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.
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.
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.