NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization

  • Finland, NATO’s relations with -
    NATO’s relations with Finland NATO’s relations with Finland are conducted through the Partnership for Peace framework, which Finland joined in 1994. NATO and Finland actively cooperate on peace and security operations and have developed practical cooperation in many other areas, including education and training and the development of military capabilities. Finnish cooperation with NATO is based on its longstanding policy of military non-alignment and a firm national political consensus. From this basis, Finland selects areas of cooperation with NATO that match joint objectives. The country monitors developments within NATO and continues to entertain the possibility of applying for membership of the Alliance in the future. NATO highly values its relations with Finland – an effective and pro-active partner and contributor to international security, which shares key values such as the promotion of international security, democracy and human rights. An important area of cooperation is the country’s support for NATO-led operations. Finland currently works alongside the Allies in security and peacekeeping operations Kosovo and Afghanistan, and has also indicated its willingness to participate in the post-2014 follow-on mission to train and assist Afghan security forces. Framework for cooperation An Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme (IPCP), which is jointly agreed for a two-year period, lays out the programme of cooperation between Finland and NATO. Key areas include security and peacekeeping cooperation, crisis management and civil emergency planning. An important objective in Finland’s participation in the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme is to develop and enhance interoperability between NATO and partner forces through a variety of PfP instruments and mechanisms. Key areas of cooperation Security cooperation Since 2002, Finnish soldiers have been working alongside Allied forces as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. Currently, some 136 Finnish personnel are deployed in the country, primarily with a Provincial Reconstruction Team in the north of the country. The focus of the Finnish contribution is gradually shifting towards training and capacity-building of Afghan security forces. Since 2007, Finland has contributed 1.7 million euro to the Afghan National Army Trust Fund. Finland also contributes to a project conducted under the NATO-Russia Council aimed at training counternarcotics personnel from Afghanistan and other Central Asian partner countries. Finnish forces have also played significant roles in securing peace in the former Yugoslavia. Some 22 soldiers are now operating with the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR). In the past, Finland contributed a battalion to the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Finland started participating in the NATO Response Force (NRF) in 2012. Specific participation or involvement in any particular NRF operation would require a sovereign decision by Finland. Finland’s role in training the forces of partner countries, particularly in peacekeeping, is greatly valued by the Allies. In July 2001, NATO formally recognized the Finnish International Centre in Ninisalo as a PfP Training Centre. Finland also regularly participates in NATO and PfP exercises. Recent examples include the March 2011 Baltic Region Training Event, conducted by NATO Air Command Ramstein, which aimed to enhance interoperability and build capabilities in the Baltic states; the November 2012 Exercise Steadfast Juncture, a command post exercise which took place at the Amari Air Base, Estonia, focused on the command and control of a fictitious NATO-led crisis response operation involving the NRF; and the November 2012 Cyber Coalition exercise, a procedural exercise designed to give participants a better understanding of cyber defence capabilities and to identify areas for improvement. Among other forces, Finland has declared one mechanized infantry battalion group and one combat engineer unit, a coastal mine hunter and a small number of fixed wing aircraft as potentially available for exercises and operations. Finland plays an active part in a number of multinational projects for the development of capabilities. It has joined the Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) programme, participating along with Sweden and ten NATO Allies in the operation of three C-17 transport aircraft based in Hungary. Continuation of a related initiative, the Strategic Airlift Interim Solution (SALIS), which leases Russian and Ukrainian Antonov transport aircraft,beyond 2012 is being evaluated. The country is also working with Nordic NATO Allies and partners on the establishment of a joint multinational headquarters in Germany, a harbor protection system and a deployable system for the surveillance of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear agents. Finland is a member of the Movement Coordination Center Europe (MCCE) and is participating in the Air Transport and Air Refueling Exchange System (ATARES), as well as the Air Situation Data Exchange (ASDE). Finland is also participating in the NATO-Russia Council’s Cooperative Airspace Initiative, which is aimed at preventing terrorists from using aircraft to launch attacks similar to those of 9/11. Finland’s close ties with its neighbours Norway, Denmark and Sweden have resulted in Nordic Defence Cooperation (NORDEFCO), a further practical and efficient way for like-minded states to contribute to regional and international security.  