Memorandum from the Ministry of Defence
on the Future of NATO
1. This paper responds to the Committee's
request for a memorandum setting out the Government's views on
the future of NATO. It covers: the Alliance's future role and
missions (including the implications for NATO of 11 September);
capabilities; enlargement; internal adaptation; and partnership,
particularly NATO-Russia relations. NATO is currently conducting
a range of work on these issues, including studies commissioned
at the May and June 2002 Foreign and Defence Ministerials, in
preparation for the Prague Summit in November. This memorandum
reports progress to date.
2. Inevitably the process of change within
an Alliance requires much discussion and flexibility on all sides.
Some early ideas from the UK may not win consensus: we may wish
to absorb ideas from others. So the final package may look significantly
different for good reason. Also, a number of points requiring
sensitive discussion with Allies and others cannot be made public
without harming our prospects of succeeding in those discussions.
3. The focus at the Prague Summit will be
on new capabilities, new members and new partners. The UK Government
believes that the Prague Summit must build for the future by:
Making the Alliance more effective
against the new threats of terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction;
Renewing our collective efforts to
enhance military capabilities;
Developing new relationships with
NATO's partners, and building on the transformed relationship
with Russia following the Rome Summit;
Issue invitations to new members
who are ready for the responsibilities of membership.
4. Much has been accomplished, but much
more remains to do in the six months remaining before Prague.
We have a big agenda and will be working closely with our Allies
and NATO staffs to take it forward.
The 1999 Strategic Concept
5. The Strategic Concept agreed at the 1999
Washington Summit set out five core tasks for the Alliance: security;
consultation; deterrence and defence; crisis management; and partnership.
We believe that they remain valid, and will not seek to re-open
the Strategic Concept at Prague. But it is clear following 11
September that NATO needs to improve its preparedness and capabilities
against new threats, including terrorist and WMD attack.
6. The Strategic Concept acknowledged the
threat from terrorism,
and NATO's invocation of Article 5 on 12 September, recognising
that the 11 September attack on the United States had been an
attack on all members, sent the strongest possible signal of Allied
solidarity. Since the declaration of Article 5, NATO's practical
contributions to the war against terrorism have included:
Enhanced intelligence sharing and
co-operation, both bilaterally and through NATO, on the threats
posed by terrorism and actions to be taken against it.
The deployment of NATO Airborne Warning
and Control Aircraft to help patrol American airspace (a mission
which ended on 16 May).
The deployment of NATO standing naval
forces to the eastern Mediterranean for reconnaissance and surveillance.
The employment of NATO-led forces
in the Balkans against terrorist groups with links to the Al Qaida
The opening of airspace to aircraft
engaged in coalition operations and the granting of basing rights
7. In addition, most Allies have contributed
to the US-led military campaign against terrorism, and the UN-mandated
ISAF in Afghanistan. Although neither operation has been NATO-led,
Allied interoperability, training and experience have been a vital
element in their cohesion and effectiveness.
8. NATO countries are also working together
to deal with the threat posed by the possible terrorist use of
weapons of mass destruction, and their means of delivery. This
includes planning for the provision of support to national authorities
which seek assistance in protecting civilian populations, working
in close co-operation with the EU. NATO efforts to defend against
terrorism also include the preparation of a military concept;
a review of the effectiveness of NATO military policies, structures
and capabilities; a strengthening of NATO's relationship with
Russia and Partners; and expanded co-operation with the UN, the
EU and the OSCE.
9. A progress report on the Alliance's response
to terrorism has been presented to Ministers. These different
strands of work will be brought together at the Prague Summit,
providing a comprehensive package of measures to strengthen NATO's
counter terrorist capabilities. This should include:
A clear statement of NATO's adaptation
to meet new threats, building on the Strategic Concept agreed
in 1999, providing for Alliance assets and the forces of its members
to be used flexibly as they are needed. The Spring Foreign and
Defence Ministerials took useful steps in this direction;
New command and force structures
to provide greater flexibility and deployability to meet the new
challenges. Allies should be prepared to consider radical options
to demonstrate Allied commitment to new NATO roles; and we need
a major effort from nations, over the coming years, to make the
forces they provide to the Alliance genuinely useable and deployable
for all Alliance missions;
Increased NATO preparedness for and
improved capabilities against terrorist and WMD attack, developed
in close co-operation with the EU. NATO could, for example, enhance
Alliance non-proliferation efforts, and focus on development of
a practical consequence management capability and Alliance-wide
doctrine, training and exercises.
