15 June 2007
Ministerial meetings of the Defence Planning Committee
and the Nuclear
held In Brussels on Friday, 15 June 2007
- The Defence Planning Committee and Nuclear Planning Group
met in Ministerial Session on 15 June 2007.
- As the Defence Planning Committee, responsible for the
collective force planning system of the Alliance, we considered the
results of the 2006/7 review of nations’ defence plans in the light
of Ministerial Guidance and the priorities set out in the Comprehensive
Political Guidance. We are particularly encouraged by the progress
made by nations in adjusting their defence plans and transforming
their forces towards more expeditionary and sustainable capabilities
in line with the guidance and priorities set out in these documents.
These efforts demonstrate a continued dedication to transformation
and will further enhance our ability to meet current and future challenges.
As we look forward to the Bucharest Summit in 2008, we reaffirm our
determination to use the NATO planning system to its fullest to meet
- We are also encouraged that nations, individually, are
responding to the targets for usability agreed at Istanbul in 2004
and confirmed in the Comprehensive Political Guidance. Many nations
have already reached the 40% and 8% targets for land force deployability
and sustainability and those who have not have plans to move towards
them. The challenges our forces face in the demanding operations
in which they are engaged underline the imperative of continued efforts
to increase the speed of transformation so that those forces can most
effectively continue to provide security and stability at present
and in the future.
- We also reviewed the extent to which nations will meet
our collectively agreed force goals and are encouraged by progress
already made, and also reflected in national plans, but we also noted the
continuing shortfalls in a number of important capability areas related
to the deployability, sustainability and combat effectiveness of our
forces, such as strategic lift, capable battlefield helicopters and
information superiority. These are apparent in current operations
as well as in our stocktaking of capabilities more generally. A general
shortage of deployable support capabilities exists. The resulting
imbalance between combat forces and support forces in nations’ force
structures, as well as deficiencies in key enabling capabilities are
being addressed, but faster progress is needed in many cases, in
particular to reduce the disproportionate reliance on a few Allies
to provide most of the advanced and diverse capabilities that are
needed to deal with the challenges we face now and will face in the
future. Accelerating the pace of change requires rigorous prioritisation
to ensure the most efficient use of limited defence resources. But
above all it requires the political will to make the necessary changes,
and the allocation of sufficient financial resources. Therefore we
encourage nations whose defence spending is declining to halt that
decline and to aim to increase their defence spending in real terms.
- At our Nuclear Planning Group meeting, we reviewed the
status of NATO’s nuclear forces and the work of the High Level Group.
We reaffirmed the principles of NATO nuclear policy as set out in
the Alliance’s Strategic Concept. In this context, we welcome the
ongoing work of the High Level Group as it continues to consider deterrence
requirements for the twenty-first century and to provide advice to
Ministers as appropriate.
- We reaffirmed that the fundamental purpose of the nuclear
forces of the Allies is political: to preserve peace and prevent coercion
and any kind of war. We recalled that NATO’s nuclear forces are maintained
at the minimum level sufficient to preserve peace and stability.
In keeping with this goal, we continue to place great value on the
nuclear forces based in Europe and committed to NATO, which provide
an essential political and military link between the European and
North American members of the Alliance. We noted with appreciation
the continuing contribution made by the United Kingdom’s independent
nuclear forces to deterrence and the overall security of the Allies,
reaffirmed the value of this capability and welcomed the recent UK
White Paper in which the UK restated its commitment to provide this
- The Alliance’s goal to enhance global security will
continue to be strengthened through our support for arms control,
non-proliferation and disarmament. We reaffirmed our full commitment
to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as the cornerstone of global
nuclear non-proliferation efforts and an essential basis for the pursuit
of nuclear disarmament. We stressed the importance of all states
abiding by and strengthening existing multilateral non-proliferation
and export control regimes and international arms control and disarmament
accords. We call again on all countries to abide by their commitments
in this domain.
- We noted the importance of NATO’s relationship with Russia
on nuclear weapons issues and look forward to further consultation
and cooperation under the auspices of the NATO-Russia Council.
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