NATO Military Policy
on Civil-Military Co-operation
1 - Introduction
- In the framework of a military operation conducted by NATO,
the spectrum of relations between Alliance forces and civilian
authorities, populations, organisations and agencies is wide.
The nature of these relations will differ according to the
type of activity being conducted and therefore different parameters
apply along this spectrum. Civil-military co-operation is
interdependent: military means are increasingly requested
to assist civil authorities, at the same time civil support
to the military operation is important.
- The aim of this document is to establish a NATO military
policy on CIMIC.
2 - Terminology And Application
Co-operation (CIMIC) in Operations.
- Changes to the environment within which NATO might operate
have led to the development of a new Strategic Concept (SC
99). SC 99 states that the interaction between Alliance forces
and the civil environment in which they operate is crucial
to the success of operations. This applies to both Collective
Defence Operations (CDO) and non-Article 5 Crisis Response
Operations (CRO), however it is likely to be of greater importance
in the conduct of the latter. Indeed, MC 400/2 states that
the multi-functional nature of CROs requires that all military
and civilian agencies and organisations involved fully co-operate.
- CIMIC facilitates co-operation between a NATO commander
and all parts of the civilian environment within his Joint
Operations Area (JOA). CIMIC is:
The co-ordination and co-operation, in support of
the mission, between the NATO Commander and civil actors,
including national population and local authorities, as
well as international, national and non-governmental organisations
Aspects of Civil-Military Relations.
Emergency Planning (CEP) Generally, CEP is concerned
with the protection of and support to domestic populations,
usually in the context of disaster or war. In the current
security environment, a core function of CEP is to remain
responsive to military planning in both Article 5 and non-Article
5 operations. This should be done by planning for preparing
to co-ordinate civil support, which remains essential for
the success of operations.
Assistance in Humanitarian Emergencies.
In the case of a disaster relief operation or other civil
emergency, not connected to any NATO military operation, national
military capabilities may be deployed in support of the civil
authority overseeing the emergency. In such a case, NATO policy
of Military support for International Disaster Relief Operations
is outlined in MC 343, which describes the use of "Military
and Civil Defense Assets" (MCDA). The North Atlantic
Council (NAC) will have to authorise the use of collective
Allied military resources for such civil activities.
In the case of an Article 5 or non-Article 5 operation, in
contributing to the management of the crisis through military
operations, the Alliance forces could have to deal with humanitarian
emergencies. While humanitarian assistance primarily is a
mission for the host nation and the responsibility of the
UN, the presence of Allied forces conducting military operations
may result in the Alliance having to provide rapid response
to civil requirements. In that case, the military assets will
be given finite tasks, within means and capabilities, through
the military chain of command, and according to the OPLAN
approved by the NAC.
Nation Support(HNS). HNS seeks to provide
the NATO Commander and the sending nations with support available
in the form of materiel, facilities and services including
area security and administrative support in accordance with
negotiated arrangements between the sending nations and/or
NATO and the host government. As such, HNS facilitates the
introduction of forces into an area of operations by providing
essential reception, staging and onward movement support.
HNS may also reduce the amount of logistic forces and materiel
required to sustain and re-deploy forces that otherwise must
be provided by sending nations. CIMIC will normally be employed
to facilitate the execution of HNS in particular in respect
of the use of HNS resources.
Conduct of CIMIC in support of Operations
NATO operations are required to take account of social, political,
cultural, religious, economic, environmental, and humanitarian
factors when planning and conducting military operations.
Further, NATO commanders must take into account the presence
of increasingly large numbers of international and non-governmental
civilian organisations. These demanding circumstances may
be further complicated by differences in culture and mandate
between the military and civilian organisations concerned.
Forging an effective relationship between the military and
all civilian authorities, organisations, agencies and populations
within the JOA will help maximise the non-military contribution
in achieving a stable enviroment while minimizing conflict..
NAC will lay down the parameters for the involvement of a
military force deployed on operations in civil activities.
Purpose of CIMIC. The immediate purpose of CIMIC
is to establish and maintain the full co-operation of the
NATO commander and the civilian authorities, organisations,
agencies and population within a commander's area of operations
in order to allow him to fulfil his mission. This may include
direct support to the implementation of a civil plan. The
long-term purpose of CIMIC is to help create and sustain conditions
that will support the achievement of Alliance objectives in
CIMIC is the interface with civil authorities and must be
considered in support of both Collective Defence Operations
and non-Article 5 CROs. CIMIC is therefore a key strand of
the overall operational plan and not an activity apart.
CIMIC implies neither military control of civilian organisations
or agencies nor the reverse. It recognises that:
- The military will normally only be responsible for
security related tasks and for support to the appropriate
civil authority -within means and capabilities- for the
implementation of civil tasks when this has been agreed
by the appropriate military commander in accordance with
the OPLAN and the mandated civil authorities, if applicable.
