NATO's 19 leaders have agreed today on a new Strategic Concept to guide
the Alliance in the coming years. This essential document sets forth
NATO's role in Euro-Atlantic security and provides a strategic framework
for Alliance military planners. The 1999 Strategic Concept is the sixth
such document to be approved by NATO. The last Strategic Concept was
produced in 1991.
NATO's new Strategic Concept is responsive to changes in the
Euro-Atlantic security environment, focused on the following key
Collective Defense: The Strategic Concept underscores the enduring
core mission of NATO as the collective defense of its members under
Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.
Military Capabilities: The Concept reaffirms Allies determination
to strengthen Alliance defense capabilities by ensuring forces that are
more mobile, sustainable, survivable and able to engage effectively on
the full spectrum of NATO missions.
New Missions: The Concept calls for improvements in NATO's
capability to undertake new missions to respond to a broad spectrum of
possible threats to Alliance common interests, including: regional
conflicts, such as in Kosovo and Bosnia; the proliferation of weapons of
mass destruction and their means of delivery; and transnational threats
New Members: The Concept underscores NATO's continued openness to
new members and Allies' commitment to enlargement as part of a broader
effort to enhance peace and stability throughout the Euro-Atlantic
Strengthened Partnerships: The Concept reinforces Alliance efforts
to build wide-ranging partnerships with the aim of increasing
transparency and mutual confidence in security matters and enhancing the
capacity of allies and partners to act together.
European Capabilities: The Concept highlights development of a
European Security and Defense Identity within NATO as an essential
element of NATO's ongoing adaptation, enabling European allies to make a
more effective contribution to Euro-Atlantic security.