The Defence Capabilities Initiative
10. NATO does not possess the full range
of capabilities it requires to perform all its missions. Many
Allies have made progress since the end of the Cold War in developing
forces which can be used effectively in the changed strategic
setting, and a direction has been establishedtowards modern,
flexible, deployable, sustainable, interoperable forces.
11. The Defence Capabilities Initiative
(DCI) was launched at the Washington Summit to address key Alliance
capability shortfalls, and comprised some 59 strands falling within
five headings (Mobility and Deployability; Sustainability; Effective
Engagement; Survivability; and Command and Control). DCI has led
to improvements in many areas. The UK has a good record among
Allies for implementing improvements related to the DCI. However,
a number of the most ambitious targets set by the DCI would require
years and very significant investment to bring about. NATO still
has shortfalls in some key capabilities.
A new initiative
12. Foreign and Defence Ministers agreed
at their 2002 spring meetings that a follow-on to DCI should be
launched at Prague. Defence Ministers envisaged that it should
seek specific improvements in the areas of:
defence against chemical, biological,
radiological and nuclear attacks;
secure communications and information
interoperability of deployed forces
and key aspects of combat effectiveness;
deployment and sustainability of
forces on mission.
13. The new initiative should be realistic
and achievable, but also pose a genuine challenge. The UK has
proposed that a real effort should be made to ensure that it has
clear objectives and timeframes; senior ownership in capitals;
an emphasis on interoperability, as the cornerstone of the Alliance's
military effectiveness; relevance to the fight against terrorism;
a significant multinational dimension; and close complementarity
with the European Union's Headline Goal process.
NATO Force Structures
14. A further dimension of capabilities
is the ability of forces to deploy beyond home territory.
15. The Alliance needs forces that can move
quickly to wherever they are needed, sustain operations over time,
and achieve their objectives. In the light of the changing strategic
environment NATO has reduced its overall requirement for ground
forces since the late 1990s, but its need for ground forces that
can deploy abroad has more than doubled.
16. In 1999 NATO launched a Force Structure
Review with the aim of providing NATO with the capable, deployable
and sustainable forces it requires for operations. The focus has
been on the revision of the current structures to reflect the
changing requirements of the Alliance and to take into account
the DCI and the European Defence dimension. The intention is to
achieve a more effective NATO response capability.
17. Some progress has already been made.
In particular, a number of nations, either individually or collaboratively,
are sponsoring improvements to the capability and deployability
of their headquarters at corps level, and are building up the
support forces these require. But a very significant challenge
remains for Allies if they are to increase substantially the proportion
of their forces that are deployable.
NATO Command and Control
18. It is also essential that NATO's integrated
military Command Structure adapts to changing strategic circumstances,
maintains a coherent link with the evolving NATO Force Structure,
and consumes no more resources than is necessary.
19. At their meeting on 6 June Alliance
Defence Ministers agreed to look again at all elements of NATO's
Command Structure to define the minimum military requirement and
prepare decisions for heads of State and Government at Prague.
In the UK's view this review should examine all levels of the
Command Structure from Strategic to Sub-Regional Command level
and should include Air Command and Control. It should be an assessment
based on functionality and deployability, not merely a re-roling
of existing headquarters, many of which are based on Cold War
and static concepts. There is considerable scope for minimising
duplication and reducing financial overheads and the number of
gapped posts that exist owing to the inability or unwillingness
of nations to provide manpower.
20. The size of the Alliance does not affect
the case for a reformed command structure. The main impact of
enlargement would be on the apportionment of staff posts in any
new structures. New members, and existing members alike, would
need to take up an equitable allotment of posts in the Alliance's
new command structures.
21. Preparatory work on this review is already
under way in NATO's military committees.
