NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization

  • Capabilities, Improving NATO’s
    Improving NATO’s capabilities NATO has been engaged in continuous transformation for many years to ensure that it has the policies, capabilities and structures required to deal with current and future challenges, including the collective defence of its members. With Allied forces militarily engaged across several continents, the Alliance needs to ensure that its armed forces remain modern, deployable and sustainable. The 2010 Strategic Concept sets out NATO’s strategic priorities and defines the Organization’s vision of Euro-Atlantic security for the next decade. It provides an analysis of the strategic environment and a framework for all Alliance capability development planning disciplines and intelligence, identifying the kinds of operations the Alliance must be able to perform and setting the context in which capability development takes place. At the May 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago, Alliance leaders reaffirmed their determination to ensure that NATO retains and develops the capabilities necessary to perform its essential core tasks: collective defence, crisis management and cooperative security – and thereby to play an essential role promoting security in the world. This responsibility needs to be met while dealing with an acute financial crisis and responding to evolving geo-strategic challenges. By working together through NATO, Alliance members are better able to ensure the security of their citizens – and to do so far more effectively and efficiently – than would be possible by acting alone. Over the past six decades, they have cooperated closely together, have made firm commitments and taken a range of initiatives to strengthen capabilities in key areas. Meeting immediate and long-term challenges The objectives of the 2010 Strategic Concept are further specified by the 2011 Political Guidance. This Political Guidance establishes in broad terms what the Alliance should be able to do, how much it should be able to do, and sets priorities, thereby guiding procurement and other key activities in the context of the NATO Defence Planning Process (NDPP). The NATO Defence Planning Process The NATO Defence Planning Process (NDPP) provides a framework within which national and Alliance processes can be harmonised to meet Alliance objectives. It establishes in detail how to meet the mandates of the Political Guidance and sets targets for nations and the Alliance collectively, thereby guiding national and collective capability development. Implemented in a four-year cycle, the NDPP seeks forces and capabilities that are deployable, sustainable and can contribute to Alliance missions. The forces provided by Allies have to be able to operate together in a multinational context, prepared, trained, equipped and supported to contribute to the full range of missions, including in distant and remote areas. Defence planning has a short- to long-term perspective, including with respect to identifying requirements, the development and delivery of capabilities, the adjustment of military and civilian structures, personnel issues, equipment procurement and the development of new technologies. On the other hand, very short-term and critical capability shortfalls that arise on operations are tackled through a mechanism whereby urgent operational requirements are raised by the operational commands, scrutinised by the Military Committee and relevant budget committees and put to the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s principal political decision-making body, for consideration as need be. Current objectives With the adoption of the 2010 Strategic Concept, Alliance leaders committed to ensure that NATO has the full range of capabilities necessary to deter and defend against any threat to the safety and security of Allies’ populations. Therefore the Alliance will: maintain an appropriate mix of nuclear and conventional forces; maintain the ability to sustain concurrent major joint operations and several smaller operations for collective defence and crisis response, including at strategic distance; develop and maintain robust, mobile and deployable conventional forces to carry out both its Article 5 responsibilities and expeditionary operations, including with the NATO Response Force; carry out the necessary training, exercises, contingency planning and information exchange for assuring its defence against the full range of conventional and emerging security challenges, and provide appropriate visible assurance and reinforcement for all Allies; ensure the broadest possible participation of Allies in collective defence planning on nuclear roles, in peacetime basing of nuclear forces, and in command, control and consultation arrangements; develop the capability to defend Allies’ populations and territories against ballistic missile attack as a core element of its collective defence, which contributes to the indivisible security of the Alliance; actively seek cooperation on missile defence with Russia and other Euro-Atlantic partners; further develop NATO’s capacity to defend against the threat of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons of mass destruction; develop further its ability to prevent, detect, defend against and recover from cyber attacks, including by using the NATO planning process to enhance and coordinate national cyber defence capabilities, bringing all NATO bodies under centralised cyber protection, and better integrating NATO cyber awareness, warning and response with member nations; enhance the capacity to detect and defend against international terrorism, including through enhanced analysis of the threat, more consultations with our partners, and the development of appropriate military capabilities, including to help train local forces to fight terrorism themselves; develop the capacity to contribute to energy security, including protection of critical energy infrastructure and transit areas and lines, cooperation with partners, and consultations among Allies on the basis of strategic assessments and contingency planning; ensure that the Alliance is at the front edge in assessing the security impact of emerging technologies, and that military planning takes the potential threats into account; sustain the necessary levels of defence spending, so that its armed forces are sufficiently resourced; continue to review NATO’s overall posture in deterring and defending against the full range of threats to the Alliance, taking into account changes to the evolving international security environment. Prioritising capabilities Given the evolving geo-strategic environment, NATO leaders are continually assessing and reviewing the capabilities needed to conduct the full range of the Alliance’s missions. At the Chicago Summit in May 2012, NATO leaders made a pledge to improve the Alliance’s planning processes and specific capabilities in pursuit of the “NATO Forces 2020” goal. The vision for NATO forces in 2020 and beyond is one of modern, tightly connected forces equipped, trained, exercised and commanded so that they can operate together and with partners in any environment. This constitutes what has been coined the “Chicago Defence Package”, which aims to ensure the Alliance has all the requisite capabilities to implement the 2010 Strategic Concept and the 2011 Political Guidance. The package is based largely on existing plans and programmes and a realistic projection of resources. It therefore provides a renewed focus and mandate to ensure that in the competition for resources the most urgent capabilities are delivered. The Chicago Defence Package consists of a mix of new and existing initiatives. The new initiatives consist of Smart Defence and the Connected Forces Initiative; the existing initiatives include the Lisbon Summit package focused on the Alliance’s most pressing capability needs; the ongoing reform of Alliance structures and processes; and the NATO Defence Planning Process, mentioned previously. Smart Defence As technology grows more expensive and defence budgets are under pressure, there are key capabilities which many Allies can only obtain if they work together to develop and acquire them. Smart Defence is the opportunity for a renewed culture of cooperation in which multinational collaboration is given new prominence as an effective and efficient option for developing critical capabilities. The decisions of Allies in Chicago to take forward specific multinational projects, including for better protection of troops, better surveillance and better training will enhance NATO’s ability to meet the challenges faced in 2020 and beyond. Developing greater European military capabilities will strengthen the transatlantic link, enhance the security of all Allies and foster an equitable sharing of the burdens, benefits and responsibilities of Alliance membership. In this context, NATO will work closely with the European Union (EU), utilising agreed mechanisms, to ensure that Smart Defence and the EU's Pooling and Sharing initiative are complementary and mutually reinforcing. Maintaining a strong defence industry in Europe and making the fullest possible use of the potential of defence industrial cooperation across the Alliance also remain an essential condition for delivering the capabilities needed for 2020 and beyond. Connected Forces Initiative NATO is also taking steps to enhance the linkages between its forces, and with partner countries as well. The 2011 NATO operation over Libya showed the importance of such connections; as soon as the political decision was taken to initiate the NATO mission, Alliance pilots were flying wing to wing with each other, and with pilots from non-NATO European and Arab partner countries. The aim is to build on such success through the Connected Forces Initiative. This initiative seeks to expand education and training of personnel, complementing in this way essential national efforts. It will also enhance exercises, strengthen the bonds between the NATO Command Structure, the NATO Force Structure, and national headquarters and reinforce the NATO Response Force so that it can play a greater role in helping Alliance forces to operate together and to contribute to NATO’s deterrence and defence posture. As much as possible, NATO will also step up connections with partners, so that all can act together, when desired. Priority capability requirements At the Lisbon Summit in 2010, recognising the economic and fiscal climate, Allies endorsed a package of capabilities representing the Alliance’s most pressing capability needs. It was developed to help the Alliance meet the demands of ongoing operations, face emerging challenges and acquire key enabling capabilities. Afghan Mission Network NATO is creating a single federated International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) network to improve information sharing by easing the information flow and creating better situational awareness among countries participating in ISAF operations. The capability continues to be developed in an incremental fashion with additional functionality being added each year. Countering improvised explosive devices Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) are the cause of many casualties in Afghanistan. NATO has launched an ambitious Counter-IED Action Plan, led by Allied Command Transformation, fostering collaboration inside and outside NATO. The Action Plan combines short-term measures in support of ISAF with long-term capability development for future contingencies. Work is ongoing at different levels (including initiatives to collate and share intelligence, improved training, new technical capabilities and cooperation with other international organisations) to implement measures that will help protect troops against IEDs and address the insurgent networks behind these destructive devices. Improving air- and sea-lift capabilities Air-and sea-lift capabilities are a key enabler for operations – so that forces and equipment can be deployed quickly to wherever they are needed. While there is significant ongoing procurement at a national level, many Allies have also pooled resources, including with partner countries, to acquire new capacities through commercial arrangements or through purchase, giving them access to additional transport to swiftly move troops, equipment and supplies across the globe. Collective logistics contracts To improve effectiveness, NATO is examining procedures for the development and administration of rapidly usable contracts, including for medical support, with repayment by countries when used. More broadly, collective logistics is being implemented by NATO in Kosovo and Afghanistan for redeployment to optimise the use of multinational capabilities. Additionally, in June 2013, Exercise Capable Logistician brought together a large number of logisticians from member and partner countries to work on improving interoperability. Dealing with evolving and emerging threats Missile defence In the context of a broader response to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems, NATO is pursuing a Theatre Missile Defence Programme aimed at protecting deployed Alliance forces against ballistic missile threats with ranges up to 3,000 kilometres. The Alliance has an interim capability to protect troops in a specific area against short-range and some medium-range ballistic missiles. At the Lisbon Summit, NATO leaders decided to expand the Theatre Missile Defence Programme to include protection of NATO European populations and territories and at the same time invited Russia to cooperate on missile defence and to share in its benefits. At the Chicago Summit, NATO leaders declared an interim ballistic missile defence capability as an initial step to establish NATO's missile defence system, which will protect all NATO European territories, populations and forces against the increasing threats posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles. Cyber defence In June 2011, NATO adopted a revised policy on cyber defence and its related action plan. NATO’s fundamental cyber defence responsibility is to defend NATO’s own communication and information systems. To this end, NATO will continue to develop and to strengthen its cyber security and cyber defence The Alliance is also prepared, upon request, to coordinate assistance if an Ally or Allies are victims of a cyber attack. In June 2013 , at their first-ever meeting dedicated to cyber defence, NATO defence ministers agreed that the Alliance’s cyber defence capability should be fully operational by the autumn. This includes the establishment of Rapid Reaction Teams to help protect NATO’s own systems. Stabilisation and reconstruction The Alliance’s experience with crisis response operations has shown the importance of stabilisation and reconstruction – activities undertaken in fragile states or in conflict or post-conflict situations to promote security, development and good governance in key sectors. In modern conflicts, conventional military means are often not sufficient to re-establish stable, self-sustaining peace. The primary responsibilities for such activities normally lie with other actors, but the Alliance has established political guidelines that will help to improve its involvement in stabilisation and reconstruction. Critical long-term enabling capabilities Information superiority is a key enabling element in the battle space and helps commanders at every level make the best decisions, creating the circumstances for success at less risk and greater speed. NATO will therefore continue to develop and acquire a range of networked information systems (Automated Information Systems) that support the two Strategic Commands. They cover a number of domains, including, land, air, maritime, intelligence, logistics and the common operating picture, with a view to enabling more informed and effective, holistic oversight, decision-making and command and control. Air Command and Control NATO is putting into place a fully interoperable, automated and integrated Air Command and Control System (ACCS). It will provide for real-time command and control, as well as mission planning and associated functions. It will also have the potential for air and missile defence tasks. Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance NATO needs a Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (JISR) capability that will provide for the coordinated collection, processing, dissemination and sharing within NATO of ISR material gathered by the future Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system, the current NATO Airborne Early-Warning and Control force (AWACS) and national ISR assets. While NATO is delivering a critical JISR capability in ISAF, an enduring JISR capability, which has yet to be fully defined, has to be developed over the coming years. Alliance Ground Surveillance The Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system is a key element of transformation and an essential enabling capability for forces across the full spectrum of NATO’s current and future operations and missions. The AGS will be an airborne, stand-off ground surveillance system that can detect and track vehicles, such as tanks, trucks or helicopters, moving on or near the ground, in all weather conditions. The AGS airborne vehicle acquisition contract was signed during the 2012 Chicago Summit. Other initiatives The NATO Response Force The NATO Response Force (NRF) is a technologically advanced, multinational force made up of land, air, maritime and special forces components that the Alliance can deploy quickly to wherever it is needed. It has the overarching purpose of being able to provide a rapid military response to an emerging crisis, whether for collective defence purposes or for other crisis response operations. It is also a driving engine of NATO’s military transformation. Aviation modernisation programmes The Alliance will continue to develop its capabilities in the field of air traffic management (ATM) and engage in civil aviation modernisation plans in Europe (Single European Sky ATM Research) and North America (NextGen). The aim is threefold: to ensure safe access to airspace; ensure effective delivery of services; and ensure civil-military interoperability in order to safeguard military mission effectiveness at global level and the ability to conduct the full range of NATO operations, including the airspace integration of unmanned aircraft systems. Energy security At the Chicago Summit in May 2012, Allies recognised that a stable and reliable energy supply, diversification of routes, suppliers and energy resources, and the interconnectivity of energy networks remain of critical importance. While these issues are primarily the responsibility of national governments and other international organisations concerned, NATO closely follows relevant developments in energy security. NATO's Strategic Concept states that the Alliance will “develop the capacity to contribute to energy security, including protection of critical energy infrastructure and transit areas and lines, cooperation with partners, and consultations among Allies on the basis of strategic assessments and contingency planning.” In addition, NATO works towards significantly improving the energy efficiency of Allied military forces. Reforming NATO’s structures The Defence Package approved at the Chicago Summit stressed the importance of pursuing the reform of NATO structures and procedures. The need for NATO to function in an effective and efficient way is all the more necessary as defence budgets are declining in most member countries. The Alliance has fundamentally reformed its military command structure to ensure that it is more effective, leaner and affordable. The transition to the new structure took place in December 2012, opening the way to an entity that is more agile, flexible and better able to deploy headquarters for remote operations as well as to protect Alliance territory. In the same spirit, a major reform of NATO’s agencies was conducted and in July 2012 four new NATO organisations were established, rationalising and consolidating functions and responsibilities of nine NATO Agencies related to Support, Communications and Information, Procurement, and Science and Technology. NATO Headquarters has also been reformed, including with regard to intelligence-sharing and production, the establishment of a division responsible for emerging security challenges, and a significant reduction in the number and responsibilities of committees. Video At the Munich Security Conference 02 Feb. 2013 newYTPlayer('JYHGC6z_NYg','94289',530,300); NATO Secretary General's video blog At the Munich Security Conference 02 Feb. 2013 NATO Secretary General's video blog Strategic Sea-lift at Minimum Cost 05 Jun. 2012 The ARK Project is a multinational, Danish-led pool of ships that ensures stable charter costs for sea-lift in the event of a crisis or war. In order to minimise costs the ships are chartered to the civilian market when not needed for military transport.
