12 June 1998

Future NATO-led Peace Support Operations and the Development of the PARP Process

Speech by Mrs. Anneli Taina, Minister of Defence of Finland

Mr. Secretary General,

My prepared statement, which has been distributed to you all, deals with the development of crisis management capabilities for Peace Support Operations. It is closely tied to the situation in Kosovo as well. It connects developing programmes to actual reality.

  1. IFOR and SFOR are unique operations. They broke new ground in bringing together NATO members and Partners, together with other organizations, in a multinational effort at deterring hostilities and stabilizing peace in Bosnia. As a result, our common involvement in former Yugoslavia has greatly impacted our thinking on the shape of future peace support operations. The lessons learned in Bosnia will form an essential basis upon which we can build the political-military framework for multinational peace support coalitions in the future.

  2. On the basis of these lessons, it is clear that NATO will continue to have a crucial role in future multinational peace support operations. Only the Alliance has force structures and decision-making mechanisms that are capable not only of providing for deterrence and collective defence but are also adaptable for robust crisis management and peace support operations. It is equally clear that, for political as well as military reasons, future peace support operations will most likely include both the Allies and the Partners working together toward a common goal.

  3. This underscores the importance of establishing procedures and mechanisms for integrating the Partner contributions into a NATO-led operation. There seem to be two broad areas of common interest that have a bearing on the development of the NATO-Partner ability to function effectively in peace support operations: first, interoperability of the forces involved in the operation and, secondly, the possibility to engage together in the planning and decision-making of the operation. Let us examine both of these issues briefly here.

  4. First, as far as interoperability goes, it seems that we should continue to focus on the development of common doctrine and procedures, particularly in the areas of command and control, logistics, as language and communications skills. Our general goal is to create interoperable forces and qualified staff personnel that can be effectively used for peace support operations, and one of the key tools to reach this goal is the NATO- initiated PfP Planning and Review Process, PARP. It is the structured nature of that process - establishment of priority areas, setting up of clear targets, identification of the requirements, and a careful joint scrutiny of what the Partners have accomplished - that has made PARP an effective and useful way to develop Partner countries' capabilities for future peace support operations.

  5. The 1998-2000 PARP cycle further increases and deepens the choice of interoperability objectives (IO's) available for the Partners, addressing capabilities for the full range of peace support operations. Also, the fact that the PARP process will be expanded to include Partnership Goals (PG's) is a step in a right direction. New forces and capabilities could be related to combat support and combat service support units, in other words to capabilities such as combat engineering units, transportation, logistics and medical services. They could also include such relatively scarce assets as CIMIC or NBC capabilities. A humanitarian mine-clearing capability would certainly be useful. The introduction of PG's will facilitate the formation of Partner Force Packages to be utilized for generic as well as specific planning purposes, and after the activation of CJTF headquarters, make available packages or elements for the actual implementation of future peace support operations. This will in due time contribute a substantial addition to the combined resource pool for peace support operations.

  6. Thus, the lessons learned so far have highlighted the importance of common interoperability goals. But they are just one side of the coin. The other side is that the Partners should be allowed to be involved in force planning and political oversight as well as specific peace support operations planning as early as possible. Our experiences from Bosnia have clearly brought home this conclusion. The beginning of the IFOR operation could have been smoother, had the participating Partner nations had a chance to be involved in the NATO planning and decision-making process significantly earlier than actually happened.

  7. We have now reached the stage in the NATO-Partner cooperation where Partner officers have entered the Partner Staff Elements in some chosen NATO headquarters. That is a positive step indeed. From the Partner viewpoint, it would also be useful if in the future peace support operations those Partner countries with relevant troop contributions would also be allotted staff officer slots in operational staffs. This argument applies particularly to the CJTF operational staffs. Such officers could be earmarked by each potential troop contributor well ahead of time, they could be trained in special courses and through CJTF staff exercises, and they could form a pool of trained staff personnel for eventual peace support operations.

    Mr. Chairman,

  8. In my brief comments I have chosen to focus on some practical steps that could be taken to enhance NATO-Partner cooperation when preparing ourselves to face the challenges of future NATO-led peace support operations. Very substantial results in this cooperation have been already achieved, as NATO has opened its structures to the Partners. The EAPC will have a key role in ensuring effective political participation of Partner countries in the process, and the various concrete measures that I have described above have improved Partners' possibilities of contributing in practical ways to the planning of peace support operations.

  9. One of the key elements continues to be the PARP process and its further refinement. Since that process carries such importance for the whole, I would like to suggest that we would arrange a high-level expert workshop, where representatives from NATO and the Partner nations could together fully explore the future development of PARP and its ramifications to the NATO-led peace support operations.

  10. Finland is willing to arrange such a workshop in early October this year.

Mr. Secretary-General,

Finland is deeply concerned with the situation in Kosovo today. It is yet another test case for Euro-Atlantic confidence building and conflict prevention. A well-coordinated action by the international community is vital when the different means available to solve the conflict are used. Finland welcomes the measures adopted by NATO to help achieve a peaceful solution to the crisis.

Thank you for your attention.

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