Last update: 14-Apr-2005 18:21 NATO Update

14 Apr 2005


Secretary General’s conference
calls for broad transformation of NATO

NATO Secretary General's Annual Conference - Transforming NATO – A Political and Military Challenge
14 April 2005
NATO Review - Issue 1 - Spring 2005
Examining NATO's Transformation
Video interview with Jean Fournet, Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy
ACT website
RUSI website

A high-level conference convened by the NATO Secretary General in Brussels on 14 April focused on the political and military transformation of NATO, “two sides of the same coin”.

In addition to the NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, the conference brought together four NATO Ministers of Defence, three Chiefs of Defence staff, NATO Ambassadors and an audience of security policy specialists from both government and the think tank community.

In his remarks summing up the conference, the Secretary General stressed that political and military transformation had to proceed in step in the Alliance in order to allow NATO to carry out its full spectrum of missions effectively.

A broad political and military transformation

This would include enhancing the political role of the Alliance, as the main forum for Transatlantic strategic discussion, and also speeding up the process of political decision-making in tune with the demands of crisis management and to optimize the use of the NATO Response Force, designed for rapid deployment.

The Secretary General stressed that transformation depended on a clear vision of why change is necessary and of where NATO wishes to go.

He said it was essential to concentrate not only on general concepts but get the details right as well.

With regard to the military aspects of transformation a number of concepts were discussed, including a greater use of common funding for NATO’s missions, enhancing the multinationality of key enablers, such as transport assets within the Alliance, a longer-term and more comprehensive force generation process and bringing force planning and operational closer together.