  • Caucasus and Central Asia, The NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the -
    The NATO Secretary General's Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia The NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative is responsible for carrying forward the Alliance’s policy in the two strategically important regions of the Caucasus and Central Asia. He provides advice to the Secretary General on how best to achieve NATO’s goals in the two regions, and how best to address the security concerns of NATO’s partners. He is responsible for overall coordination of NATO’s partnership policy in the two regions, and works closely with regional leaders to enhance their cooperation with the Alliance. In the Caucasus, NATO works with Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia which are effectively the South Caucasus; and in Central Asia: Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The Special Representative also provides high-level support for the work of the NATO Liaison Officer for the South Caucasus in Tbilisi, Georgia and for Central Asia based in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. He works closely with the NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan in order to ensure that NATO’s policy in Central Asia fully supports NATO’s ongoing mission in Afghanistan. He liaises with senior officials from partner governments in the two regions, and advises them on their overall process of reform and how best to use NATO partnership tools to implement those reforms. He also liaises with representatives of the international community and other international organisations engaged in the two regions in order to ensure coordination of assistance programmes. The Special Representative also promotes understanding about NATO and security issues more generally through engaging with the media and civil society in the two regions. The position of Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia was created on an ad hoc basis following the decision taken by NATO Allies at the Istanbul Summit in June 2004 to place a special focus on the strategically important regions of the Caucasus and Central Asia. A key element of this special focus is enhanced liaison arrangements, including the appointment of the Special Representative and two NATO Liaison Officers, one for each region. The post of Special Representative is currently held by James Appathurai, who replaced the late Robert F. Simmons – NATO’s first Special Representative – in December 2010. Mr Appathurai previously served as NATO’s Spokesperson from 2004 to 2010. Prior to that, he served as Deputy Head and Senior Planning Officer in the Policy Planning and Speechwriting Section of NATO’s Political Affairs Division from 1998 to 2004. NATO Liaison Officer in Central Asia International Business Centre 107-B, Amir Temur Avenue, 11th floor 100084 Tashkent, Uzbekistan Tel: +998 71 234 45 07 Fax: +998 71 234 72 07 NATO Liaison Officer for the South Caucasus/Head of the NATO Liaison Office in Georgia 162 Tsinamdzgvrishvili 0112 Tbilisi, Georgia Tel.: +995 (32) 293 38 01
  • Central Europe Pipeline System (CEPS)
    Central Europe Pipeline System (CEPS) The Central Europe Pipeline System (CEPS) is the largest of the NATO Pipeline systems. It is designed and managed to meet operational requirements in central Europe in peace, crisis and conflict. The CEPS can expeditiously provide military commanders with fuel for aircraft and ground vehicles, whenever and wherever required in the light of the prevailing military situation. The non-military use of the CEPS was permitted by the North Atlantic Council in 1959 under the condition that priority is given to military capability (the Military Priority Clause). While ensuring the necessary investments, one of the priorities of the CEPS is to offer an optimal service for its military and non-military clients under all circumstances. The CEPS Programme member nations are Belgium, France, Germany, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, and the United States. The member nations with CEPS assets within their territory are called the Host Nations and comprise: Belgium, France, Germany, Luxemburg and the Netherlands. It is one of the most complex and extensive networks of refined product pipelines in the world. It comes under the authority of the CEPS Programme Board, which is the governing body of the CEPS Programme and acts with regard to the collective interests of all CEPS Programme member nations.  The CEPS is managed, day-by-day, by the CEPS Programme Office (CEPS PO), which is the executive arm of the CEPS Programme and an integral part of the NATO Support Agency (NSPA). Facts about the CEPS The CEPS is a state-of-the-art, high-pressure pipeline network that transports different products including jet fuel, gasoline, diesel fuel and naphtha. The pipeline network The CEPS comprises some 5600 km of pipeline with diameters ranging from 6 to 12 inches. This network of pipelines links 3 NATO depots (offering a total storage capacity of 1.25 million m3), military and civil airfields, refineries, civil depots and sea ports situated in the Host Nations (Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and The Netherlands). Use of the CEPS in time of conflict At the beginning of a military operation, military demands increase exponentially, which means that the system is used to maximum capacity. The reserve stocks in the CEPS and the connection to European refineries, civil depots and maritime entry points provide the flexibility in the System to meet surges in requirements. Non-connected installations can be supplied by train or trucks loaded in one of the numerous truck or train-loading stations belonging to the system. Civilian use of CEPS Operating costs for the CEPS are shared by the Member Nations. In order to keep operational costs as low as possible and to increase the use of the pipeline, the system is also extensively used for the transport and storage of products for non-military clients. However, under all circumstances, the military priority clause included in the commercial contracts guarantees the primacy of supply to military forces. The delivery of jet-fuel to major civil airports such as Frankfurt, Schiphol, Brussels, Luxembourg and Zurich represents an important part of the volume pumped. With approximately 12.5 million m³ delivered in 2012, the revenues from non-military activities considerably reduced the cost to the six CEPS countries. Management of the CEPS The CEPS is managed by the NATO Central Europe Pipeline System (CEPS) Programme which was established by the NATO Support Organisation Charter as from 1st July 2012. The new NATO Support Organisation (NSPO) was created by merging the former NATO Maintenance and Supply Organisation (NAMSO), the former NATO Airlift Management Organisation (NAMO) and the former Central Europe Pipeline Management Organisation (CEPMO). The former CEPMO became the CEPS Programme within the NSPO. The former CEPMA became the CEPS Programme Office (CEPS PO) within the NATO Support Agency (NSPA). The CEPS Programme consists of the CEPS Programme Board, the CEPS Programme Office and the National Organisations. The CEPS Programme Board is the governing body acting with regard to the collective interests of all CEPS Programme member nations. It is comprised of representatives from each member Nation. The CEPS Programme Office (Versailles, France) is responsible for the execution of the mission of the CEPS Programme and sets policy and technical standards to be used in the system. It coordinates and designs the planning of cross-border traffic, the use of storage capacities and manages product quality control. The CEPS Programme Office develops investment plans and is responsible for the development and execution of the CEPS Budget. Operations are run on a 24/7 basis, with the CEPS Programme Office serving as the intermediary between National Organisations and NATO Authorities, suppliers and clients. The day-to-day pipeline operations and maintenance is executed by four National Organisations and their respective dispatching centers. The CEPS Programme Office assures operational, technical, budgetary and administrative control of the CEPS in peace- and wartime in accordance with the Charter of the NSPO.  According to the NSPO Charter, the National Organisations that support the CEPS Programme are regarded as being part of the CEPS Programme, but are not part of NATO. The development of CEPS over time During the Second World War, the need for the safe provision of fuel to military forces in combat was key to success. This accounts for the construction of PLUTO (Pipeline Under The Ocean) by the Allies between England and France. Troops that had landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day were guaranteed fuel supplies via PLUTO as they progressed across the continent. The construction of the CEPS The CEPS was created to distribute fuels to NATO forces in the Central Region of Europe. In 1958, the NATO Common Infrastructure Programme funded the construction of the CEPS. It was a joint NATO-national project that had the characteristic of coordinating and interconnecting national facilities. Before the creation of the CEPS, individual countries already possessed some pipelines, storage depots, ports, loading stations, airfield connections, pumping facilities, and highly trained personnel. Within the CEPS, these systems were interconnected, extended and centrally managed. The end of the Cold War With the end of the Cold War, the former Central Europe Pipeline Management Organisation (CEPMO), established in 1997 until 30 June 2012,  carried out two major restructuring programmes to adapt CEPS to the new strategic situation. A considerable number of installations, which had no further military relevance, have been eliminated. This resulted in significant annual cost savings. Smart CEPS In 2011, a review of the current Business Model was initiated by the former CEPMO Board of Directors.  Optimization of the current Business Model and rationalization of the layout of the system were important topics of this review. A new system layout was approved in 2012 with the aim of generating significant cost reductions over the next five years starting in 2013. Supporting NATO operations Since 1990, the CEPS has supported a number of large operations within and outside the European theatre. A prime example of the absolute necessity of the CEPS was provided during NATO operations in Kosovo in support of the major air campaign. The CEPS continues to support operations in a number of different theatres including Afghanistan. 2011 was marked by NATO’s commitment to Libya. The CEPS demonstrated once more its reliability as a key logistics asset in support of NATO operations. Deliveries to Istres Airbase were increased in support of the French Forces involved in Operation Unified Protector.
  • Central Europe Pipeline System Programme Board (CEPS PB)
    Central Europe Pipeline System Programme Board The Central Europe Pipeline System Programme Board (CEPS PB) is responsible for all policy decisions related to the management of the Central Europe Pipeline System (CEPS); it also approves the annual budgets and the long-term strategic plan. In sum, the Board establishes general policy, objectives, missions, and approves financial resources for the CEPS. From an organizational point of view, it is the governing body of the CEPS Programme. It acts with regard to the collective interests of NATO and all member countries participating in the CEPS Programme, i.e., Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and the United States. These participating countries each have representatives on the Board. Other representatives can participate, but not in the decision-making process. Working mechanisms The CEPS Programme Board is comprised of representatives from each member Nation. Each representative on the Board may be assisted by national experts who may participate in the discussions at Board meetings. Representatives of the NATO Military Authorities (NMAs), the NATO Office of Resources (NOR), the Support Agency General Manager, the Programme Manager of the CEPS Programme office, and the NATO Defence Policy and Planning (DPP) Division’s Petroleum Logistics Office shall be invited to participate in all meetings of the CEPS Programme Board. Additionally, the Board can invite other parties to participate as appropriate. The CEPS Programme Board meets three times a year, but shall meet as soon as possible in response to a specific request by any member nation, the Chairperson of the Board, the Representatives of the NATO Military Authorities, Programme Manager of the Programme Office or the General Manager of the NATO Support Agency (NSPA). The CEPS Programme Board shall arrive at all decisions by consensus. The CEPS Programme Office (CEPS PO) based in Versailles, France, implements the decisions of the CEPS Programme Board and manages the daily operation of the system. Evolution of the Board Changing institutions When the CEPS was created more than fifty years ago, there were two governing bodies: the Central Europe Pipeline Office (CEPO), and the Central Europe Pipeline Policy Committee (CEPPC). The former was responsible for all decisions related to the operation of the network and the latter for the general policy and finances. The executive agency, named the Central Europe Operating Agency (CEOA), was created on 1 January 1958. In 1997, the North Atlantic Council endorsed the new Central Europe Pipeline Management Organisation (CEPMO) Charter approved by the two directing bodies. The Charter defined the structure and responsibilities of the new management organization of the CEPS: CEPMO, which comprised one single CEPMO Board of Directors (BoD) and the Agency (CEPMA). On 1 July 2012, the new NATO Support Organisation (NSPO) was created by merging the former NATO Maintenance and Supply Organisation (NAMSO), the former NATO Airlift Management Organisation (NAMO) and the former Central Europe Pipeline Management Organisation (CEPMO). The former CEPMO became the CEPS Programme within the NSPO. The former CEPMA became the CEPS Programme Office (CEPS PO) within the NATO Support Agency (NSPA). New challenges In the post-Cold War period, the Board and the Agency were faced with the challenge of maintaining the necessary CEPS capability with reduced national defence budgets. The Board decided to help reduce costs by closing down storage and pipeline systems that were no longer needed and to augment revenues by increasing non-military activities. As a consequence, once military needs are satisfied, the CEPS provides fuel transport for civilian requirements in Central Europe. The military priority clause in all transport and storage contracts ensures that CEPS fulfills its primary role – responding to military needs - however, it has also become an important fuel transporter for civilian use. The possibility of commercialization was first authorized by the North Atlantic Council in 1959 but it only became a significant part of daily activities from 1994. Smart CEPS In 2011, a review of the current Business Model was initiated by the former CEPMO Board of Directors. Optimization of the current Business Model and rationalization of the layout of the system were important topics of this review. A new system layout was approved in 2012 with the aim of generating significant cost reductions over the next five years starting in 2013.
  • Centres of Excellence
    Centres of Excellence Centres of Excellence (COEs) are nationally or multi-nationally funded institutions that train and educate leaders and specialists from NATO member and partner countries, assist in doctrine development, identify lessons learned, improve interoperability, and capabilities and test and validate concepts through experimentation. They offer recognized expertise and experience that is of benefit to the Alliance and support the transformation of NATO, while avoiding the duplication of assets, resources and capabilities already present within the NATO command structure. Coordinated by Allied Command Transformation (ACT) in Norfolk, Virginia in the United States, COEs are considered to be international military organizations. Although not part of the NATO command structure, they are part of a wider framework supporting NATO Command Arrangements. Designed to complement the Alliance’s current resources, COEs cover a wide variety of areas, with each one focusing on a specific field of expertise to enhance NATO capabilities. ACT has overall responsibility for COEs and is in charge of the establishment, accreditation, preparation of candidates for approval, and periodic assessments of the centres. The establishment of a COE is a straightforward procedure. Normally, one or more members decide to establish a COE. The idea then moves into the concept development phase. During this phase the “Framework Nation” or “Nations” fleshes out the concept to ACT by providing information such as the area of specialization, the location of the potential COE and how it will support NATO transformation. Once ACT approves the concept, the COE and any NATO country that wishes to participate in the COE’s activities then negotiate two Memorandums of Understanding (MOU): a Functional MOU, which governs the relationship between Centres of Excellence and the Alliance and an Operational MOU, which governs the relationship between participating countries and the COE. Once participating countries agree to and sign the MOU, the COE seeks accreditation from ACT. The Alliance does not fund COEs. Instead, they receive national or multinational support, with “Framework Nations”, “Sponsoring Nations” and “Contributing Nations” financing the operating costs of the institutions. Twenty-one COEs have either received NATO accreditation or are in the development stages. Role of the Centres of Excellence Considered to be international military organizations, the primary purpose of COEs is to assist with transformation within the Alliance, while avoiding the duplication of assets, resources and capabilities already present within the NATO command structure. They generally specialize in one functional area and act as subject matter experts in their field of expertise. They distribute their in-depth knowledge through training, conferences, seminars, concepts, doctrine, lessons learned and papers. In addition to giving NATO and partner country leaders and units the opportunity to augment their education and training, COEs also help the Alliance to expand interoperability, increase capabilities, aid in the development of doctrine and standards, conduct analyses, evaluate lessons-learned and experiment in order to test and verify concepts. While NATO does not directly fund COEs nor are they part of the NATO command structure, COEs do work alongside the Alliance. They are nationally or multi-nationally funded and are part of a supporting network, encouraging internal and external information exchange to the benefit of the Alliance. The overall responsibility for COE coordination and utilization within NATO lies with ACT, in co-ordination with the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR). Currently, there are 21 COEs: 18 with NATO-accreditation plus three additional COEs that are in the development stages. The working language of COEs is generally English. Working mechanisms Different types of participants There are three different types of supporters for COEs: “Framework Nations”, “Sponsoring Nations” and “Contributing Nations”. Generally, a Framework Nation agrees to take on the responsibility of developing the concept and implementation of the COE. In addition, it agrees to provide physical space for the operation of the COE, as well as personnel to run the institution. Sponsoring Nations contribute financially to the COE and also provide personnel, whose salary they cover. Contributing Nations may provide financial support or some other service that is of use to the functioning of the COE. Receiving NATO accreditation All COEs follow a set process to receive NATO accreditation. The Framework Nation or Nations submit a proposal for the COE, which HQ ACT then considers. Next, the Framework Nation or Nations coordinate with ACT to further flesh out the proposal before sending the official offer to establish a COE to SACT. If the proposal meets certain criteria, ACT formally welcomes the offer. Afterwards, the Framework Nation or Nations further develop the concept, draft an Operational Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and present the COE offer to other countries. Those that are interested in joining the COE then engage in MOU negotiations before agreeing to the terms of the MOU. For COEs that did not have some sort of facility in place previously, the COE is physically established.  The Framework and Sponsoring nations must also coordinate, draft, negotiate and agree to a Functional MOU with HQ ACT. The COE then enters into the accreditation phase. HQ ACT develops accreditation criteria, after which the Framework Nation or Nations request accreditation for the COE. A team from ACT then visits the COE and assesses it against the tailored list of points based on the Military Committee (MC)’s accreditation criteria for COEs. All COEs must act as a catalyst for NATO transformation and open activities to all Alliance members. COEs must not duplicate nor compete with current NATO capabilities, but instead offer an area of expertise not already found within the Organization. To this end, all COEs must have subject matter experts in their field of specialization. ACT periodically re-assesses COEs in order to ensure that they continue to meet those criteria and assure continued NATO accreditation status. Ultimately, the Military Committee and the North Atlantic Council must approve the initial accreditation of the COE. NATO accredited Centres of Excellence These include: Centre for Analysis and Simulation for the Preparation of Air Operations Civil Military Cooperation Cold Weather Operations Combined Joint Operations from the Sea Command and Control Cooperative Cyber Defence Counter Improvised Explosive Devices Defence Against Terrorism Energy Security Explosive Ordnance Disposal Human Intelligence Joint Air Power Competence Centre Joint Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defence Military Engineering Military Medical Modelling and Simulation Naval Mine Warfare Operations in Confined and Shallow Waters Centre for Analysis and Simulation for the Preparation of Air Operations (CASPOA) COE Based in Lyon, France, the Centre for Analysis and Simulation for the Preparation of Air Operations (CASPOA) specializes in the area of Command and Control in joint and multinational air operations. CASPOA uses both Computer Assisted Exercise (CAX) and Command Post Exercises (CPX) to achieve this objective. CASPOA offers courses in several fields, including air operations and command, air operations systems and specific air operations to train personnel. In addition, CASPOA also analyzes lessons learned from both real operations and exercises to aid in training personnel and developing simulation tools. Established in 1997, CASPOA COE’s Framework Nation, France, sought NATO accreditation as a COE in 2007 and received it in 2008. Civil - Military Cooperation (CIMIC) COE Based in Enschede, the Netherlands, the Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) COE focuses on improving civil-military interaction and cooperation between NATO, Sponsoring Nations and other military and civil groups by utilizing the skills and experts of CIMIC’s own staff. The experience and expertise of CIMIC is available to NATO members, Sponsoring Nations, military and civil groups, as well as other international organizations, such as the European Union, non-governmental organizations and scientific institutions. Germany and the Netherlands, the CIMIC Framework Nations, sought NATO accreditation in 2006. The COE received accreditation in 2007. Cold Weather Operations (CWO) COE Based in Bodø, Norway, the Cold Weather Operations (CWO) COE specializes in operations in the extreme cold. CWO is also working to establish relationships with other institutions. To this end, CWO and the Mountain Warfare COE in Slovenia are working on establishing a Technical Agreement cementing a formal cooperation agreement between the two COEs. Norway, the CWO Framework Nation, sought NATO accreditation for the COE beginning in 2005. It received accreditation in 2007. Combined Joint Operations from the Sea (CJOS) COE Based in Norfolk, Virginia in the United States, the Combined Joint Operations from the Sea (CJOS) COE assists with the transformation of NATO’s maritime capabilities by utilizing the joint warfare expertise and experience of the Centre. Its main goal is to counter emerging global security challenges by improving the ability of the Sponsoring Nations and NATO to conduct combined joint operations from the sea. CJOS also advises the Alliance on how to improve multinational education, training, doctrine and interoperability regarding maritime operations. The United States, the CJOS Framework Nation, sought NATO accreditation in 2006 and received it later the same year. Command and Control (C2) COE Based in Ede, the Netherlands, the main focus of the Command and Control (C2) COE is improving joint and combined interoperability. It offers several seminars, workshops and conferences to transfer knowledge to NATO member countries and Sponsoring Nations. Other focus areas include assisting NATO exercises and assessment processes, supporting HQ ACT with policy, doctrine, strategy and concept development, providing C2 and NNEC training, investigating and authenticating C2-related NATO concepts through testing and simulation, and stabilizing and sustaining C2-focused relationships. C2’s Framework Nation, the Netherlands, requested NATO accreditation as a COE in 2007 and received it in 2008. Cooperative Cyber Defence (CCD) COE A major cyber attack in Estonia that hit banks, the government, national ministries, the media, the police and emergency services in 2007 highlighted the importance of cyber security. To address this need, several countries came together to establish the Cooperative Cyber Defence (CCD) COE. Based in Tallinn, Estonia, CCD’s mission is to foster cooperation, capabilities and information sharing between NATO countries regarding cyber security. To this end, CCD uses several strategies, including cyber defence exercises, law and policy workshops, technical courses and conferences, to prepare NATO and Sponsoring Nations for detecting and fighting cyber attacks. Composed of experts from several NATO member countries, CCD also conducts research and training on several areas of cyber warfare. As the Framework Nation, Estonia established the CCD in 2008. It received NATO COE accreditation later the same year. Counter Improvised Explosive Devices (C-IED) COE Based in Madrid, Spain, the principal aim of the Counter Improvised Explosive Devices (C-IED) COE is to enhance the capabilities to counter, reduce and eliminate threats from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by offering multinational courses for C-IED experts With Spain as the Framework Nation, C-IED COE received NATO accreditation in 2010. Defence Against Terrorism (DAT) COE Based in Ankara, Turkey, the Defence Against Terrorism (DAT) COE provides subject matter expertise on how best to defend against terrorism. It also provides training on counter terrorism, assists in the development of doctrine and helps improve NATO’s capabilities and interoperability. In addition to publishing the Defence Against Terrorism Review twice a year, DAT also holds conferences, workshops, symposiums and advanced training courses relating to defence against terrorism. DAT regularly participates in NATO Working Groups. Established by Turkey, the Framework Nation, in 2005, DAT received NATO COE accreditation in 2006. Energy Security (ENSEC) COE Based in Vilnius, Lithuania, the Energy Security (ENSEC) COE’s mission is to support NATO’s capability development process, mission effectiveness, and interoperability in the near, mid and long terms by providing comprehensive and timely subject matter expertise on all aspects of energy security. Established stablished in July 2012 by Lithuania, the Framework Nation, the ENSEC COE received NATO accreditation in October 2012. Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) COE Based in Trenčín, Slovakia, the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) COE provides expertise in the field of explosive ordnance disposal for NATO and Partnership for Peace countries. Like other COEs, EOD works with NATO in the areas of standardization, doctrine development and concepts validation. It supports NATO operations in the field of explosive ordnance disposal by improving interoperability and cooperation between NATO member countries, partner countries, international organizations and the NATO command structure. Established by Slovakia, the Framework Nation, in 2007, the EOD COE received NATO accreditation 28 April 2011. Human Intelligence (HUMINT) COE Based in Oradea, Romania, the Human Intelligence (HUMINT) COE acts as the main focal point for human intelligence expertise. Like other COEs, HUMINT engages in education and training, provides expertise to NATO Bodies and Strategic Commanders, improves interoperability and standardization, increases capabilities, and contributes to doctrine development through experimentation, testing and validation. The HUMINT COE Framework Nation, Romania, sought NATO accreditation as a COE beginning in 2010. It received accreditation later the same year. Joint Air Power Competence Centre (JAPCC) COE Based in Kalkar, Germany, the Joint Air Power Competence Centre (JAPCC) seeks to improve the space, land and maritime air power operations of the Alliance. In particular, it strives to develop and advance new ideas for the command, control and use of air assets from all service branches, while ensuring the implementation of those ideas. JAPCC also supports ACT, ACO and Sponsoring Nations by providing advice and expertise relating to air and space power. JAPCC’s Framework Nation, Germany, sought COE accreditation in 2004, which it received in 2005. Joint Chemical, Biological, Radiation and Nuclear Defence (JCBRN Defence) COE Based in Vyškov, Czech Republic, the Joint Chemical, Biological, Radiation and Nuclear (JCBRN) Defence COE develops defence doctrines, standards and knowledge with the goal of improving interoperability and capabilities. It also provides education and training opportunities, assists and advises NATO, Sponsoring Nations and other international organizations and institutions in the area of CBRN defence. In addition to developing and circulating lessons learned, JCBRN also trains and certifies the CBRN Defence Task Force of the NATO Response Force. Established by the Czech Republic, the COE’s Framework Nation, JCBRN Defence sought NATO accreditation in 2006, which it received in 2007. Military Engineering (MILENG) COE Based in Inglostadt, Germany, the Military Engineering (MILENG) COE provides expertise relating to joint and combined military engineering to improve interoperability. It also provides, support for exercises and operations, develops concepts and doctrine, and acts as knowledge managers for the field of military engineering. Much like other COEs, MILENG holds seminars, workshops and courses to disseminate information and training. Established by Germany, MILENG sought COE accreditation in 2008, which it received in 2010. Military Medical (MILMED) COE Based in Budapest, Hungary, the Military Medical (MILMED) COE aims to improve military medical capacity and capability through multinational interoperability and standardization. As the subject matter expert for military medicine, MILMED focuses on several areas, including medical training and evaluation, standards development and lessons learned. From the medical training and evaluation perspective, MILMED strives to improve multinational medical capabilities and interoperability. To achieve this goal, it gives medical courses through coordination with the NATO School. In addition to the implementation of necessary certification tools, MILMED also provides mobile training teams to ACO and Sponsoring Nations to aid in the certification process for deployable multinational medical units. For the standards development side, MILMED takes the lead in assisting and developing medical standardization agreements that deal with training requirements and certification procedures for both individuals and units. In addition to this, MILMED contributes to lessons learned by collecting, analyzing and making recommendations on information and experiences. Created in May 2009 by Hungary, the Framework Nation, MILMED received NATO accreditation later the same year. Modelling and Simulation (M&S) COE Based at the Adriano De Cicco Army Barracks within the Cecchignola Military Compound in Rome Italy, the Modelling and Simulation (M&S) COE focuses on education,  training, knowledge management, lessons learned, analysis, concept development, experimentation, doctrine development and improving interoperability in the field of modelling and simulation. As subject matter experts, M&S functions as knowledge managers for modelling and simulation. It develops and manages shared repositories for information related to this field. It also provides advice and assistance on data interconnectivity. With Italy as the Framework Nation, the M&S COE received NATO accreditation on 18 July 2012. Naval Mine Warfare (NMW) COE Based in Oostende, Belgium, the Naval Mine Warfare (NMW) COE, is co-located with the Ecole de Guerre de Mines (EGUERMIN), which has existed since 1965. In addition to providing Naval Mine Countermeasures (NMCM) courses to naval personnel from the Netherlands and Belgium, NMW COE acts as NMCM technical advisor to ACO and assist NATO’s Operational Commands and offers courses for both NATO and non-NATO countries, including Partnership for Peace countries. NMW COE Framework Nations, Belgium and the Netherlands sought NATO accreditation as a COE in 2005. It received accreditation in 2006 Operations in Confined and Shallow Waters (CSW) COE Based in Kiel, Germany, the Operations in Confined Shallow Waters (CSW) COE aims to help develop the Alliance’s confined and shallow water war fighting capabilities. Like other COEs, CSW also conducts presentations, workshops and courses, in addition to contributing to concept development and releasing papers. CSW received NATO accreditation in 2009, after its establishment by Framework Nation Germany in 2008. Centres of Excellence in Development These include: Crisis Management for Disaster Response Military Police Mountain Warfare Crisis Management for Disaster Response (CMDR) COE With a proposed base in Sofia, Bulgaria, the Crisis Management for Disaster Relief (CMDR) COE’s mission will be to build and develop the crisis management and disaster relief capabilities of NATO and member nations, while also providing subject matter expertise. The CMDR COE is currently in the development phase. Military Police (MP) COE With a proposed base in Wroclaw, Poland, the Military Police (MP) COE will begin MOU negotiations in 2011. Its mission is to enhance the NATO MP Capability by providing subject matter expertise on all aspects of MP activities, thus improving the Alliances interoperability in the field of MP operations. MP COE framework Nation, Poland, has not yet sought Accreditation. Mountain Warfare (MW) COE Based in Bohinjska Bela, Slovenia in the Bohinjska Bela Barracks, the Mountain Warfare (MW) COE’s area of expertise is preparing both individuals and units for operations in mountainous and other difficult terrain, as well as in extreme weather conditions. MW will also hosts conferences, seminars and talks from experts relating to mountain warfare in order to further doctrine and concept development, conduct research projects and experiments relating to mountain warfare, and prepare reports based on lessons learned in order to transfer the knowledge into practice and to aid the education and training processes. As with other COE’s, MW is not intended to duplicate existing NATO capabilities, but to enhance and increase them. Participation in MW events will be open to NATO member countries, PfP countries, partner countries involved in partnership programs approved by the North Atlantic Council, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and universities, in addition to personnel from the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Slovenia and the Slovenian Armed Forces. The Slovenian Armed Forces will first establish the MW COE as a multi-national unit in 2011. Slovenia, the MW COE framework nation, will then put forward the COE for accreditation after 2015. Evolution of the Centres of Excellence COEs trace their roots back to the reorganization of NATO’s military command structure following the Prague Summit in 2002. After the summit, Allied Command Atlantic became Allied Command Transformation (ACT). ACT became responsible for transforming the Alliance into a leaner, more efficient organization. Specifically, ACT ensures that the Alliance is able face future challenges by enhancing training, conducting experiments to test new concepts and promoting interoperability within the Alliance. In line with this goal, ACT has used its links with various institutions to direct the transformation of the military structure, forces, capabilities and doctrine of the Alliance. COEs are not part of the NATO command structure nor were they created by ACT. Instead, they are facilities in the Euro-Atlantic area recognized by the Alliance for their expertise. ACT coordinates the relationship between these facilities and ACO. The Joint Air Power Competence Centre in Germany and the Defence Against Terrorism Centre of Excellence became the first institutions to receive NATO COE accreditation in 2005 and 2006, respectively. Since then, SACT has certified 18 COEs, with 17 in Europe and one on North America. An additional three COEs are in the MOU negotiation phase or the concept development phase.
  • Chairman of the Military Committee
    Chairman of the Military Committee The Chairman of the Military Committee is NATO’s senior military officer, by virtue of being the principal military advisor to the Secretary General and the conduit through which consensus-based advice from NATO’s 28 Chiefs of Defence is brought forward to the political decision-making bodies of NATO. He directs the day-to-day business of the Military Committee, NATO's highest military authority, and acts on its behalf. The Chairman is also the Committee’s spokesman and representative, making him the senior military spokesman for the Alliance on all military matters. The current Chairman is General Knud Bartels of Denmark. He took up his functions on 2 January 2012. Tasks and responsibilities The Chairman’s authority stems from the Military Committee, to which he is responsible in the performance of his duties. He chairs all meetings of the Military Committee and, in his absence, the Deputy Chairman of the Military Committee takes the chair. The Chairman of the Military Committee is both its spokesman and representative. He directs its day-to-day business and acts on behalf of the Committee in issuing the necessary directives and guidance both to the Director of the International Military Staff and to NATO’s Strategic Commanders. He represents the Military Committee at the North Atlantic Council, and other high-level political meetings such as the Defence Planning Committee and the Nuclear Planning Group, providing consensus advice on military matters when required. By virtue of his appointment, the Chairman of the Committee also has an important public role and is the senior military spokesman for the Alliance in contacts with the press and media. He undertakes official visits and representational duties on behalf of the Committee, meeting with government officials and senior military officers in both NATO countries and in countries with which NATO is developing closer contacts in the framework of formal partnerships, for instance, the Partnership for Peace programme, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, the NATO-Russia Council, the NATO-Ukraine Commission and the Mediterranean Dialogue, and with Non-NATO Troop Contributing Countries to NATO operations. He is also the Chairman of the Academic Advisory Board of the NATO Defense College. Selection process and mandate The Chairman of the Military Committee is elected from among the NATO Chiefs of Defence and appointed for a three-year term of office. The CMC-elect has served preferably as Chief of defence or an equivalent capacity in his own country, and is a non-US officer of four-star rank or national equivalent.
  • Civil Emergency Planning (CEP)
    Last updated: 10-Nov-2010 10:23 News
  • Civil Emergency Planning Committee (CEPC)
    Civil Emergency Planning Committee (CEPC) The Civil Emergency Planning Committee is the top NATO advisory body for the protection of civilian populations and the use of civil resources in support of NATO's objectives. Civil Emergency Planning provides NATO with essential civilian expertise and capabilities in the fields of terrorism preparedness and consequence management, humanitarian and disaster response and protecting critical infrastructure. The CEPC coordinates planning in several areas, to ensure – when necessary - civil support for the Alliance ’s military operations or support for national authorities in civil emergencies. The committee has for example developed a plan for improving the civil preparedness of NATO and Partner countries against terrorist attacks. In September 2011, a team of civil experts visited Ukraine to advise on preparedness issues for the Euro 2012 football championship.   The CEPC also supports the development of NATO cyber capabilities through the provision of advisory expertise and with support for training.  The CEPC assists with issues related to energy security, in particular the protection of critical infrastructure, through the exchange of experience and best practice between nations.  In the field of missile defence, the CEPC has addressed issues relating to the consequences of intercept for the protection of civil populations. Main tasks and responsabilities The CEPC reports directly to the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s principal decision-making body. It coordinates and provides direction and guidance for four specialised groups. These bring together national government, industry experts and military representatives to coordinate emergency planning in areas such as: civil protection; transport; industrial resources and communications; public health, food and water. Their primary purpose is to develop procedures for use in crisis situations. Together, NATO’s Civil Emergency Planning structures provide an interface to many different ministries across a broad range of sectors, thus providing a vast civil network going beyond NATO’s more traditional interlocutors in Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence. The CEPC also oversees the activities of the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) at NATO Headquarters, which acts as the focal point for coordinating disaster relief efforts among NATO and partner countries, and in countries where NATO is engaged with military operations. Work in practice The CEPC meets twice a year in plenary session, at the level of the heads of the national civil emergency planning organisations from NATO and partner countries. In addition, it meets on a weekly basis in permanent session, where countries are represented by their national delegations to NATO. Meetings alternate between those of NATO member countries only, and those open to Partner countries. The Secretary General is Chairman of plenary sessions, but in practice these are chaired by the NATO Assistant Secretary General for Operations, while permanent sessions are chaired by the NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Planning, Civil Emergency Planning and Exercises. Evolution The Civil Emergency Planning Committee was created when NATO first developed its Civil Emergency Planning programme in the 1950’s.
  • Civilian Intelligence Committee (CIC)
    Civilian Intelligence Committee (CIC) The Civilian Intelligence Committee (CIC) is the sole body that handles civilian intelligence issues at NATO. It reports directly to the North Atlantic Council and advises it on matters of espionage and terrorist or related threats, which may affect the Alliance. Each NATO member country is represented on the Committee by its security and intelligence services. It is chaired on an annual rotational basis by the nations. The CIC is supported in its day-to-day work by the International Staff’s NATO Office of Security.
  • Collective defence
    Collective defence
  • Combined Joint Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defence Task Force
    Combined Joint Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defence Task Force The Alliance’s multinational CBRN defence capability NATO today faces a whole range of complex challenges and threats to its security. Present and future security challenges require the Alliance to be prepared to protect and defend against threats emanating from both state and non-state actors. Current threats include the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery. Rapid advances in biological science and technology also continue to increase the bio-terrorism threat against NATO forces and its populations. NATO’s new Strategic Concept and the 2010 Lisbon Summit declaration confirmed the Alliance’s commitment to further develop its capacity to defend against the threat of CBRN* weapons of mass destruction and protect its populations, territory and forces. The Combined Joint CBRN Defence Task Force (CJ-CBRND-TF) is one of NATO’s key defences against CBRN events, but also supporting the prevention of WMD proliferation.  Combined Joint CBRN Defence Task Force The NATO Combined Joint Chemical, Biological Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) Defence Task Force which consist of CBRN Joint Assessment Team (JAT) and CBRN Defence Battalion is a NATO body specifically trained and equipped to deal with CBRN events and/or attacks against NATO populations, territory or forces. The Battalion and the CBRN JAT, created in 2003 and declared operational the following year, is a multi-national, multi-functional team, able to deploy quickly to participate in the full spectrum of NATO operations. The Battalion's mission is unique in that it is not only trained for armed conflicts, but is also able to be deployed to crisis situations such as natural disasters and industrial accidents, including those involving hazardous material.  The Combined Joint CBRN Defence Task Force can also be deployed in order to support the protection of High Visibility Events (HVE) such as Olympic games or NATO summits. Authority, tasks and responsibilities The realization of the Combined Joint CBRN Defence Task Force fulfils two of the capability commitments made by Allies at the 2002 Prague Summit: a Prototype Deployable Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) Analytical Laboratory and a Prototype NBC Event Response Team. These capabilities greatly enhance the Alliance’s defence against WMD. The Battalion’s mission is to provide a rapidly-deployable and credible CBRN defence capability in order to maintain NATO’s freedom of action and operational effectiveness in a CBRN threat environment. The CBRN Battalion may be used to provide military assistance to civil authorities when authorised by the North Atlantic Council, the Alliance’s principal political decision-making body. For example, they played a key planning role during the 2004 Summer Olympics in Greece, and the 2004 Istanbul Summit, where they supported any CBRN-related contingency operations. The CBRN Defence Battalion is capable of conducting the following tasks: CBRN reconnaissance and monitoring operations; Sampling and Identification of Biological, Chemical, and Radiological agents (SIBCRA); Biological detection and monitoring operations; Provide CBRN assessments and advice to NATO commanders; CBRN hazard management operations, such as decontamination. Contributors to the Defence Task Force Some 21 NATO countries contribute to the Combined Joint CBRN Defence Task Force on a voluntary basis. National commitments vary depending on the rotation, but there are usually between 8-10 nations involved per rotation. For the very first time a non-NATO member nation participated in 2010.  Ukraine contributed a decontamination platoon after having accomplished a NATO evaluation and certification process very successfully. How does it work in practice? The CBRN Joint Assessment Team and CBRN Battalion fall under the strategic command of the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR). Operational control is delegated to a subordinate command as required. NATO’s Allied Command Transformation provides evaluation standards, supports training and determines future NBC defence requirements and develops capabilities. The Battalion level organization is composed of personnel from a number of NATO countries, on standby for a period of six months, in future twelve months (termed a ‘rotation’). Like the NATO Response Force (NRF), dedicated personnel are based in their countries, coming together for training and deployment. A voluntary lead country is identified for each rotation. The lead country hosts the CBRN Joint Assessement Team and Battalion headquarters, responsible for command and control arrangements, maintaining standard operational procedures, sustaining readiness levels and for planning and conducting training. Contributing countries supply functional capabilities. This includes providing requisite troops, equipment and logistical support in accordance with mission requirementsThe Defence Task Force is composed of separate but complimentary components, which can be deployed in different stages and different combinations to suit each mission. The components are: Joint Assessment Team. Comprised of specialists that provide CBRN-related advice and support; Headquarters Command and Control. Tailored command and control capabilities with a robust communications package to support assigned and attached organizations; Reconnaissance. Designed to provide route, area and point detection and identification of agents; Decontamination. Maintains the capability to decontaminate personnel and equipment; Deployable Analytical CBRN Laboratories. Designed to provide expert sampling, analysis, and scientific advice to support operational commanders. The Battalion has a close relationship with the NATO Response Force (NRF). While it can be deployed independently, it is consistent and in complimentarity with the NATO Response Force. Its strength is included within the NRF force structure, and it can deploy within 5 to 30 days.  Evolution Following the agreement at the 2002 Prague Summit to enhance the Alliance’s defence capabilities against weapons of mass destruction, the North Atlantic Council, in June 2003, decided to form a Multinational CBRN Defence Battalion and Joint Assessment Team. The structure of the Battalion was established at a planning conference on 17-18 September 2003. The following month, on 28 October 2003, a force generation conference was held at Supreme Headquarters Allied Command Europe. On 18-21 November 2003, a follow-up conference was held in the Czech Republic, the first volunteer lead country. The Battalion reached its initial operational capability on 1 December 2003. Full operational capability was achieved on 28 June 2004 as declared by SACEUR at the Istanbul Summit, and responsibility was transferred into the strategic command of Allied Command Operations. From then on, the Battalion was included in the six-month rotation system of the NRF.  The concept of operations and capability requirements of the Battalion are currently being reviewed to incorporate lessons learned from previous NRF cycles and operational deployments.
  • Commitment to operations and missions
    Commitment to operations and missions NATO nations contribute forces and capacities in several operations and to standby forces under NATO and other auspices. The following table provides details related to individual national commitments. Content is provided by NATO countries on a voluntary basis. Name National website Info valid as of Belgium 18 Mar. 2010 PDF/19Kb Bulgaria 7 Apr. 2010 PDF/118Kb Canada 1 Apr. 2009 PDF/13.5Kb Croatia 9 Apr. 2009 PDF/1.2Mb Czech Republic 6 Sep. 2010 PDF/18Kb Denmark 2 Apr. 2009 PDF/47Kb Estonia 26 May 2009 PDF/10.5Kb France 14 Mar. 2008 PDF/2800Kb Germany 2 Apr. 2009 PDF/12Kb Greece 30 Mar. 2009 PDF/94Kb Hungary 31 Mar. 2009 PDF/58Kb Iceland 12 Mar. 2009 PDF/19Kb Italy 18 May 2009 PDF/12Kb Latvia 6 May 2011 PDF/10Kb Lithuania 9 Mar. 2009 PDF/14Kb Luxembourg 14 Mar. 2008 PDF/96Kb Netherlands 23 Apr. 2009 PDF/14.8Kb Norway 14 Mar. 2008 PDF/95Kb Poland 6 Mar. 2009 PDF/15,5Kb Portugal 14 Mar. 2008 PDF/104Kb Romania 1 Apr. 2009 PDF/13Kb Slovak Republic 7 Apr. 2009 PDF/16.5Kb Slovenia 14 Mar. 2008 PDF/97Kb Spain 2 Apr. 2009 PDF/25Kb Turkey 14 Mar. 2008 PDF/100Kb United Kingdom 2 Apr. 2009 PDF/16Kb United States 14 Mar. 2008 PDF/100Kb
  • Committee for Public Diplomacy (CPD)
    Committee for Public Diplomacy (CPD) The Committee on Public Diplomacy (CPD) acts as an advisory body to the North Atlantic Council (NAC) on communication, media and public engagement issues. It makes recommendations to the NAC on how to encourage public understanding of, and support for, the aims of NATO. In this respect, the Committee is responsible for the planning, implementation and assessment of NATO’s public diplomacy strategy To support its objectives, members of the CPD share their experiences on national information and communication programmes and the perception of their respective public regarding the Alliance and its activities. The CPD discusses, develops and makes recommendations regarding NATO’s public diplomacy strategy and activities, where appropriate, in conjuction with national information experts. The CPD was created in 2004, succeeding the Committee on Information and Cultural Relations (CICR), which was one of the Organization’s first committees to be created. This reflected the importance given to information and awareness-raising by NATO’s founding members. A modest information service was created as early as 1950 and was supported in its efforts by the creation of the CICR in 1953. Role of the Committee on Public Diplomacy The Committee on Public Diplomacy (CPD) steers the planning, implementation and assessment of NATO’s public diplomacy strategy and advises the NAC on relevant issues. It analyzes the current and long-term challenges in encouraging public understanding of, and support for, the aims of Alliance. Members of the CPD discuss and exchange views and experiences on national information and communication programmes, in addition to sharing information regarding public perception of the Alliance. Together, they identify potential collective actions and, whenever needed, co-ordinate national actions to raise public awareness and understanding of NATO’s policies and objectives. To improve and reinforce information dissemination in NATO Partner countries, the CPD also designates Contact Point Embassies (CPEs). Within non-NATO countries, the CPD agrees on an embassy from a NATO member country to act as the point of contact for information about the Alliance in the respective host country. Each CPE serves in this position on a rotational basis. In addition to its role in forming the policies that determine the way in which the Alliance communicates with the public, the CPD also maintains a collaborative dialogue with non-governmental organizations such as the Atlantic Treaty Association. Working mechanisms Representatives from each of the NATO member countries constitute the CPD, with the Assistant Secretary General of the Public Diplomacy Division serving as the Chairman and the Public Information Advisor representing the Director of the International Military Staff. For reinforced meetings, communication experts from the capitals of member countries or invited third parties also contribute to CPD discussions. During committee meetings, the CPD examines and approves an annual Public Diplomacy Action Plan or equivalent, which is used to implement the Public Diplomacy Strategy. The Committee may also make additional reports or recommendations to the Council as necessary. The CPD meets regularly, based on a calendar of planned NATO activities, in addition to coming together as needed in response to unexpected events. As regular meetings are normally limited to member countries, the CPD also meets in the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) format in order to allow participation by representatives from Partner countries. Periodically, representatives from Contact Point Embassies in Partner country capitals also attend CPD meetings. The CPD reports to the North Atlantic Council. It is supported by staff from the Public Diplomacy Division and does not have any subordinate committees under its remit. Evolution of the Committee on Public Diplomacy The founding members of NATO understood the importance of informing public opinion. As early as August 1950, a modest NATO Information Service was set up and developed in the Autumn with the nomination of a Director. The service – similarly to the rest of the civilian organization of the Alliance – did not receive a budget until July 1951 and effectively developed into an information service in 1952 with the establishment of an international staff headed by a Secretary General (March 1952), to which the information service was initially attached. The Committee on Information and Cultural Relations (CICR) By that time, two entites existed: the Working Group on Information Policy and the Working Group on Social and Cultural Cooperation. These Working Groups were merged in 1953 to form the Committee on Information and Cultural Relations (CICR). The CICR was the precurser to the existing Committee on Public Diplomacy. The role of this committee was to address the challenges of communicating the Alliance’s policies to the public. It held regular meetings with the NATO Information Service to exchange and share information on the development of NATO and national information and communication programmes. It was, nonetheless, made clear from the start that even if the NATO Information Service was later to develop into a coordinated service where programmes would be disseminated NATO-wide, it would never supersede national responsibilities and efforts in the information field. The CICR and the representatives’ respective countries would continue to work in tandem with the International Staff to raise public awareness and understanding of NATO’s policies and objectives. The Committee on Public Diplomacy (CPD) The CICR changed its name to the Committee on Public Diplomacy in 2004 when the Office of Information and Press became the Public Diplomacy Division, therefore better reflecting its aims and objectives. The CPD continues the functions of the CICR, giving advice on the methods and means used to communicate NATO policies and activities to a broad range of audiences with the goal of increasing the level of understanding and awareness of the Alliance.
  • Committee for Standardization (CS)
    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.
  • Committee of the Chiefs of Military Medical Services in NATO
    Committee of the Chiefs of Military Medical Services in NATO The Committee of the Chiefs of Military Medical Services in NATO (COMEDS) is the senior committee for medical care within the Organization. It acts as the central point for the development and coordination of military medical matters and for providing medical advice to the NATO Military Committee. The military medical community plays a key enabling role within NATO and, more specifically, within NATO’s defence planning process. The military medical community not only provides medical care, but also preventive health care, veterinary support and psychological support for deployed troops. It provides essential combat service support, making it one of the key planning domains for operations, along with armaments, logistics, air traffic management and other areas of specialization. COMEDS makes recommendations concerning the development and assessment of NATO military medical policy and procedures for medical support. It seeks to improve existing arrangements between member countries in the fields of co-ordination, standardization and interoperability. It also helps to improve the exchange of information between countries so, for instance, advances made by one member state are available to all. Additionally, COMEDS undertakes studies of general and particular interest such as preventive medicine, dental service, food hygiene and military psychiatry. For this purpose, it has several subordinate working groups and expert panels to which subject matter experts contribute. The meetings of the chiefs of Military Medical Services are conducted bi-annually and include participants from member and partner countries. Roles and responsibilities COMEDS As explained above, COMEDS advises the Military Committee on military medical matters affecting NATO. It also acts as the coordinating body for the Military Committee regarding all military medical policies, procedures and techniques within NATO. In recent years, COMEDS has come to represent the medical community at NATO HQ, in the NATO Standardization Organization, as well as in specific areas such as defence planning and the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) field. COMEDS’ objectives include improving and expanding arrangements between member countries for coordination, standardization and interoperability in the medical field and improving the exchange of information relating to organizational, operational and procedural aspects of military medical services in NATO and Partner countries. The military medical support system COMEDS is a key component of the Alliance’s military medical support system, principally in the preparation phase of an operation. It facilitates the development of medical capabilities in individual countries and helps to improve the quality and interoperability of capabilities between them. Generally speaking, the military medical support system contributes to preserving the “fighting strength” and meeting the increasing public expectation of an individual’s right to health and high quality treatment outcomes. Medical services make a major contribution to force protection and sustainability. Effectively, health is a key force multiplier of fighting power. Countries that allocate forces to NATO retain responsibility for the provision of medical support to their own forces. However, upon Transfer of Authority, the NATO commander shares the responsibility for their health and will determine the medical support requirements. Multinational arrangements usually require more responsibility of the NATO commander. Working mechanisms Frequency of meetings COMEDS meets biannually in plenary session and reports annually to the Military Committee. Composition The chairman is elected by the committee in plenary session for a three year term. The country of origin of the chairman is also responsible for providing a Liaison Officer to NATO HQ. He/she is the point of contact for military medical matters for NATO HQ and individual countries. For practical reasons, this Liaison Officer cooperates closely with the medical branch of the International Military Staff, which also supports his/her work. COMEDS also cooperates closely with the medical branch of Allied Command Operations (ACO) and Allied Command Transformation (ACT) in developments regarding defence planning, capability development, standardization needs, training and education and certification. In December 2009, the chairmanship of COMEDS was transferred from Germany to the Netherlands. COMEDS is composed of: the Chiefs of the military medical services of all member countries; the International Military Staff medical staff officer; and the medical advisors of the two strategic commands – ACO and ACT. Its meetings in plenary session, as well as its activities benefit from the participation of the following observers: the Chiefs of the military medical services from all Partnership for Peace, Mediterranean Dialogue and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative countries; the Chairman of the Joint Medical Committee; a representative of the NATO Standardization Agency, the Military Committee, the Senior NATO Logisticians Committee, the NATO Military Medical Centre of Excellence, the Human Factors and Medicine Panel of the NATO Research and Technology Agency, the Health and Societal Dimensions Panel of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Committee, and the CIOMR, the organization of military medical reserve officers. COMEDS can also invite partners from “Contact countries”, non-NATO troop-contributing countries and organizations. Subordinate working groups To assist in carrying out its tasks and in addition to the bodies referred to above, COMEDS has a number of subordinate working groups which meet at least annually and address the following topics: military medical structures, operations and procedures (including planning and capability development); military preventive medicine (force health protection); military healthcare; standardization; CBRN issues; emergency medicine; military psychiatry; dental services; medical materiel and military pharmacy; food and water hygiene and veterinary medicine; medical training; mental healthcare; medical naval issues; and medical information management systems. Evolution Historically, medical matters within NATO were regarded strictly as a national responsibility. Consequently, for the greatest part of the Alliance’s existence, there was not a high-level military medical authority within NATO. New NATO missions and concepts of operations have placed increased emphasis on joint military operations, enhancing the importance of coordination of medical support in peacekeeping, disaster relief and humanitarian operations. COMEDS was established in 1994 for that purpose. Today, COMEDS is very active in developing new concepts of medical support for operations, with emphasis on multinational health care, modularity of medical treatment facilities, and partnerships. Increasingly, the developed doctrines are open to non-NATO countries and are sometimes released on the internet. In 2011, COMEDS established the Dominique-Jean Larrey Award in recognition of a significant and lasting contribution to NATO multinationality and/ or interoperability within military medical support or healthcare developments in NATO operations and missions ¹. The award is named after the French surgeon general of the Napoleanic imperial forces, who invented amongst other things the field ambulance, which helped to significantly improve medical care in the field. Further information COMEDS Liaison Staff Officer NATO Headquarters Logistics Resources Division International Military Staff 1110 Brussels Belgium Tel. +32 2 707 3953 Fax: +32 2 707 9894 Footnote: Any individual belonging to the military medical service may be nominated to receive the COMEDS Dominique-Jean Larrey Award. In exceptional circumstances, the award may be given to more than one individual where it is clearly demonstrated that the nominees have individually and collectively met the selection criteria. This includes a military medical organisation and/ or structure. The Award is granted no more than once a year.
  • Committee on Proliferation (COP)
    Committee on Proliferation (COP) The Committee on Proliferation (CP) is the senior advisory body to the North Atlantic Council on proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their associated delivery systems and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) defence. The CP is responsible for information sharing, policy development and coordination on the issues of prevention of and response to proliferation, bringing together experts and officials with responsibilities in this field. The CP was created following the June 2010 committee reform, replacing the Senior Politico-Military Group on Proliferation, the Senior Defence Group on Proliferation and the Joint Committee on Proliferation.   The CP meets in two formats: politico-military, under the chairmanship of the Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, and defence format, under national North-American and European co-chairmanship.  The Committee addresses the threats and challenges stemming from WMD proliferation, as well as the international diplomatic responses to them. In its defence format, it also discusses the development of military capabilities needed to discourage WMD proliferation, to deter threats and use of such weapons, and to protect NATO populations, territory and forces. It cooperates with other NATO bodies with competencies in the area of WMD and CBRN defence. It can meet in several ways: Plenary Sessions, Steering Group meetings, Points of Contact meetings, consultations with Partners in 28+1 and 28+n formats. Some of NATO’s largest outreach activities take place under the auspices of the CP: the Annual NATO Conference on WMD Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, organized by the Committee in politico-military format, which gathers a broad range of non-NATO countries, including a number of partners across the globe from Asia and the Pacific. On average, 150 participants from more than 50 countries attend this conference every year.  For the Committee in defence format, the main annual activity of this kind is the International CBRN Defence Outreach event, which has the objective of increasing engagement, exchanging views and sharing best practices on CBRN defence with a wide variety of NATO’s partners.
  • Committees, NATO -
    NATO committees NATO committees form an indispensable part of the Alliance’s decision-making process. They provide the framework within which member countries can exchange information on a variety of subjects, consult with each other and take decisions made on the basis of consensus and common accord. Each member country is represented at all levels of the committee structure in the fields of NATO activity in which they participate. Every day, national experts travel to NATO Headquarters in Brussels to attend committee meetings held with delegates from the national representations based at NATO Headquarters and with staff from the International Secretariat and the International Military Staff. NATO has an extensive network of committees, covering everything from political, to technical or operational issues .. The principle of consensus decision-making is applied at each and every level of the committee structure, from the top political decision-making body to the most obscure working group. NATO committees were reviewed in June 2010 so as to help NATO respond more effectively to security concerns and to the need for more integrated, flexible working procedures. The principal committees The North Atlantic Council (NAC) is the principal political decision-making body within NATO and the only committee that was established by the Alliance’s founding Treaty. Under Article 9, the NAC is invested with the authority to set up "such subsidiary bodies as may be necessary" for the purposes of implementing the Treaty. Over the years, the Council has established a network of committees to facilitate the Alliance’s work and deal with all subjects on its agenda. The principal NATO committees are the NAC, the Nuclear Planning Group (NPG) and the Military Committee. The Defence Planning Committee (DPC), which was also one of NATO’s top decision-making bodies, was dissolved under the June 2010 committee reform and its functions taken over by the NAC. Committees reporting to the NAC In addition to the NAC, the NPG and the Military Committee, there are a number of committees that report directly to the Council. Some of these are themselves supported by working groups, especially in areas such as defence procurement. As part of the NATO reform process initiated in June 2010, which focused on the NATO Command Structure and NATO Agencies, NATO Committees were also reviewed. As such, committees reporting to the NAC now include the following: Deputies Committee Political and Partnerships Committee Defence Policy and Planning Committee Committee on Proliferation C3 Board Operations Policy Committee High Level Task Force on Conventional Arms Control Verification Coordinating Committee Conference of National Armaments Directors Committee for Standardization Logistics Committee Resource Policy and Planning Board Air and Missile Defence Committee NATO Air Traffic Management Committee Civil Emergency Planning Committee Committee on Public Diplomacy Council Operations and Exercises Committee Security Committee Civilian Intelligence Committee Archives Commitee Additionally, there are institutions of cooperation, partnership and dialogue that underpin relations between NATO and other countries. Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council NATO-Russia Council NATO-Ukraine Commission NATO-Georgia Commission Evolution With the exception of the NAC, committees were gradually established after the signing of the Washington Treaty on 4 April 1949 (for further information on how the committee structure evolved, see “NATO: The first five years, 1949-1954”, by Lord Ismay). From time to time, the NATO committee structure is reviewed and reorganised so as to make it more efficient, responsive and relevant to NATO’s current priorities. This includes eliminating obsolete committees and creating new bodies. Since its creation in 1949, the Alliance has undergone three major committee restructurings. The first took place in 1990 after the end of the Cold War, and the second in 2002, in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001. The third and most recent committee review was initiated in June 2010 as part of a broader reform effort that touched on all of the Alliance’s structures: the military command structure and its Organisations and Agencies.
  • Communications and information programmes
    Communications and information programmes With an intergovernmental organization like NATO, individual member governments are responsible for explaining their national defence and security policies as well as their role as members of the Alliance to their respective publics. Complementing these efforts are the programmes developed by NATO itself since NATO also has an obligation to inform publics in member countries and audiences worldwide about its policies and objectives. NATO aims to promote dialogue and understanding, while contributing to the public’s knowledge of security issues and promoting public involvement in a continuous process of debate on security. To do so, it engages with the media, develops communications and information programmes for selected target groups including opinion leaders, academic and parliamentary groups, and youth and educational circles. It seeks to reach audiences worldwide, in particular, through the website, the NATO TV Channel on the Internet and social media activities. It also disseminates hardcopy materials and implements programmes and activities with external partners, while at the same time supporting the NATO Secretary General in his role as spokesperson for the Organization.  In sum, communication or public diplomacy efforts encompass all measures and means to inform, communicate and cooperate with a broad range of audiences worldwide, with the aim of raising levels of awareness and understanding about NATO, promoting its policies and activities, and thereby fostering support for, trust and confidence in the Alliance. Communicating with the public was a concern of the Alliance from its inception. As early as May 1950, just one year after the signing of the Washington Treaty, the North Atlantic Council issued a resolution in which it committed itself to: “Promote and coordinate public information in futherance of the objectives of the Treaty while leaving responsibility for national programs to each country...” (18 May 1950). The same ethos drives NATO’s communications and information programmes today, as reasserted by NATO Heads of State and Government in 2009: “As NATO adapts to 21st century challenges in its 60th anniversary year, it is increasingly important that the Alliance communicates in an appropriate, timely, accurate and responsive manner on its evolving roles, objectives and missions. Strategic communications are an integral part of our efforts to achieve the Alliance’s political and military objectives.” However, the substantial changes brought about with the information age, mobile media and user-generated content imply a process of constant reform and modernization: communication tools have multiplied and have the potential to hit a bigger and more diverse audience. At the same time, the need for instant communication, direct interaction and information-sharing is increasing. Role of the communications and information programmes NATO’s communications and information programmes complement public information activities initiated by the governments of each member country. They are principally undertaken by NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division, which also coordinates all strategic communication activities across all NATO civilian and military bodies and harmonizes all public diplomacy activities undertaken by other entities belonging to the NATO structure. Types of activities To adjust to advances in technology, the rise of the 24-hour news cycle and the increasing popularity of social media, the Alliance uses internet-based media and public engagement, in addition to traditional media, to build awareness of and support for NATO’s evolving role, objectives and missions. In short, the Alliance employs a multi-faceted and integrated approach in communicating and engaging with the wider public. Communicating and engaging with the public 24h media operations Press and media provide support for the NATO Secretary General, as the principal spokesperson for the Alliance, in addition to arranging briefings and interviews with journalists, organizing press conferences and press tours, conducting media monitoring and hosting exhibits. They also ensure that at major events, such as summits or ministerial meetings, adequate resources are available for journalists, senior officials and real-time coverage of events. A Media Operations Centre focuses on NATO-led operations and all related media activities. It ensures the coordination of activities, the harmonization of messages and the day-to-day management of communication activities touching on any one of NATO’s operations or missions. People-to-people engagement NATO organizes cooperation programmes, visits, seminars and conferences involving opinion leaders, parliamentarians, civic society groups and experts in member and partner countries. Effectively, NATO staff help to explain NATO and disseminate information in NATO and partner countries, as well as countries where NATO is engaged, by interacting with academics, think-tanks, bloggers and any other group with an interest in NATO and NATO-related issues. An original project is NATO’s SILK-Afghanistan programme, which provides free internet access for Afghan universities and governmental institutions in support of NATO’s operation in the country. Visitors can be welcomed to NATO Headquarters and receive briefings and have discussions with experts from NATO’s International Staff, International Military Staff and national delegations on all aspects of the Alliance’s work and policies. Alternatively, NATO officials, including the Secretary General and other senior Alliance officials, participate in special flagship events in member countries and partner countries. Mass communication, image-building and branding The Alliance publishes and disseminates material that covers a broad range of NATO-related topics in both electronic and print formats, often in a variety of NATO and partner country languages. The website provides access to details about NATO policies and activities, including public statements, background information, official documents, video interviews, audio files and real-time coverage of major NATO-related events. It also gives access to the resources of the NATO multimedia library, which inter-alia caters for internal and external requests on NATO-related publications. The online NATO TV Channel offers video stories and releases b-roll to broadcast media outlets, thereby broadening NATO’s reach further still. Additionally, the in-house TV and radio studios cover VIP press events and facilitate broadcast media outreach. While publicly releasable official documents, statements and video stories are offered online, there are also texts, brochures and other products that exist, which explain policy and lend insight into the underlying objectives and rationale of the Organization. They seek to raise public awareness and contribute to an informed public debate on relevant aspects of security policy. Promoting security cooperation Communications and information programmes help to stimulate debate on NATO issues and contribute to strengthening knowledge of its goals and objectives in academic circles. Additionally, they give the Alliance access to the views and analysis of the general public and specialized groups within it. Many of the information activities have an interactive, two-way character, enabling the Organization to listen to and learn from the experience of the audiences it addresses, identify their concerns and fields of interest and respond to their questions. There are several instances where NATO is locally set up to increase the impact of its work and interact more frequently with its audiences, for instance with its information offices in Moscow and Kiev. There are also information points in other partner countries and so-called “contact point embassies”, which are literally NATO member country embassies located in partner countries that serve as links between NATO Headquarters in Brussels and target audiences in partner countries. Coordinating NATO’s strategic communications activities As well as harmonizing public diplomacy activities undertaken by other NATO entities, the Public Diplomacy Division also coordinates all strategic communication activities across all NATO civilian and military bodies. Working mechanisms The North Atlantic Council and Secretary General are in charge of the overall direction of communications and information programmes for both the civilian and military sides of the Alliance. Civilian dimension The Committee on Public Diplomacy (CPD) acts as an advisory body to the NAC on communication, media and public engagement issues. It makes recommendations to the NAC regarding how to encourage public understanding of, and support for, the aims of NATO. In this respect, the Committee is responsible for the planning, implementation and assessment of NATO’s public diplomacy strategy. Representatives from each of the NATO member countries constitute the CPD, with the Assistant Secretary General of the Public Diplomacy Division serving as the Chairman and the Public Information Advisor representing the Director of the International Military Staff. Military dimension Members of the International Staff who run the different communications and information programmes work closely with the Public Information Advisor to the Chairman of the Military Committee. Although administratively part of the International Military Staff (IMS), the military Public Information Advisor’s office also works with the International Staff to facilitate this coordination. The Military Committee, as well as the Chairman of the Military Committee in his role as the principal military spokesperson, also provides guidance to direct the communications and information programmes, with SACEUR and SACT providing guidance on the communication efforts of Allied Command Operations and Allied Command Transformation, respectively. Evolution of the communications and information programmes The founding members of NATO understood the importance of informing public opinion. As early as August 1950, a modest NATO Information Service was set up and developed in the Autumn with the nomination of a Director. The service – similarly to the rest of the civilian organization of the Alliance – did not receive a budget until July 1951. It effectively developed into an information service in 1952, with the establishment of an international staff headed by a Secretary General (March 1952), to which the information service was initially attached. Later, in 1953, the Committee on Information and Cultural Relations (now the Committee on Public Diplomacy) was created. As such, from 1953, every mechanism was in place for the development of fully-fledged communications and information programmes. Since then and over time, NATO’s public diplomacy programmes have adapted to changes in the political and security environment, as well as to the technical innovations that have a direct impact on communication work.
  • Comprehensive Approach
    A ''Comprehensive Approach'' to crisis management © ISAF NATO's new Strategic Concept, adopted at the Lisbon Summit in November 2010, underlines that lessons learned from NATO operations show that effective crisis management calls for a comprehensive approach involving political, civilian and military instruments. Military means, although essential, are not enough on their own to meet the many complex challenges to Euro-Atlantic and international security. Allied leaders agreed at Lisbon to enhance NATO's contribution to a comprehensive approach to crisis management as part of the international community's effort and to improve NATO's ability to contribute to stabilization and reconstruction. “ The comprehensive approach not only makes sense – it is necessary ,” says NATO Secretary General Rasmussen. “ NATO needs to work more closely with our civilian partners on the ground, and at a political level – especially the European Union and the United Nations .” The effective implementation of a comprehensive approach requires all actors to contribute in a concerted effort, based on a shared sense of responsibility, openness and determination, taking into account their respective strengths, mandates and roles, as well as their decision-making autonomy. NATO is improving its own crisis-management instruments and it has reached out to strengthen its ability to work with partner countries, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and local authorities. In particular, NATO is building closer partnerships with civilian actors that have experience and skills in areas such as institution building, development, governance, judiciary and police. In March 2012, NATO agreed on an Updated List of Tasks to update its Comprehensive Approach Action Plan. These tasks are being implemented by a dedicated civilian-military task force that involves all relevant NATO bodies and commands. Highlights NATO is promoting a comprehensive approach within the international community to crisis management and stabilisation operations Political, civilian and military instruments need to be involved in the planning and conduct of operations Cooperation with partner countries, international organisations, non-governmental organisations and local authorities is being strengthened This work builds on experiences in operations in Western Balkans and Afghanistan Key institutional partners: European Union and United Nations Key areas of work NATO is improving its own crisis-management instruments and it has reached out to strengthen its ability to work with partner countries, international organisations, non-governmental organisations and local authorities. In particular, NATO is building closer partnerships with civilian actors that have experience and skills in areas such as institution building, development, governance, judiciary and police. The implementation of NATO’s contribution to a comprehensive approach is a long-term effort. NATO is working to make improvements in several key areas of work including the planning and conduct of operations; lessons learned, training, education and exercises; cooperation with external actors; and public messaging. Planning and conduct of operations NATO takes full account of all military and non-military aspects of crisis management, and is working to improve practical cooperation at all levels with all relevant organisations and actors in the planning and conduct of operations. The Alliance promotes the clear definition of strategies and objectives among all relevant actors before launching an operation, as well as enhanced cooperative planning. The Allies agree that, as a general rule, elements of stabilisation and reconstruction are best undertaken by those actors and organisations that have the relevant expertise, mandate and competence. However, there can be circumstances which may hamper other actors from undertaking these tasks, or undertaking them without support from NATO. To improve NATO’s contribution to a comprehensive approach and its ability to contribute, when required, to stabilisation and reconstruction, Allies agreed to form an appropriate but modest civilian capability to interface more effectively with other actors and conduct appropriate planning in crisis management. Moreover, a Comprehensive Approach Specialist Support (COMPASS) programme was set up in 2009 to build up a database of national civil experts in three main fields – political, stabilisation and reconstruction, and media – to be drawn upon for advice at the strategic, operational and theatre levels. Lessons learned, training, education and exercises Applying a comprehensive approach means a change of mindset. The Alliance is therefore emphasising joint training of civilian and military personnel. This promotes the sharing of lessons learned and also helps build trust and confidence between NATO, its partners and other international and local actors, which in turn encourages better coordination. In some cases, lessons learned are being developed at staff level with the United Nations, for example, related to Libya and Kosovo. Elements related to the comprehensive approach are integrated education and exercises within the NATO civilian and military structures. NATO also regularly invites international organisations to participate in NATO exercises to share knowledge about Alliance procedures for crisis response as well as share views and perspectives. Enhancing cooperation with external actors Achieving lasting mutual understanding, trust, confidence and respect among the relevant organisations and actors will make their respective efforts more effective. Therefore, NATO is actively building closer links and liaison with them on a regular basis while respecting the autonomy of decision-making of each organisation. Cooperation has become well established with the United Nations, UN agencies, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, in particular, as well as with the World Bank, the International Committee for the Red Cross, the International Organization for Migration, the African Union and the League of Arab States. This takes the form of staff talks, staff-to-staff contacts at various levels, high-level exchanges, ‘NATO education days’ and workshops. Public messaging To be effective, a comprehensive approach to crisis management must be complemented by sustained and coherent public messages. NATO’s information campaigns are substantiated by systematic and updated information, documenting progress in relevant areas. Efforts are also being made to share communication strategies with international actors and to coordinate communications in theatre.
  • Comprehensive Political Guidance
    Comprehensive Political Guidance The Comprehensive Political Guidance 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, but 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. An evolving strategic context Providing the means to implement the objectives Adoption of the Comprehensive Political Guidance An evolving strategic context The threats, risks and challenges now faced by the Allies are very different from those of the Cold War. NATO no longer perceives large-scale conventional military threats to Alliance territory. Instead, today’s security threats include instability, ethnic and religious-based rivalries, competition for natural resources, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, failed states, genocide, mass migration, organized crime, cyber attacks and terrorism. The challenge is to cope with an ever-increasing set of demands and with new types of operations. That is why Allies are committed to pursuing the transformation of their forces: current and future operations will continue to require agile and interoperable, well-trained and well-led military forces – forces that are modern, deployable, sustainable and available to undertake demanding operations far from home bases. This also places a premium on close coordination and cooperation among international organizations and of particular importance to NATO is its relationship with the United Nations and the European Union. Providing the means to implement the objectives Capability requirements The Comprehensive Political Guidance (CPG) sets out the kinds of operations the Alliance must be able to perform in the future and, as a logical consequence of that vision, the kinds of capabilities the Alliance will need. It defines NATO’s top priorities among those requirements, starting with expeditionary forces and the capability to deploy and sustain them. These capability requirements are expressed broadly. How specifically these capabilities will be filled is left open, since that is for members to determine both individually and collectively through NATO’s defence planning process. The defence planning process As such, the defence planning process is also under review to guarantee that NATO has effective military capabilities for defence and deterrence, as well as to fulfill the full range of its missions. The defence planning process comprises a number of planning disciplines including armaments, civil emergency planning, consultation, command and control, logistics, and resource, nuclear and force planning. Subordinate documents, such as Ministerial Guidance, provide more detailed, quantitative and qualitative guidance. Usually provided every four years, Ministerial Guidance establishes the Alliance level of ambition in military terms and provides further strategic level politico-military direction for relevant planning disciplines. This provides the basis for specific requirements to be set by the NATO force planning system for those member countries engaged in collective force planning. The system then later assesses their ability to meet these planning targets through a biennial defence review process. Building on the CPG, new Ministerial Guidance was agreed in June 2006. It seeks to provide NATO with the ability to conduct a greater number of smaller-scale operations, while retaining its ability to carry out larger operations. In addition, future planning targets will embrace the further transformation of the Alliance and will continue to seek to improve NATO’s capabilities to pursue the sort of expeditionary operations in which it is currently engaged. The CPG Management Mechanism The implementation of the CPG, both within the Alliance proper and by the Allies themselves is crucial. Ultimately, implementation should lead to the development of more usable capabilities for future operations and missions, thereby ensuring that the Alliance remains effective, credible and relevant in the 21st century. To this end, in February 2006, a CPG Management Mechanism was established. Two aspects of the implementation of the CPG are being pursued: monitoring and evaluating the actual fulfillment of the required capabilities; and improving NATO’s processes for identifying, developing and delivering the required capabilities. Adoption of the Comprehensive Political Guidance The CPG was agreed on 21 December 2005 by the 26 NATO member countries.  It was endorsed by NATO Defence Ministers at their June 2006 meeting at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, and – at the highest political level – by NATO Heads of State and Government at the November 2006 Riga Summit.
  • Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD)
    Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD) The Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD) is the senior NATO committee responsible for promoting the cooperation between countries in the armaments field. It brings together the top national officials responsible for defence procurement in NATO member and partner countries to consider the political, economic and technical aspects of the development and procurement of equipment for NATO forces. The CNAD’s tasks The mission of the CNAD is to enable multinational cooperation on delivery of interoperable military capabilities to improve NATO forces’ effectiveness over the whole spectrum of current and future operations. The CNAD reports directly to the North Atlantic Council – NATO’s principal political decision-making body. It is tasked with identifying collaborative opportunities for research, development and production of military equipment and weapons systems. It is responsible for a number of cooperative armaments projects that aim to equip NATO forces with cutting-edge capabilities. Ongoing projects include Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (JISR) and ballistic missile defence. The CNAD also plays a key role in the promotion of essential battlefield interoperability and in the harmonisation of military requirements on an Alliance-wide basis. The CNAD identifies and pursues collaborative opportunities and promotes transatlantic defence industrial cooperation. Working mechanisms The CNAD and its substructure meet in Allied format, with a significant number of groups also open to partners. The CNAD meets twice a year at the level of National Armaments Directors (NADs), under the chairmanship of the NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment. During these biannual meetings, the CNAD sets the direction of the Conference’s work and oversees that of the CNAD subordinate structure. Overall guidance is provided through the CNAD Management Plan, which translates NATO’s strategic objectives into specific objectives for the armaments community and defines priorities for day-to-day cooperation. Regular meetings at the level of the in-house Representatives of the National Armaments Directors (NADREPs) ensure the day-to-day implementation of the CNAD’s objectives. The structure of the CNAD The work of the CNAD is prepared and supported by its subordinate committees. The Army, Air Force and Naval Main Armaments Groups (MAGs) and their respective subgroups support the work of the Conference and are responsible to it for all activities in their respective fields. Assistance on industrial matters is provided by the NATO Industrial Advisory Group (NIAG), enabling the CNAD to benefit from industry’s advice on how to enhance the NATO-industry relationship. The NIAG also assists the Conference in exploring opportunities for international collaboration. Other groups under the CNAD are active in fields such as ammunition safety, system life cycle management, and codification. The CNAD provides member, and in some cases partner, countries opportunities to cooperate on equipment and research projects. At the same time, it facilitates exchange of information on national programmes to the benefit of individual countries and to NATO as a whole. In 1966, the CNAD was created to provide a flexible and open framework for armaments cooperation within the Alliance. In a changing security environment and in a time of financial austerity, the CNAD is proving its usefulness and adaptability as it continues to facilitate dialogue among nations and foster multinational cooperation in capability development, acquisition and delivery, among others in the framework of Smart Defence and with a view to filling critical capability gaps.
  • Connected Forces Initiative (CFI)
    Connected Forces Initiative After 2014, NATO is expected to shift its emphasis from operational engagement to operational preparedness. This means NATO will need to remain capable of performing its core tasks - described in its Strategic Concept¹ - and of maintaining its forces at a high level of readiness. To help achieve this, Allied leaders have set out the goal of ‘NATO Forces 2020’: modern, tightly connected forces that are properly equipped, trained, exercised and led. The Connected Forces Initiative (CFI) will help maintain NATO’s readiness and combat effectiveness through expanded education and training, increased exercises and better use of technology. After the end of the International Security Assistance Force’s (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan, CFI will build on the Alliance’s experience - including lessons learned from 20 years of operations - to ensure that Allies can work even more effectively together and with partners. The main requirements of CFI are to ensure that Allies can communicate, train and operate together effectively, and that NATO has increasing opportunities to validate and certify their ability to do so. The NATO Response Force will also play an important role in this context by providing a vehicle both to demonstrate operational readiness and serve as a “testbed” for Alliance transformation. Fundamental elements of CFI Expanded education and training is focused on individuals or small groups and aims to concentrate on key requirements, harmonise current efforts and address any gaps. NATO will capitalise collectively on the individual training efforts of Allies and identify areas for collaboration and potential synergies. It will also provide training for NATO-specific capabilities and any necessary overarching collective training so that Allies can come together and be ready for any eventuality. Increased exercises provide an essential means for forces to practise tactics, techniques and procedures, promote and gauge interoperability, validate training and, when required, certify headquarters, units and formations. Exercises should cover the full spectrum of intensity, promote interoperability and also compensate for the reduced operational experience of forces working together. NATO will build a robust exercise and training programme that will underpin the Alliance’s interoperability in the future. High-intensity, large-scale exercises will provide the demanding scenarios necessary for NATO to retain its “fighting edge”. On 22 October 2013, NATO Defence Ministers agreed that the Alliance will hold a major live exercise in 2015 that will involve a significant number of land, maritime and air forces deployed. Spain, Portugal and Italy offered to host the exercise. From 2016 onwards, NATO will also conduct such major live exercises on a regular basis, with a broader scope and covering the full range of Alliance missions. NATO Defence Ministers also agreed to draw up a broader concept for training and exercises up to 2020. Better use of technology will help Allied and partner forces to work together. This supports and enhances connectivity and interoperability of equipment and systems. It also capitalises on modern technologies and capabilities to assist in training, educating, exercising, deploying and sustaining the forces. Federated, modern simulators will enable Allies to train together while remaining in their peacetime locations – reducing expenditure but at the same time providing the necessary interaction between diverse forces. NATO Response Force The NATO Response Force (NRF) is a high-readiness, technologically advanced multinational force made up of land, air, maritime and Special Operations Forces components that the Alliance can deploy rapidly if needed. The NRF comprises a joint force of about 13,000 high-readiness troops provided by Allies and is based on a rotational system; the nations commit forces for a 12-month period.   Under the Connected Forces Initiative, Allied Defence Ministers agreed at their meeting on 21 February 2013 that the NRF will become even more important post-ISAF and provide a vehicle both to demonstrate operational readiness and to serve as a “testbed” for Alliance transformation. NRF exercises will strike a balance between these two objectives.   The NRF will support NATO’s shift from operational engagement to operational preparedness. It provides a collective approach with a ready, integrated, deployable and effective military response to show Alliance resolve, solidarity and commitment.   The NRF is a vehicle which can be built upon to address the three main CFI elements. Special Operations Forces Finally, enhancing Special Operations Forces will support this initiative. The NATO Special Operations Headquarters (NSHQ) has a vital role in planning and coordinating missions and in improving the cooperation and connectivity between Special Operations Forces. 1. The Strategic Concept endorsed at the 2010 Lisbon Summit lays out NATO’s vision for an evolving Alliance that will remain able to defend its members against modern threats and commits NATO to become more agile, more capable and more effective.