22. Capabilities are of course a function
of resources. The UK has always argued that, while the level
of resources is important if nations are to contribute meaningfully
to the Alliance, there is also an issue of the way in which resources
are utilised by Allies. Many need to devote a greater proportion
of their budgets to acquisition of modern equipment. In some cases
this may mean difficult choices, where personnel costs must be
driven down to make room. Greater multinational cooperation may
also allow Allies to make a contribution collectively in cases
where it would not make economic sense to do so individually.
No decisions have yet been taken on funding arrangements for the
new capabilities initiative. But at all events, we would expect
it to be adequately resourced by Allies to achieve its objectives.
23. Urgent work is needed on the NATO Security
Investment Programme (NSIP) which provides NATO infrastructure
and currently lacks prioritisation and adequate investment appraisal.
We are pressing for the establishment of a review mechanism for
NATO's capability packages (the constituent elements of NATO infrastructure)
once they have been approved. This could be done by giving the
Military Committee the power to review programmes regularly, to
avoid NATO spending its limited resources in ways which are out
of step with its strategic priorities.
Coherence between EU and NATO Capability Development
24. When the EU agreed its Headline Goal
for capability development at the Helsinki European Council, it
also agreed to develop a progress review mechanism. Work since
Helsinki to elaborate the requirements of the Headline Goal, to
assemble national contributions towards it and to assess the shortfalls
that exist, has been done with substantial co-operation from NATO.
The EU is creating a `capability development mechanism' (CDM),
as called for at Helsinki, part of which describes the permanent
arrangements envisaged for co-operation and transparency between
the EU and NATO in this field.
25. The proposals envisage a role for a
`capabilities group' comprising representatives from all NATO
and EU countries who would meet at regular intervals covering
all stages of the goal-setting and progress review processes that
constitute the defence planning activities of both organisations.
This group, which was first outlined in the Nice European Council
conclusions, would act to ensure the consistent development of
the relevant overlapping EU and NATO capabilities. These proposals
have a very wide degree of support across all NATO and European
Union member countries. We hope that all the details will be finalised
26. The European Union's capability improvement
initiative, known as the European Capabilities Action Plan (ECAP),
has also been established with close co-ordination with NATO in
mind. ECAP and DCI address many of the same shortfalls in military
capabilities, but are able to bring different organisational approaches
to bear, to create forces that benefit both organisations. NATO
staff are involved in individual ECAP working groups and have
sight of the overall work being performed throughout the initiative.
27. Article 10 of the 1949 North Atlantic
Treaty states that:
`The Parties may, by unanimous agreement,
invite any other European state in a position to further the principles
of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North
Atlantic area to accede to this Treaty . . .'
28. We are strongly in favour of the further
enlargement of NATO to include countries that are ready to assume
the responsibilities of Alliance membership. We see enlargement
as a means to strengthen both the Alliance and those countries
aspiring to join, and to bring greater security for Europe as
Membership Action Plans
29. Within the Alliance we have argued for
an enlargement process which seizes the opportunity for both the
Alliance and aspirants to reform. We have taken a lead within
NATO on internal reform (see below), and have been helping aspirants
prepare with a package of practical assistance, both through the
Membership Action Plan (MAP) and an extensive programme of bilateral
and multilateral assistance.
30. The MAP was established in 1999 to guide
aspirants in their preparations for membership. It provides advice,
assistance and practical support under five chapters: political
and economic issues, defence and military issues; resources; security
issues and legal issues. Nine countries have completed the third
round of MAP this spring: Albania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia,
Lithuania, Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Croatia
was invited to join the fourth round of MAP during the NATO Foreign
Ministers' Meeting in Reykjavik in May and will participate from
31. The results of the latest MAP round
shows encouraging signs of progress by aspirants, though all have
more to do to reach Alliance standards. All have now conducted
thorough reviews of their force structures, which in most cases
has resulted in reprioritisation and a reduction in force sizes
which are now better matched to available and planned resources.
As a sign of their increasing ability to work with NATO forces,
we welcome their practical contributions to NATO operations in
the Balkans and to coalition operations in Afghanistan.
32. Foreign Ministers agreed at Reykjavik
to a robust process which ensures that reforms will continue up
to and after invitation. It provides a clear timetable, combined
with agreement on the substance of, and framework for, that reform.
