Updated: 5 October 2000 NATO Basic Texts

Study on

Sept. 1995

Study on NATO Enlargement

Chapter 4 : How to ensure that enlargement strengthens the effectiveness of the Alliance, preserves its ability to perform its core functions of common defence as well as to undertake peacekeeping and other new missions, and upholds the principles and objectives of the Washington Treaty

A. Maintaining the Effectiveness of the Alliance to Perform its Core Functions and New Missions

  1. In enlarging its membership, the Alliance will want to ensure that it maintains its ability to take important decisions quickly on the basis of consensus and that enlargement results in an Alliance fully able to carry out both its core functions and its new missions. In addition to being fundamentally important in its own right, the Alliance's ability to act quickly, decisively and effectively is crucial to its role in the European security architecture and to its ability to integrate new members into it.

  2. On joining the Alliance, new members must accept the full obligations of the Washington Treaty. This includes participation in the consultation process within the Alliance and the principle of decision-making by consensus, which requires a commitment to build consensus within the Alliance on all issues of concern to it. New members must also be prepared to contribute to collective defence under Article 5, to the Alliance's new evolving missions and to Alliance budgets. This may include appropriate contributions to the Alliance's military force and command structures and infrastructure. New members must accept and conform with the principles, policies and procedures adopted by all members of the Alliance at the time that new members join. In this respect, new members deciding to participate in the integrated military structure must accept the applicable policies and procedures.

  3. NATO must ensure that all Alliance military obligations, particularly those under Article 5, will be met in an enlarged Alliance. This will require a case-by-case assessment of the military factors, including preparation time for NATO to take on new Article 5 commitments, for each prospective new member, taking into account the strategic environment, possible risks faced by potential new members, the capabilities and interoperability of their forces, their approach and that of the allies to the stationing of foreign forces on their territory, and the relevant reinforcement capabilities of Alliance forces, including strategic mobility. The Alliance will also have to ensure the accessibility of its forces to new members' territory for reinforcement, exercises, crisis management and, if applicable, stationing. This issue will need to be considered in the context of deciding individual new members' accession.

  4. The Alliance will have to take a number of elements into account to ensure that NATO maintains its military credibility when it enlarges. Many of these elements may require further analysis and development by the Alliance in the course of the enlargement process. The Alliance bears the responsibility for determining the measures taken to maintain military credibility within each of these elements. These elements, which are developed further in later sections of this chapter and in chapter 5, fall into the following categories :

    Collective Defence
    A key principle of the enlargement process is that new members will be expected not only to benefit from, but also to contribute to, the Alliance's collective defence. They should also be prepared to contribute to other Alliance missions;

    Command Structure
    All new members should participate in an appropriate way in the command structure of the Alliance. New members joining the integrated structure will need to be integrated into existing NATO headquarters. The Alliance will have to consider whether a limited number of new headquarters may be needed and any need for existing headquarters to cover new Areas of Responsibility. NATO operations will be controlled by existing or new NATO headquarters or, as appropriate, future CJTF headquarters;

    Conventional Forces
    Training and Exercises New members will need to participate in NATO exercises, including those designed to ensure the common defence. Exercises should be held regularly on new members' territory;

    Nuclear Forces
    The supreme guarantee of the security of the Allies is provided by the strategic nuclear forces of the Alliance. New members will share the benefits and responsibilities from this in the same way as all other Allies in accordance with the Strategic Concept. New members will be expected to support the concept of deterrence and the essential role nuclear weapons play in the Alliance's strategy of war prevention as set forth in the Strategic Concept;

    Force Structure
    It is important for NATO's force structure that other Allies' forces can be deployed, when and if appropriate, on the territory of new members. The Alliance has no a priori requirement for the stationing of Alliance troops on the territory of new members. New members should participate in the Alliance's force structure. How this will be achieved may require additional considerations to include: whether new members should develop specially-trained units capable of reinforcing NATO forces and of being reinforced by NATO units; the prepositioning of materiel in critical areas; how to ensure that infrastructure is adequate to meet planned missions; and whether there is a need to increase strategic and intra-theatre mobility;

    New members will have the opportunity to participate to the fullest extent possible in the NATO intelligence processes;

    New members will be expected to contribute their share to NATO's commonly funded programmes. They should also be aware that they face substantial financial obligations when joining the Alliance;

    All new members will be expected to make every effort to meet NATO interoperability standards, in particular for command, control and communication equipment. New members will have to incorporate NATO standard operational procedures in selected areas, including for their national headquarters.

