Chairman: Lord Carrington.
Effectiveness of NATO 's nuclear forces - Report on Conventional Defence Improvements - Identification of key deficiencies - Plan of action for improvements - Progress towards a conceptual military framework - Coordinated approach to Conventional Defence
- The Defence Planning Committee of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation met in Ministerial Session in Brussels on 22nd May 1985. We discussed a wide range of subjects, focusing our attention on measures necessary to improve NATO's conventional forces and on the adoption of Ministerial Guidance, and agreed the following:
- We are resolved to sustain the credibility of NATO's strategy of flexible response and forward defence. Nuclear weapons play an essential part in our objective of deterring war and, as reflected in the communiqués of our Luxembourg meeting, we. are determined to maintain the effectiveness of NATO's nuclear forces. But we are concerned that the current disparity between NATO's conventional forces and those of the Warsaw Pact risks an undue reliance on the early use of nuclear weapons. This would be an unacceptable situation which we are determined to avoid by making a special and coherent effort to improve our conventional capabilities.
- In this context, we endorsed a report from the Secretary General and the Defence Planning Committee in Permanent Session on Conventional Defence Improvements, in response to our mandate last December, which provides a coherent and balanced approach to achieving improvements to our conventional forces. The Report identifies key deficiencies on a regional and a functional basis which could, if uncorrected, threaten NATO's ability to implement its strategy. It also highlights those areas where special attention will provide the greatest return, both in the medium and long term, in improving the effectiveness and credibility of Alliance strategy. The comprehensive recommendations which we have adopted constitute a plan of action for the Alliance. We shall give special emphasis to these areas in our national planning and within the Alliance defence planning process.
- Strengthening our conventional forces constitutes a challenge to all members. However, in looking at our tasks we should not underestimate what we have achieved already. The Alliance has made and continues to make significant improvements to its conventional forces, particularly in the area of equipment modernisation. By ensuring that our resources are concentrated on the areas of greatest need we can build on this solid foundation to achieve the improvements we now require.
- We had an initial discussion of the work on a conceptual military framework submitted by NATO's Military Authorities. This important work is continuing. It has already helped us to identify those areas on which we will have to focus our efforts, and will provide military guidance for long term planning.
- The effort which we called for last December has brought together in a co-ordinated approach important work to improve our conventional forces currently under way in several areas; this includes:
- the progress nations have made since our decision last December to make a special effort to acquire more ammunition stocks for selected battle decisive systems;
- the allocation of funds from the 3,000 million IAU Infrastructure Programme agreed last December for the next six years. This figure is more than double the amount previously available. Within this overall amount we plan to authorise 665 shelters for reinforcing aircraft by 1990;
- the continued exploitation of emerging technologies;
- significant progress towards a solution to the long-standing requirement for a common and secure identification system for NATO aircraft which will meet NATO's most serious air defence deficiency. Agreement on the critical operating characteristics of the NATO Identification System would allow NATO nations to move towards deployment of this vital capability.
- the improved coordination of the various planning areas to provide a balanced distribution of resources within the development of an overall resources strategy;
- a strengthened emphasis on long term planning;
- the need to provide more aid, and by more nations, to Greece, Portugal and Turkey in order to help them improve their forces and carry out their missions more effectively to the advantage of all. The deficiencies in the forces of these countries are a matter of particular concern.
The Minister of Defence of Spain reserves his Government's position on the present Communiqué.
- Denmark and Greece reserve their positions on INF.