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NATO's Strategic Concept

b_250_170_16777215_00___images_strategic_concept.gifActive engagement, modern defense

New strategic concept, in its preface once more reaffirms the commitment of member countries of the Alliance on the unity among nations to defend each other against new security and peace threats. It clearly states the commitment of the Alliance in crisis prevention, conflict management and close cooperation with international partners, UN and EU. It opens a new page of cooperation with partners, offering an essential role in the shaping of NATO operations. It reaffirms the desire for a world without nuclear weapons but as long as there are nuclear weapons in the world, NATO will remain a nuclear alliance. It further reiterates strong commitment to keeping NATO's door open to all European democracies that meet membership standards.
While the world is changing, new concept stresses that NATO's core mission will remain the same. The Alliance guarantees that it will remain an unparalleled community of freedom, peace, security and common values.
Basic tasks and principles of NATO do not change. Its long-term goal remains the protection of liberty and security of all its members by political and military means. Alliance is firmly committed to the goals and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and Washington Treaty, which states the primary responsibility of the Security Council for maintaining international peace and security.

The new Strategic Concept reaffirms that the security of NATO members on both sides of the Atlantic is indivisible, and will continue to be protected by all of them on the grounds of solidarity, common purpose and sharing of the undertaken responsibilities.
In order to guarantee the security of the territory and population of the NATO countries, the Alliance will continue to meet with high efficiency the three-group fundamental tasks, always in full compliance with international law:

1. Collective Protection. NATO members will always help each other against attacks, in accordance with Article 5 of Washington Treaty. This commitment remains immutable and binding.
2. Crisis Management. NATO will actively use a selection of political and military means, to help manage the crisis to stop the ongoing conflicts and to help consolidate stability in post-conflict situations, whenever it contributes to Euro-Atlantic security.
3. Security Cooperation. The Alliance will engage actively to enhance international security through partnership with relevant countries and international organizations, actively contributing to arms control, nonproliferation of weapons and disarmament, as well as keeping the door open for membership in the Alliance, for all countries of the European democracies that meet NATO standards.
NATO will continue to remain the essential and unique transatlantic forum, in terms of consultation for all matters as defined in Article 4 of Washington Treaty. The Alliance will engage in an ongoing process reforms, modernization and transformation.

Security Environment

Today, the Euro-Atlantic area is at peace and the threat of conventional attack against NATO territory is low, however, this conventional threat cannot be ignored.
The proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, instability and conflicts beyond NATO borders, hacker attacks, new technologies, health risks, climate change, water shortages and increased need for energy will shape future security environment in areas of interest to NATO, and of course are expected to have major global effects that would affect the future planning of NATO military operations.

Defense and Deterrence

The greatest responsibility of the Alliance is to defend and protect territories and our people against attacks, as defined in Article 5 of Washington Treaty. Alliance does not consider any country as its opponent. However, nobody should doubt NATO's determination if the security of any of its members would be threatened.
NATO has high level of security which is guaranteed by the strategic nuclear forces of the Alliance, particularly those of U.S. strategic nuclear forces and independent strategic nuclear forces of the United Kingdom and France. Deterrence remains an essential element of the strategy of the Alliance, and NATO will remain a nuclear alliance as long as nuclear weapons exist. NATO bases deterrence in holding mixed capacity of nuclear and conventional weapons. The ability to support large joint operations and operations in smaller scale, crisis response, maintaining powerful mobile, deployable conventional forces, to conduct training exercises, planning and information sharing, participation of allies in collective defense planning, missile defense, MADM, cyber protection, detecting, analytical and consulting capabilities, counterterrorism and new technologies.
Security through NATO crisis management means that it will engage whenever possible and necessary, to prevent and manage crises, stabilize post-conflict situations, and support reconstruction. The best way to manage conflicts is to prevent, but where conflict prevention is not successful, NATO will be prepared and able to manage the ongoing conflict. NATO has special capacities for conflict management, including unprecedented capabilities for establishing and maintaining a powerful military force. NATO-led operations have demonstrated the essential contribution it can make in the context of international efforts to manage crises.
To be effective across the whole spectrum of crisis management, NATO will expand intelligence sharing information within its members; will further develop doctrine and military capabilities for operations beyond NATO territory; will create an adequate and modest civilian capacity for crisis management. Based on lessons learned from its operations, NATO will further improve the  integrated civil-military planning across the whole spectrum of crisis; will develop the capacity to train and develop local forces in crisis areas; will identify and train civilian experts from member countries for specific missions of the Allies; and will expand and intensify political consultations between allies and partners.