  5. A smooth and effective decision-making process in an enlarged Alliance will be key to preserving its effectiveness. Maintenance of the consensus principle will be essential in the political, military and defence areas. All Allies must therefore be willing to work constructively towards this. To this end, it will be important that prospective new members become familiar with the Alliance decision-making process, and the modalities and traditions of consensus and compromise, before joining. The highest priority should be given to a new member's involvement in the appropriate elements of the decision-making processes and military commands.

B. The Military and Defence Implications of Enlargement

(I) Collective Defence

  1. As stated in paragraph 38 of the Strategic Concept, "the collective nature of Alliance defence is embodied in practical arrangements that enable the Allies to enjoy the crucial political, military and resource advantages of collective defence, and prevent the renationalisation of defence policies, without depriving the Allies of their sovereignty. These arrangements are based on an integrated military structure as well as on cooperation and coordination agreements. Key features include collective force planning; common operational planning; multinational formations; the stationing of forces outside home territory, where appropriate on a mutual basis; crisis management and reinforcement arrangements; procedures for consultation; common standards and procedures of equipment, training and logistics; joint and combined exercises; and infrastructure, armaments and logistics cooperation".

  2. There are currently three forms under which Allies contribute to NATO collective defence: full participation in the integrated military structure and the collective defence planning process; non-membership of the integrated military structure but full participation in the collective defence planning process together with a series of coordination agreements providing for cooperation with the integrated military structure in certain defined areas; and non-participation in the integrated military structure and collective defence planning but cooperation with the integrated military structure in more limited defined areas under agreements between the Chief of Defence and the Major NATO Commanders (MNCs). As a general principle, we should avoid new forms of contribution to NATO collective defence which would complicate unnecessarily practical cooperation among Allies and the Alliance's decision-making process.

  3. Against the background of existing arrangements for contributing to collective defence, Allies will want to know how possible new members intend to contribute to NATO's collective defence and will explore all aspects of this question in detail through bilateral dialogue prior to accession negotiations. In this context, the ability to contribute and the manner in which a possible new member intends to contribute to collective defence will be important criteria for Allies in deciding whether such a potential new member is capable and willing to contribute to security and stability in the trans-Atlantic area within the meaning of Article 10 of the Washington Treaty.

  4. The Alliance will adopt a flexible approach to assimilating new members into its defence and military structures and its planning processes. The approach taken will ensure that an enlarged NATO maintains a credible military posture.
(ii) Command Structure
  1. NATO's command structure must be prepared for the probability that new members will want to join the integrated military structure. If enlargement takes place consecutively, considerable military flexibility will be required with regard to the establishment of new areas of responsibility and the related command structure. A broad plan will therefore be needed to ensure the maximum effectiveness and flexibility of the command structure following the accession of new members, bearing in mind the potential effect of the CJTF concept and of any structural adjustments.

  2. NATO headquarters may be required on the territory of new members to cover the revised tasks and AORs resulting from their accession. Although it may be possible to upgrade new members' existing headquarters if necessary to meet an as yet undefined NATO requirement, existing command, control and communications equipment and infrastructure is unlikely to meet minimum NATO standards. The establishment of headquarters on the territory of new members may also have implications for NATO's existing command structure. The building of new headquarters and/or the upgrading of existing headquarters to NATO standards would involve significant costs although progress on the development of the CJTF concept may have a bearing on Alliance headquarters requirements. A country-specific review of the requirements and costs should be undertaken prior to a new member joining the integrated military structure.