In Finland’s case, this activity is pursued alongside the Nordic Battle Group. Defence and security sector reform Finland has participated in the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) since 1995, which – along with participating in the Operational Capabilities Concept – influences Finnish planning and activities. Cooperation in these frameworks is aimed at enhancing Finland’s ability to take part in peace-support operations, as well as allowing Allies and other partners to benefit from Finnish expertise. Finland has developed a new military crisis-management concept as the basis for a revised national pool of forces for crisis-management operations. All of these forces should be evaluated under Operational Capability Concept Evaluation and Feedback programme by the end of 2016. Finland is contributing to the development of the EU Battle Group concept. It is cooperating with Estonia, Sweden and Norway, among other countries, in the development of a multinational rapid reaction force for EU-led peace-support operations. Alongside NATO Allies, Finland contributes to NATO’s programme of support for security-sector reform in the western Balkans, southern Caucasus and Central Asia. It currently contributes to a number of Partnership Trust Fund projects in other partner countries, including a project for the repacking, centralizing and destruction of chemicals in Moldova; the conduct of an Explosive Remnants of War Survey, providing detection equipment, building an ammunition destruction facility and propellant-surveillance laboratory in Jordan; and a retraining and resettlement programme for departing servicemen in Ukraine. In the past, Finland has contributed to six completed Trust Fund projects in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia and Serbia. Civil emergency planning Civil emergency planning is a major area of bilateral cooperation. The aim is for Finland to be able to cooperate with NATO Allies in providing mutual support in dealing with the consequences of a major accident or disaster in the EAPC area. This could include dealing with the consequences of incidents involving chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear agents, as well as humanitarian disaster relief operations. In line with this, Finnish civil resources have been listed with the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC). Finland has also provided valuable civil emergency training to Allies and partners. Science and environment Under the Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme, scientists from Finland have participated in numerous advanced research workshops and seminars on a range of topics. Topics have included border security and the fight against terrorism, environmental security in harbours and coastal areas, and bioremediation of contaminated soils. Public information In every partner country an embassy of one of the NATO member states serves as a contact point and operates as a channel for disseminating information about the role and policies of the Alliance. The current NATO Contact Point Embassy in Finland is the embassy of Denmark. Milestones in relations 1994 Finland joins the Partnership for Peace. 1995 Finland joins the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP). 1996 Finland contributes forces to the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 1997 Finland joins the newly created Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. 1999 Finnish forces participate in the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo, KFOR. 2001 The Finnish International Centre in Ninisalo becomes a PfP training centre. 2002 Finnish forces begin their contribution to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. 2005 Finland hosts a PfP defence policy and strategy conference. 2006 The mine layer Pohjanmaa passed NATO maritime evaluation (MAREVAL) during Exercise BRILLIANT MARINER 2006. 2008 Finland hosts the June 2008 UUSIMAA Civil Crisis Management Exercise. Finland decides that it is open in principle to NRF participation. 2009 The Finnish government publishes a new White Paper on Security and Defence (January).Finland hosts a PfP Trust Funds workshop (May). Finland and the NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A) sign a Memorandum of Understanding on mutual cooperation in key defence technology areas. An F-18 squadron, part of Finland’s Rapid Deployment Force passed a full NATO tactical evaluation (TACEVAL). 2010 Finland presents written opinions to the Group of Experts on NATO's role in crisis management, EU-NATO cooperation and Nordic cooperation. Finland co-hosts “NATO’s New Strategic Concept – Comprehensive Approach to Crisis Management” with Sweden in Helsinki. 2011 Following the signature of an agreement in October, senior Finnish officials visit the NATO C3 Agency in November to discuss the details of a multi-year programme of work for cooperation on advanced technology. The five-year programme of work will address areas such as force support, battlespace awareness, force application, logistics, command and control, net-centric warfare and protection. 2012 In March, Finnish fighter jets take part in a NATO exercise over the Baltic region aimed at practicing air policing skills.   In November, Finland takes part in Exercise Steadfast Juncture, a command post exercise organized at the Amari Air Base, Estonia, focused on the command and control of a fictitious crisis response operation involving the NATO Response Force; and the Cyber Coalition procedural exercise, focused on cyber defence capabilities.   NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen visits the capital Helsinki on 15 November to discuss how to further strengthen cooperation.