The key points are:
Reykjavik: launch of MAP 4.
Autumn: submission of Annual National
Prague: invitation to begin accession
Early 2003: revision of ANPs; accession
By May 2003 Foreign Ministerial:
signature of Protocols of Accession; launch of national ratifications;
MAP 5 begins.
Around early 2004: conclusion of
ratifications; invitees accede.
33. There has been no Alliance agreement
on how many invitations should be issued at Prague, or to whomthough
there is a current of opinion within the Alliance favouring a
substantial enlargement. Final decisions on whom to invite will
be for NATO Leaders at Prague. The performance of the aspirants
between now and Prague will therefore continue to matter, and
MAP provides continued incentives. The Annual National Plans to
be submitted by aspirants in the autumn under the next round of
MAP will be an opportunity for them to show what they have achieved
since Reykjavik, as well as how they intend to continue their
reforms. NATO itself will conduct country-specific military analyses
of the Alliance's ability to conduct its missions after enlargement.
34. The timetable agreed at Reykjavik is
similar to that for the accession of Poland, Hungary and the Czech
Republic from 1997-99. The key differences this time are that
aspirants have already benefited from intense engagement with
the Alliance under the first three cycles of MAP, and Allies have
agreed to use the MAP as the framework to agree commitments with
invitees to further reform.
35. Foreign Ministers agreed at Reykjavik
that immediately after Prague and as part of the negotiations
on the Protocols of accession, NATO expert teams will discuss
with each invitee a timetable of specific reforms, to be pursued
up to and beyond accession. These will be reflected in revised
ANPs. Allies will expect invitees to make clear commitments for
necessary further action on reform as part of this process. MAP
4 will finish at the spring 2003 meeting of Foreign Ministers.
As mentioned above, we expect the Accession Protocols to be signed
no later than then.
36. During the ratification process, invitees
will continue to participate in MAP (ie MAP 5 ) until the ratification
process has been completed; this will enable the Alliancethrough
the ANP and MAP reviewsto sustain the incentives for invitees
to continue with reform and the implementation of the commitments
they made before Spring 2003.
37. Ratification of the Accession Protocols
will be according to Allies' national procedures. In the UK, acceptance
of the Accession Protocols is a prerogative act of the Government
acting on behalf of the Crown. As part of the process, the protocols
will be laid as Command Papers before Parliament for 21 days,
thus providing the opportunity for parliamentary consideration.
Other Allies will need to seek parliamentary approval for ratification.
In the US, ratification by the Senate is required. Last time,
ratification by the Alliance members took 15 months in total.
Accession itself is likely to be on a common date before the next
Summit. No dates have been set.
38. Our overall aim has been to ensure that
the accession process makes clear to aspirants that invitations
at Prague are not the end of the process for reform. As a result,
Allies have agreed to a vigorous and substantive accession process.
Aspirants face no new hurdlethe substance is drawn from
the MAPnor an attempt to delay accessionthe timetable
is the same as at Madrid. But the stress on ensuring that accession
leads to an enlarged and effective alliance will make it easier
for NATO to agree to a substantial round of enlargement. The key
is that aspirants still need to keep up the work to Prague, to
accession and beyond.
Those not invited at Prague
39. For those who are not invited at Prague,
Allies will, through the MAP, maintain their engagement and commitment
to help them succeed in the future.
Costs of enlargement
40. The principal costs of enlargement fall
on the candidate nations in modernising and adapting their armed
forces so that they contribute effectively to the Alliance. Existing
members provide advice through the Membership Action Plan and
practical help through the provision of expertise and training.
41. Studies in 1997 concluded that the marginal
cost of the last enlargement for the NATO Security Investment
Programme (NSIP) would be in the region of £700 million over
10 years, largely on infrastructure improvements such as C2 and
air defence systems. This was assessed to be manageable, within
NSIP ceilings. NATO has not yet begun to estimate the possible
costs of the next round of enlargement. Foreign and Defence Ministers
have agreed that NATO's Senior Resource Board, under the co-ordinating
responsibility of the Senior Political Committee (Reinforced),
will begin to assess the resource implications of enlargement,
drawing on the methodology in 1997. Full resource assessments
will be made once invitations have issued at Prague. In the meantime,
illustrative funding profiles will be developed so that advice
on costs can be provided to Heads of State and Government at Prague.