NATO has as an important goal the promotion of international security achievable through: Arms Control, Disarmament and Nonproliferation of Weapons; Open Door Policy, Partnership, Reforms and Transformation.

NATO intends to achieve its security with a much smaller number of forces. In this context it will strengthen and promote arms control disarmament, as well as of the conventional weapons and weapons of mass destruction, and will increase efforts to halt their proliferation. NATO will seek agreement with Russia to increase the transparency of nuclear weapons that they possess in Europe, and removal of these weapons as far away from the territory of NATO members.
NATO enlargement has contributed significantly to the Alliance’s security, the prospect of further enlargement, and in the spirit of security cooperation, further increasing the stability of the wider Europe. The purpose of the Alliance for a free Europe that shares common values will be best achieved through the potential integration of all European countries that want to integrate into the Euro-Atlantic Structures. The door to NATO membership remains fully open to all European democracies which share the same values with the Alliance.
Promotion of Euro-Atlantic security is achieved through partnership, while dialogue and cooperation with partners, protection of values which the alliance is based, NATO operations, as well as preparation of interested countries to join NATO are the foundations of Euro-Atlantic partnership.
NATO is ready to develop political dialogue and practical cooperation with any country and organization, is open to consult with each partner country, offers to operational partners a structural role in developing the strategy and decisions of the NATO-led missions and is ready to further develop existing partnerships while maintaining their specific nature of involvement.
Cooperation between NATO and the United Nations continues to provide a significant contribution to security operations in worldwide spectrum. Alliance aims to deepen political dialogue and practical cooperation with the UN, as defined in the joint declaration signed between the UN and NATO in 2008 which contains:

- Increase of the level of cooperation and communication between the two staffs.
- Consultation on common political and
-Practical enlargement in crisis management cooperation, where both organizations are involved.

Cooperation between NATO and the European Union contributes significantly to the overall security of the Euro-Atlantic space. For this reason the EU is a unique and essential partner for NATO.
NATO welcomes the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, which provides a framework to strengthen EU's capacity to manage common security challenges. While NATO and the EU can and should play a complementary role in support of mutual peace and security, reinforcing the strategic partnership in the spirit of full mutual openness, transparency and respect for institutional autonomy and integrity of both organizations. NATO and the EU can play this role by expanding practical cooperation in operations across the spectrum of crisis; expand consultations on all matters of common interest and to cooperate more closely in the field of capacity development.

NATO-Russia cooperation is of strategic importance because it contributes to creating a common space of stability, peace and security. NATO currently does not constitute any threat to Russia. In NATO-Russia relations, NATO is determined to expand political consultations and practical cooperation in areas of common interest, including missile defense, anti-terrorism, drugs, piracy and promotion of international security in a large scale.
NATO is firmly committed to developing friendly relations and cooperation with all Mediterranean countries, and aims to further develop the Mediterranean dialogue.
NATO attaches great importance to peace and stability in the Gulf region, and aims to strengthen cooperation through the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative to expand consultations within EAPMC; continuation and development of partnerships with Ukraine and Georgia, facilitation of Euro-Atlantic integration Western Balkan countries, deepening of cooperation with Mediterranean Dialogue current members and develop a deeper partnership with its partners in the Persian Gulf.
As a unique case in history, NATO is a security alliance that is based on the use of military forces that are able to operate together in any environment that can run operations anywhere through its structure of integrated military command, and that has available basic capabilities that few Allies could afford individually.
In this context, NATO must have sufficient financial, military and human resources to fulfill its missions, which are essential for the safety of population and territory of the Alliance. These resources should be used in the most advantageous possible, and with high efficiency. NATO is committed to maximizing the level of deployment of its forces and their ability to support field operations, including taking concentrated efforts to achieve the objectives: to ensure maximum coherence in defense planning, to reduce the maximum duplication by focusing capacity development according to time, develop and use joint capabilities because of cost effectiveness and as a sign of the solidarity manifestation, to preserve and strengthen the standards, structures and mutual funds that tie them together , as well as perform a continuous process of reforms to improve the structures, work methods and improve effectiveness.

An Alliance for the 21st Century

At the end of the new Strategic Concept, NATO political leaders express determination to continue renewing the Alliance in order for it to be able to meet the security challenges of the 21st century. They are determined to maintain its usefulness as the most successful World military and political Alliance. The Alliance blossoms as a source of hope, because it is based on shared values of individual liberty, democracy, human rights, rule of law, and because the common goal of sustainable efforts are protecting the freedom and safety of its members. These values and goals are universal and constant, and allies are determined to defend them through unity, solidarity, strength and determination.

 

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