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Fact Sheet

At the Warsaw Summit last year, we decided to launch an assessment of the NATO command structure in light of the changed security environment.

To ensure it can do the job across the full spectrum of Alliance missions. Today, we agreed on the outline design for an adapted NATO Command Structure, which will be the basis for further work. “ - NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, 08 November 2017

Why it Matters

  • Since NATO formed in 1949, the mission has remained constant – to protect our nations, people and values – but the threats and challenges have evolved and so must the Alliance.

  • Global events have shown the need to reinvigorate our ability to deter potential adversaries.

  • Additional threats come from multiple sources including regional instability, transnational terrorism,

    challenges due to refugees and migrant flows, as well as state and non-state actors conducting hybrid

    and cyber activities.

  • Together they add to the complexity of NATO activities and responsibilities.

  • Collectively, NATO nations provide vast military capability. It is the Alliance’s ability to efficiently

    command and control, harnessing the efforts of 29 members, that makes NATO the most successful

    military alliance in history.

  • The NATO Command Structure is centred on supporting all the Allies, all the time, for three core

    Alliance tasks – collective defence, crisis management, cooperative security – now and in the future.

  • Allied Command Operations, as directed at the Warsaw Summit, is focused on creating a command structure able to understand future threats and to continuously adapt to maintain its military edge.

New Security Challenges

  • Given the dynamic security environment, the NATO Command structure must produce operational capability that can respond quickly as well as provide analysis, options and planning for informed decisions.

Comprehensive Approach

  • A comprehensive 360 degree approach both geographically and technically is needed to face current challenges. We must adapt to changes in both the traditional military domains of land, sea and air but also newer domains of space, cyber and information, as well as protect NATO values including rule of law and democratic ideals.

Looking to the Future

  • The Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Scaparrotti and Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, General Mercier have provided a comprehensive analysis to the nations with options that include, but are not limited to: A new Joint Force Command with a strong Maritime focus; a Logistics Command to enhance NATO’s ability to rapidly move forces and their equipment; and nationally provided Land Component Commands in the NATO Force Structure to command and control forces in the event of major conflict; enhance existing headquarters to address current and future challenges including a Cyberspace Operations Centre focused on existing and new resources.

  • The proposed adaptation ensures the NATO Command structure will align to the realities of today and in the foreseeable future.

  • This is a large scale and complex effort that maximizes the deterrent effects of our forces.

  • The NATO Command Structure adaptation reflects an updated understanding of what the Alliance faces in peace, crisis and conflict.

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