- In exceptional circumstances, the military may be required
to take on tasks normally the responsibility of a mandated
civil authority, organisation or agency. These tasks will
only be taken on where the appropriate civil body is not
present or is unable to carry out its mandate and where
an otherwise unacceptable vacuum would arise. The military
should be prepared to undertake, when requested by the
cognisant civil authority and approved by NATO, such tasks
necessary , until the mandated civil authority, organisation
or agency is prepared to assume them.
- Responsibility for civil related tasks will be handed
over to the appropriate civil authority, organisation
or agency as soon as is practical and in as smooth a manner
- The military will often require access to local civilian
resources. In such circumstances every effort will be
made to avoid adverse impact on local populations, economies,
environment, infrastructure or the work of the humanitarian
- All practicable measures will be taken to avoid compromising
the neutrality and impartiality of humanitarian organisations.
Planning. The above requires integrated planning
and close working level relationships between the military
and appropriate civil organisations and agencies before and
during a military deployment. These relationships will be
conducted both in theatre and at Strategic Command level or
below where military planning takes place. It must be recognised,
however, that even where such relationships or planning mechanisms
exist, it may not always be possible to conduct them on a
3 - Policy
- For Alliance purposes, CIMIC will be based upon guidance
from the North Atlantic Council (NAC). Based upon that guidance,
the NATO Military Authorities (NMAs) are primarily responsible
for the planning and conduct of CIMIC activities within their
areas of operations. If required, the NMAs will co-ordinate
with the appropriate Council committees.
- CIMIC doctrine, operational requirements and standards
and procedures will be co-ordinated as follows:
- The primary objective of AJP-9 - NATO Civil-Military
Co-operation (CIMIC) Doctrine - is to provide guidelines
for the planning and execution of CIMIC in support of
operations involving NATO military forces. Although AJP-9
is intended primarily for use by NATO forces, the doctrine
is equally applicable to operations conducted by a coalition
of NATO and non-NATO nations.
- Operational requirements documents and mission need
statements will incorporate CIMIC where appropriate.
- Interoperability standards and procedures will be developed
and implemented to achieve a CIMIC capability that will
meet joint and combined needs and enable the integration
of national capabilities.
- CIMIC Staff elements should be strengthened throughout
NATO's Integrated Command Structure.
- NATO member nations should develop national CIMIC capabilities
in support of the CIMIC doctrine, requirements and procedures,
as determined by the Force Planning process.
- CIMIC has to be an integral part of the entire operation,
requiring close co-ordination with other military capabilities
- Unity of effort is essential to achieve maximum value from
CIMIC. National and NATO CIMIC activities in a theatre should
be closely co-ordinated and de-conflicted, without prejudicing
the needs of lower levels of command. Command arrangements
which facilitate co-ordinated directions of CIMIC efforts
- Tension among political, military, humanitarian, economic
and other components of a civil-military relationship is detrimental
to the overall goal. Therefore, transparency will be vital
in preventing and defusing such potentially volatile situations
because it instils trust, increases confidence and encourages
mutual understanding. Wherever possible, transparency will
therefore guide CIMIC interaction with civilian authorities
- CIMIC provides one of several operational tools available
to the commander in achieving his overall goals. However,
in order to maximise this capability, it will be important
that, where possible, military and civilian organisations
identify and share common goals. Such goals should be established
at an early stage in planning, consistent with political guidance,
which military commanders must integrate into the planning
for the execution of their operations.
- The necessary co-operation between the military and civilian
organisations and agencies in operations should be supported
by working level contacts and cross-participation in CIMIC
seminars, training and exercises.
4 - Responsibilities
of the Military Committee.
- The specific responsibilities of the NATO Military Committee
- To ensure that CIMIC aspects are included, where appropriate,
in other MC policy documents.
- To provide guidance for the conduct of CIMIC as it
applies to military operations, exercises, and training.
- To encourage co-operation and co-ordination of all
CIMIC matters within NATO and where required in close
co-operation with Partnership for Peace Nations/non-NATO
Troop Contributing Nations
- To advise the NAC and seek guidance as appropriate.
- To direct the Strategic Commanders as required.
of the Strategic Commanders
- The specific responsibilities of the Strategic Commanders
- To develop and/or improve CIMIC capabilities within
- To develop, co-ordinate and update CIMIC concepts,
plans and procedures in agreement with the guidance of
the Military Committee.
- To establish, within their own headquarters and subordinate
commands, the CIMIC or comparable staffs and appropriate
interfaces with civilian organisations.
- To ensure subordinate commands have the doctrine, guidance
and standard operating procedures required to implement
CIMIC plans in accordance with NATO Precautionary Measures.
- To forward to NATO political authorities requirements
for CIMIC in support of military operations.
- To co-ordinate and supervise the conduct of CIMIC,
after authorisation by the Military Committee
- To initiate requests for research and development for
the improvement of CIMIC techniques.
- To develop training standards and conduct CIMIC training
- To review and develop CIMIC Precautionary Measures
for MC/NAC approval.