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NATO Transformation : NATO Capabilities

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"The changed and evolving security environment demands the ability to meet challenges and threats of any kind and from any direction. Based on solidarity, Alliance cohesion, and the indivisibility of our security, NATO remains the transatlantic framework for strong collective defence and the essential forum for security consultations and decisions among Allies." (Warsaw Summit Communiqué, 9 July 2016)

"There is a shared understanding that the future security environment is characterised by increased complexity, including the dispersion of power, capability and risk, and increasing speed of change. [...] The extraordinary changes in technology and the security environment mean that NATO must create today the capabilities that it will need tomorrow." (NATO Transformation Seminar 2017 - White Paper, 8 May 2017)

Recommended Reading on NATO Transformation / Capabilities

From the Improving NATO capabilities topic page:

NATO has been engaged in continuous and systematic transformation for many years to ensure that it has the policies, capabilities, and structures required, in the changing international security environment, to deal with current and future challenges, including of course the collective defence of its members. With Allied forces engaged in operations and missions across several continents, the Alliance needs to ensure that its armed forces remain modern, deployable and sustainable.

The Alliance’s 2010 Strategic Concept sets out NATO’s strategic priorities and defines the Organization’s vision of Euro-Atlantic security for the next decade. It provides an analysis of the strategic environment and a framework for all Alliance capability development planning disciplines and intelligence, identifying the kinds of operations the Alliance must be able to perform and setting the context for in which capability development takes place.

Please see the full topic page for more information on improving NATO capabilities, including: "Meeting immediate and long-term challenges", "Understanding the procedures", "The bodies involved in decision-making", and "The development of capabilities over time".

This LibGuide is intended to provide a few starting points to assist you with your research on issues related to NATO transformation with a focus on NATO capabilities. In addition to resources on the subjects at hand, this LibGuide also includes information that touches upon related issues such as defence spending -- or more precisely, better spending -- during a time of financial crisis, which the former Secretary General termed as Smart Defence:

“I know that in an age of austerity, we cannot spend more. But neither should we spend less. So the answer is to spend better. And to get better value for money. To help nations to preserve capabilities and to deliver new ones. This means we must prioritise, we must specialise, and we must seek multinational solutions. Taken together, this is what I call Smart Defence.”

Former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen
30 September 2011

The NATO Topic pages on:

The NATO News pages:

NATO Review's editions on:

The NATO LibGuides on:

NATO ACT - "Allied Command Transformation’s mission is to contribute to preserving the peace, security and territorial integrity of Alliance member states by leading (at the strategic command level) the transformation of military structures, forces, capabilities, and doctrines to improve the military effectiveness of NATO."TRANSNET is the NATO Allied Command Transformation Network Portal.

The NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency website ("The NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency was established on 1 July as a result of the merger of the NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A), the NATO ACCS Management Agency (NACMA), the NATO Communications and Information System Services Agency (NCSA), the ALTBMD Programme and elements of NATO HQ.The establishment of the Agency is part of a broader NATO reform.The new NCI Agency "connects forces, NATO and Nations"- it is NATO's IT and C4ISR provider, including cyber and missile defence.")

The Nations charged the recently created NATO Allied Land Command to achieve Initial Operating Capability (IOC) by December 1, 2013, and Full Operational Capability (FOC) by December 2014. (Source)

Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) , was created in 2002, in the overall process of reform of NATO’s command structure. He is one of NATO’s two strategic commanders and the commanding officer of Allied Command Transformation. In 2012, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, General Stéphane Abrial, briefs the press on Smart Defence. In 2013, General Jean-Paul Paloméros said that his top three priorities as Supreme Allied Commander Transformation were to foster Allied interoperability and capabilities and bolstering cooperation with partners. (Interoperability, capabilities, partnerships top priority for Gen. Paloméros, 14 January 2013). In March 2015, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation in partnership with the Atlantic Council published a White Paper: NATO Transformation Seminar 2015: Next Steps in NATO’s Transformation: The Warsaw Summit and Beyond.

Conference Report

The NATO Emerging Security Challenges Division teamed up with Carnegie Europe to organize the conference The World in 2020 – Can NATO Protect Us? The Challenges to Critical Infrastructure.

Threats to critical infrastructure, such as cyber attacks international terrorism and attacks on energy supply, can be devastating to the livelihoods of modern societies and cannot be met by military means alone. The conference with renowned speakers from NATO, academia and national administrations discussed NATO’s role in meeting security challenges to critical infrastructure.

The conference report can be downloaded here: