October 1997


By the Secretary General of the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization,
Chairman of the Senior NATO
Logisticians' Conference

Javier Solana

The transformation of the security environment in Europe has had a profound effect on the North Atlantic Alliance. While on the one hand we have seen major reductions in the risks our nations face and consequently in defence budgets and in levels of armed forces, we also have accepted a number of new or expanded tasks for the Alliance. These include the substantial enhancement of the very successful Partnership for Peace programme, intensified dialogue with our Partners through the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, the opening of a new chapter in NATO-Russia relations, the establishment of a distinct and effective partnership with Ukraine, the development of working relationships with institutions such as the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Western European Union, and the adaptation of our command and force structures. The NATO command structure has successfully led Alliance and non-NATO nations in peace support operations in the former Yugoslavia, demonstrating its adaptability to new missions. Also, NATO has invited the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland to start accession negotiations with the Alliance and it has affirmed its "open door" policy concerning further accessions. All these developments present significant and new challenges to NATO's logistics staffs at all levels well into the next century.

I welcome the publication of this new edition of the NATO Logistics Handbook. I commend it both to the newcomer to NATO logistics, and to those who will use it as a ready source of reference in work which I consider to be of prime importance to the Alliance.

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