The Military Committee

  • Last updated 05-Nov-2013 11:43

The Military Committee (MC) is the senior military authority in NATO and the oldest permanent body in NATO after the North Atlantic Council, both having been formed months after the Alliance came into being. It is the primary source of military advice to NATO’s civilian decision-making bodies – the North Atlantic Council and the Nuclear Planning Group.

Its advice is sought prior to any authorization for military action and, consequently represents an essential link between the political decision-making process and the military structure of NATO.

It also provides military guidance to the Alliance’s two Strategic Commanders and assists in developing overall strategic policy and concepts for the Alliance. In this context, it prepares an annual long-term assessment of the strength and capabilities of countries and areas posing a risk to NATO's interests.

It meets frequently at the level of Military Representatives (MILREPs) and three times a year at the level of Chiefs of Defence (CHODs). It is chaired by the Chairman of the Military Committee, who is nominated for a three-year term.