries; demining efforts; and the destruction of arms and ammunition. Other important areas of cooperation include disaster relief and the promotion of interoperability. Switzerland also hosts more than 30 regular courses within the PfP framework and develops training materials in areas such as democratic control of armed forces, international humanitarian law, humanitarian demining, civil-military cooperation, security policy, arms control and disarmament. Moreover, the country has supported the development, use of and training for a web-based central management platform (ePRIME) for all EAPC/PfP activities. Key areas of cooperation Security cooperation Cooperation between Switzerland and NATO deepened during the crises in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Kosovo. In late 1995, the Swiss opened their airspace, rail and road networks to the NATO-led Implementation Force (IFOR) that was responsible for implementing military aspects of the Dayton Peace Agreement for Bosnia and Herzegovina. In line with and within the limits of its neutrality, Switzerland participates in peace-support operations or multilateral cooperation in military training. Swiss law excludes participation in combat operations for peace enforcement and Swiss units will only participate in operations under the mandate of the United Nations (UN) or Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). On this basis, the Swiss government decided to contribute to the Kosovo Force (KFOR) in 1999, which was the first time the Swiss participated in a NATO-led peace-support operation. Currently, a Swiss contingent (“SWISSCOY”) is serving within KFOR as part of the Multinational Task Force - South (MNTF-S). The contingent counts a maximum of 220 armed forces personnel and consists of a contingent support element, an infantry company, a transportation platoon, two medium-sized transport helicopters, and staff officers on different HQ levels throughout KFOR. A medical team and a catering staff support the Manoeuvre Battalion located in Suva Reka. Medical specialists and military police also provide support to MNTF-S. Joint Regional Detachment (JRD) North in Kosovo is currently being led by a Swiss officer. In June 2011, the Swiss government and parliament extended the SWISSCOY mandate until the end of 2014, which will continue to be adapted to the needs of KFOR. In addition, Switzerland plays an important role in supporting the development of Kosovo through bilateral and multilateral programmes. From February 2004 to February 2007, a small number of Swiss staff officers joined the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. They provided expertise and assistance in cultivating contacts with local leaders within the German-led Provincial Reconstruction Team in Kunduz Province. Switzerland has made available a number of military and civilian capabilities for potential peace-support operations under UN or OSCE mandates. As Switzerland does not have standing military units, no specific units can be identified for such operations. Contingents are tailored to any given mission’s needs and manned solely with volunteers, as required by the Federal Law on the Armed Forces and Military Administration. The 2010 Reports on Security Policy and on the Armed Forces foresee an increase, both in quantitative and qualitative terms, of the Armed Forces’ contributions to peace-support operations over the next years. Specialised military personnel may be engaged for medical evacuation and humanitarian operations on short notice. One of the most active members of the PfP Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes, Switzerland has also declared a number of training facilities available for PfP training activities. These include the Center for Information and Communication Training in the Swiss Armed Forces in Berne, the mountain training centre of the Swiss Armed Forces in Andermatt, the international training centre of the Swiss Army (SWISSINT) 1 in Stans and the Tactical Training Centre at the Swiss Officers’ Training Centre in Lucerne. A number of civilian training facilities have also been made available for the PfP framework. These include the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP), which has been certified as a Partnership Training and Education Centre, the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) and the International Relations and Security Network (ISN) based in Zurich. Every two years, Switzerland organises the “International Security Forum”, which addresses current issues concerning international security policy. The 10th edition entitled “Facing a World of Transitions” took place on 22-24 April 2013 in Geneva. Switzerland also promotes the application of the law on armed conflicts and humanitarian law. Recently, the country has taken on a leading role in promoting international standards for the regulation of private security companies. Defence and security sector reform In June 2010, the Swiss government approved the Report on the Security Policy of Switzerland, replacing the previous security policy from June 1999. In line with this policy, the country aims to further improve efficient and effective cooperation between the different layers of national authority and with other states and organisations. It also aims to contribute to stability and peace beyond Swiss borders. It highlights cooperation with other states to reduce the risk posed to Switzerland and its population by instability and war abroad, as well as to show solidarity with the international community. The security policy reiterates the three principal tasks of the armed forces as laid down in the Constitution: preventing war, and in case this fails, defending the country and population, contributing to international peace and security, and supporting the civilian authorities in case of serious threats or major natural or man-made disasters. Contributions to international peace and security, in