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North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)

NATO 2000

The fifth decade of the Alliance's history was witness to the most far-reaching and significant changes in the political landscape of Europe since the Second World War. The changes brought in their wake new challenges and difficulties and brought to the surface many long-standing regional and ethnic antagonisms and conflicts. However they also gave birth to new opportunities for re-establishing normal international relations between countries separated by artificial divisions for nearly fifty years.

At the political, economic, social, cultural and human level, the peoples of Europe witnessed the fall of previously impenetrable barriers and the disappearance of long-held prejudices. They have been brought together once again as neighbours sharing a continent, with joint concerns for their environment and its resources and a rich heritage of national and regional characteristics to share with each other.The same changes brought with them chances to improve security throughout the continent. They have enabled NATO countries to realise many of their long-standing objectives and to channel their energies and experience into positive cooperation in the interests of Europe as a whole.

How NATO has seized these opportunities and pioneered new forms of international cooperation in the security field is the story we now tell. The developments of the 1990s have combined to create a new environment - one in which the goal of creating a just and lasting peaceful order in Europe is once again a realistic and viable political objective. The steps which are being taken to attain it are inter-related and interdependent. They do not follow a strict chronological pattern and are subject to rapid advances or setbacks just like any other developments in world affairs. These are the building blocks of Europe's future security.

They are examined individually in NATO 2000.



When the Berlin wall came down in November 1989, and democratic revolutions spread across Central Europe, many wondered if NATO, too, should be swept away by the breathtaking winds of change. NATO member countries had already been working hard to improve security relations in Europe, largely through negotiating arms control and confidence-building measures with the Soviet Union and other countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

Now, the authoritarian regimes that had held the Warsaw Pact together were disappearing and the Warsaw Pact itself was on its way out. The Bonn government of the Federal Republic and the post-communist East German authorities began negotiating the unification of Germany under the watchful eyes of the Soviet Union, the United States, France and the United Kingdom - the four powers responsible for the administration of Germany in the immediate post-war years, and for the administration of the divided city of Berlin from 1945 to 1989. A new Europe was on the horizon.

In this heady atmosphere, many analysts and officials questioned what NATO’s place might be in a world in which the Warsaw Pact had crumbled, the Soviet Union was withdrawing its forces from Eastern Europe and new leaders of former Warsaw Pact nations were already speculating out loud about joining NATO. In February 1990, Hungarian Foreign Minister Guyla Horn said he could imagine that, in a few years, Hungary could become a member of NATO.

Nine years later his words became reality. Hungary, along with the Czech Republic and Poland, acceded to the NATO Treaty, individual partnerships had been set up between NATO and many other countries including all the members of the former Warsaw Pact. A multilateral forum - known as the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council - had also been established for developing cooperation between the Partner countries and the 19 NATO countries. The story of how these developments came about is a fascinating one - but we are jumping ahead. Back to the beginning of the decade.

Early in 1990, a variety of different concepts for the future organisation of European security competed for official and public approval. Few of them envisaged NATO membership for former member countries of the Warsaw Pact. Some experts speculated that it might be best to keep the Warsaw Pact in business in order to facilitate the organisation of Europe’s security. Others argued that NATO had outlived its usefulness because there was no longer any direct military threat.

They believed that the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), to which all European states as well as the United States and Canada belonged, could take over responsibility for maintaining peace and security on the continent.

In this turbulent setting, the leaders of NATO countries addressed the question of whether or not NATO was needed. Instinctively, all the leaders of the time believed that NATO should be preserved.

Some argued that NATO was not only a political and military Alliance, but that it represented a community of values linking North American and European democracies. Its role was therefore much more than just a defence against military threats. Others saw NATO as an “insurance policy” against future threats. Others pointed to new risks and uncertainties which could only be met by cooperation between countries to enable them to handle their common security problems jointly – and declared that NATO provided the necessary and the only suitable structure for such cooperation. Meeting in London in July 1990, less than nine months after the Berlin Wall had come down, the Heads of NATO Governments issued the “London Declaration on a Transformed North Atlantic Alliance,” announcing a “major transformation” of NATO. They recognised that everyone’s security was inseparably linked to the security of their neighbours and offered both friendship and cooperation to their former adversaries.

They also agreed that NATO should review its military structures and its nuclear and non-nuclear strategy in order to bring these up to date. They set in process a major overhaul of Alliance strategy, aimed at producing a new “Strategic Concept” for the Alliance in the course of 1991. With this decision, NATO began the process of adapting itself to the post-Cold War world.


Since 1949, NATO has always had an agreed “strategy” to guide its policies and force structures. These strategy documents, however, had always been classified, secret texts available to the public only in summary form. After the end of the Cold War, it was recognised that times had changed. So, following the London Summit meeting in July 1990, when NATO leaders called for a new strategic concept to be prepared, it was decided that it should be published.

The 1991 concept acknowledged the radical changes that had recently occurred in the world and in Europe in particular.

The Soviet Union still existed and still had powerful nuclear and non-nuclear military forces, but virtually everything else had changed.

Democratic governments were emerging across Central and Eastern Europe; the terms on which Germany would be unified had been negotiated; the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe had been signed; the Warsaw Pact had been disbanded; a coup against the reforming Soviet leader Gorbachev had been defeated, and governments in Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia had expressed their wish to be included in NATO activities.

The 1991 concept stated that NATO’s policies and forces should be adapted in the light of these remarkable changes. But the Allies also reaffirmed some elements of continuity. NATO’s fundamental purpose, they declared, was to defend its members against attack. NATO’s integrated command structure and cooperative approach to defence remained essential to the interests of the members. The transatlantic link between Europe and the United States and Canada remained vital to NATO’s future relevance. Defence of democracy, human rights and the rule of law still constituted the heart and soul of the Alliance. However Allied leaders noted that, even with all the positive changes, the world remained a dangerous place. NATO would be essential to deal with continuing risks and uncertainties. Moreover the North Atlantic Treaty, in addition to providing for collective defence, included a mandate to consult together to deal with threats to the security interests of the members, not just an attack on one of them.

At the 1991 Summit Meeting in Rome, the Allies established three areas of particular emphasis for future NATO policies. First, as part of a broader approach to security, they would actively seek cooperation and dialogue with all European states, and particularly with the former Warsaw Pact countries. Second, NATO’s nuclear and non-nuclear military forces would be reduced, and the remaining forces would be restructured to take into account the need for forces able to handle crisis management tasks (like the ones that later developed in the Balkans, in the wake of the conflicts in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Kosovo) as well as collective defence. Third, European members of NATO would assume greater responsibility for their own security. These concepts were the inspiration behind NATO initiatives throughout the 1990s. The Allies dramatically reduced and streamlined both their forces and NATO’s command structure. More emphasis was placed on the ability to deploy military forces beyond NATO borders in response to new security challenges. Several initiatives translated the Alliance’s goal of promoting dialogue and cooperation into practical measures - the creation of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council and it successor, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council; the introduction of the Partnership for Peace; the establishment of the Permanent Joint Council with Russia; the development of a new partnership with Ukraine; and the open door policy on NATO enlargement.

Simultaneously, steps were taken to make provision for increased roles and responsibilities in the Alliance for the European Allies, in order to strengthen the European Security and Defence Identity. The 1991 Strategic Concept served its purpose well, guiding NATO from the Cold War towards a new and better European security environment. However, as the end of the decade approached, the need for further change became clear.

At the Washington Summit in April 1999, the NATO Allies approved a revised Strategic Concept to equip the Alliance for the security challenges and opportunities of the 21st century and to guide its future political and military development.

The 1999 Strategic Concept provides overall guidance for the development of detailed policies and military plans. It describes the Purpose and Tasks of the Alliance and examines its Strategic Perspectives in the light of the evolving strategic environment and of new security challenges and risks. Setting out the Alliance's Approach to Security in the 21st Century, the Concept reaffirms the importance of the transatlantic link and of maintaining the Alliance's military capabilities and examines the role of other key elements in the Alliance's broad approach to stability and security, including the European Security and Defence Identity; conflict prevention and crisis management mechanisms; partnership, cooperation and dialogue; NATO enlargement; and arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation.

Finally, the Concept gives Guidelines for the Alliance's Forces based on the principles of Alliance strategy and the characteristics of the military forces available to the Alliance. This includes sections addressing the missions of allied military forces and guidelines for their organisation, as well as the characteristics of conventional and nuclear forces.

The revised Strategic Concept, like its predecessor published in 1991, is the authoritative statement of the Alliance’s objectives. It provides the highest level political guidance on the means to be used in achieving them.

Historical Note

The initial formulation of NATO strategy was known as " The Strategic Concept for the Defence of the North Atlantic Area ". Developed between October 1949 and April 1950, it set out a strategy of large-scale operations for territorial defence. In the mid-1950s the strategy of "massive retaliation " was developed.

It emphasised deterrence based on the threat that NATO would respond to any aggression against its member countries by every means at its disposal, specifically including nuclear weapons.

Discussions of possible changes in this strategic approach and the need for other options began later in the 1950s and continued until 1967 when, following intensive debate within the Alliance, "massive retaliation" was replaced by the strategy of "flexible response". This concentrated on giving NATO the advantages of flexibility and of creating uncertainty in the minds of any potential aggressor about NATO's response in the case of a threat to the sovereignty or independence of any single member country. The concept was designed to ensure that aggression of any kind would be perceived as involving unacceptable risks.

The above strategies were enshrined in classified documents, which provided guidance to national governments and points of reference for military planning activities. They were not addressed to the general public. Although the underlying concepts were well known, little public discussion about their details was possible because their effectiveness depended greatly on secrecy. They reflected the realities of the Cold War, the political division of Europe and the confrontational ideological and military situation which characterised East-West relations for many years.

As the Cold War continued, however, the Alliance also sought to minimise the risk of confrontation and to lay the grounds for progress towards a more positive relationship with the Soviet Union and the other members of the Warsaw Pact. The Harmel Report, published in 1967, thus established defence and dialogue, including arms control, as the dual pillars of the Alliance's approach to security.

With the end of the Cold War era, the political situation in Europe and the overall military situation were transformed. A new strategic approach evolved during the two years following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. This was debated and discussed within the Alliance and resulted in the Strategic Concept issued in November 1991.

Bearing little relation to previous strategy documents, NATO's new Strategic Concept placed increased emphasis on cooperation with former adversaries. It maintained the security of its member nations as NATO’s fundamental purpose but combined this with the specific obligation to work towards improved and expanded security for Europe as a whole.

In other respects, too, the 1991 Strategic Concept differed dramatically from its predecessors: it was issued as a public document, open for discussion and comment by parliaments, security specialists, journalists and the wider public.

In 1997, NATO leaders agreed that the Concept should be re-examined and updated to reflect the changes that had taken place in Europe since its adoption, while confirming the Allies’ commitment to collective defence and the transatlantic link and ensuring that NATO strategy remained fully adapted to the challenges of the 21st century. Intensive work was undertaken throughout the Alliance, to conclude the work by the time of the Washington Summit in April 1999.

In common with all other Alliance business, the approval of the Concept required consensus on both the substance and the language of the document by all the member countries of the Alliance. In view of the prospective accession of their countries, representatives of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland were also present from the outset of the discussions.


By 1990 NATO had already established as one of its goals, reaching out to former adversaries in a process of extended security cooperation. In December 1991, the NATO Allies decided to take the process further by creating an overall framework for that cooperation. They established the North Atlantic Cooperation Council, known as the NAC-C, to distinguish it from the North Atlantic Council, or NAC, which is NATO’s key decision-making body. The goal of the NAC-C was to provide a forum in which NATO countries could meet with those of Central and Eastern Europe and with the newly independent states which emerged from the former Soviet Union, including Russia. The first meeting of the NAC-C took place on December 20, 1991, bringing the NATO Allies together with six other countries. During the course of the meeting, it was learned that the Soviet Union had ceased to exist. At the request of the ambassador of the Russian Federation, a footnote to the press release issued that day recorded the fact. Henceforth Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and all the other states which had been incorporated into the former USSR would be independent countries. In succeeding years virtually every qualified European state joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council. Countries traditionally regarded as neutral, such as Austria, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland, became observers.

By 1997, the NAC-C counted 40 members. Whatever the arguments about NATO’s continuing relevance might have been in the West, there were few such doubts elsewhere.

Association with the Alliance through the NAC-C was perhaps the most important advantage for most participants, particularly those who had adopted policies which aimed at NATO membership. But in addition to this important political symbolism, a wide range of practical activities was carried out within the framework of the NAC-C.

Consultations were held between Foreign Ministers on political and security issues at least once a year. Ambassadors from all the NAC-C countries met on a more routine basis, at least every other month. The NATO Allies were able to demonstrate their interest in genuine cooperation. Non-NATO participating states were able to contribute to NATO’s consultative process. NATO’s Economic Committee also set up a programme of cooperation in the NAC-C framework. This focused on defence budgets and their relationship to the economy; security aspects of economic developments; and defence conversion – the process of converting what had been plants producing weapons into facilities for normal, peaceful commercial activities. The NAC-C programme also included scientific and environmental cooperation. NATO began giving scientists from NAC-C nations scholarships for study or research on topics ranging from disarmament technologies to computer networking. In addition, the NAC-C framework was used to provide information about NATO to countries that had been dominated by anti-NATO propaganda for over four decades. It helped to begin the process of educating the governments and publics of new democracies about issues such as cooperative security with which they would have to deal if they were to become active participants in the international community.

NATO’s information programmes, including publications, visits and joint seminars and conferences, all began to focus on building openness and trust between NATO countries and their new Partners. Fellowships were established for the study of democratic institutions. In support of this goal, NATO’s Defense College in Rome also initiated special programmes for participants from NAC-C states. For two-week periods, military and civilian officials from non-NATO member states began participating in the College’s activities. Other NATO training establishments followed suit.

The premise of the NAC-C was that openness and working together would overcome decades of separate development, negative propaganda and misperceptions. The process of breaking down barriers between NATO nations and former adversaries had begun. The NAC-C, succeeded in 1997 by the “Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council,” or EAPC, was one of the keystones of what has progressively become a new basis for European security.


The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) brings together all NATO Allies with all Partner countries. There are currently 46 members.

The EAPC was established by the Foreign Ministers of NATO and Partner nations when they met in Sintra, Portugal in May 1997. The EAPC replaced the North Atlantic Cooperation Council, which was the first forum established for discussions and cooperation between NATO Allies and non-member states.

The purpose of the EAPC is to serve as the overall framework for political and security-related consultations and enhanced cooperation under the Partnership for Peace programme. This framework provides Partner countries with the opportunity to develop a direct political relationship with the Alliance. It also enables Partner governments to participate more directly in decisions relating to activities involving NATO and Partner nations.

The EAPC meets twice a year at both Foreign and Defence Ministers’ levels and on a more routine basis at the Ambassadorial level in Brussels. Initially, the EAPC took over the existing NAC-C Work Plan for Dialogue, Partnership and Cooperation, which included regular consultations on political and security-related matters. Subsequently, it adapted and enlarged the Work Plan and converted it into a more immediate two-year Action Plan, which is updated at regular intervals. The Action Plan focuses on consultation and cooperation on regional issues, arms control, international terrorism, peacekeeping, defence economic issues, civil emergency planning, and scientific and environmental issues. Consultations also address crisis management issues; nuclear, biological and chemical weapons proliferation; defence policy and strategy; security implications of economic developments; disaster preparedness; armaments cooperation; nuclear safety; civil-military coordination of air traffic management and control; and issues related to peace support operations.

The Action Plan also provides for intensified discussions of political and defence efforts against the proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and missiles; arms trafficking; control of small arms transfers; and measures to encourage the removal of land mines.

The EAPC has been an important forum for discussions among the Allies and Partner countries about the situation in the former Yugoslavia, including developments in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the crisis in Kosovo. A series of extraordinary meetings was held to keep Partners informed of the status of NATO planning and preparations for possible military options in Kosovo and to exchange views with Partners on developments.

Under the auspices of the EAPC, a Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre was created in the spring of 1998, on the basis of a Russian proposal. The Centre participated in the coordination of emergency aid for relief operations following major flooding in Ukraine and played an important role in the coordination of efforts to relieve the plight of the refugees fleeing from the repression and ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. Another example of its role was the coordination of aid for the victims of the earthquake that hit Turkey in August 1999.

Both Allies and Partners alike regard the EAPC as an important expression of NATO’s commitment to openness and cooperation and to extending the benefits of peace and stability to all European nations.


The Partnership for Peace (PfP) was launched by Allied leaders at their summit meeting in Brussels in January 1994 to promote greater stability and security throughout Europe. In the wake of the end of the Cold War, the initiative expressed NATO’s desire to reach out to all European states with an offer of close cooperation in defence and security affairs and represented a far-reaching response to the desire of growing numbers of European governments to participate in NATO’s security system.

An invitation to join the Partnership was addressed to all states participating in the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC) and other states participating in the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) able and willing to contribute to the programme. The NACC, which was created in 1991, had already provided a forum in which such countries could discuss security issues with NATO Allies. The Partnership added a way for individual countries to tailor their relationship with NATO to meet their national needs and circumstances. These countries were at different stages of political, economic and military development, so any programme of association with NATO had to be sufficiently flexible to accommodate such diversity. Each Partner was therefore invited to identify the extent and intensity of the cooperation it wished to develop within a bilateral Partnership programme with NATO. Each individual programme focuses on defence and security-related cooperation and forges a real partnership between each Partner country and NATO in areas ranging from the purely military to cooperation in areas such as crisis management, civil emergency planning, air traffic management or armaments cooperation. Along with the invitations to join the Partnership, the Allies issued a PfP Framework Document.

This set out NATO's undertaking to consult with any active Partner country that perceived a direct threat to its territorial integrity, political independence or security. It also outlined the specific undertakings each participant would need to make in its cooperation with NATO to help fulfil the objectives of the programme as a whole. These include introducing greater transparency in national defence planning and budgeting as a way of building confidence in the peaceful intentions of all participants; promoting effective democratic control of defence forces; working towards becoming a potential contributor to NATO-led peacekeeping, search and rescue or humanitarian missions; and enhancing the ability of Partners’ military forces to operate with NATO units. PfP is a dynamic process which progressively draws NATO and Partners closer to each other and continues to evolve. The Partnership programme was enhanced in 1997, when virtually the entire range of NATO activities was opened to Partner participation, subject to the agreement of the Allies and individual Partners in each case. Partner countries have subsequently taken on a greater role in developing PfP programmes. A Partnership Coordination Cell was established in Mons, Belgium, where the headquarters of NATO’s European military command is located, to enable activities to be coordinated directly with the Supreme Allied Commander Europe and his staff. At the Washington summit in April 1999, Allied leaders paid tribute to the successful first five years of the Partnership and endorsed a scheme to make the Partnership still more effective, as well as more operational in character. Partner countries which contribute to the NATO-led peacekeeping operations in the Balkans - the Stabilisation Force (SFOR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Kosovo force (KFOR) - are now participating more actively in planning and overseeing the conduct of such operations. As a result of these changes, the Partnership has become an ever more important part of the evolving European security system.