  • Consensus decision-making at NATO
    Consensus decision-making at NATO A fundamental principle All NATO decisions are made by consensus, after discussion and consultation among member countries. A decision reached by consensus is an agreement reached by common consent, a decision that is accepted by each member country. This means that when a "NATO decision" is announced, it is the expression of the collective will of all the sovereign states that are members of the Alliance. This principle is applied at every committee level, and demonstrates clearly that NATO decisions are collective decisions made by its member countries. How this principle is applied Consensus decision-making means that there is no voting at NATO. Consultations take place until a decision that is acceptable to all is reached. Sometimes member countries agree to disagree on an issue. In general, this negotiation process is rapid since members consult each other on a regular basis and therefore often know and understand each other's positions in advance. Facilitating the process of consultation is one of the NATO Secretary General's main tasks. The consenus principle applies throughout NATO. The origins of this principle Consensus has been accepted as the sole basis for decision-making in NATO since the creation of the Alliance in 1949.
  • Consultation, Command and Control Board (C3B)
    Consultation, Command and Control Board (C3B) NATO’s C3 Board is the senior multinational policy body in the area of Consultation Command and Control (C3), reporting to and advising the North Atlantic Council and Defense Planning Committee on all C3 policy matters. C3 focus areas are information sharing and interoperability, which include issues such as cyber defence, information assurance and joint intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Background Against a backdrop of fast-changing technology and the need to develop capabilities to better tackle emerging security threats, work in the area of Consultation, Command and Control (C3) is more important than ever. It provides NATO with cost-effective, interoperable and secure capabilities to ensure timely and high-level political consultation, and command and control of military forces. For example, a number of communications and information systems link up NATO Headquarters in Brussels, the Military Command Structure headquarters, national capitals and national military commands. The system also provides for secure connection to facilitate consultation with NATO’s partner countries. Role, responsibilities, main participants The C3B is responsible for policy and technical advice on a wide variety of communications, information services and security matters. It is the senior multinational C3 policy body, acting on behalf of and advising the North Atlantic Council and Defense Planning Committee on all C3 policy matters, including the interoperability of NATO and national C3 systems. The Board establishes and ensures the fulfillment of strategic objectives, policies, plans and programmes for an effective and secure NATO-wide C3 capability. The Board also advises the Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD), which brings together the national officials of NATO and Partner countries responsible for defence procurement. The C3B is composed of senior national representatives from capitals, representatives of NATO’s Military Committee and Strategic Commanders, and NATO committees with an interest in C3. It is chaired by NATO’s Deputy Secretary General and has a Permanent Chairman (the NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment) and two Co-Vice Chairmen (Director of the NATO HQ C3 Staff, and an elected individual from national nominees). Working mechanism The C3B meets twice a year to set strategic objectives, evaluate progress and elaborate policy. National C3 Representatives (NC3REPs), which act on behalf of and with the delegated authority of the Board, meet regularly as the C3B in Permanent Session. In addition to their formal meetings, the NC3REPs gather in different formats, such as in Military Committee, Partnership and ISAF sessions, to elaborate C3 specific advice in these areas. The C3B in Permanent Session focuses on monitoring the fulfillment of the Board’s strategic objectives. It is also responsible for facilitating the C3B biannual meetings. The NATO Headquarters C3 Staff (NHQC3S), which consists of about 80 staff members from NATO’s International Military Staff (IMS) and its International Staff (IS) (primarily the Defence Investment Division), also supports the work of the C3 Board. The NHQC3S advises the Military Committee on C3/communication and information system policy standards, products, analysis and capability packages. The nations, the Assistant Secretary General of Defence Investment and the Director General of the IMS can task the Board to develop C3 related policies and provide recommendations on C3 programmes and requirements. The C3 Board is supported by a subordinate structure consisting of the following four multinational panels, each focusing on a specialised C3 area: Communication and Information Services Capability Panel Navigation and Identification Capability Panel Civil/Military Spectrum Capability Panel Information Assurance and Cyber Defence Capability Panel Evolution The North Atlantic Council created the C3 Board in 1996. It is not yet determined how the ongoing NATO reform may affect the work and responsibilities of the C3B. As technology and security threats change, so do the C3 needs of the Alliance. At the Lisbon Summit in November 2010, nations agreed to focus on a critical set of capabilities that includes a number of C3 related areas.
  • Consultation process and Article 4
    The consultation process and Article 4 All NATO decisions are made by consensus, after discussion and consultation among member countries. Consultation between member states is a key part of the decision-making process at NATO, allowing Allies to exchange views and information, and to discuss issues prior to reaching agreement and taking action. Consultations take place on all subjects of interest to the Alliance: developing new military capabilities and cooperative relationships with non-member countries, military operations etc. Discussions effectively touch on NATO’s day-to-day business, its core objectives and its fundamental role. Additionally, members are encouraged to bring subjects to the table for discussion within the North Atlantic Council (NAC). This prerogative is outlined in Article 4 of NATO’s founding treaty:  “ The Parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened .” The consultation process is therefore at the heart of NATO. It reinforces the Alliance’s political dimension by giving members the opportunity to voice opinions and official positions, and it also gives NATO an active role in preventive diplomacy by providing the means to help avoid military conflict. Consultation is continuous and takes place both on a formal and informal basis. It  can happen quickly due to the fact that all member states have permanent delegations at NATO Headquarters in Brussels. Governments  can come together at short notice whenever necessary, often with prior knowledge of their respective national preoccupations, in order to agree on common policies or take action on the basis of consensus. NATO’s network of committees facilitates consultation by enabling government officials, experts and administrators to come together on a daily basis to discuss a broad range issues. Different forms of consultation Consultation takes many forms. At its most basic level it involves simply the exchange of information and opinions. At another level it covers the communication of actions or decisions, which governments have already taken or may be about to take. Finally, it can encompass discussion with the aim of reaching a consensus on policies to be adopted or actions to be taken. The principle of consensus decision making is applied throughout NATO, which means that all “NATO decisions” are the expression of the collective will of all sovereign states that are members of this inter-governmental organisation. While consensus decision-making can help a member country preserve national sovereignty in the area of defence and security, Article 4 can be an invitation for member countries to concede this right to the group or it can simply lead to a request for NATO support. Article 4 Under Article 4 of NATO’s founding treaty, member countries can bring an issue to the attention of the Council and discuss it with Allies. The article states: “The Parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened.” Any member country can formally invoke Article 4 of the North Atlantic Treaty. As soon as it is invoked, the issue is discussed and can potentially lead to some form of joint decision or action on behalf of the Alliance. Whatever the scenario, fellow members sitting around the Council table are encouraged to react to a situation brought to their attention by a member country. Since the Alliance’s creation in 1949, Article 4 has been invoked several times. Once by Poland on 3 March 2014 following increasing tensions in neighbouring Ukraine. On two occasions in 2012, Turkey requested that the North Atlantic Council (NAC) convene under Article 4: once on 22 June after one of its fighter jets was shot down by Syrian air defence forces and the second time on 3 October when five Turkish civilians were killed by Syrian shells. Following these incidents, on 21 November, Turkey requested the deployment of Patriot missiles. NATO agreed to this defensive measure so as to help Turkey defend its population and territory, and help de-escalate the crisis along the border. Previously, on 10 February 2003, Turkey formally invoked Article 4 of the North Atlantic Treaty, asking for consultations in the NAC on defensive assistance from NATO in the event of a threat to its population or territory resulting from armed conflict in neighbouring Iraq. NATO agreed a package of defensive measures and conducted Operation Display Deterrence from end February to early May 2003. The political dimension of NATO Encouraging members of an inter-governmental organisation who have not given up their right of free and independent judgment in international affairs to consult more systematically on an issue is a challenge – be it today or in the ‘50s. In the early ‘50s, the NAC recognised NATO’s consultative deficiency on international issues and recommended that measures be taken to improve the process. In April 1954, a resolution on political consultation was adopted: “... all member governments should bear constantly in mind the desirability of bringing to the attention of the Council information on international political developments whenever they are of concern to other members of the Council or to the Organization as a whole; and (...) the Council in permanent session should from time to time consider what specific subject might be suitable for political consultation at one of its subsequent meetings when its members should be in a position to express the views of their governments on the subject.” C-M(54)38. The resolution, which was put forward by Canada and immediately approved, provoked nonetheless a reaction from the American representative: “Mr. Dulles (United States) supported the Canadian resolution on the understanding that consultation would be limited within the bounds of common sense. Countries like his own with world-wide interests might find it difficult to consult other NATO governments in every case. For a sudden emergency, it was more important to take action than to discuss the emergency. In other words, consultation should be regarded as a means to an end, rather than an end in itself.” (C-R(54)18). The reservations made by the United States, which no doubt were shared by other member countries, could still be voiced today. Building on this resolution, on 8 March 1956, the Secretary General of NATO, Lord Ismay, made a statement which widened the debate by explaining the consequences of systemising political consultation within the Alliance: “A direct method of bringing home to public opinion the importance of the habit of political consultation within NATO may be summed up in the proposition “NATO is a political as well as a military alliance”. The habitual use of this phraseology would be preferable to the current tendency to refer to NATO as a (purely) military alliance. It is also more accurate. To refer to NATO as a political alliance in no sense denies, depreciates or deprecates the fact that the alliance is also military.” (C-M(56)25-1956). The same year, the “Three Wise Men” produced their report, which inter alia sought to improve consultation within the Alliance on issues of common concern (Report of the Committee of Three on Non-Military Cooperation in NATO”). However, ironically it was published as the Suez crisis emerged. Suez severely divided the leading founding members of the Organization (France, the United Kingdom and the United States). The Suez crisis acted as a catalyst for NATO, leading it to put into practice something it knew was of vital importance for the unity and solidarity of the Alliance – political consultation. “Animus in consulendo liber” For its anecdotal value, it is worth noting that when NATO moved to its headquarters at the Porte Dauphine in Paris, December 1959, the Secretary General, M. Paul-Henri Spaak, enlisted the help of the Dean of the Council in finding a suitable Latin maxim which would capture the spirit of consultation between Allies to which he attached so much importance. The Dean, Belgian Ambassador André de Staercke, recalled a visit he had made to the Tuscan town of San Gimignano. There, in the Palazzo del Podestà, engraved on the back of the seat reserved for the man who presided over the destinies of the city, he had seen the motto: Animus in consulendo liber . It seems that an entirely satisfactory translation of the phrase cannot be found, although a French version “l’esprit libre dans la consultation” comes close. Renderings in English have ranged from the cryptic “in discussion a free mind” to the more complex “Man’s mind ranges unrestrained in counsel”. The motto adorned the conference area at the Porte de Dauphine for several years and, in 1967, was moved to NATO’s new home in Brussels, where it has since graced the wall of the Council room. Setting up a consultation system As explained above, consultation and consensus were accepted as the basis for all NATO decisions when the Alliance was created in 1949. However, it was only gradually that NATO set up a consultation system. In broad terms, this was done in three stages: 1949-1952: at the signing of the Treaty, NATO introduced the consultation process as a key principle in its working mechanisms. This was reinforced at the Lisbon Conference (1952) where the contours of today’s NATO were put into place: the NAC was made permanent and the position of Secretary General was created, together with an international staff that would support Council decisions on a permanent basis; 1952-1956: between 1952 and the publishing of the Committee of Three’s report on non-military cooperation, attempts had been made to encourage political consultation beyond the geographical limitations defined in the founding treaty, ie, beyond the defined NATO area. From 1956: the principles of the Report of the Committee of Three were further developed and implemented. The Committee recommended measures in the area of political cooperation with regard to foreign policies, the peaceful settlement of inter-member disputes, economic cooperation, scientific and technical cooperation, cultural cooperation and cooperation in the information field. The Committee of Three left a lasting legacy by encouraging NATO members to reconcile differences within the Organization through productive consultation on matters of common concern, including issues outside the defined NATO area. The Suez crisis provided a firsthand example of why close political consultation and non-military cooperation are necessary. The fora for political consultation The principal forum for political consultation is the North Atlantic Council, the NAC. The NAC is NATO’s principal political decision-making committee. The Secretary General, by virtue of his chairmanship, plays an essential part in this process. Consultation also takes place on a regular basis in other fora, including NATO committees and working groups. All of these bodies derive their authority from the Council.
  • Contact Point Embassies, NATO -
    NATO Contact Point Embassies Helping NATO to work closely with its Partners Since the early 1990s, NATO has developed a network of Contact Point Embassies (CPE) to support the Alliance’s partnership and public diplomacy activities in countries participating in the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), Partnership for Peace (PfP), Mediterranean Dialogue (MD) and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI). Following the review of NATO’s partnerships policy in April 2011, the network of CPEs has also been extended to other partners across the globe. CPEs are a valuable tool which contribute to NATO’s outreach efforts. 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. In addition to this public diplomacy role, the CPEs mandate has been extended to also include support – as required – for the implementation of other agreed activities with partners. CPEs work closely with NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division to provide information on the purpose and activities of the Alliance in the host country while also supporting the Political Affairs and Security Policy Division with its management of EAPC, PfP, MD and ICI policy. CPEs are not NATO’s diplomatic mission in the host country; however, they play an important role in disseminating information about the Alliance. CPEs identify key decision makers, opinion formers and public diplomacy opportunities within the country and coordinate with the Public Diplomacy Division on events. CPEs also inform individuals within the host country on how to apply for NATO fellowships and participate in scientific programmes. CPEs offer advice to NATO Headquarters on various project proposals as well as on an array of NATO-related issues within the host country, such as political discussions, debates and concerns and changes in public opinion. CPEs also assist with logistical support, political advice and briefings on relevant developments in the host country in preparation for visits to the country by the Secretary General, NATO International Staff and NATO forces. They also regularly liaise with other NATO member nation embassies in the host country to inform about NATO’s agenda and involve them in NATO-related activities or events. NATO’s member countries volunteer the services of their embassies in partner countries to assume the duties of CPE for a period of two years. The final decision on the assignment of CPEs is taken by consensus in the North Atlantic Council – the principal decision-making body within NATO. PDD coordinates the CPE network and liaises closely with each CPE.
  • Contributing to the establishment of an African Standby Force
    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: http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/topics_8191.htm
  • Conventional Arms Control, High-Level Task Force on -
    High-Level Task Force on Conventional Arms Control The High-Level Task Force on Conventional Arms Control (HLTF) is the consultative and advisory body that brings together government experts to channel advice on conventional arms control issues to ministers of foreign affairs and defence. Effectively, it is the forum within which Alliance arms control policy is determined, while the coordination of Alliance efforts regarding implementation and verification of arms control agreements fall under the purview of the Verification Coordination Committee.  All member countries are represented and send senior officials from capitals to meetings of the Task Force. It was created in 1986 and is chaired by the Deputy Secretary General. The acting chairman is the Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy (PASP) of NATO’s International Staff. The HLTF is supported by a group of HLTF Deputies from NATO delegations in Brussels. The work of the HLTF is supported by the Arms Control and Coordination Section in PASP.
  • Conventional arms control, NATO’s role in -
    NATO’s role in conventional arms control NATO attaches great importance to conventional arms control and provides an essential consultative and decision-making forum for its members on all aspects of arms control and disarmament. The 2010 Strategic Concept of the Alliance reiterates the major role of arms control in achieving security objectives, the continued importance of harmonizing defence and arms control policies and objectives and NATO’s commitment to the development of future arms control agreements. One of the most significant achievements in this sphere is the landmark 1990 Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE). This Treaty is referred to as a "cornerstone of European security" and imposes for the first time in European history legal and verifiable limits on the force structure of its 30 States Parties which stretch from the Atlantic Ocean to the Ural Mountains. Russia “suspended” its participation in the Treaty in December 2007. NATO also supports the implementation of a variety of confidence and security-building measures. These include the Vienna Document, a politically binding agreement designed to promote mutual trust and transparency about a state’s military forces and activities, and the Open Skies Treaty, which is legally binding and allows for unarmed aerial observation flights over a country’s territory. Although not all member states of the Alliance are a party to the Ottawa Convention on anti-personnel mines, all members of the Alliance fully support its humanitarian demining goals. Moreover, the Alliance assists partner countries in the destruction of surplus stocks of mines, arms and munitions through a NATO/Partnership for Peace (PfP) Trust Fund mechanism. The first decade of the new millennium has also witnessed two other major developments in the field of conventional arms control: the Convention on Cluster Munitions and the UN process “Towards an Arms Trade Treaty.” These initiatives mark the continuing importance and relevance of conventional arms control today for peace and security. Conventional arms control agreements The Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty Since the CFE Treaty’s entry into force in 1992, the destruction of over 100.,000 pieces of treaty-limited equipment (tanks, armoured personnel carriers, artillery, attack helicopters and combat aircraft) has been verified and almost 6,000 on-site inspections have been conducted, thereby reaching its objective of creating balance and mitigating the possibility of surprise conventional attacks within its area of application. At the first CFE Review Conference in 1996, negotiations began to adapt the CFE Treaty to reflect the realities of the post-Cold War era. This process was completed in conjunction with the OSCE Summit in Istanbul in 1999. States Parties also agreed to additional commitments, called the Istanbul Commitments. Although the Adapted CFE Treaty (ACFE) went far in adjusting the Treaty to a new security environment it was not ratified by Allied countries because of the failure of Russia to fully meet commitments regarding withdrawal of Russian forces from Georgia and the Republic of Moldova, on which Allies’ agreement to the adapted Treaty was based. At NATO summits and ministerial meetings since 2000, the Allies have reiterated their commitment to the CFE Treaty and have reaffirmed their readiness and commitment to ratify the Adapted Treaty. However, during the third CFE Review Conference, in June 2006, Russia expressed its concerns regarding ratification of the adapted CFE Treaty and claimed that even the ACFE was outdated. After the June 2007 Extraordinary Conference of the States Parties to the CFE Treaty, the Russian President signed legislation on 14 July 2007 to unilaterally “suspend” its legal obligations under the CFE Treaty as of 12 December 2007. In response to these events, NATO offered a set of constructive and forward-looking actions.. In 2008 and 2009 consultations were held between the United States on behalf of the Alliance and Russia, but with limited development. Further efforts to resolve the impasse were pursued on the basis of United States’ initiative, which sought an agreement on a framework for negotiations on a modernised CFE Treaty, in consultations at 36 between all CFE states parties and NATO member states not parties to the CFE Treaty. The process stalled in the autumn of 2011 because of the lack of agreement among parties. In a situation where no agreement could be reached to overcome the impasse, towards the end of November 2011, NATO CFE Allies announced their decisions to cease implementing certain CFE obligations vis-à-vis Russia, while still continuing to implement fully their obligations with respect to all other CFE states parties. However, in the December 2011 foreign ministerial communiqué, Allies stated that these decisions were fully reversible should the Russian Federation return to full implementation. At the Chicago Summit in May 2012, Allies reiterated their commitment to conventional arms control and expressed determination to preserve, strengthen and modernise the conventional arms control regime in Europe, based on key principles and commitments. The Vienna Document Similarly, under the Vienna Document, thousands of inspections and evaluation visits have been conducted as well as airbase visits and visits to military facilities; also new types of armament and equipment have been demonstrated to the participating states of the Vienna Document. With an aim to reflect the contemporary security policy environment an updated version of the Vienna Document known as the Vienna Document 2011 was approved by the OSCE in December 2011. The Open Skies Treaty Under the Open Skies Treaty, more than 850 observation missions have been conducted since the treaty’s entry into force in January 2002. Aerial photography and other material from observation missions provide transparency and support verification activities carried out on the ground under other treaties. This treaty provides for extensive cooperation regarding the use of aircraft and their sensors, thereby adding to openness and confidence. Following long lasting negotiations the states parties to the Open Skies Treaty agreed, at the 2010 review conference, to allow the use of digital sensors in the future. However these have to undergo a certification process, as foreseen by the Open Skies Treaty . This decision secures the future relevance of the treaty, adds to its efficiency and reduces implementation costs. The UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in All Its Aspects The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council’s (EAPC) Ad Hoc Working Group on SALW and Mine Action contributes to international efforts to address the illicit trade in SALW and encourages international efforts to fully implement the UN Programme of Action. It also encourages mine action efforts. The UN Programme of Action (UN PoA) was adopted in July 2001 by nearly 150 countries, including all NATO member countries and contains concrete recommendations for improving national legislation and controls over illicit small arms, fostering regional cooperation and promoting international assistance and cooperation on the issue.  It was developed and agreed as a result of the growing realisation that most present-day conflicts are fought with illicit small arms and light weapons, and that their widespread availability has a negative impact on international peace and security, facilitates violations of international humanitarian law and human rights, and hampers economic and social development. It includes 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 hold the Biennial Meeting of States to Consider the Implementation of the Programme of Action (BMS). National delegations from all member states gather every six years to review the progress made in implementation of the Programme of Action. The International Staff participated in this review on behalf of the EAPC in August 2012 Mine Action The EAPC Working Group on SALW and Mine Action has supported mine action efforts through its guest speaker program by inviting numerous mine action experts to share their expertise with the Group. These speakers have hailed from national mine action centers, NGOs and international organizations and have included high profile experts, such as Nobel Laureate Ms. Jody Williams, Director of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. The Working Group intensified its focus on mine action, also incorporating issues related to explosive remnants of war and cluster munitions onto its agenda, during the second half of 2010, wherein all regular Working Group meetings were dedicated to this subject. The Convention on Cluster Munitions The Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) prohibits all use, stockpiling, production and transfer of cluster munitions. Separate articles in the Convention concern assistance to victims, clearance of contaminated areas and destruction of stockpiles. It became a legally binding international instrument when it entered into force on 1 August 2010. The Arms Trade Treaty In July of 2012, UN member states gathered in New York to negotiate an arms trade treaty that would establish high common standards for international trade in conventional arms. Despite the efforts put forth by delegations during the four weeks of negotiations, the Conference could not reach agreement on a treaty text. Governments are now considering the next steps to conclude the negotiations in the not-so-distant future. This Treaty is intended to establish common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional arms. NATO stands ready to support the Arms Trade Treaty process as appropriate. NATO/PfP Trust Fund projects The NATO/Partnership for Peace Trust Fund mechanism was established in 2000 to assist partner countries with the safe destruction of stocks of anti-personnel land mines. It was later extended to include the destruction of surplus munitions, unexploded ordnance and small arms and light weapons, and assisting partner countries in managing the consequences of defence reform. So far, 4.2 million landmines, 31,000 tonnes of various munitions, 2 million hand grenades, 2 million sub munitions, 1100 MANPADS, and 427,000 SALW alongside 108 million rounds of SALW ammunition have been destroyed. Trust Fund projects are initiated by a NATO member or partner country and funded by voluntary contributions from individual allies, partners, contact countries, and organisations. NATO bodies involved in conventional arms control There are a number of NATO bodies that provide a forum to discuss and take forward arms control issues. Arms control policy is determined within the deliberations of the High-Level Task Force on Conventional Arms Control (HLTF), that was established for CFE and confidence and security building measures (CSBMs).  Implementation and verification of arms control agreements fall under the purview of the Verification Coordination Committee, including overseeing a designated CFE verification database. The NATO-Russia Council (NRC) also has a working group for Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation. Other fora include the Political Partnerships Committee and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council Ad Hoc Working Group on Small Arms and Light Weapons. The NATO School Oberammergau (Germany) conducts 12 courses a year in the fields of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. Most of them are also open to NATO’s partners across the globe.
