Updated: 23-Oct-2000 Ministerial Communiqus


14th June,

Final Communiqué

Chairman: Mr. J. Luns.


Review of Middle East developments - Report on status of SALT and MBFR negotiations - US briefing on strategic nuclear targeting doctrine EUROGROUP- lnfrastructure cost-sharing - Reorganization of Allied air forces in Central Europe - US balance of payments problems - General report on Alliance defences - Adoption of force goals for 1975-1980.

    The NATO Defence Planning Committee met in Ministerial Session on Friday, 14th June, 1974 in Brussels

  1. In the course of a review of the strategic situation facing the Alliance, Ministers were briefed on the most significant recent developments in the growth of Soviet military power. They heard an appraisal by the Chairman of the Military Committee on the state of the Alliance defences and on the lessons to be drawn from the Middle East conflict.

  2. Ministers took note of developments in the Middle East and welcomed the successful outcome of recent negotiations conducted on the initiative of the United States, leading to the cessation of armed conflict and the hope of a just and lasting settlement. They recognized, however, the instability of the Middle East and adjacent areas and noted with concern the continuing Soviet efforts directed towards increasing their influence in this theater. The permanent deployment of a strong Soviet naval force in the Mediterranean in support of Soviet foreign policy objectives in the area is a fact which NATO will have to continue to face and which heightens the risk to the security of the countries in the Southern Region and of the Alliance in general.

  3. Ministers took note of the continuing United States-Soviet talks on the limitation of strategic armaments. They discussed the security aspects of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe. Ministers also reviewed the state of MBFR negotiations now taking place in Vienna. On this last subject they reiterated the importance they attach to the principle of undiminished security for all parties and they confirmed that the fundamental objectives of a more stable military and security situation at lower levels of forces can best be achieved by establishing in the area of reductions approximate parity between the two sides in the form of a common ceiling for overall ground forces. They also confirmed that reductions should begin with the United States and Soviet forces. They thus reaffirmed their support for the agreed Alliance approach and noted with satisfaction that Allied representatives are engaged in the talks in a spirit of unity and cohesion. Individually and collectively Ministers reaffirmed the importance they continue to attach to the principle that NATO forces should not be reduced except in the context of an agreement with the East.

  4. Ministers noted with concern the current programs for the expansion and modernization of Warsaw Pact forces in all fields; these provide the Soviet Union and her Allies with a military power far in excess of that required for self-defence. In particular they drew attention to the expanding capabilities of the Soviet navy which is increasingly being used in support of Soviet world-wide political and strategic objectives. They pointed out that such actions are difficult to reconcile with declared objectives of detente and disarmament and agreed that until assured detente is achieved through equitable and lasting agreements, it will be necessary to make continuing improvements in NATO forces to ensure a stable balance of military power as a necessary premise for achieving a genuine and lasting detente.

  5. Ministers received a review by the Head of the United States Delegation on recent developments in the US strategic nuclear targeting doctrine on the line of the briefing given earlier in the week by the US Secretary of Defence at the NATO Nuclear Planning Group meeting in Bergen. Ministers confirmed the view expressed at that meeting that these developments accord with the NATO strategy of flexibility in response, and welcomed the further insight given into the extent to which they enhance the credibility of deterrence against threats to the Alliance.

  6. Ministers heard a statement by the Chairman of the Eurogroup on progress made in co-operative efforts by the European Allies to improve their contributions to the defence of the Alliance. They reaffirmed the importance which they attach to the Eurogroup's work, welcomed the progress which it had made with its co-operative efforts and took note of the commitment of the Eurogroup Ministers to its further development. They noted with satisfaction a report on the consultation between the Defence Ministers of Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway on the possibility of adopting a common solution for the replacement of the F104G and other current types of tactical combat aircraft, and they noted Canada's expressed interest in participating at an appropriate time in these discussions.