Currently, 26 countries participate in the Partnership for Peace. Its biennial programme now contains more than 2,000 activities, ranging from large military exercises to small workshops. Based on practical cooperation and commitment to democratic principles, it has become an important and permanent feature of the European security architecture and is helping to expand and intensify political and military cooperation throughout Europe.

In this way, the programme helps increase stability, diminish threats to peace and build strengthened security relationships.

All members of PfP are also members of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), which succeeded the North Atlantic Cooperation Council in 1987. Whereas the Partnership is founded on the basis of a bilateral relationship between NATO and each individual Partner country, the EAPC provides the overall, framework for multilateral cooperation between NATO and its Partner countries and serves as a forum for political dialogue.

Three of the countries which joined the Partnership since 1994 have subsequently became members of the Alliance. Some Partner countries see their participation as a road strengthening their candidature, whereas many Partners see it as a unique and important way of contributing to peace and security in Europe, without necessarily seeking eventual NATO membership. There is no automatic link between participation and future membership but it is clear that the process of enlargement would favour countries that are active Partners. Indeed, the Membership Action Plan that was launched for aspirant countries in 1999 helps tailor their Partnership activities towards meeting membership requirements. NATO ENLARGEMENT AND THE OPEN DOOR

The drafters of the North Atlantic Treaty foresaw the possibility that other European states might subsequently wish to join the Alliance. Article 10 of the Treaty therefore stated that the Allies 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.”

The twelve original members were joined by Greece and Turkey in 1952, Germany in 1955 and then Spain in 1982. No further enlargement took place until 1999, when the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland acceded to the Treaty. A series of developments led up to this event. As democratic governments emerged from the shadow of communism in Eastern and Central Europe at the end of the Cold War, many of the new democracies sought membership in NATO as one of their main national policy objectives. NATO countries reacted to these overtures cautiously, offering the new democracies friendship and cooperation, but not initially membership.

At the NATO Summit Meeting in Brussels in January 1994, Alliance leaders nevertheless reaffirmed that the commitment in Article 10 would be honoured and that NATO’s door would be opened to qualified candidates. The Allies began a study in December 1994 of the “why and how” of NATO enlargement.

In September 1995, they released a “Study on NATO Enlargement”, which explained why enlargement was appropriate and how it should be approached. It also set out a road map that countries seeking membership could follow.

The Allies saw the enlargement of the Alliance as a means of supporting NATO’s broader goal of enhancing security and extending stability throughout the Euro-Atlantic area. It would underpin the process of democratisation and the establishment of market economic systems in candidate countries. They emphasised that enlargement would threaten no one, because NATO would remain a defensive Alliance whose fundamental purpose was to preserve peace and provide security to its members. With regard to the “how” of enlargement, the Allies established a framework of principles to follow. New members would assume all the rights and responsibilities of current members, and would have to accept the policies and procedures in effect at the time of their entry; no country should enter with the goal of closing the door behind it, using its position as a member to block the accession of other candidates; countries should resolve ethnic disputes or external territorial disputes before joining NATO; candidates should be able to contribute to the missions of the Alliance; and no country outside the Alliance would have the right to interfere with the process.

During 1996-97, NATO officials conducted intensified dialogues with 12 countries which had expressed an active interest in NATO membership. The candidacies of all countries were thoroughly examined from a wide range of perspectives.

At the end of this process, the NATO leaders, meeting in Madrid in July 1997, agreed that three countries – the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland – were at that point ready to move towards membership. The terms of membership were negotiated and, in the course of 1998, the proposed enlargement was approved through the legislative processes of all current NATO members and the three candidate states. By the time of the Washington Summit in April 1999, all three countries had become fully-fledged NATO members.

One of the highlights of the April 1999 Washington Summit was thus the presence, for the first time, of the Heads of State and Government of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. They formally joined the Alliance on 12 March 1999, bringing the number of member countries to 19. A number of measures were successfully completed by each of the new members prior to accession, in order to ensure the effectiveness of their future participation in the Alliance.

These included measures in the security sphere (e.g. arrangements for receiving, storing and using classified information), as well as in areas such as air defence, infrastructure, force planning and communication and information systems. However full integration of the new member countries is an ongoing process calling for continuing efforts over a longer period.

The main stages leading up to the accession of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland were as follows:

- 10 January 1994. At the NATO Summit in Brussels, the 16 Allied leaders said they expected and would welcome NATO enlargement that would reach to democratic states to the East. They reaffirmed that the Alliance, as provided for in Article 10 of the Washington Treaty, was open to membership of other European states in a position to further the principles of the Washington Treaty and to contribute to security in the North Atlantic area. - September 1995. The Alliance adopted a Study on NATO Enlargement. Without giving fixed criteria for inviting countries to join, the Study described a number of factors to be taken into account in the enlargement process. It also stipulated that the process should take into account political and security-related developments throughout Europe. The Study remains the basis for NATO's approach to inviting new members to join.

- During 1996, an intensified individual dialogue was undertaken with 12 interested Partner countries. These sessions improved their understanding of how the Alliance works and gave the Alliance a better understanding of where these countries stood in terms of their internal development as well as the resolution of any disputes with neighbouring countries. The Study identified this as an important precondition for membership.

- 10 December 1996. The NATO Allies began drawing up recommendations on which a country or countries should be invited to start accession talks, in preparation for a decision to be made at the Madrid Summit of July 1997.

- Early 1997. Intensified individual dialogue meetings took place with 11 Partner countries, at their request. In parallel, NATO military authorities undertook an analysis of relevant military factors concerning countries interested in NATO membership.

- 8 July 1997. Allied leaders, meeting in Madrid, invited three of the countries - the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland - to start accession talks with the Alliance.

