Updated: 24-Oct-2002 October 2002

16 Oct. 2002


Examining NATO's military transformation

A multinational symposium on NATO's transformation, new military concepts and collaborative venues was held in Warsaw, Poland, on 16-17 October.

The conference, entitled "Collaborating for the future", addressed ways in which NATO could lead its military transformation. It specifically examined the issue of bridging the military transformation gap between the United States and the other NATO member countries. After the keynote speeches were given, a series of workshops were held on subjects including new concepts, information sharing in the 21st century, the multinational benefits of Concept Development and Experimentation (CDE) and how to make CDE more efficient. National experiences of CDE were shared, as well as ideas on how to foster reform.

This was the second annual conference organised by the NATO Concept Development and Experimentation center, which was set up in 2000. This year's event was organised by SACLANT, the Polish General Staff and the US Joint Forces Command. It was held at an auspicious moment, when NATO is adapting to new risks and new missions, such as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the fight against terrorism and other asymmetric threats.

These issues are especially important as NATO approaches its Summit in Prague on 21-22 November. NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson is calling the Prague Summit the Summit of transformation, where the Alliance will rethink its missions, capabilities, partnerships and its military command structure and force structures. The work of the CDE is at the heart of these discussions.

CDE center: Collaborating for the future

The CDE center is based in Norfolk, Virginia, and comes under the authority of the Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (SACLANT). It works in close collaboration with the US Joint Forces Command, one of the major US commands, which is mandated to promote interoperability and conduct concept development and experimentation for US forces.

The centre aims to examine the requirements and concepts needed for military transformation by promoting collaboration and unifying efforts between NATO member countries. CDE touches on different areas such as technology, doctrine and military training, and encourages information sharing so that national defence resources are spent in the most cost-efficient way.

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