NATO — Strategic Concept Will Guide Alliance for Next Decade

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20, 2010 — The new NATO Strate­gic Con­cept adopt­ed by alliance lead­ers at the Lis­bon Sum­mit yes­ter­day takes the lessons of the Balka­ns and Afghanistan and joins them with the core val­ues of the pact.
Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma and the lead­ers of the 27 oth­er NATO nations approved the new con­cept dur­ing sum­mit meet­ings yes­ter­day. The con­cept will serve as the guide for alliance lead­ers for the decade ahead.

The NATO nations agreed in the doc­u­ment to devel­op mis­sile defense capa­bil­i­ty to pro­tect all NATO Euro­pean pop­u­la­tions, ter­ri­to­ry and forces. The alliance also invit­ed Rus­sia to cooperate. 

The threat is real with more than 30 nations around the world work­ing on bal­lis­tic mis­siles, said NATO Sec­re­tary Gen­er­al Anders Fogh Ras­mussen. Some of those mis­siles already have the range to hit parts of Europe. 

The Strate­gic Con­cept encom­pass­es more than mis­sile defense. It adheres to the basic tenets of the alliance when it was formed in 1949. The alliance mem­bers still pledge to defend its mem­bers against the full range of threats, and Arti­cle 5 — an attack on one mem­ber nation is treat­ed as an attack on all — still stands. 

The expe­ri­ences of the alliance since the fall of the Berlin Wall have been instruc­tive. NATO will work to improve its abil­i­ty to man­age crises and will enhance its abil­i­ty to work with oth­er inter­na­tion­al orga­ni­za­tions and non­govern­men­tal organizations. 

The pre-emi­nent mil­i­tary alliance in the world will work to become “more agile, more capa­ble and more cost-effec­tive, and it will con­tin­ue to serve as an essen­tial instru­ment for peace,” accord­ing to the Lis­bon Sum­mit Dec­la­ra­tion released today. 

NATO allies have learned through expe­ri­ence com­bat­ing ter­ror­ism that a whole-of-gov­ern­ment approach is the only way to defeat insur­gents, and the con­cept calls on the alliance to devel­op this inclu­sive approach. The alliance also will put togeth­er a “mod­est civil­ian cri­sis man­age­ment capa­bil­i­ty” that will work with mil­i­tary forces as need­ed. The alliance also is address­ing new threats with lead­ers agree­ing to enhance alliance cyber defense capa­bil­i­ties. This fol­lows the U.S. estab­lish­ment of Cyber Com­mand at Fort Meade, Md., ear­li­er this year. 

NATO under­stands cyber attacks are becom­ing more fre­quent, more orga­nized and more cost­ly. Many attacks are aimed at mil­i­tary net­works, but the alliance also depends on civil­ian infra­struc­ture. The attacks also have the poten­tial to inflict dam­age on busi­ness­es, economies and poten­tial­ly also trans­porta­tion and sup­ply net­works and oth­er crit­i­cal infrastructure. 

“They can reach a thresh­old that threat­ens nation­al and Euro-Atlantic pros­per­i­ty, secu­ri­ty and sta­bil­i­ty,” the state­ment says. “For­eign mil­i­taries and intel­li­gence ser­vices, orga­nized crim­i­nals, ter­ror­ist and/or extrem­ist groups can each be the source of such attacks.” 

NATO still has a Cold War hang­over, and many of the struc­tures put in place to con­front the Sovi­et Union are still part of the com­mand struc­ture. Under the Strate­gic Con­cept, the lead­ers direct­ed imple­ment­ing “a more effec­tive, lean­er and afford­able alliance com­mand struc­ture, and the con­sol­i­da­tion of the NATO agen­cies.” They tasked the sec­re­tary gen­er­al and the North Atlantic Coun­cil to act on the reforms with­out delay. 

The alliance also is look­ing at the effects that new tech­nolo­gies will have. These include, but are not lim­it­ed to, laser tech­nolo­gies, elec­tron­ic war­fare tech­nolo­gies and anti-access tech­nolo­gies. These may be poised to “have major glob­al effects that will impact on NATO mil­i­tary plan­ning and oper­a­tions,” accord­ing to the document. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →