Deterrence and defence
NATO is a political and military alliance, whose principal task is to ensure the protection of its citizens and to promote security and stability in the North Atlantic area. As outlined in the 2010 Strategic Concept, the Alliance’s three core tasks are collective defence, crisis management and cooperative security.
Today, the Alliance is faced with a security environment that is more diverse, complex, fast moving and demanding than at any time since its inception. It faces challenges and threats that originate from the east and from the south; from state and non-state actors; from military forces and from terrorist, cyber and hybrid attacks.
Russia has become more assertive with the illegal annexation of Crimea and destabilisation of eastern Ukraine, as well as its military build-up close to NATO’s borders. In parallel, to the south, the security situation in the Middle East and Africa has deteriorated due to a combination of factors that are causing loss of life, fuelling large-scale migration flows and inspiring terrorist attacks in Allied countries and elsewhere.
The Alliance must be able to address the full spectrum of current and future challenges and threats from any direction, simultaneously. It is therefore strengthening its deterrence and defence posture in view of the changed and evolving security environment.