  • Council Operations and Exercises Committee (COEC)
    Council Operations and Exercises Committee (COEC) The Council Operations and Exercise Committee (COEC) deals with the development and improvement of Alliance crisis management procedures to support the North Atlantic Council (NAC) consultative and decision-making roles in times of crises. This includes the formulation, development and enhancement of NATO’s crisis response arrangements and procedures, in particular those related to operations planning, the education of staffs and consultation bodies at NATO HQ as well as across the Alliance and in partner countries. The COEC also takes the lead in organizing yearly crisis management exercises to test the Alliance’s decision-making process in reaction to a crisis situation. All member countries are represented on the COEC. Its work is principally supported by the Operations Division and it can receive support from other bodies depending on the issue, including from all the International Staff Divisions, the International Military Staff and the Strategic Commands.
  • Countering Improvised Explosive Devices (C-IEDs)
    Countering Improvised Explosive Devices (C-IEDs) An improvised explosive device (IED) is a type of unconventional explosive weapon that can take any form and be activated in a variety of ways. They target soldiers and civilians alike. In today’s conflicts, IEDs play an increasingly important role and will continue to be part of the operating environment for future NATO military operations. IEDs are one of the main causes of casualities among troops and exact a heavy toll on local populations. With the aim of reducing the risks posed by IEDs, the Alliance helps members and partners in developing their own C-IED capabilities, with a particular emphasis on education and training, doctrine development and improving counter-measure technologies. NATO introduced a Counter Improvised Explosive Devices (C-IED) Action Plan with two main focus areas: defeating the device itself and disrupting the network. With defeating the device, various branches within NATO look at how to detect and neutralize IEDs, prepare and train soldiers for an IED environment, develop technology to prevent IED attacks and protect soldiers and civilians. C-IED is not just about stopping or neutralising an IED once it is already in place, but also about identifying and disrupting the networks that create and initiate IEDs. The Alliance focuses on reducing the frequency and severity of IED attacks, while also targeting the networks that facilitate them. Understanding the various threat networks at the tactical to strategic levels is vital to success in current and future operations where battle lines are no longer linear. C-IED efforts encompass work, research, testing and training conducted at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Supreme Allied Command Transformation (SACT) in the United States, International Security Assistance Force Headquarters in Afghanistan (ISAF) and various Centres of Excellence (CoEs) and NATO Agencies. These different commands, agencies and divisions focus on training, developing technology designed to defeat IEDs, sharing information and bringing together non-NATO actors to disrupt the network before IEDs kill or injure troops, Afghan security forces and civilians. Counter Improvised Explosive Devices (C-IED) Action Plan The C-IED Action Plan guides the Alliance’s efforts to reduce the effects of IEDs and acts as an umbrella for the coordination of the various actors involved in C-IED. It covers all areas of countering improvised explosive devices, from the strategic to the tactical. It focuses on several areas of concern to the Alliance, including improving coordination and cooperation with the European Union and between Alliance members, developing and investing in equipment designed to reduce the risk of and damage caused by IEDs, and ensuring that troops in the field receive training for an IED environment. The C-IED Action Plan is built around several different areas, including information-sharing, closer cooperation with other international organizations and law enforcement agencies, specialized training for troops deployed to areas where IEDs are widely used and improving equipment used to detect IEDs and protect troops. Supreme Allied Command Transformation (SACT) in Norfolk, Virginia in the United Sates has the overall responsibility for implementing the different aspects of the Action Plan and leverages the NATO C-IED Task Force to coordinate and synchronize efforts across NATO HQ, Strategic Commands and other NATO bodies. Equipment and technology IEDs can be hidden anywhere: in animals, planted in roads or strapped to a person. They can be detonated via cell phones or trip wires, among other methods. They can be deployed everywhere: in a combat environment or in the middle of a busy city. The adaptability of IEDs to almost any situation makes them difficult to detect and stop, which is why NATO members and partners are using several methods to increase counter IED capabilities. For example, the Emerging Security Challenges (ESC) Division has several science initiatives that focus on developing sensors to detect explosive before they can claim lives. In coordination with the Defence Investment Division (DI), the NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A) helps to coordinate and execute the joint acquisition of C-IED equipment through a common funded system or nationally provided funds. NC3A conducts research and development on countering IEDs and works on developing in-house technologies and techniques, as part of the Defence Against Terrorism Programme of Work (DAT PoW), which is under the responsibility of ESC. NC3A also analyzes emerging technology in the area of countering IEDs and tests them, in an unbiased way, in an operational environment to ensure they fit with the Alliance’s needs. In addition to the DAT PoW, a counter-measure programme designed to identify and deliver short-term capability solutions specifically includes a C-IED initiative. Spain is taking the lead on testing various stand-off detection technologies, while Slovakia is focusing on activities, technologies and procedures for IED “Render-Safe” operations in line with an Explosive Ordnance Disposal initiative. In line with the NATO Secretary General’s goal of promoting multinational cooperation in defence spending, the Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD) has identified 19 initiatives for multinational armaments cooperation in the fight against IEDs. These initiatives, such as joint acquisition of equipment, joint testing of new technology, technological research cooperation and development of common equipment standards, have been regrouped into a C-IED Materiel Roadmap. The CNAD also developed a Voluntary National Contribution Fund (VNCF) to support multinational projects in the C-IED Action Plan, such as pre-deployment training of Weapon Intelligence Teams. NATO members also have access to a Clearing House database, established to facilitate information-sharing on current and future C-IED equipment programmes and to help identify possible areas of cooperation. Information-sharing and intelligence NATO’s initial C-IED efforts focused on detecting and neutralizing IEDs. Now, however, C-IED work is not just about detection and neutralization, but instead must also focus on addressing the networks behind the IEDs. In line with this, NATO utilizes both military and civilian means in the fight against IEDs. Information-sharing between international and national law enforcement agencies, as well as border and customs agencies, is instrumental in mapping insurgent networks. This helps to disrupt the operational IED chain. As such, NATO would like to promote cooperation with these various agencies and organizations. NATO also trains its troops on how to interact with civilians during deployment. The information provided by civilians who know the area can be instrumental in preventing IED attacks. Education and training NATO forces undergo pre-deployment training to prepare them for operations in an IED environment. They also receive further instruction in-theatre to update their training and deal with regional challenges. NATO, with SACT in the lead, also focuses on decreasing the gaps between countries in training, standardization and doctrine development regarding C-IED. One of the most important aspects of C-IED training is being able to stop networks before emplacement of IEDs, recognize IEDs and safely disable them before they injure or kill troops and civilians. In line with this, SACT offers several C-IED training programmes executed by the C-IED Integrated Product Team, including a Staff Officer Awareness Course, an Attack the Network Tactical Awareness Course, a Weapons Intelligence Team Course and a C-IED Train the Trainer Course, in addition to utilizing the C-IED VNCF. Several Centres of Excellence (COEs) also offer specialized courses and training useful for an IED environment. The principle aim of the Counter Improvised Explosive Devices (C-IED) COE in Madrid, Spain, for example, is to enhance the capabilities of participants to counter, reduce and eliminate threats from IEDs by offering multinational courses for C-IED experts. The C-IED COE, in concert with the private sector, also focuses on defeating the network. The Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) COE in Trenčín, Slovakia focuses on “defeating the device.” EOD COE improves the capabilities of EOD specialists called upon to neutralize IEDs by providing training and expertise in the field of explosive ordinance detection, neutralization and disposal. In addition to training, the EOD COE also focuses on standardization and doctrine development and developing capabilities for EOD and IED technology improvements. Due to their related fields of specializations, the EOD COE and the C-IED COE will cooperate with each other. Additionally, the COEs have close links with others that specialize in areas that add to the field of countering IEDs, including the Military Engineering (MILENG) COE in Inglostadt, Germany, the Defence Against Terrorism (DAT) COE in Ankara, Turkey, the Military Medical (MILMED) COE in Budapest, Hungary, and the Human Intelligence (HUMINT) COE in Oradea, Romania.
  • Counter-piracy operations
    Counter-piracy operations Piracy in the Gulf of Aden, off the Horn of Africa and in the Indian Ocean is undermining international humanitarian efforts in Africa and the safety of one of the busiest and most important maritime routes in the world – the gateway in and out of the Suez Canal. NATO has been helping to deter and disrupt pirate attacks, while protecting vessels and helping to increase the general level of security in the region since 2008. On the request of United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in late 2008, NATO started to provide escorts to UN World Food Programme (WFP) vessels transiting through these dangerous waters under Operation Allied Provider (October-December 2008). In addition to providing close protection to WFP chartered ships, NATO conducted deterrence patrols and prevented, for instance, vessels from being hijacked and their crews being taken hostage during pirate attacks. This operation was succeeded by Operation Allied Protector (March-August 2009), which continued to contribute to the safety of commercial maritime routes and international navigation. It also conducted surveillance and fulfilled the tasks previously undertaken by Operation Allied Provider. This operation evolved in August 2009 in Operation Ocean Shield. Operation Ocean Shield also contributes to providing maritime security in the region and is helping to reduce the overall pirate attack success rate. The latter has been significantly reduced since multinational operations began. In order to respond to new piracy tactics, NATO has created greater synergies with other initiatives, recognised the continued need for regional capacity-building, within means and capabilities, and focused on areas where it provides added value. The March 2012 Strategic Assessment highlighted the need to erode the pirates’ logistics and support base by, among other things, disabling pirate vessels or skiffs, attaching tracking beacons to mother ships and allowing the use of force to disable or destroy suspected pirate or armed robber vessels.   NATO is conducting counter-piracy activities in full complementarity with the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and with actions against piracy initiated by other actors, such as the European Union. Operation Ocean Shield – ongoing The mission, its objectives and scope Piracy and armed robbery are disrupting the delivery of humanitarian aid to Somalia, as well as threatening vital sea lines of communication (SLOC) and economic interests off the Horn of Africa, in the Gulf of Aden and in the Indian Ocean. Building on the two previous counter-piracy missions conducted by NATO, Operation Ocean Shield principally focuses on at-sea counter-piracy operations. NATO vessels conduct, for instance, helicopter surveillance missions to trace and identify ships in the area, they help to prevent and disrupt hijackings and to suppress armed robbery. NATO has also agreed, at the request of the UN, to escort the UNSOA - United Nations Support Office for AMISOM - supply vessels to the harbour entrance of Mogadishu. The Alliance has broadened its approach to combating piracy by offering, within means and capabilities to regional states that request it, assistance in developing their own capacity to combat piracy activities. More recently, NATO has also taken on measures aimed at eroding the pirates' logistics and support bases. In sum, NATO's role is to prevent and stop piracy through direct actions against the pirates, as well as provide naval escorts and deterrence, while increasing cooperation with other counter-piracy operations in the area in order to optimise efforts and tackle the evolving pirate trends and tactics. This operation was approved by the North Atlantic Council on 17 August 2009 and the mandate has been extended until the end of 2016. Composition and command of the naval force The current rotation The Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) is currently conducting Operation Ocean Shield under the command of Commodore (Royal Danish Navy) Aage Buur Jensen. Throughout his six-month command, the Danish flagship HDMS Absalon will be supported by ITS Mimbelli (Italy).Commodore Jensen is under the overall command of Vice Admiral Peter D. Hudson, Allied Maritime Command Headquarters Northwood (MARCOM), in the United Kingdom, which provides command and control for the full spectrum of joint maritime operations and tasks. From its location in Northwood, it plans, conducts and supports joint maritime operations. It is also the Alliance's principal maritime advisor and contributes to development and transformation, engagement and outreach within its area of expertise. Previous rotations Rear Admiral Eugenio Diaz del Rio (Spain) Flagship ESPS Cristobal Colon (initially ESPS Alvaro de Bazan) TCG Gökçeada (Turkey) HNLMS Evertsen (The Netherlands) ITS Mimbelli (Italy) TCG Gelibolu (Turkey)* HMNZS Te Mana (New Zealand)* * Ships initially assigned to the rotation. June - Dec. 2013 – SNMG1 Rear Admiral Henning Amundsen (Norway) Flagship HNoMS Fridtjof Nansen (Norway) FF Esben Snare (Denmark) USS De Wert (USA) HNLMS Van Speijk (Netherlands) Frigate UPS Hetman Sagaidachny (Ukraine) January-June 2013 - SNMG2 Rear Admiral Antonio Natale (Italy) ITS San Marco (Flagship – Italy)*; USS Halyburton (United States)*; HDMS Iver Huitfeldt (Denmark)*; USS Nicholas (United States); HNLMS Van Speijk (The Netherlands); TCG Gokova (Turkey). * Ships initially assigned to the rotation. June- Dec. 2012 - SNMG1 Rear Commodore Ben Bekkering (Dutch Navy) HNLMS Evertsen (Flagship – The Netherlands) USS Taylor (United States) HNLMS Bruinvis (NL submarine) January-June 2012 - SNMG2 Rear Admiral Sinan Tosun (Turkish Navy) TCG Giresun (Flagship – Turkey); HDMS Absalon (Denmark); ITS Grecale (Italy); RFA Fort Victoria (United Kingdom); USS De Wert (United States); USS Carney (United States).* * Ships initially assigned to the rotation. June 2011-Dec. 2011 - SNMG1 Rear Admiral Gualtiero Mattesi (Italian Navy) ITS Andrea Doria (Flagship – Italy); USS Carney (United States); USS De Wert (United States); NRP D. Francisco De Almeida (Portugal). Dec. 2010- June 2011 - SNMG2 Commodore Michiel Hijmans (Royal Netherlands Navy) HNLMS De Ruyter (Flagship – The Netherlands); HDMS Esbern Snare (Denmark) TCG Gaziantep (Turkey); and USS Laboon (United States). Aug. – early Dec. 2010 - SNMG1 Commodore Christian Rune (Denmark) HDMS Esbern Snare (Flagship, Denmark); HMS Montrose and RFA Fort Victoria (United Kingdom); USS Kauffman and USS Laboon (United States); ITS Bersagliere (Italy); and HNLMS Zeeleeuw (NL submarine). March-August 2010 - SNMG2 12 March-30 June: Commodore Steve Chick (UK) HMS Chatham (Flagship, United Kingdom) HS LIMNOS (Greece) - under national control from 30 May ITS SCIROCCO (Italy) - under national control from 5 June TCG Gelibolu (Turkey) USS Cole (United States) 1st July-6 August: Commodore Michiel Hijmans (Royal Netherlands Navy) HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën (Flagship, The Netherlands) TCG Gelibolu (Turkey) USS Cole (United States) Nov. 2009-March 2010 - SNMG1 Commodore Christian Rune (succeeded Rear Admiral Jose Pereira de Cunha (PO) from 25 January 2010). NRP Álvares Cabral (outgoing flagship, Portugal) HDMS Absalon (incoming flagship, Denmark) HMS Fredericton (Canada) USS Boone (United States) HMS Chatham (United Kingdom) Aug. – Nov. 2009 - SNMG2 Commodore Steve Chick (UK) HS Navarinon (Greece) ITS Libeccio (Italy) TCG Gediz (Turkey) HMS Cornwall (United Kingdom) USS Donald Cook (United States) SNMG1 and SNMG 2 NATO has two Immediate Reaction Forces: the Standing NATO Maritime Groups composed of the SNMG1 and the SNMG2; and the Standing NATO Maritime Mine Countermeasure Groups (SNMCMG1 and SNMCMG2). The Standing NATO Maritime Groups are a multinational, integrated maritime force made up of vessels from various allied countries. These vessels (including their helicopters) are permanently available to NATO to perform different tasks ranging from participating in exercises to actually intervening in operational missions. These groups provide NATO with a continuous maritime capability for operations and other activities in peacetime and in periods of crisis and conflict. They also help to establish Alliance presence, demonstrate solidarity, conduct routine diplomatic visits to different countries, support transformation and provide a variety of maritime military capabilities to ongoing missions. SNMG1 and SNMG2 alternate between each other for the six-month rotations of Operation Ocean Shield and otherwise function according to the operational needs of the Alliance, therefore helping to maintain optimal flexibility. Their composition varies and they are usually composed of between six and ten ships from as many NATO member countries. SNMG1 and SNMG2 both come under the command of MARCOM, as do all Standing NATO Forces i.e., SNMCMG1 and SNMCMG2 since the implementation of the new NATO Command Structure, 1 December 2012. Past operations Operation Allied Protector (March-August 2009) The mission, its objectives and scope Operation Allied Protector helped to deter, defend against and disrupt pirate activities in the Gulf of Aden and off the Horn of Africa.  From 24 March until 29 June 2009, the operation was conducted by SNMG1 vessels. As previously indicated, SNMG1 is usually employed in the Eastern Atlantic area, but it can deploy anywhere NATO requires. The first phase of Operation Allied Protector was undertaken as the force left for NATO’s first ever deployment to South East Asia. It made a short visit to Karachi (Pakistan) on 26-27 April. However, with the increase in pirate attacks, on 24 April NATO had already decided to cancel the other two port visits planned to Singapore and Australia. As such, the second phase of the operation, which was meant to take place as SNMG1 made its return journey towards European waters end June, was brought forward to 1 May. From 29 June 2009, the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) took over responsibility from SNMG1. It had conducted NATO’s first counter-piracy operation – Operation Allied Provider (see below).   Composition and command of the naval force 24 March-29 June 2009 SNMG1   Rear Admiral Jose Pereira de Cunha (PO) NRP Corte Real (flagship, Portugal) HMCS Winnipeg (Canada) HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën (The Netherlands) SPS Blas de Lezo (Spain) USS Halyburton (United States) 29 June-August 2009 SNMG2   Commodore Steve Chick (UK) ITS Libeccio (frigate, Italy) HS Navarinon (frigate F461, Greece) TCG Gediz (frigate F495, Turkey) HMS Cornwall (frigate F99, United Kingdom) USS Laboon (destroyer DDG58, United States)   Operation Allied Provider (October-December 2008) The mission, its objectives and scope Allied Operation Allied Provider was responsible for naval escorts to World Food Program (WFP) vessels and, more generally, patrolled the waters around Somalia. Alliance presence also helped to deter acts of piracy that threatened the region. While providing close protection for WFP vessels and patrolling routes most susceptible to criminal acts against merchant vessels, NATO ships could use force pursuant to the authorized Rules of Engagement and in compliance with relevant international and national law. Allied Provider was a temporary operation that was requested by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, on 25 September 2008. NATO provided this counter-piracy capacity in support of UNSC Resolutions 1814, 1816 and 1838, and in coordination with other international actors, including the European Union. NATO Defence Ministers agreed to respond positively to the UN’s request on 9 October, during an informal meeting held in Budapest, Hungary. Following this decision, planning started to redirect assets of SNMG2 to conduct anti-piracy duties. SNMG2 was already scheduled to conduct a series of Gulf port visits in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates within the framework of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI). As such, it started to transit the Suez Canal on 15 October to conduct both duties at the same time. Composition and command of the naval force At the time of the operation, SNMG2 comprised seven ships from Germany, Greece, Italy, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States, of which three were assigned to Operation Allied Provider: ITS Durand de la Penne (flagship, destroyer D560, Italy); HS Temistokles (frigate F465, Greece); HMS Cumberland (frigate F85, United Kingdom). The other four ships (FGS Karlsruhe-Germany; FGS Rhön-Germany; TCG Gokova-Turkey; and USS The Sullivans-USA) continued deployment to ICI countries. This was the first time a NATO-flagged force deployed to the Gulf. At the time of the operation, SNMG2 was commanded by Rear Admiral Giovanni Gumiero, Italian Navy, who was appointed to this post in July 2008. He reported to the Commander of Allied Component Command Maritime (CC-Mar) Naples. CC Mar Naples was one of the three Component Commands of Allied Joint Force Command Naples. 
  • Crisis management
    Crisis management Crisis management is one of NATO's fundamental security tasks. It can involve military and non-military measures to respond to a threat, be it in a national or an international situation. One of NATO’s strengths is to have the experience, facilities, capabilities and processes in place to be able to deal with different sorts of crises. Within the framework of the Alliance, members work together on a daily basis and have everything ready – planning, policies, processes, working practices and tools - to be able to launch a multinational crisis management operation at short notice. In this context, NATO is an enabler which helps members – and partners - train and operate together for joint operations, missions and programmes. NATO’s role in crisis management goes beyond military operations to include issues such as the protection of populations against natural, technological or humanitarian disaster operations. A crisis can effectively be political, military or humanitarian and can be caused by political or armed conflict, technological incidents or natural disasters. Crisis management consists of the different means of dealing with these different forms of crises. Many crisis management operations are often loosely referred to as peacekeeping operations, but there are different types of crisis management operations. They all have specific objectives and mandates, which are important to know in order to understand the impact, limitations and contours of an operation. NATO decides whether to engage in a crisis management operation on a case-by-case basis. These decisions, as with all other Alliance decisions, are based on consensus between the member countries. Some operations may also include non-NATO countries and the majority involve cooperation and partnership with other international organizations, in a more global, comprehensive approach to crisis management. NATO’s crisis management instruments have been adapted and consolidated over time and are key to what the Alliance is today. It has been actively leading crisis management operations since the 1990s and has since developed into a regional organization able to commit itself to operations beyond the Euro-Atlantic area, i.e., it has become a regional organization with a global reach. A wide range of crisis management operations With its 2010 Strategic Concept, NATO has adopted a holistic approach to crisis management, envisaging NATO involvement at all stages of a crisis and considering a broader range of tools to be more effective across the crisis management spectrum. The way of dealing with a crisis depends on its nature, scale and seriousness. In some cases, crises can be prevented through diplomacy or other measures while others may require more robust measures such as military action. Depending on the nature of the crisis, different types of crisis management operations may be required. It is useful to note in addition to normal consultations, that at any given time Article 4 of the Washington Treaty gives each Ally the right to consult and discuss any security issue brought to the table: “The Parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened.” Article 4 is critical to NATO’s crisis management process since consultation is at the basis of collective action. This Article 4 is also mirrored in the invitation to PFP partners and provides the basis for crisis consultations. Collective defence crises Referred to as "Article 5 operations", these carry the implication that the decision has been taken collectively by NATO members to consider an attack or act of aggression against one or more members as an attack against all. NATO invoked Article 5 for the first time in its history in September 2001 following the terrorist attacks against the United States. Crisis response operations Crisis response operations (CRO) cover all military operations conducted by NATO in a non-Article 5 situation. They support the peace process in a conflict area and are also called peace support operations. NATO's involvement in the Balkans and Afghanistan and its efforts in countering piracy off the Horn of Africa provide a good illustration of CROs.. Peace support operations include peacekeeping and peace enforcement, as well as conflict prevention, peacemaking, peace building and humanitarian operations. Peace support operations These are multi-functional operations conducted in support of a UN/OSCE mandate or at the invitation of a sovereign government involving military forces and diplomatic and humanitarian agencies and are designed to achieve long-term political settlement or other conditions specified in the mandate. They include peacekeeping and peace enforcement as well as conflict prevention, peacemaking, peace building and humanitarian operations. Peacekeeping: peacekeeping operations are generally undertaken under Chapter VI of the UN Charter and are conducted with the consent of all Parties to a conflict to monitor and facilitate implementation of a peace agreement. Peace enforcement: peace enforcement operations are undertaken under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. They are coercive in nature and are conducted when the consent of all Parties to a conflict has not been achieved or might be uncertain. They are designed to maintain or re-establish peace or enforce the terms specified in the mandate. Conflict prevention: Activities aimed at conflict prevention are normally conducted under Chapter VI of the UN Charter. They range from diplomatic initiatives to preventive deployments of forces intended to prevent disputes from escalating to armed conflicts or from spreading. Conflict prevention can also include fact-finding missions, consultations, warnings, inspections and monitoring. NATO makes full use of partnership, co-operation and dialogue and its links to other organizations to contribute to preventing crises and, should they arise, defusing them at an early stage. A preventive deployment within the framework of conflict prevention is the deployment of operational forces possessing sufficient deterrent capabilities to prevent an outbreak of hostilities. Peacemaking: Peacemaking covers diplomatic activities conducted after the commencement of a conflict aimed at establishing a cease-fire or a rapid peaceful settlement. They can include the provision of good offices, mediation, conciliation and such actions as diplomatic pressure, isolation or sanction. Peace building: Peace building covers actions which support political, economic, social and military measures and structures aiming to strengthen and solidify political settlements in order to redress the causes of a conflict. This includes mechanisms to identify and support structures which can play a role in consolidating peace, advance a sense of confidence and well-being and supporting economic reconstruction. Humanitarian operations: Humanitarian operations are conducted to alleviate human suffering. Humanitarian operations may precede or accompany humanitarian activities provided by specialized civilian organizations. Natural, technological or humanitarian disaster operations These are operations to assist member and partner countries that are victims of disasters. For instance, NATO assisted Pakistan in 2005 when it was hit by earthquakes and has helped Ukraine, which has been frequently devastated by floods. Internal co-ordination NATO is unique in that it is one of the only international organizations that has the experience as well as the variety of tools to conduct crisis management operations. Effectively, NATO has developed and continuously updated crisis management tools that are key to what the Organization is today. Standardization: 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. Through its standardization bodies, NATO develops and implements concepts, doctrines and procedures to achieve and maintain the required levels of compatibility, interchangeability or commonality needed to achieve interoperability. For instance, in the field, standard procedures allow for the transfer of supplies between ships at sea and interoperable material such as fuel connections at airfields. It permits the many NATO and partner countries to work together, preventing duplication and promoting better use of economic resources. Logistics: this is the bridge between the deployed forces and the industrial base that produces the material and weapons that forces need to accomplish their mission. It comprises the identification of requirements as well as both the building up of stocks and capabilities, and the sustainment of weapons and forces. As such, the scope of logistics is huge. Among the core functions conducted by NATO are: supply, maintenance, movement and transportation, petroleum support, infrastructure and medical support. The Alliance’s overarching function is to coordinate national efforts and encourage the highest degree possible of multinational responses to operational needs, therefore reducing the number of individual supply chains. While NATO has this responsibility, each state is responsible for ensuring that - individually or through cooperative arrangements – their own forces receive the required logistic resources. Crisis Response procedures: NATO’s Crisis Response System (NCRS) is effectively a guide to aid decision-making. It aims to ensure unity of effort between NATO HQ (national representatives), Capitals, and the Strategic Commands by providing the Alliance with a comprehensive set of options and measures to prepare for, manage and respond to crises. It complements other processes (for instance, operations planning process, civil emergency planning and others) that exist within the Organization to address crises. It was first approved in 2005 and is revised annually. One of its core components is the NATO Crisis Management Process (NCMP), which breaks down a crisis situation into six different phases, providing a structure against which military and non-military crisis response planning processes should be designed. It is flexible and adaptable to different crisis situations. Co-ordinating with other international players NATO decides on a case-by-case basis and by consensus whether to engage in a crisis response operation. The NAC takes these decisions on a sound legal basis,in conformity with Article 7 of the Washington Treaty Increasingly, NATO contributes to efforts by the wider international community to preserve or restore peace, and prevent conflict. It is also committed to a comprehensive political, civilian and military approach to crisis management. As a consequence, it is building closer partnerships with civilian actors – including non-governmental organizations and local authorities - that work in areas such as institution building, development, governance, the judiciary and the police. In this context, NATO has offered to support on a case-by-case basis in accordance with its own procedures, peacekeeping and other operations under the authority of the United Nations (UN) Security Council or the responsibility of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The record of NATO’s sustained co-operation with the UN, the OSCE and the European Union (EU) in the Balkans stands as a precedent. NATO’s strategic partnership with the EU, including through NATO support to EU-led operations using NATO assets and capabilities, is also significant, as is the Alliance’s expanding co-operation with non-NATO countries which are members of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative. NATO’s evolving role in crisis management Broadly speaking, NATO has had the capacity to deal with collective defence and disaster relief operations for a long time. Only at a later stage, during the 1990s, did it become involved in non-Article 5 operations, i.e., those that are mainly conducted in non-NATO member countries to prevent a conflict from spreading and destabilizing member or partner countries. Prepared for Article 5 operations Since its creation in 1949, NATO stands ready to react to an Article 5 crisis situation. Although mutual guarantees under Article 5 of the Treaty are reciprocal and implicate all member countries, the primary purpose of Article 5 in the post Second World War environment was to enable the United States to come to the aid of its Allies in the event of aggression against them. Up to 1991, the strategic environment in the North Atlantic region was dominated by two superpowers that were each supported by military structures. During this period, NATO's principal concern was the perceived threat from the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. Deterrence worked with the result that the East-West confrontation of the Cold War ended without NATO's Article 5 having to be invoked. This was a shared success. Invocation of Article 5 It was not until the turn of the century that Article 5 was invoked for the very first time in NATO's history. Contrary to expectations when Article 5 was drawn up, it was European Allies and Canada who came to the aid of the United States, which had been violently attacked by the Al-Quaida terrorist group on September 11, 2001. Several measures were put into place by NATO to help prevent further attacks, including Operation Active Endeavour in the Mediterranean, which was launched in October 2001 to help detect, deter and protect against terrorist activity in the area. Engaging in non-Article 5 operations As soon as the Soviet Union collapsed and satellite countries regained independence, past tensions resurfaced and violent conflicts started among ethnic groups, whose rights had been suppressed for half a century. The former Yugoslavia The first major ethnic conflict broke out in the former Yugoslavia in 1992. NATO gradually became involved in support of the United Nations through various air and sea-based support operations - enforcing economic sanctions, an arms embargo and a no-flight zone in Bosnia and Herzegovina - and by providing the UN with detailed military contingency planning concerning safe areas and the implementation of a peace plan. The measures proved inadequate to bring an end to the war. In the summer of 1995, after violations of exclusion zones, the shelling of UN-designated safe areas and the taking of UN hostages, NATO member countries took several decisions resulting in military intervention in support of UN efforts to bring the war in Bosnia to an end. A two-week air campaign against Bosnian Serb forces was launched by NATO and in the following months a number of further military actions were taken at the request of the UN force commanders. These actions paved the way for the signing of the Dayton Peace Accord on 14 December 1995. The Alliance immediately proceeded to deploy peacekeeping forces to the country in accordance with the terms of a UN mandate, giving NATO responsibility for the implementation of the military aspects of the peace accord. This was the first time NATO was involved in a non-Article 5 crisis management operation in its entire history. Other non-Article 5 crisis management operations were to follow - in Kosovo, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 1, Afghanistan, the Mediterranean, off the Horn of Africa and in support of the African Union. NATO’s Strategic Concepts Provision for crisis management measures had already been made in the Alliance's 1991 Strategic Concept for "the management of crises affecting the security of its members". It was reiterated in the 1999 Strategic Concept, which states that NATO stands ready to contribute to effective conflict prevention and to engage actively in crisis management. In addition, the 1999 document states that these crisis management operations would include non-Article 5 operations, i.e., operations affecting countries other than NATO member countries. The 2010 Strategic Concept broadens NATO thinking on crisis management, envisaging NATO’s 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 also encourages a greater number of actors to participate and coordinate their efforts and considers a broader range of tools to be used. More generally, it adopts a comprehensive, all-encompassing approach to crisis management that goes hand-in-hand with greater emphasis on training, developing local forces and enhancing civil-military planning and interaction. Developing disaster relief operations Crisis management is a broad concept that goes beyond military operations to include issues such as the protection of populations. NATO began developing civil protection measures in the event of a nuclear attack as early as the 1950s. NATO member countries soon realized that these capabilities could be used effectively against the effects of disasters induced by floods, earthquakes or technological incidents, and against humanitarian disasters. In 1953, the first disaster assistance scheme was implemented following devastating flooding in Northern Europe and in 1958 NATO established detailed procedures for the co-ordination of assistance between NATO member countries in case of disasters. These procedures remained in place and provided the basis for civil emergency planning work within NATO in subsequent years. They were comprehensively reviewed in 1995 when they became applicable to partner countries in addition to NATO member countries. In 1998, the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Co-ordination Centre was established to co-ordinate aid provided by different member and partner countries to a disaster-stricken area in a member or partner country. NATO also established a Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Unit, which is a non-standing, multinational mix of national civil and military elements that have been volunteered by member or partner countries for deployment to the area of concern. Civil emergency planning has become a key facet of NATO involvement in crisis management. In recent years, NATO has provided support for many countries. It has assisted flood-devastated Albania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Ukraine; supported the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Kosovo; sent aid to earthquake-stricken Turkey and Pakistan; helped to fight fires in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 1 and in Portugal; and supported Ukraine and Moldova after extreme weather conditions had destroyed power transmission capabilities. NATO also conducts civil emergency planning exercises on a regular basis. The decision-making bodies When a crisis occurs, no decisions on planning, deployment or employment of military forces are taken without political authorization. Decisions are taken by the governments of each NATO member country collectively and may include political or military measures, as well as measures to deal with civil emergencies, depending on the nature of the crisis. NATO has different mechanisms in place to deal with crises: the principal political decision-making body - the North Atlantic Council - exchanges intelligence, information and other data, compares different perceptions and approaches, and harmonizes its views. The Council is supported by a number of specialized committees, including the Operations Policy Committee, the Political and Partnerships Committee, the Military Committee and the Civil Emergency Planning Committee. NATO communication systems, including a "Situation Centre", receive, exchange and disseminate political, economic and military intelligence and information around the clock, every single day of the year. The NATO Crisis Management Process (NCMP), the NATO Intelligence and Warning System (NIWS), NATO’s Operational Planning Process and NATO Civil Emergency Planning Crisis Management Arrangements are designed to underpin the Alliance’s crisis management role and response capability in a complementary and synergistic fashion, as part of an overall NATO Crisis Response System (NCRS).
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