October 1997

Chapter 3: Logistic Support of the Alliance's
New Strategy


301. The Alliance's New Strategic Concept was agreed by the Heads of State and Government at the meeting of the North Atlantic Council (NAC) in Rome on 7th-8th November 1991. The security challenges and risks which NATO now faces are different in nature from what they were in the past. The threat of a simultaneous, full-scale attack on all of NATO's European fronts has effectively been removed and thus no longer provides the focus for Allied strategy. In contrast with the predominant threat of the past, the risks to Allied security that remain are multi-faceted in nature and multi-directional, which makes them hard to predict and assess. The end of East-West confrontation has been greatly reduced. Since then, security related developments have been faster and more fundamental than was expected. This was recognized in the decisions of the June 1992 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Oslo and particularly at the January 1994 Brussels Summit which required examination of how the Alliance's political and military structures and procedures might be developed and adapted to conduct more efficiently and flexibly the Alliance's missions, including peacekeeping, as well as to improve cooperation with the Western European Union (WEU) and to reflect the emerging European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI).

302. Therefore, the Military Committee (MC) Directive for Military Implementation of the Alliance's Strategic Concept - first issued as MC 400 in December 1992 - was reviewed and published as MC 400/1 in June 1996. It provides detailed military strategic guidance, specifies Alliance military missions, requirements and capabilities and establishes structural principles. In particular it takes into account the new challenges such as:

  • the emerging ESDI;
  • NATO enlargement;
  • the increased importance of cooperation with the United Nations (UN), the WEU and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE); and
  • the particular challenges of NATO's involvement in peace support operations (PSO).

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