Updated: 06-Nov-2001 1967

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1967 was a period of great change and great challenge for the Alliance. Not only did the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) have to move from France but it was also decided that the Alliance's civilian headquarters, which had been located in Paris, would move as well, with all the dislocation that this would inevitably cause. There was, too, a very real challenge facing the Alliance. Under the terms of Article 13 of the Washington Treaty, any party could leave the Alliance once the Treaty had been in force for 20 years and that date would be reached in early1969. There was therefore real concern that such upheavals might prompt some countries, including perhaps the United States, to withdraw. It is a mark of the Alliance's considerable flexibility and resilience that this did not arise.
NATO headquarters is successfully relocated in Brussels without interruption in the schedule of the NATO Council's meetings; and SHAPE moves to a site near Mons, also in Belgium, with the official opening on 31 March 1967.

Concerned about the impact of these decisions on the Alliance, Belgian Foreign Minister Pierre Harmel proposes that a study should be undertaken on the Future Tasks of the Alliance, thereby emphasising the goals which lay ahead rather than the problems of the past. Known as the Harmel Report, its conclusions, adopted by the North Atlantic Council in December 1967, establish a substantial programme of work, including the task of seeking a more stable relationship with the East. Proposals for disarmament and practical arms control measures are to be formulated, including possible Mutual and Balanced Force Reductions.

December also sees a further decision of considerable significance. NATO's Defence Planning Committee decides to adopt a revised strategic concept to replace the massive retaliation doctrine. The new strategy, flexible response, is based on a balanced range of responses involving the use of conventional as well as nuclear weapons.


18 Jan

Inauguration of NATO Defense College in Rome.

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31 Mar

Official opening ceremony of SHAPE at Casteau, near Mons, Belgium.

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6-7 Apr

First meeting of the Nuclear Planning Group in Washington.

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21 Apr

Military rgime takes over power in Greece.

13-14 June

The North Atlantic Council meeting in Luxembourg reviews the Middle East situation following the Six-Day War between Israel and its Arab neighbours.

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16 Octr

Official opening of the new NATO Headquarters in Brussels.

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12 Dec

The Nuclear Defence Affairs Committee holds a meeting in Brussels to examine the Report of the Nuclear Planning Group on strategic nuclear forces, antiballistic missiles, the tactical use of nuclear weapons, and national participation in nuclear planning.

13-14 Dec

The North Atlantic Council approves the Harmel Report on the Future Tasks of the Alliance. The Defence Planning Committee adopts NATOs new strategic concept of flexible response and approves the establishment of a Standing Naval Force Atlantic (STANAVFORLANT).

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