  7. Ministers took note of the further investigation being undertaken into the possibilities of specialization of defence tasks. They agreed that further studies on the improvement of NATO forces through rationalization and specialization should continue and that any savings effected should be applied to force improvements. They recognized that progress in these key areas was becoming of major importance in the light of growing pressure on defence budgets and increasing defence costs.

  8. They also discussed the important question of standardization of military equipment and emphasized the operational, logistic and economic advantages of this activity for the Alliance. They undertook to redouble their efforts in this field and indicated specific areas for concentration including airborne ear]y warning aircraft detection and tracking; electronic warfare; the replacement for the F104G aircraft and standardization of rifle ammunition and a new rifle for the 1980s. They called for a further progress report to be submitted to them in December.

  9. Ministers emphasized the need to ensure that the forces of the Alliance are supported by the necessary technology and efficient industrial capacity and considered how the resources allocated to defence in these fields could be utilized more effectively by reducing duplication of effort and making more economic use of skilled manpower and high cost facilities. They welcomed the attention being given to this question by the Eurogroup and endorsed the need for an effective European defence industrial base. They agreed that at subsequent Ministerial meetings they would give increasing attention to these problems and pledged their support in making information and expertise available for the development of an Alliance view on this question as a whole.

  10. Ministers stated their strong support for an adequate Infra- structure program and instructed the Defence Planning Committee in Permanent Session to reach agreement on both the size and the cost-sharing of the new five year program (1975-1979) promptly so as not to impair the continuity of the program, bearing in mind the need to take account of the priority requirements of the NATO Military Authorities and proposals for an adjustment in the United States share.

  11. Ministers approved recommendations by the NATO Military Authorities on the integrated command structure to ensure the more effective use and joint operation of Allied air forces in the Central Region. They agreed that the new headquarters of Allied Air Forces Central Europe should be established initially at Ramstein, Germany and that its permanent location should be co-located with the existing AFCENT headquarters at Brunssum, Netherlands.

  12. Ministers noted with satisfaction the progress that has been made towards offsetting the balance of payments and budgetary problems currently arising from the stationing of United States forces in Europe. They welcomed the successful conclusion of a new two-year bilateral offset agreement between the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany, and took note of the extent to which purchases of military equipment by the European countries in the United States were contributing towards a solution.

  13. Ministers discussed a general report on the Alliance defences. They agreed that NATO has the resource potential to provide a substantial conventional defence capability. They noted that the improvements made in force capabilities have provided NATO with the basis of a stalwart conventional capability and reaffirmed the need for further improvements to correct deficiencies, particularly in the fields of anti-armor, air defence and war reserve stock levels. Ministers commissioned special studies to determine the adequacy of NATO's existing or planned capabilities in the fields of electronic warfare and modern aircraft munitions, with a view to carrying out improvements as necessary. They also called for action to identify requirements for a NATO airborne early warning system. They agreed on the need for arrangements to be concluded quickly by some member countries for improving the reception and subsequent operation of United States aircraft due to reinforce Europe in a time of tension.

  14. Ministers also reviewed the defence programs which support the Allied forces, e.g. Civil Emergency Planning, Logistics, Infrastructure and Communications; in this context they agreed that all practical steps should be taken to accelerate the program for the NATO Integrated Communications System (NICS) and to ensure that national tactical communications are interpretable among themselves and with the NlCS. They agreed that special efforts are required in supporting programs in order to maintain the overall balance and effectiveness of NATO's defenses 16. Against this background Ministers endorsed the NATO force goals for the period 1975-1980 earlier adopted on their behalf by the Defence Planning Committee in Permanent Session. They agreed that these measures were within the overall economic capabilities of the Alliance. They stressed the importance of introducing the force goals into their own national forward planning in order to maintain NATO's defensive and deterrent capabilities in the face of Warsaw Pact force improvements.

  15. The next meeting of the Defence Planning Committee in Ministerial Session will take place in Brussels towards the end of the year.

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