These were the countries which were considered to be sufficiently prepared for Alliance membership and which fulfilled the conditions that had been established. Alliance leaders reaffirmed that NATO would remain open to other new members.

- September and November 1997. Accession talks were held with each of the three invited countries. At the end of the process, the three countries sent letters of intent confirming commitments undertaken during the talks. - 16 December 1997. NATO Foreign Ministers signed Protocols to the North Atlantic Treaty on the accession of the three countries.

- During 1998, Allied countries ratified the Protocols of Accession according to their national procedures.

- 12 March 1999. After completion of their own national legislative procedures, the Foreign Ministers of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland deposited the official documents relating to accession to the North Atlantic Treaty (known as the "instruments of accession") in a ceremony in Independence, Missouri, in the United States. The completion of this requirement marked their formal entry into the Alliance.

- 16 March 1999. The national flags of the three new member states were raised at a ceremony at NATO headquarters, Brussels. At the Madrid Summit Meeting in 1997, NATO Heads of State and Government encouraged other candidate states to continue to work towards eventual membership by following the guidelines laid out in the Study on NATO Enlargement and developing bilateral cooperation with NATO through the Partnership for Peace programme. They reaffirmed the Alliance's commitment to the “open door” policy in which all European countries meeting the conditions of Article 10 and the guidelines of the study could be considered for eventual membership. This policy was reaffirmed at the Washington Summit in 1999 and a Membership Action Plan (MAP) was launched to assist aspiring countries to prepare for membership.

The MAP is designed to provide a programme of activities from which countries may select those they consider of most value to help them in their preparations for possible future membership. The Plan calls for aspirants to submit individual annual national programmes on their preparations. It also provides mechanisms for feedback and advice on progress made by them in implementing these programmes.

It includes planning targets specifically covering areas most relevant for nations preparing their forces and capabilities for possible future membership; and annual meetings to ensure that the assistance provided by NATO and its member states is as effective as possible.

The Plan does not provide a checklist for countries to fulfil, nor does participation in the programme prejudge any eventual decision by the Alliance on issuing an invitation to begin accession talks. Such decisions will be made only on a case-by-case basis by all Allies on the basis of consensus.

Each year, NATO Foreign and Defence Ministers will consider progress on activities under the Membership Action Plan. NATO Heads of State and Government will review the enlargement process at their next summit meeting which will be held no later than the year 2002.

The door to NATO membership thus remains open to other European countries ready and willing to undertake the commitments and obligations stemming from NATO membership and contribute to security in the Euro-Atlantic area. The admission of new democratic members into NATO is itself part of a wider process of greater integration in Europe involving other European institutions.


NATO’s primary role for forty years was to convince the leaders of the Soviet Union that an attack on the NATO members would be costly and, ultimately, unsuccessful. Although for much of this period, it seemed very unlikely that the Soviet leaders would risk launching such an attack, there were moments when no one could be sure. The ideology of the Soviet Union, the political system it imposed on its own people and on the states of Central and Eastern Europe which had come under its influence, the way it sought to extend its domination over other countries and, above all, its excessive investment in military power, all contributed to the need for a strong Allied defence. NATO and the Soviet Union were thus locked in a political and military stand-off that could have had dire consequences for Europe and the world if it had turned to military confrontation. When the Soviet Union was dissolved in December 1991 a potential major threat, which had preoccupied NATO since its foundation, finally disappeared. The NATO countries set themselves the goal of developing a partnership with Russia, which became the primary successor state to the former Soviet Union. NATO invited Russia to join the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NAC-C), established as a forum for cooperation between NATO and former Warsaw Pact nations. Russia became one of the founding members. The partnership became more formal when, in June 1994, Russia joined the Partnership for Peace initiative.

In May 1995, it was agreed to develop, in addition, what was termed “Broad, Enhanced Dialogue and Cooperation” between NATO and Russia, on a separate, bilateral basis.

The NATO-Russia relationship was further strengthened in January 1996 when Russian forces joined NATO troops in the Implementation Force (IFOR), organised to implement the military aspects of the Peace Agreement in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Russian forces remain in Bosnia today as an important part of the NATO-led Stabilisation Force (SFOR). Since this cooperation began, both NATO and Russian forces have gained valuable, practical experience in working together. In spite of the positive development of this cooperation, the issue of NATO enlargement troubled the relationship between NATO and Russia. In response to the strong desires of new democracies in Central and Eastern Europe to join NATO, the Allies agreed in December 1994 to study “the why and how” of NATO enlargement. Most Russians viewed this and subsequent steps toward enlargement as a threat to Russian prestige, and for some it represented a threat to Russian security.

Russia’s attitude toward NATO enlargement reflected feelings about the Alliance that had been reinforced by four decades of Soviet propaganda. Many Russians found it difficult to accept that there were fundamental differences between NATO, a voluntary Alliance among independent countries, and the Warsaw Pact, where membership was imposed by the Soviet Union. The NATO Allies decided it was important to respond to the desire of the new democracies to join NATO, despite these expressions of concern and open opposition by many Russians.

At the same time they recognised the importance of trying to overcome Russian doubts and opposition by demonstrating that NATO did not represent a threat to Russia or its interests. On the contrary, it would serve the interests of the international community as a whole by creating greater stability throughout Europe. Moreover, there was a genuine respect for Russia and its position in the world and a determination to develop NATO-Russian cooperation. However, doubts over the wisdom of this policy were not limited to Russia and some Western analysts questioned the viability of this new relationship between former antagonistic powers. NATO’s efforts to reassure both Russian and other critics took several forms. The NATO Allies pledged that they had “no intention, no plan and no reason” to deploy nuclear weapons on the territory of new NATO member countries. They also said that they planned no permanent, substantial deployments of NATO soldiers in any new member states. Perhaps most importantly, the Allies authorised the NATO Secretary General to negotiate a more permanent cooperative relationship with Russia.

Those negotiations resulted in “The Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between NATO and the Russian Federation,” signed in Paris in May 1997. The “Founding Act” set a large agenda of topics on which NATO and Russia would collaborate. It also created a “Permanent Joint Council” — NATO nations plus Russia — as a framework for continuing consultations. The work of the Council quickly became one of the important vehicles for the development of cooperative security relations in Europe. NATO-Russia cooperation had become a reality with the potential to overcome fears and prejudices on both sides.

