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When Lord Robertson became NATO Secretary General he said that he had three priorities: capabilities, capabilities, capabilities. Hence the title of this issue of NATO Review. As the Alliance approaches its Prague Summit, NATO's military capabilities are at the top of the agenda. In the first of four articles devoted to this theme, James Appathurai of NATO's Political Affairs Division examines the nature of the capabilities gap and initiatives to overcome it. Edgar Buckley, assistant secretary general in NATO's Defence Planning and Operations Division, considers prospects for the Alliance's new capabilities initiative that will be unveiled at the Prague Summit. Lord Robertson explains why security must not be taken for granted. And General Rainer Schuwirth, director general of the European Union Military Staff, analyses EU efforts to raise military capabilities to meet the Helsinki Headline Goal.

Elsewhere, in the debate, Yves Boyer, deputy director of the Paris-based Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique, and Burkard Schmitt, assistant director of the Paris-based EU Institute for Security Studies, discuss whether Europe can and should bridge the capabilities gap. Nicholas Sherwen, editor of the NATO Handbook, reviews Gustav Schmidt's edited A History of NATO: The First Fifty Years. General William F. Kernan, commander-in-chief of the United States Joint Forces Command and Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic until 1 October, reflects on NATO reform, the war against terrorism and changes in the military profession. And features cover a groundbreaking NATO programme aimed at helping recently and soon-to-be-discharged Russian soldiers prepare for lives outside the military and the creation of a course in Slovakia to help junior officers from Central and Eastern European countries become more effective in multinational operations. Three years after the creation of the Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe, Stewart Henderson considers the role it is now playing in security sector reform in the region. And Andrew Cottey of University College, Cork, in Ireland, and Timothy Edmonds and Anthony Forster, both of King's College, London, examine military reform in Central and Eastern Europe and the capabilities of potential NATO members. Pie charts illustrating defence spending by category of all NATO members round out the edition.

Christopher Bennett