  3. Multinationality remains a key feature of Alliance policy. Any new NATO headquarters on the territory of a new member would therefore require multinational representation; this should reflect operational needs. New members will also have to be represented as appropriate at major headquarters (MSC and above), support elements, commonly-funded NATO Agencies, and on the International Military Staff. Enlargement would therefore probably require a review of the size of staffs at most NATO headquarters and national representation. This process would inevitably be complicated if new members join consecutively.
(iii) Conventional Forces - Training and Exercises
  1. The presence of Allied Forces on the territory of other members contributes to strengthening the Alliance's ability to perform its fundamental security tasks, fostering Alliance cohesion and expressing solidarity and confidence. This presence could take various forms. The stationing of Allied forces offers specific military advantages in relation to collective defence. It allows a threat or an attack to be countered earlier, and provides more time to prepare and deploy reinforcements, enabling the most effective use to be made of mobility. Moreover, military forces operate more effectively when they are familiar with the terrain and conditions. However, the redeployment of existing Allied forces from their current locations or the prepositioning of equipment would be expensive. There also is a risk that it could give a misleading impression of Alliance concerns. The regular and frequent presence of Allied forces on exercise or when other situations demand is another way to demonstrate NATO's commitment to collective defence. This option may not be adequate in all cases. It would in any event require effective rapid reaction and reinforcement capabilities and planning, and adequate warning time to allow for political decision making and the deployment of forces in time of crisis. Other options might include dual basing of air assets, or the prepositioning of equipment and ammunition (e.g., increased prepositioned materiel in key areas and increased storage sites for such materiel in key geographical areas).

  2. Individual Allies' policy on the stationing of other Allies' forces on their territory in peacetime varies considerably, taking into account a range of national and broader factors. For new members, the peacetime stationing of other Allies' forces on their territory should neither be a condition of membership nor foreclosed as an option. Decisions on the stationing of Allies' conventional forces on the territory of new members will have to be taken by the Alliance in the light of the benefits both to the Alliance as a whole and to particular new members, the military advantages of such a presence, the Alliance's military capacity for rapid and effective reinforcement, the views of the new members concerned, the cost of possible military options, and the wider political and strategic impact. All Allies must of course be prepared in times of crisis or war to allow other Allies' forces to enter and operate on their territory, and to provide essential host nation support as mutually agreed, to enable NATO to provide effective common defence.

  3. Individual Allies' policy on stationing their forces outside their borders in peacetime also varies considerably. Some Allies are, for example, legally constrained from doing so. For new members the peacetime stationing of forces on other Allies' territory should neither be a condition of membership nor foreclosed as an option. All Allies are, however, prepared in principle to deploy their forces outside their territory in the Treaty area as part of their contribution to NATO collective defence, taking into account factors such as operational capabilities and geographic limitations. New members should be expected to be similarly prepared.

  4. Multinational training and exercises on the territory of new members will contribute significantly to maintaining Alliance military capability and effectiveness and enhance the ability of the Alliance to fulfil its full range of missions.

    Such exercising and training would help familiarise the forces involved with the terrain and operating conditions, and would contribute directly to supporting Article 5 commitments. Reinforcement should also be exercised from time to time. The terms on which such activities currently take place vary between Allies and have to take account of national factors. However, as a general principle, new members should be ready to host multinational training and exercises relating to all Alliance missions.