NATO and Russia held extensive negotiations on the situation in Kosovo. On several occasions during the Kosovo crisis, high representatives of the NATO Allies and Russia met in extraordinary session. They could not agree on how to bring about a political solution to the conflict, although they agreed that a political solution should be based on autonomy for Kosovo, not independence. After the breakdown of negotiations between representatives of the Kosovar Albanians and the Belgrade government, the NATO Allies concluded that the government of President Milosevic had no intention of complying with UN Security Council Resolutions, nor of respecting agreements which had been reached, nor of engaging in genuine efforts to reach a political solution. There was therefore no alternative but to use force as a last resort.

Russia suspended its participation in the Permanent Joint Council following the Alliance's decision to intervene militarily in order to end the conflict in Kosovo. However, despite differences over the use of military force, NATO countries continued working closely with representatives of the Russian government in the context of diplomatic efforts to bring about an end to the conflict and a lasting political solution.

NATO and Russia's joint determination to work together on the diplomatic front, without allowing differences over the use of force to inhibit progress, played an instrumental role in moving the crisis over Kosovo closer to resolution. Russia's subsequent participation in the NATO-led peacekeeping force (KFOR) and the resumption of meetings of the Permanent Joint Council at Ambassadorial level in July 1999 also augured well for the future of NATO-Russia cooperation in the wider sphere.

In Florence, in May 2000, the foreign ministers of NATO nations and Russia met formally as the Permanent Joint Council for the first time since the start of the Kosovo air campaign.

They agreed to intensify their dialogue and resume work on a broad programme of joint activities, which had been developed since the signing of the NATO-Russia Founding Act in 1997 but was interrupted by sharp differences over how to handle the Kosovo conflict.

NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson and Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov both spoke positively about the outcome of the Florence meeting, which built on progress made during Lord Robertson’s visit to Moscow in February 2000. The NATO Secretary General expressed satisfaction that relations were back on track. Foreign Minister Ivanov underlined the importance attached by the Russian leadership to the renewal of dialogue with NATO. Agreement was reached on setting up a NATO Information Office in Moscow - a measure of the improvement in relations.

Following the foreign ministers’ meeting and the resumption of Russia’s wider working relationship with NATO, Russian Defence Minister Igor Sergeyev came to NATO headquarters in June 2000 for a constructive discussion with Allied defence ministers on cooperation in the military and defence field, as well as developments in Kosovo. His statement that there was no alternative to NATO-Russia cooperation echoed the views of NATO governments.

NATO countries and Russia face numerous common security problems in the Euro-Atlantic area, ranging from regional instability to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Over time, joint efforts to keep the peace in the Balkans, to promote arms control and non-proliferation, and to maintain a dialogue on issues such as military strategy and doctrine, should strengthen the basis of mutual trust which is essential for peace and stability. In sum, much has been achieved in NATO-Russia relations in recent years, to the benefit of stability and security in Europe as a whole. The NATO Allies believe that security in Europe cannot be built without Russia, and that they must seek together with Russia to build trust and cooperation to overcome the divisions of the past and to handle together security problems of the future. The benefits of working together to find common solutions to common problems are self-evident.


Ukraine emerged as a sovereign, independent European country when the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991. The new Ukrainian leadership moved quickly to establish contact with NATO and to become involved in its activities.

Ukraine joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council, established as a forum for formal cooperation between NATO and former Warsaw Pact and Soviet states. In February 1994, Ukraine also became the first of the newly independent republics emerging from the Soviet Union to join NATO’s Partnership for Peace programme, less than a month after the programme was launched. Ever since, Ukraine has been an active participant in PfP activities. The first real PfP exercise took place on Ukrainian soil in July 1997.

Ukraine has demonstrated its commitment to peace and stability in a democratic Europe in a number of ways. It has made significant contributions to the NATO-led Implementation Force in Bosnia (IFOR) and to the Stabilisation Force (SFOR) which replaced it, as well as to the verification mission created to ensure compliance with agreements which had been reached over Kosovo.

Ukraine has also contributed to the International Police Task Force for Bosnia and to other UN peacekeeping activities. The Ukrainian Government has systematically improved its relations with its neighbouring states in Central and Eastern Europe and has signed treaties resolving outstanding issues with all its neighbours. It has taken part in a variety of cooperative programmes, including the formation of a joint peacekeeping battalion with Poland. In 1997, the NATO-Ukraine relationship took a qualitative step forward when a “Charter for a Distinctive Partnership Between NATO and Ukraine" was signed. The Charter recorded positive achievements such as the withdrawal and dismantling of nuclear weapons from Ukrainian territory which had been completed by mid 1996. It also emphasised NATO support for Ukrainian plans to reform its defence arrangements, strengthen civilian control of its military structures, and improve the ability of Ukrainian forces to work together with NATO’s and other Partner countries' forces. The Charter made clear that NATO countries considered Ukrainian sovereignty, territorial integrity, democratic and economic development and non-nuclear status as essential for European security.

The Charter also introduced a number of practical steps. It established a NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC) to oversee implementation of the agreement. The latter authorised cooperation on a wide range of topics, from civil emergency planning and disaster preparedness to environmental security issues, defence planning and discussion of national security concepts. To facilitate the flow of information between NATO and Ukraine, NATO opened an Information and Documentation Centre in Kyiv, the first such facility in a PfP country. NATO has also set up a NATO Liaison Office in Kyiv to assist Ukraine in further extending its participation in Partnership for Peace.

In all aspects of the NATO-Ukraine partnership, Ukraine has demonstrated its desire to contribute fully to Euro-Atlantic security. NATO policies towards Ukraine are based on respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence and recognition of Ukraine’s special and important place in Central Europe.

A Summit meeting between the leaders of the 19 NATO member countries and the President of Ukraine was held in Washington on 24 April 1999. This was the first summit-level meeting in the framework of the NATO-Ukraine Commission established in 1997. In March 2000, the Commission met for the first time in Kyiv.

The forward progress of the relationship between NATO and Ukraine was inevitably affected by the crisis over Kosovo. However, since the crisis, political and practical cooperation have been further pursued. Ukrainian participation in the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo established in 1999 was welcomed, and NATO countries have affirmed their determination that cooperation should be extended and strengthened in the future.