  • former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹, NATO’s relations with the
    NATO’s relations with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace in 1995. Cooperation takes place in a range of areas, with a particular emphasis on defence and security sector reform, as well as support for wider democratic and institutional reform. The country aspires to become a member of the Alliance and joined the Membership Action Plan in 1999. The Allies are committed to keeping NATO’s door open to Western Balkan partners that wish to join the Alliance, share its values and are willing and able to assume the responsibilities and obligations of membership. Euro-Atlantic integration is seen as the best way to ensure long-term, self-sustaining security and stability in the region. The Membership Action Plan (MAP) is a NATO programme of advice, assistance and practical support tailored to the individual needs of countries wishing to join the Alliance. Participation in the MAP does not prejudge any decision by the Alliance on future membership. At the April 2008 Bucharest Summit, Allies recognised the hard work and commitment demonstrated by the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ to NATO values and Alliance operations. They agreed that an invitation to join the Alliance will be extended to the country as soon as a mutually acceptable solution to the issue over its name has been reached with Greece. “I sincerely hope there will be a new focus on the future, rather than the distant past,”  said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in a speech about the Western Balkans in June 2011, delivered shortly after parliamentary elections in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ .  “New momentum in implementing the reforms that are needed. But also new momentum in fostering the political and public support to successfully resolve the name issue. And to join the Alliance.” Beyond the key focus on reform, another important area of cooperation is the country’s support for NATO-led operations. For many years, it has been providing valuable host nation support to troops of the Kosovo Force (KFOR) transiting the country. It also contributes to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan and has indicated its willingness to participate in the post-2014 follow-on mission to train and assist Afghan security forces, after ISAF’s mission has ended. Framework for cooperation In the MAP framework, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ sets out its reform plans and timelines in its Annual National Programme (ANP). Key areas include political, military and security sector reforms. Important priorities are efforts to meet democratic standards and ensure free and fair elections, as well as support for reducing corruption and fighting organised crime, judicial reform, improving public administration and promoting good neighbourly relations. NATO Allies provide feedback on the envisaged reforms and evaluate their implementation. More specific and technical reforms in the defence area are developed through the Partnership for Peace Planning and Review Process (PARP), which the country joined in 1999. The role of the PARP is to provide a structured basis for identifying forces and capabilities that could be available to the Alliance for multinational training, exercises and operations. It also serves as the principal mechanism used to guide and measure defence and military reform progress. A biennial process, the PARP is open to all partners on a voluntary basis but is required of all partners participating in the MAP. The NATO Liaison Office, Skopje, plays a role in assisting the implementation of the defence reform plans, including through its NATO Advisory Team, which is located within the country's defence ministry. The country also cooperates with NATO and other partners in a wide range of other areas through the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC). Key areas of cooperation Security cooperation The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ was a key partner in supporting NATO-led stabilisation operations in Kosovo in 1999 and NATO forces were deployed to the country to halt the spread of the conflict as well as to provide logistical support to the Kosovo Force (KFOR). The Allies also provided humanitarian assistance as refugees from Kosovo fled into the country. The country continues to provide valuable host nation support to KFOR troops transiting its territory. NATO came to the assistance of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ , when violence between ethnic Albanian insurgents and security forces broke out in the west of the country in February 2001. The insurgents had taken control of a number of towns near the border with Kosovo, bringing the country to the brink of a civil war. NATO facilitated the negotiation of a ceasefire in June of that same year, which paved the way for a political settlement – the Ohrid Framework Agreement – in August 2001. In support of the settlement, NATO deployed a task force, “Essential Harvest”, to collect weapons handed over by the insurgents, as they prepared to disband. The NATO-led international monitoring mission continued to operate in support of the implementation of the Ohrid Agreement until 31 March 2003, when the European Union assumed the lead. A key objective of cooperation is to develop the ability of the country’s armed forces to work alongside Allied forces in peace-support and crisis management operations. Participation in the PARP has provided a framework for cooperation in this area. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ has been supporting the ISAF in Afghanistan since 2002. As of July 2013, over 150 troops were deployed there. The country has also indicated its willingness to participate in the post-2014 NATO-led mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan forces, which will be deployed once the transition to Afghan security lead has been completed and ISAF’s operation is terminated. Cooperation in the fight against terrorism takes place in the framework of the Partnership Action Plan on Terrorism. This includes sharing intelligence and analysis with NATO, enhancing national counter-terrorist capabilities and improving border security. In consultation with the Allies, the country has taken steps to establish competent bodies and services to deal with contemporary forms of terrorism. Defence and security sector reform NATO is supportive of the wide-ranging and ongoing reform process underway in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ . In the areas of defence and security sector reform, NATO and individual Allies have considerable expertise that the country can draw upon. In consultation with the Allies, the country continues to implement a wide range of reforms in line with its Strategic Defence Review. The country’s participation in the PARP has facilitated cooperation in the area of defence reform. The Allies have assisted in the development of a transformation plan for the country’s armed forces. The plan includes detailed programmes covering logistics, personnel, equipment, training and a timetable for the restructuring of key military units. Other key objectives include improving ethnic minority representation in civil/military defence structures and judicial and police reform. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ joined the Operational Capabilities Concept (OCC) in 2005. The OCC is a mechanism through which units available for PfP operations can be evaluated and better integrated with NATO forces to increase operational effectiveness. The country is also working with NATO to promote the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, which recognises the disproportionate impact that war and conflicts have on women and children. UNSCR 1325 calls for full and equal participation of women at all levels in issues ranging from early conflict prevention to post-conflict reconstruction, peace and security. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ is also working to strengthen good governance in the defence and security sector through participation in the Building Integrity programme. This programme seeks to raise awareness, promote good practice and provide practical tools to help nations enhance integrity and reduce risks of corruption in the security sector by strengthening transparency and accountability. Training is an important part of security cooperation with the country and its personnel regularly participate in activities organised under the PfP programme. Moreover, the country’s Public Affairs Regional Centre in Skopje was recognised as a Partnership Training and Education Centre in 2013, opening its activities to Allies and partners. Civil emergency planning The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ is enhancing its national civil emergency and disaster-management capabilities in cooperation with NATO and through participation in activities organised by the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre. In consultation with NATO, a national crisis-management system has been established to ensure that the structures in place serve effectively and efficiently in the case of a national crisis. Science and environment The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ has been actively engaged within the framework of the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme since 1998. The SPS Programme enables close collaboration on issues of common interest to enhance the security of NATO and partner nations. By facilitating international efforts, in particular with a regional focus, the Programme seeks to address emerging security challenges, support NATO-led operations and advance early warning and forecast for the prevention of disasters and crises. Today, scientists and experts from the country are working to address a wide range of security issues, notably in the fields of cyber defence, defence against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) agents, environmental security and disaster forecast and prevention of natural catastrophes. A hands-on cyber defence training course took place in April 2013. The aim of the training course was to create institutional capability and increase awareness on cyber threats with a view to enhancing the resiliency of national IT infrastructures. Future areas for concrete cooperation were discussed by national government officials, scientists and experts at an SPS ‘Information Day’ held in Skopje in June 2013. Public information Given that the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ aims to join NATO, it is important to continue to ensure public awareness of how NATO works and of the rights and obligations which membership brings. Public diplomacy activities also aim to develop and maintain links with civil society actors and to facilitate security-related activities and programmes in the country. NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division plays a key role in this area, as do individual Allies and partner countries. In every partner country an embassy of one of the NATO member states serves as a contact point and operates as a channel for disseminating information about the role and policies of the Alliance. The Embassy of Turkey in Skopje acts as a Contact Point Embassy (CPE) for NATO. Milestones in relations 1995 The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ joins the Partnership for Peace (PfP). 