This year’s NATO Summit will be its 25th summit. It is being held in President Obama’s hometown of Chicago, United States, on 20-21 May 2012. The NATO Summit will deliver on decisions that were taken at the Lisbon Summit in November 2010, driving forward key Alliance policies and reaffirming the transatlantic link.
The NATO Summit 2012 will principally focus on three main themes. The Alliance's commitment to Afghanistan through transition and beyond, ensuring that the Alliance has the capabilities it needs to defend its population and territory.
The NATO Summit Chicago will also ensure that the Alliance has the capacity to deal with the challenges of the 21st century. And it will strengthen NATO's network of partners across the globe.
NATO is clearly committed to supporting Afghanistan beyond 2014. This is when the gradual transition of responsibility for the security of the country, from ISAF troops to Afghan forces, will be fully implemented. At the NATO Summit 2012, leaders will put forward proposals to make this a reality – a mark of their determination to ensure the country will never again be a base for global terrorism.
A key outcome from the NATO Summit Chicago will be developing “smart defence” in terms of greater prioritisation, specialisation and cooperation, into a long-term capability strategy. This forthcoming NATO Summit 2012 strategy comprises three major components. First of all, a tangible package of multinational projects to address critical capability shortfalls. Secondly, longer-term multinational projects that include missile defence, Alliance Ground Surveillance and air policing. Finally, the NATO Summit will agree strategic projects for 2020, covering areas such as Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance and air-to-air refuelling.
This year’s NATO Summit Chicago will be an opportunity for Allies to broaden their partnership networks and to further deepen international relations at a time when cooperation is no longer considered as a luxury, but a necessity.