42. New nations will also be expected to
contribute to the costs of running the NATO Headquarters, funded
through the Civil Budget (for which the Foreign and Commonwealth
Office provides the UK contribution). Again, changes resulting
directly from enlargement are likely to be small.
The EU dimension
43. Decisions on NATO enlargement take place
against the background of the continuing development of the European
Security & Defence Policy (ESDP). Most of the NATO aspirants
are already involved in ESDP and are also candidates for accession
to the EU. These countries have made valuable offers of forces
for EU-led operations in the Supplement to the Helsinki Forces
Catalogue 2001. We would anticipate working in partnership with
these countries in any future EU-led operations within the scope
of the Petersberg Tasks.
44. Arrangements have been developed to
facilitate regular dialogue and consultation with EU accession
candidates, and to allow these countries to appoint representatives
to the EU to follow ESDP and to appoint military liaison officers
as a contact to the EU Military Staff. We also hope to be able
to involve these countries, where appropriate, in some aspects
of the European Capabilities Action Plan (ECAP) process. Co-operation
between EU accession candidates and the EU in the field of security
and defence, and in particular within the ECAP process, can only
be strengthened by the accession of these countries to NATO. ESDP
is primarily geared towards achieving improvements in European
defence capabilities. Including more of the countries of Central
and Eastern Europe within NATO, and thus within the NATO force
planning process, can only serve to further ESDP objectives.
45. UK policy is that NATO should remain
an effective military alliance, but to achieve this the enlargement
decision at Prague will need to be complemented with a wider package
of modernisation and reform. NATO needs to ensure that its decision-making
processes, structures and procedures can continue to function
efficiently with an increased membership. The development of modern
personnel, management and budgetary systems should anyway be a
priority given the shortcomings of NATO's existing HQ systems.
46. We fully support Lord Robertson's efforts
to promote reform since he became Secretary General, and the proposals
he put forward at the Spring Ministerials, which build on his
earlier `NATO Plus' initiative. We welcome in particular his ideas
for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of NATO HQas
Lord Robertson says, making a good organisation better. We see
a need for a new approach to business planning and reporting to
ensure that resources are effectively employed. Work is underway
at NATO on improving resource management across its three budgetary
areas (NSIP, Military and Civil Budgets), with a move towards
linking resources with outputs and better synergy between budgetary
areas. The move to a new HQ building will be an excellent opportunity
to push forward reform in the longer term. Meanwhile, more work
needs to be done over the next six months to present NATO Leaders
with a good range of modernisation options at Prague.
47. The Committee asked specifically about
France's position within NATO. France was a founding member of
NATO and a signatory of the 1949 Treaty, but withdrew from the
integrated military structure of the Alliance in 1966 in order
to retain national control over military planning and nuclear
issues. Although not part of the Nuclear Planning Group or the
Defence Planning Committee, France continues to play a major part
in NATO business as a member of the North Atlantic Council and
the Military Committee. (French participation in the Military
Committee was agreed when it appeared that France was about to
rejoin the integrated military structure in 1996). French personnel
serve on the International Military Staff, and in recent years,
France has increased its military representation within NATO,
with new military missions in Lisbon and Naples. France is also
a full participant in the DCI, and is likely to be in any follow-on
programme. Despite being outside the integrated military structure,
France has played a key role in NATO operations, such as those
in the Balkans, and continues to do so: a French general is in
command of KFOR, and French forces have operated under NATO Command
in Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia.
48. Enlargement will set NATO new challenges,
not least how to ensure that Partnership remains valued and relevant.
Partnership has proven very successful as a means of encouraging
defence reform, transparency and democratic control of the military
for a particular group of nations. As the security environment
changes, our approach to Partnership will need to change with
it, and Prague offers the opportunity to give this work new impetus
with a more focused and substantive agenda and a programme focused
on tangible results. Within a unifying set of principles, NATO's
renewed approach should recognise the very different requirements
of partners in different regions. It should aim to enhance practical
co-operation, especially in fields such as stabilisation and security
sector reform, reinforce the progress made with our Partners in
the fight against terrorism, and help those with a vocation for
membership to NATO to make the best possible preparations.