Even during the Cold War, when NATO’s primary focus was on Central Europe, the Mediterranean region was of great strategic importance. In the 1990s, it became clear that developments in the Balkans and, further south, throughout the Mediterranean region, could have serious implications for European security. NATO’s enhanced focus on the Mediterranean region can be traced to the 1991 Strategic Concept. In this document, NATO countries expressed the desire to “maintain peaceful and non-adversarial relations with the countries in the Southern Mediterranean and Middle East.” They considered that the “stability and peace of the countries on the southern periphery of Europe are important for the security of the Alliance...”

The 1991 Strategic Concept also highlighted the importance NATO countries attached to developing dialogue and cooperation with countries that were not members of NATO. Although this policy was formulated with Central and Eastern European countries in mind, a similar approach lay behind the invitation to a number of interested Mediterranean countries to participate in a dialogue with the Alliance.

The development of the Mediterranean dialogue was one of many important initiatives taken in 1994. The Brussels Summit Declaration of January 1994 called for efforts to strengthen stability in the Mediterranean region and stated that progress in the Middle East Peace Process should lead to further efforts to “promote dialogue, understanding and confidence-building” in the area. NATO leaders examined measures to promote dialogue and declared that they were ready to establish individual contacts between the Alliance and Mediterranean non-member countries with a view to strengthening regional stability.

Later that year, NATO Foreign Ministers began putting the plan into action.

NATO subsequently began an active dialogue with six countries in the region which expressed interest: Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia. Algeria joined in April 2000. The dialogue is conducted on a bilateral basis with each of the Mediterranean partners, but includes multilateral meetings with dialogue partners whenever appropriate.

The dialogue is intended to address political topics as well as to sponsor specific activities. The Alliance provides information about its goals and activities as a way of overcoming misconceptions and concerns in the region about NATO. Dialogue Partner countries have been invited to participate in a range of activities in fields such as scientific cooperation and civil emergency planning and to send representatives to the NATO Defense College in Rome and other NATO training establishments to take part in programmes on peacekeeping, arms control, European security cooperation and other issues. Dialogue partners have demonstrated their desire to support initiatives aimed at peacekeeping and promoting stability in the region as a whole. Three of them — Morocco, Egypt and Jordan —contributed to NATO’s Implementation Force (IFOR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina and are contributors to its successor Stabilisation Force (SFOR). The dialogue is to be seen in the context of a broader effort aimed at improving understanding, building up confidence and creating the basis for cooperation between countries in the Mediterranean region and Europe as a whole. The European Union (EU), the Western European Union (WEU) and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have each developed parallel initiatives intended to strengthen dialogue and promote stability in the Mediterranean area. NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue is based on the recognition that developments in the region can have a direct effect on the security interests of NATO countries and shows how security and stability can be strengthened through active programmes of consultation and cooperation between NATO and its Dialogue partners. It is an integral part of the Alliance’s approach to cooperative security.


The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), formerly known as the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), is a central part of the post-Cold War European security system. The OSCE began as a consultative process involving all European states — NATO, Warsaw Pact, and neutral countries. The process was punctuated by a series of Review Conferences culminating, in 1975, with the “Helsinki Final Act”, signed by all the participating states.

This landmark document provided an agreed set of basic principles governing the behaviour of states toward each other and to their own citizens — focussing in particular on human rights issues.

The Helsinki Final Act is not a legally binding document but there can be no doubt that its human rights provisions helped to stimulate the democratic revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe, thereby contributing to the end of the Cold War. Today, the Final Act still provides the “rules of the road” for inter-state relations in Europe and constructive guidelines for the development of democracy in all European countries. It is an excellent code of conduct for international relations.

In the early 1990s, some argued that NATO should be disbanded and replaced by the CSCE. They said that both NATO and the Warsaw Pact were remnants of Cold War European relations and that both should disappear. Such comparisons were misleading. NATO is and always was a voluntary alliance among independent countries. Warsaw Pact participation was imposed on its members by the Soviet Union.

NATO governments and the many countries that wished to join NATO, decided that both NATO and the CSCE had important roles to play in the cooperative European security system which was beginning to emerge. The fact that there was no longer a serious military threat from a hostile regime did not mean that security could be taken for granted and both organisations had their part to play in making Europe a safer place.

Meeting in London in July 1990, NATO leaders agreed that one of their goals was to strengthen the role of the CSCE as one of the pillars of European peace and stability. NATO reaffirmed this approach at its summit in Rome in November 1991. As an important token of NATO’s intentions, at a NATO ministerial meeting in Oslo, Norway, in June 1992, it was agreed that, on a case-by-case basis, NATO would provide support for peacekeeping operations initiated by the CSCE.

The Alliance also called for measures to strengthen the CSCE’s ability to prevent conflicts, manage crises and settle disputes peacefully. Shortly after the meeting in Oslo, as the extent of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia became increasingly apparent, NATO made a similar offer to provide support for UN peacekeeping operations – as was in fact already happening.

If the CSCE was to take on an expanded operational mandate it needed resources. As a “process,” existing CSCE structures were not capable of supporting a more ambitious role. In December 1994, a CSCE Summit meeting agreed to turn the process into a fully-fledged organisation – hence the decision to rename it OSCE.

Staff and financial resources were made available to enable the OSCE to send missions into European nations to mediate disputes, monitor elections and conduct other activities designed to prevent conflict.

Today, NATO and the OSCE work hand-in-hand to deal with potential threats to peace. In Bosnia, the OSCE has played a critical role in helping to establish free elections and to improve respect for human rights. NATO has provided the military support needed to give such efforts a chance to succeed. OSCE monitors and mediators have played important roles in helping to resolve conflicts and to build democracy from Abkhazia and Tajikistan to South Ossetia and Ukraine.

In Kosovo too, in late 1998 and early 1999, NATO provided surveillance and other forms of support for the unarmed OSCE verifiers given the task of trying to ensure that agreements between the two sides in the conflict were respected. NATO and the OSCE have subsequently been fully engaged in international efforts to bring lasting peace and stability to Kosovo.

The relationship between NATO and the OSCE has become an important feature of the new security system which is being developed to meet the needs of the new century.