(iv) Nuclear Forces
  1. The coverage provided by Article 5, including its nuclear component, will apply to new members. There is no a priori requirement for the stationing of nuclear weapons on the territory of new members. In light of both the current international environment and the potential threats facing the Alliance, NATO's current nuclear posture will, for the foreseeable future, continue to meet the requirements of an enlarged Alliance. There is, therefore, no need now to change or modify any aspect of NATO's nuclear posture or policy, but the longer term implications of enlargement for both will continue to be evaluated. NATO should retain its existing nuclear capabilities along with its right to modify its nuclear posture as circumstances warrant. New members will, as do current members, contribute to the development and implementation of NATO's strategy, including its nuclear components; new members should be eligible to join the Nuclear Planning Group and its subordinate bodies and to participate in nuclear consultation during exercises and crisis. Decisions on the modalities and specifics of this contribution will be based on consultations, and agreements among Allies.
(v) Force Structures
  1. The Alliance's military strength and cohesion depends on its multinational forces and structures, and the fair sharing of risks, responsibilities, costs and benefits. Current force structures are based primarily on the requirements of collective defence, but Alliance involvement in non-Article 5 operations will continue to influence future capabilities. All Alliance nations have a high degree of ability to operate together, although there is room for further improvement.

  2. Subject to any changes in the security environment, the main characteristics of current NATO force structures will remain valid in an enlarged Alliance. However, the Alliance will need to pay special attention to the requirements of inter-regional reinforcement, and their potential impact on the various force categories. To ensure continued Alliance military effectiveness, current and prospective new members must be committed to developing, manning and supporting NATO's new force structures. New members' forces would be expected to take part in the full spectrum of Alliance missions to the extent appropriate to their capabilities, and taking into account the need for case by case consideration of non-Article 5 missions. The further development of Alliance military structures, including force levels and readiness, should facilitate such involvement across the spectrum of potential Alliance missions.

  3. Multinational forces have an increased political and military importance. Thus the increasing need for mobility, flexibility and inter-service and multinational interoperability in undertaking both defence and new missions means that current Alliance policy on multinationality should apply when new members' forces join NATO force structure, consistent with the need to maintain military effectiveness.

  4. There is a continuing need to address current limitations in reaction force capabilities, which have to be taken into account to ensure that there is no reduction in military effectiveness. The principle of multinationality should also apply in integrating new members' forces into main defence forces. No change of current policy towards augmentation forces would seem to be necessary as a result of enlargement. There will, however, be a substantial impact, the extent of which has yet to be determined, on contingency and reinforcement planning including force requirements and host nation support arrangements. Prepositioning of equipment, and both intra-theatre and inter-theatre lift, can contribute to flexibility and military effectiveness. Further examination of these elements will be required when enlargement occurs.
(vi) Intelligence Sharing
  1. Sharing of intelligence among Allies contributes to the effectiveness of the Alliance. New members will bring to the Alliance both increased requirements and capabilities in the intelligence field. Intelligence sharing is based on mutual trust and co-operation. New members must be able tosafeguard NATO information according to Alliance standards.

C. Security Investment Programme (SIP)

  1. The NATO Security Investment Programme should be used to accelerate the assimilation process of new members. The scope of this will depend upon the terms under which new members will participate. Procedurally and organisationally, the incorporation of new members into the Programme will not present problems although the process may take time. The renewed prioritisation and resource allocation mechanisms are well suited to deal with new requirements resulting from enlargement.

  2. Financially, new members would be expected to contribute their share, as from the start, to all new programme activities, with a contribution level based, in a general way, on "ability to pay". Because of the time needed in an investment programme to bring activities to implementation, and because of the limited absorption capacity of new members, financial implications will be limited in the early years. Enlarged participation in the programme should therefore be possible without impact on the implementation of existing commitments and programmes. It is important, however, to get prospective new members involved in the planning and preparatory processes as soon as possible and to ensure that they are fully aware of their prospective liabilities.

D. Administration and Budgets

  1. Without knowing the number of prospective new members it is only possible to address management issues in a general manner. Enlargement will lead to new activities and a need for increased resources. Additional office space will be needed at NATO HQ to accommodate new members and possible increases to the staffs of the IS and IMS. Operating and capital costs in the Civil Budget will grow. New members will be expected to contribute. Cost shares must be calculated and decisions taken concerning their obligations. Enlargement will also mean increases in the Military Budget, but the actual budgetary consequences will depend in large part on the new members' level of participation.

  2. It will be important to ensure that potential new members are fully aware that they face considerable financial obligations when joining the Alliance.

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