49. The transformation of the relationship
between NATO and Russia over the seven months since the Prime
Minister wrote to Allied Leaders has been truly historic. Russian
and NATO Foreign Ministers reached agreement on the arrangements
for the new NATO-Russia Council (NRC) at their meetings in Reykjavik
on 14 May 2002. The Rome Declaration was signed by Heads of State
and Government at the NATO-Russia Summit in Rome on 28 May 2002,
the inaugural meeting of the NRC.
50. The NRC provides the basis for a change
in the level and quality of cooperation between NATO and Russia.
The initial list of practical areas where NATO and Russia will
work together includes:
arms control and confidence building
theatre missile defence;
search and rescue at sea;
military to military co-operation
and defence reform;
civil emergencies; and,
new threats and challenges.
51. The scope of the list shows the extent
of our common interests, especially in countering new threats.
We hope areas for co-operation will expand quickly as both sides
develop the habit of working together as equal partners at 20.
For that to happen, Allies and Russia will need to approach the
new Council in an active spirit of co-operation.
52. The NRC will meet twice a year at the
level of Foreign Ministers and Defence Ministers and monthly at
Ambassador level (or more often if necessary). Meetings will be
held at Heads of State and Government level as appropriate - probably
annually. A Preparatory Committee will meet every two weeks (or
more often if necessary) to prepare NRC meetings. Like the NAC,
the NRC will be chaired by the NATO Secretary General and work
by consensus: all members will be bound by its decisions. New
NATO members will automatically become members of the NRC.
53. The NRC will be supported by a NATO-Russia
Staff Support Working Group, consisting of members of the NATO
International Staff and the Russian mission to NATO. The NRC will
be able to establish committees or working groups to deal with
specific projects or topics on either an ad hoc or permanent basis.
54. The NATO-Ukraine Charter on a Distinctive
Partnership was signed at the Madrid Summit in July 1997 and established
the NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC)as a mechanism for regular consultation
between NATO and Ukraine beyond Partnership for Peace. Ukraine
is the only country besides Russia to be offered a formalised
special relationship with NATO.
55. On 24 May 2002, the Ukraine National
Security and Defence Council, chaired by President Kuchma, approved
in principle a long-term policy with the objective of future accession
to NATO. This was the first public announcement of a Ukrainian
desire to join NATO.
56. We welcome Ukraine's determination to
pursue full Euro Atlantic integration. Under NATO's open door
policy Ukraine could in principle be a potential candidate for
NATO membership - as could other countries now in NATO's Partnership
programmes. To be considered for membership, Ukraine would have
to respect core Alliance values and standards, including a stable
democracy, a market economy and a reformed defence sector. It
is clear that Ukraine is still well short of meeting these criteria.
Particular concerns, including press freedom, and previous supply
of heavy weapons to Macedonia were highlighted by Allied Ministers
at the NATO Ukraine Ministerial in Reykjavik on 15 May.
57. We think that for the medium term Ukraine
should focus on developing its distinctive partnership under the
NATO-Ukraine Charter. There is potential to do much more under
the existing agreement. NATO Foreign Ministers agreed at Reykjavik
to deepen and expand the relationship, including through intensified
consultations and co-operation on political, economic and defence
issues and we hope Ukraine will use this new opportunity to the
full. There will be the opportunity for discussion at Head of
Government level when the NUC meets at the Prague Summit.
58. NATO faces a formidable agenda. Work
over the next six months and at Prague will be aimed at a transformation:
building new capabilities, ensuring the effectiveness of an enlarged
Alliance, adapting NATO's internal structures, and further developing
the relationship with partners, especially Russia. Following the
Foreign and Defence Ministerials there are encouraging signs of
progress, but the final outcome will depend on the commitment
and resources Allies are prepared to invest. Success will guarantee
NATO's ability to fulfil its mission as the Euro-Atlantic area's
key defence and security organisation for the next generation.
1 Paragraph 24. Back
These consist of humanitarian and rescue tasks; peacekeeping
tasks; and tasks of combat forces in crisis management, including