particular, require a high degree of interoperability with Allied and partner country forces. For this reason, increased interoperability for peace-support and humanitarian aid operations is a priority for Switzerland. Participation in the PfP Planning and Review Process and the Operational Capabilities Concept is instrumental in this process. Switzerland also contributes valuable resources to NATO in terms of support of security sector reform activities with other partner countries, with a special emphasis on democratic control of the armed forces, search and rescue training, international humanitarian law courses and other areas. In particular, the country has been a strong supporter of the Partnership Action Plan on Defence Institution Building (PAP-DIB), which aims to build capacity and reduce corruption in the defence sector. Switzerland is an active donor to Partnership Trust Fund projects in partner countries and has supported 14 projects since 2000, two of which it co-led. Under these projects, Switzerland along with individual Allies and partners has supported the destruction of mines, arms and ammunition in Albania, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine, as well as ammunition stockpile management and destruction in Mauritania. More recently, the country co-led the first-ever Trust Fund project in Jordan. The country is also co-leading a Trust Fund on Building Integrity in Defence Institutions as part of the PAP-DIB. It has also supported a Trust Fund project in Serbia for the reintegration of demobilised military personnel into the civilian workforce. Civil emergency planning Civil emergency planning is a major area of cooperation. Switzerland aims to cooperate in providing mutual support in dealing with the consequences of major accidents or disasters in the EAPC area. It has contributed through the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre to disaster-response operations in NATO member states and partner countries. Switzerland participates in numerous training events and exercises, including several crisis-management exercises. Science and environment Switzerland has been actively engaged with the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme since 1990. The SPS Programme enables close collaboration on issues of common interest to enhance the security of NATO and partner nations. 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 Switzerland are working to address a wide range of security issues, notably in the field of cyber defence. Most recently, two advanced research workshops were held on the development of national cyber security strategies (in collaboration with the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn) and on best practices for computer network defence. 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 Switzerland is the embassy of the United Kingdom. 1 Certified as a Partnership Training and Education Centre Milestones in relations 1995 Switzerland opens its land and air transport corridors to NATO-led peacekeeping forces operating in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 1996 Switzerland joins the Partnership for Peace (PfP). 1997 Switzerland signs the Security Agreement. 1999 Switzerland joins the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP). Swiss forces participate in the UN-mandated NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo (KFOR) and Switzerland plays a leading role in assuaging the refugee crisis. Supreme Allied Commander Europe visits Switzerland. The Geneva Centre for Security Policy is certified as a PfP Training Centre. Switzerland organizes the 1st annual Conference for the new PfP Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes. 2000 Switzerland hosts PfP training exercise “Cooperative Determination 2000”. NATO Secretary General visits Switzerland. 2003 Switzerland signs the PfP Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). 2004 Swiss staff officers join the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan to support reconstruction efforts. NATO Secretary General visits Switzerland. 2007 Switzerland co-leads a Trust Fund project in Jordan and supports other Trust Fund projects in Albania, Serbia and Montenegro. 2008 Switzerland co-leads a Trust Fund on Building Integrity in Defence Institutions. Supreme Allied Commander for Transformation visits Switzerland. 2009 High-level parliamentary delegation led by the President of the Swiss National Council visits NATO HQ. 2010 Switzerland and NATO mark the end of the first phase of the Building Integrity and Reducing Corruption Risks in Defence Establishments initiative with the release of "Building Integrity and Reducing Corruption in Defence: A Compendium of Best Practices" and launch the second phase of the initiative. Supreme Allied Commander Europe visits Switzerland. The SWISSINT training centre in Stans is recognised as a PfP Training and Education Centre. 2011 The Swiss Parliament prolongs the Swiss contribution to KFOR until 2014. 2012 Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe visits Switzerland. Deputy State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, George Martin, visits NATO Headquarters. During a visit to Switzerland in November, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen stresses the importance of cooperative security and building stronger security partnerships in talks with Swiss government leaders. Video Switzerland - a generous partner 22 Nov. 2012 newYTPlayer('nhxikkt_g7E','91506',530,300); Video blog by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen during his visit to Switzerland on 22 Nov. 2012 Switzerland - a generous partner 22 Nov. 2012 Video blog by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen during his visit to Switzerland on 22 Nov. 2012 ''Switzerland and NATO : Partners in security'' 22 Nov. 2012 Speech by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the Churchill Symposium in Zürich, Switzerland