2010-Present: The Way Ahead
At the Lisbon summit in 2010, NATO adopted a new strategic concept. NATO leaders agreed to "defend its members against the full range of threats; capable of managing even the most challenging crises; and better able to work with other organisations and nations to promote international stability. NATO will be more agile, more capable and more cost-effective, and it will continue to serve as an essential instrument for peace.” As the nature of security challenges continued to evolve, NATO focused on ensuring that its operating concepts allowed the alliance to retain its historic ability to meet the challenges of the time effectively. Also at Lisbon, NATO reaffirmed its partnership with Afghanistan and its role in preserving stability in the Balkans.
In 2011, NATO conducted Operation Unified Protector, a mission to protect the Libyan people from instability and political violence. Secretary General Rasmussen concluded the mission on 31 October, 2011, when he observed that NATO had "…fully complied with the historic mandate of the United Nations to protect the people of Libya, to enforce the no-fly zone and the arms embargo. Operation Unified Protector is one of the most successful in NATO history.”
NATO affirmed its long-term determination to the security and stability of Afghanistan at the 2012 Chicago summit, where leaders agreed that NATO would play a training and advising role after security transition to Afghan forces took place by the end of 2014. NATO declared the end of the ISAF mission and in 2014 launched operation Resolute Support to provide assistance to Afghan National Security Forces. At the most recent NATO summit in Wales last September, NATO entered a new phase of its history.
The Wales Summit Declaration stated that, "Our Alliance remains an essential source of stability in this unpredictable world. Together as strong democracies, we are united in our commitment to the Washington Treaty and the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. 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.” NATO leaders agreed that Russian actions in Ukraine represent a new challenge to the NATO vision of a peaceful, united, and free Europe. In its sixty-forth year, SHAPE continues to serve as the strategic headquarters for NATO operations and to achieve the alliance’s military objectives.