Meeting in Riga, NATO Heads of State and Government endorsed the Comprehensive Political Guidance, a major policy document that sets out the priorities for all Alliance capability issues, planning disciplines and intelligence for the next 10 to 15 years.
The Guidance analyses the probable future security environment, acknowledging the possibility of unpredictable events.
It recognizes that for the foreseeable future, the principal threats to the Alliance are terrorism and proliferation, as well as failing states, regional crises, misuse of new technologies and disruption of the flow of vital resources.
Expeditionary forces – a priority
Against that analysis, it sets out the kinds of operations the Alliance must be able to perform and the kinds of capabilities the Alliance will need.
The Guidance underlines the requirement for NATO’s forces to remain balanced, flexible and agile, able to conduct the full range of its missions, from high to low intensity, but emphasizes the likelihood that NATO will need to carry out a greater number and range of smaller operations.
Among the different requirements outlined, the document defines NATO's top priorities, starting with joint expeditionary forces and the capability to deploy and sustain them.
The Guidance supports the Alliance’s 1999 Strategic Concept; it does not replace it.