Updated: 07-Jun-2001 NATO Press Releases

7 June 2001

Statement on the Defence Capabilities Initiative

Issued at the Meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Defence Ministers Session held in Brussels

  1. We reviewed, on the basis of a report by the High Level Steering Group, the progress in implementing the Defence Capabilities Initiative (DCI) since it was launched by NATO's Heads of State and Government in April 1999. The goal of DCI has remained unchanged: to provide the forces and capabilities the Alliance requires to meet the security challenges of the 21st century, across the full spectrum of its missions. More particularly, we intend to increase defence capabilities and interoperability through improvements in the deployability and mobility of Alliance forces, their sustainability, survivability and capability for effective engagement and the effectiveness of their command and control.
  2. Although progress has been made in certain areas, further efforts are required to achieve the necessary improvements. For example, a number of particularly critical and long-standing deficiencies exist in the areas of effective engagement and survivability of Alliance forces such as in the areas of suppression of enemy air defence and support jamming; combat identification; intelligence, surveillance and target acquisition (including the Alliance Ground Surveillance system); air weapons systems for day/night and all weather operations; air defence in all its aspects, including against theatre ballistic missiles and cruise missiles; capabilities against nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) weapons and their means of delivery, and NBC detection and protection. We attach importance to accelerating work in all these areas, including where necessary to resolve resource difficulties. We endorsed a report on special considerations for biological weapons defence. With respect to the suppression of enemy air defence and support jamming, and Alliance Ground Surveillance, we directed that special high-level meetings should take place to examine the potential for cooperative solutions.
  3. We particularly value the efforts of nationally-chaired high-level meetings to examine the scope for progress in multinational projects with significant resource implications. These cover strategic air and sealift, air-to-air refuelling, precision guided ammunition, tactical communication, combat identification, mine countermeasures and cooperative acquisition of logistics stocks. We look to these efforts to lead to innovative approaches to address capability shortfalls. We also look forward to further work as part of DCI on improving the harmonisation of defence planning and on exploiting the potential of concept development and experimentation.
  4. We remain strongly committed to the success of DCI and strongly support the work of the HLSG. Achieving the goals of the Initiative continues to require a sustained effort by all Allies. This will also strengthen the European pillar of the Alliance, since the objectives arising from DCI and the EU's Headline Goal are mutually reinforcing. We are determined to achieve a substantially improved level of DCI implementation and to ensure that the required capability improvements will be delivered. To this end, we will increase our personal involvement in the implementation of DCI through making better use of existing resources, by increasing available resources where necessary, and through engaging more directly in decision-making on potential multinational projects.

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