2 Dec. 1999
meeting of the Defence Planning Committee and the Nuclear Planning Group
- The Defence Planning Committee and Nuclear Planning Group of the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization met in Ministerial Session in Brussels
on 2 December 1999.
- We reaffirmed the enduring importance of the transatlantic link.
Developments during this year have emphasised the fundamental importance
of collective defence planning as the framework within which national
and Alliance requirements are harmonised. Our ongoing presence in Bosnia-Herzegovina
as well as Alliance operations to end the repression in Kosovo and to
restore stability there could not have been undertaken without our integrated
military structure and our well-established mechanisms for collective
planning. In the light of the experiences of Kosovo operations and in
accordance with the Defence Capabilities Initiative launched by our
Heads of State and Government at the Washington Summit we shall ensure
that collective defence planning continues to address the requirements
needed for the full range of Alliance missions.
- We reviewed the national defence plans of Allies for the period 2000?2004
and beyond and have adopted a five-year force plan which addresses the
requirements of the future security environment. This review focussed
particularly on the extent to which Allies' fulfilment of requirements
identified as part of the Defence Capabilities Initiative needed to
be improved. Defence expenditure plans were also highlighted in our
review. All Allies expect continued growth in GDP but, on the basis
of current plans, only a few expect to increase defence expenditure.
We shall need to keep this aspect under review. We remain determined
to seek the resources necessary to ensure that our forces are properly
manned, equipped, trained and sustained for the full spectrum of Alliance
roles and missions, including through more effective use of available
resources. We also recognise the importance of common efforts and multinational,
joint and common funding, which contribute to enhanced Alliance cohesion
and emphasise solidarity.
- We also took stock of the work being done to ensure that the planning
targets being developed by the NATO Military Authorities, and which
we shall be invited to approve as NATO Force Goals next Spring, take
full account of the Defence Capabilities Initiative. It is important
that, through our force planning mechanisms, Allied defence programmes
are developed in full consonance with the work on the Defence Capabilities
Initiative and reflect shared responsibilities of the Allies. We look
forward to reviewing the draft Force Goals at our next meeting.
- In accordance with the Washington Summit decisions, an initial exchange
of thoughts has taken place within the Alliance on the further adaptation
of NATO's defence planning system to incorporate more comprehensively
the availability of forces for EU-led operations. We attach the utmost
importance to ensuring the cohesion and integrity of the Alliance's
defence planning process for the whole range of missions.
- In this, our first meeting as the Nuclear Planning Group since the
Washington Summit, we confirmed the principles underpinning the nuclear
forces of the Allies as set out in the new Strategic Concept. These
forces continue to have a fundamental political purpose: to preserve
peace and prevent coercion and any kind of war. They play an essential
role by ensuring uncertainty in the mind of any aggressor about the
nature of the Allies' response to military aggression, and by providing
an essential political and military link between the European and North
American members of the Alliance. The Alliance will therefore maintain
adequate nuclear forces in Europe, at the minimum level sufficient to
preserve peace and stability. Taking account of the present security
situation, we affirmed that the circumstances in which any use of nuclear
weapons might have to be contemplated by Allies are extremely remote.
- We emphasized that since 1991, in the context of the improved security
environment and in keeping with the Alliance's stated principle of keeping
its forces at the minimum sufficient level, NATO has reduced the types
and numbers of its sub-strategic nuclear forces by over 85 percent.
These reductions included the complete elimination of all nuclear artillery
and ground-launched missiles. Furthermore, NATO has significantly relaxed
the readiness criteria for nuclear-roled forces.
- We affirmed that arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation
- with the stability, transparency, predictability, lower levels of
armaments, and verification they can provide - will continue to play
a major role in the achievement of NATO's security objectives. Alliance
work in these areas is ongoing as a contribution to the Washington Summit
remit. We reviewed evolving threats from proliferant states. We reaffirmed
our belief that Alliance forces deter the use of weapons of mass destruction,
thus contributing to the Alliance goal of preventing the proliferation
of these weapons and their delivery means. All Allies support the central
treaties related to disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of
mass destruction and are committed to full implementation of these treaties.
With a view to the upcoming Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review
Conference in Spring 2000, we reaffirmed our full support of the Treaty
and our continued commitment to efforts aimed at reducing nuclear weapons;
we urged all countries which have not yet done so to accede to and fully
implement the NPT. We continue to urge the Russian Federation to ratify
START II so that the benefits of this treaty can be reaped and negotiations
on a START III treaty can be set in train. We continue to support the
ratification, early entry into force, and full implementation of the
Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
- Firmly committed to our partnership with Russia under the NATO-Russia
Founding Act, we stand ready to resume reciprocal exchanges with Russia
on nuclear weapons issues, and thus we reviewed possible next steps
in such consultations. In this context, we note with concern that Russia
appears to be moving towards a greater reliance on nuclear forces to
ensure its security. We renew our call on Russia to review further its
tactical nuclear weapons stockpile with a view toward making significant
reductions. We look forward to further consultations on these issues.
We welcomed plans by the United States to establish, in cooperation
with Russia, a temporary joint Centre for Year 2000 Strategic Stability
to deal with possible computer errors in either nation's missile attack
warning systems. This is an important cooperative step towards ensuring
overall nuclear safety and security.
- We are pleased to note that Alliance nuclear forces, command and
control systems and nuclear support infrastructure have been thoroughly
reviewed and found to be fully compliant with the requirements of the
changeover to the next millennium.