NATO Wales Summit Guide
Newport, 4-5 September 2014
NATO’s Wales Summit comes at a critical time in the Alliance’s history. The global security environment is dangerous and unpredictable. Russia’s actions against Ukraine have challenged the fundamental principles of a Europe whole, free and at peace. An arc of crises surrounds the Alliance, with growing instability and security challenges across the Middle East and North Africa, and beyond, as well as newer threats such as cyber and missile attacks. At the same time, NATO is preparing to complete its longest combat mission and to open a new chapter in its relationship with Afghanistan.
In 1990, at the last NATO Summit hosted by the United Kingdom, Allies marked the end of the Cold War by extending a "hand of friendship" to countries of Central and Eastern Europe. 24 years later, in Wales, leaders will consider the multiple challenges facing the Alliance and ways to ensure that NATO remains ready, able and willing to defend all Allies against any threat. Leaders will adopt a Readiness Action Plan to make NATO's forces more responsive and its partnerships more flexible, thus forging a strong foundation for Future NATO.
The Alliance will take further steps to enhance its partnership with Ukraine. Heads of State and Government will also address the impact of the security challenges posed by instability in the Middle East and North Africa.
This Summit will principally focus on the following themes:
- NATO readiness to reinforce collective defence, and investing in capabilities to ensure the Alliance remains ready to face any challenge;
- Demonstrating transatlantic resolve and stressing the importance of appropriate levels of defence spending;
- Relations with Russia, and stronger ties with Ukraine through increased cooperation;
- Deepening partnerships and maintaining NATO's Open Door policy;
- Afghanistan: completion of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and future engagement after 2014.
This Summit is the last to be chaired by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
I. NATO readiness
The Russia-Ukraine crisis has shown the volatility of the security environment and has accelerated the need for continued adaptation of the Alliance. Allied leaders will adopt a package of measures – the Readiness Action Plan – designed to make NATO forces more responsive, better trained and better equipped to respond to the changed and broader security environment in, or near, Europe so that the Alliance can meet challenges from wherever they may arise. NATO will continue to respond to the concerns of its members by initiating reassurance measures, in keeping with the Alliance’s commitment to collective defence, and will be stepping up efforts in areas such as cyber defence and maritime security.
- Improving NATO’s capabilities
- NATO Defence Planning Process
- Smart Defence
- The Connected Forces Initiative
- The NATO Response Force
- Education and training
- NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence
- Ballistic missile defence
- Strategic airlift
- Strategic sealift
- NATO’s maritime domain
- Cyber defence
- NATO and the fight against terrorism
- Countering improvised explosive devices
- NATO’s role in energy security
- Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (JISR)
- Special Operations Forces
- Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS)
- AWACS: NATO’s eye in the sky
II. The Transatlantic Bond and a renewed commitment to fundamental values and principles
In the present climate, the Wales Summit will be an opportunity for Allies to reiterate their commitment to fundamental principles and core values laid out in the Washington Treaty, in particular, the principle of collective defence (Article 5) and the need to maintain and develop their individual and collective capacity to resist armed attack (Article 3). The leaders will also discuss ways to ensure Allies support their military capacities with adequate financial resources.
A Transatlantic Declaration will be adopted at the Summit, inspired by the values that unite North America and Europe. It will reaffirm the essential security link between the two continents and the determination to share the responsibilities and rewards of security.
- The Washington Treaty
- NATO’s fundamental security tasks
- Collective defence
- The consultation process and Article 4
- Information on defence expenditures
Meanwhile over the past four years, NATO’s structures have been streamlined for greater efficiency and effectiveness, making them better equipped to help tackle today’s security threats while reducing running costs.
- Transparency measures
- NATO funding
- NATO reform
- NATO Command Structure: ACO
- NATO Command Structure: ACT
- Organisations and agencies
- NATO Committees
- International Staff
- International Military Staff
III. The crisis in Ukraine and relations with Russia
Since the illegal annexation of Crimea, NATO has suspended all practical civilian and military cooperation with Russia, while leaving channels open for dialogue on the situation in Ukraine. The Alliance will review its relations with Russia at the Wales Summit. It will also continue to intensify cooperation with Ukraine. A meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission will take place to this effect on the first day of the Summit, with President Petro Poroshenko.
IV. Deepening relations with partners and NATO’s Open Door policy
NATO is seeking to sustain the high levels of consultation, interoperability and defence cooperation that have been developed with partners contributing to ISAF. At the Summit, NATO Heads of State and Government will be presenting initiatives to build on and maintain the frequency of exchanges between partners and Allies, to preserve the benefits of the experience gained in working together during the NATO-led operation in Afghanistan. More specifically, they will look to enhance support to partners’ efforts in developing their capacity to operate more closely with NATO Allies. They will also reiterate, in the context of NATO enlargement, the right of each country to choose its own security arrangements.
- Partnerships: a cooperative approach to security
- Partnership tools
- Partnership Trust Funds
- Building Integrity Initiative
- NATO’s relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina
- NATO’s relations with Georgia
- NATO’s relations Montenegro
- NATO’s relations with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹
- NATO enlargement
- Membership Action Plan (MAP)
- Mediterranean Dialogue
- Istanbul Cooperation Initiative
- NATO’s relations with partners across the globe
- Comprehensive approach
- NATO’s relations with the United Nations
- NATO-EU: a strategic partnership
- NATO’s relations with the OSCE
V. Afghanistan – NATO’s longest combat mission
NATO has led ISAF for over a decade to ensure Afghanistan no longer serves as a haven for terrorists. NATO is now focusing on completing ISAF in good order at the end of 2014, when it will turn a new page in its relationship with Afghanistan. From 2015, NATO will remain committed to Afghanistan through the NATO-Afghanistan Enduring Partnership (2010), the Afghan National Army Trust Fund and a follow-on mission – Resolute Support. The launch of Resolute Support - a “train, advise and assist” mission - is dependent on whether the necessary legal arrangements will be in place.
NATO also continues to lead and support a number of other operations and missions - ground, air and naval - in all types of environments.
- NATO operations and missions
- Counter-piracy operations
- Operation Active Endeavour
- NATO assistance to the African Union
- Commitments to operations and missions
- Troop contributions
In parallel, the Alliance’s involvement in crisis-management operations has provided valuable lessons on the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. The resolution recognises the disproportionate impact war and conflicts have on women and children, and highlights the fact that women have been left out of peace processes and stabilisation efforts over time.