1996 The country hosts its first PfP training exercise ”Rescuer”. 1997 The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ becomes a member of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC). 1999 The country plays a key role in supporting NATO operations in Kosovo, and the Allies provide assistance to ease the humanitarian crisis as refugees from Kosovo flood into the country. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ joins NATO's Membership Action Plan (MAP) and the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP). 2001 Violence flares up in the west of the country. NATO plays a key role in facilitating negotiations on a cease-fire reached in June. NATO Allies deploy a task force to collect arms from former combatants and support the implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement. 2002 The country deploys personnel in support of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. 2003 The NATO-led peace-monitoring mission in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ is handed over to the European Union. 2005 A combined medical team of the three MAP countries joins NATO-led forces in Afghanistan in August. 2007 The country hosts the EAPC Security Forum in Ohrid. 2008 In April, Allies agree that the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ will be invited to start accession talks as soon as a mutually acceptable solution to the issue over the country’s name has been reached. 2010 The Secretary General visits Skopje in June 2010. 2012 Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski addresses the North Atlantic Council on 25 January.   President Gjorge Ivanov attends a meeting at NATO’s Summit, joining counterparts from countries that are supporting the NATO-led stabilisation mission in Afghanistan. Also, Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki joins fellow foreign ministers from the three other countries that are aspiring to NATO membership in a meeting chaired by NATO's Deputy Secretary General.   During a visit to NATO HQ of President Gjorge Ivanov on 4 September, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen welcomes Skopje's commitment to continuing reforms and expresses his strong hope that a mutually acceptable solution to the issue of the country’s name could be reached as soon as possible within the framework of the United Nations. 2013 In June, the North Atlantic Council accepts the country’s offer to make its Public Affairs Regional Centre in Skopje a Partnership Training and Education Centre, opening its activities to Allies and partners.
  • former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹, Peace support operations in the -
    Peace support operations in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ On the request of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ NATO engaged in three separate operations to quell tension between the country’s ethnic Albanian minority and national security forces. On 13 August 2001, the Skopje government and ethnic Albanian representatives signed the Ohrid Framework Agreement. Under this agreement, the government pledged to improve the rights of its ethnic Albanian population. In exchange, ethnic Albanian representatives agreed to abandon separatist demands and hand over weapons to a NATO force. This was the beginning of NATO’s short-term military presence in the country (2001-2003). The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 1 has been a NATO Partner country since 1995 and joined the Membership Action Plan in 1999. NATO set up a military headquarters in Skopje to assist with security sector reform. At the 2008 Bucharest Summit, NATO leaders agreed to extend an invitation to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 1 to join the Alliance as soon as a mutually acceptable solution to the issue over its name has been reached with Greece. Three separate NATO operations Setting the scene Violence broke out in the country when ethnic Albanian extremists challenged government authorities to grant the ethnic Albanian community more rights. On 20 June 2001, President Boris Trajkovski sent a letter to Lord Robertson, the then NATO Secretary General, to request NATO assistance in keeping civil war at bay. He wanted NATO to assist his government in demilitarising the National Liberation Army (NLA) and disarming ethnic Albanian extremists operating across the country. Diplomatic efforts and peace talks had been initiated but stalled over a series of delicate issues, including the question of whether Albanian would be recognised as an official language. NATO adopted a dual-track approach: it condemned the attacks but urged the government to adopt constitutional reforms to increase participation of ethnic Albanians in society and politics. NATO approved the operation on 29 June, but its conditions for deployment were that the political dialogue between the various parties in the country had a “successful outcome’ and a cease-fire was respected. Only then would NATO send troops with “strong rules of engagement” to collect weapons from the ethnic Albanian extremists. On 15 August, two days after the signature of the political framework agreement – the Ohrid Framework Agreement – the North Atlantic Council authorised the immediate deployment of the Headquarters of Task Force Harvest on the ground. This was the first of three operations to be launched: Operation Essential Harvest; Operation Amber Fox; and Operation Allied Harmony. Collecting weapons NATO officially launched Operation Essential Harvest on 22 August and effectively started operations on 27 August. The 30-day mission aimed to disarm ethnic Albanian insurgents on a voluntary basis. Approximately 3,500 NATO troops, with logistical support, were sent to the country. Nearly 4,000 weapons and several hundred thousand more items, including mines and explosives, were collected. The operation finished on 26 September 2001. Protecting international monitors Following the conclusion of Operation Essential Harvest, the Allies launched Operation Amber Fox. The Operational Plan was approved on 26 September 2001 and the mission officially started the next day. Operation Amber Fox was mandated to assist in the protection of international monitors from the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe who oversaw implementation of the Ohrid Agreement. The mission was deployed under German leadership with the participation of other NATO member countries, and consisted of 700 Allied troops joining 300 troops already based in the country. Initially, Operation Amber Fox had a three-month mandate, but it was subsequently extended until 15 December 2002. Minimizing the risks of destabilization In response to an additional request from President Trajkovski, the North Atlantic Council agreed to continue supporting the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ with a new mission that would help minimise the risks of destabilisation. While acknowledging that Operation Amber Fox could be finalised, the Council agreed that there was a requirement for a follow-on international military presence in the country. Operation Allied Harmony was launched on 16 December and its objectives were to provide continued support for international monitors and to assist the government in taking ownership of security throughout the country. On 17 March 2003, the North Atlantic Council decided to terminate Operation Allied Harmony as of 31 March, and to hand over responsibility for a continued international military presence to the European Union. NATO HQ Skopje NATO remains committed to helping the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ integrate into Euro-Atlantic structures. To that end, NATO HQ Skopje was created in April 2002 to advise on military aspects of security sector reform. 1. Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.
  • Fundamental security tasks, NATO’s -
    NATO’s fundamental security tasks NATO’s essential and enduring purpose is to safeguard the freedom and security of all its members by political and military means. Collective defence is at the heart of the Alliance and creates a spirit of solidarity and cohesion among its members. NATO strives to secure a lasting peace in Europe, based on common values of individual liberty, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Since the outbreak of crises and conflicts beyond the borders of NATO member countries can jeopardize this objective, the Alliance also contributes to peace and stability through crisis management operations and partnerships. Essentially, NATO not only helps to defend the territory of its members, but engages where possible and when necessary to project its values further afield, prevent crises, manage crises, stabilize post-conflict situations and support reconstruction.  NATO also embodies the transatlantic link by which the security of North America is tied to the security of Europe. It is an intergovernmental organization which provides a forum where members can consult together on any issues they may choose to raise and take decisions on political and military matters affecting their security. No single member country is forced to rely soley on its national capabilities to meet its essential national security objectives. The resulting sense of shared security among members contributes to stability in the Euro-Atlantic area. NATO’s fundamental security tasks are laid down in the Washington Treaty. They are sufficiently general to withstand the test of time and are translated into more detail in strategic concepts. Strategic concepts are the authoritative statement of the Alliance’s objectives and provide the highest level of guidance on the political and military means to be used in achieving these goals; they remain the basis for the implementation of Alliance policy as a whole. During the Cold War, NATO focused on collective defence and the protection of its members from potential threats emanating from the Soviet Union. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, along with the rise of non-state actors affecting international security, many new security threats emerged. NATO now focuses on countering these threats by utilizing collective defence, managing crisis situations and encouraging cooperative security, as outlined in the 2010 Strategic Concept.