One of NATO’s biggest challenges of the last decade has been to help to restore peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, first by establishing and leading a multinational, military, Implementation Force (IFOR), of some 60,000 troops, from 1995 to 1996, and subsequently deploying a similar but smaller Stabilisation Force (SFOR) to the region. The mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina represented the Alliance’s first major involvement in operational peacekeeping.

The Stabilisation Force, initially consisting of some 32,000 troops drawn from 38 nations, supports the efforts of the international community and the United Nations aimed at implementing the peace agreement in Bosnia; preventing the conflict from spreading; ending the humanitarian crisis; and helping to create conditions for the country to rebuild itself after the devastation of years of conflict. SFOR has subsequently been reduced and, in mid-2000, consisted of a 20,000-strong peacekeeping mission comprising troops from 16 NATO member countries as well as from 13 Partner countries, including a 1,200-strong Russian contingent. Conflict in the Balkans has been the single most serious threat to stability in Europe since the end of the Cold War. Following the break-up of the Yugoslav Federation in 1991 and the escalating conflicts which ensued, NATO played a central role in efforts to bring peace to this troubled region.

From 1992, together with the Western European Union, NATO monitored and enforced UN sanctions in the Adriatic to limit the flow of arms to the area. The Alliance also monitored and enforced the UN no-fly zone over Bosnia; provided close air support to the UN Protection Force (UNPROFOR) tasked with the protection of personnel involved in humanitarian work in the region; and carried out air strikes to lift the siege of Sarajevo.

In 1995, a combination of military pressures and diplomacy finally brought the different sides to the bargaining table. NATO forces helped prepare the groundwork by conducting air operations against Bosnian Serb forces for 12 days in August and September 1995. This action helped shift the balance of power between parties on the ground and persuade the Bosnian Serb leadership to accept the peace settlement.

A peace agreement was negotiated in Dayton, Ohio, and then signed in Paris on 14 December 1995. The United Nations gave NATO a mandate to help to implement the agreement and, on 16 December, the North Atlantic Council agreed to launch the largest military operation ever undertaken by NATO.

The Implementation Force, consisting of troops from NATO, Partner countries and other nations was sent to Bosnia to maintain the peace, keep the warring factions separated, oversee the transfer of territory between the parties in accordance with the peace agreement, and supervise the storage of heavy weapons in approved sites. Once those initial tasks were accomplished, IFOR supervised continued compliance with the agreement and helped to begin the reconstruction of Bosnia. Some 2,500 kilometres of roads were reopened, over 60 bridges were repaired or replaced, and the airport in Sarajevo and important railway lines were brought back into operation.

IFOR had been given one year to accomplish its tasks. At the end of that year, in December 1996, it was decided that without continuing external encouragement and assistance, it was too early to expect the peace to last. IFOR was therefore succeeded by a Stabilisation Force, known as SFOR, tasked with deterring or if necessary preventing a resumption of fighting, continuing IFOR’s work of encouraging the restoration of a more normal civilian environment, and supporting civilian organisations trying to establish the basis for a lasting peace in Bosnia.

IFOR and SFOR have demonstrated the importance of the partnerships the NATO Allies have established with other countries.

Many Partnership for Peace nations have contributed to these forces, along with forces from numerous countries on both sides of the Atlantic including several non-European states. Russian forces joined IFOR in January 1996 and since then Russia has continued to make a significant contribution to SFOR, demonstrating the potential for future Russia-NATO cooperation

In December 1998, when the Alliance decided to examine options for substantial adjustments in the size and structure of SFOR, it recognised that an international military presence cannot be the sole basis for security and stability in Bosnia in the longer term. NATO therefore initiated a Security Cooperation Programme (SCP), which has made concrete, practical contributions to strengthening stability and promoting reconciliation within the Bosnian defence community.

At the Washington Summit in April 1999, Alliance leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the full implementation of the 1995 Peace Agreement, which established Bosnia and Herzegovina as a single, democratic and multi-ethnic state. NATO’s priorities in Bosnia are:

- maintaining a continued military presence to deter hostilities and providing a secure environment and support for civil implementation;
- achieving progress in returning displaced persons to their homes, something that Alliance leaders in Washington considered vital for political stability and reconciliation; and
- taking steps to promote reconciliation between the armed forces of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska, and to develop the role of the Standing Committee on Military Matters established under the Dayton Peace Agreements, as an effective, centralised defence institution for the country as a whole.

Although the role played by IFOR and SFOR has created the opportunity for the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina to choose peace over war and to work towards the future prosperity of the country, the maintenance of peace will depend on the efforts of the people themselves and on their elected representatives. Preserving a secure environment in which this process can take hold remains SFOR’s core mission, but as conditions within Bosnia have improved, SFOR has been able to play a greater role in assisting the civilian implementation of the peace agreement.

In May 2000, the Peace Implementation Council - the body made up of countries and international organisations responsible for overseeing the Bosnian peace process - identified three strategic areas to take the peace process forward, namely deepening economic reform, accelerating refugee returns, and fostering functional and democratically accountable common institutions.

SFOR has figured actively in efforts to help refugees and displaced persons return to their homes and to help to reform the Bosnian military - currently divided into three ethnically based, rival armies (Bosnian Muslim, Croat and Serb) - in such a way as to avert any prospect of renewed conflict. On a visit to Bosnia in summer 2000, NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson made clear that the country’s military structures had to be brought under a single command if the country wished to be considered for NATO’s Partnership for Peace programme.

Under the terms of the peace agreement, the local Bosnian authorities are responsible for handing over individuals indicted for war crimes to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague. Since they have largely failed to do this, SFOR has itself been active in bringing such individuals to justice. As of August 2000, of the 37 indictees in custody, 21 indicted persons have been arrested and transferred to The Hague. Two others were killed by SFOR soldiers in self-defence during operations to apprehend them and SFOR has assisted in the transfer of a further nine indictees to The Hague.


From the outset of the conflict that erupted in Kosovo in 1998, following the build-up of tension throughout the decade, intensive international efforts were made to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe, to end the violence and to promote a lasting political settlement.

The disintegration of the former Yugoslavia unleashed power struggles among ethnic and religious groups whose rivalries had been contained for decades, while Yugoslavia had been ruled by President Tito. These conflicts were major factors in the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina which NATO helped bring to an end and where NATO forces are helping to lay the basis for lasting peace.

Kosovo is populated mainly by ethnic Albanians. Both Serb and Albanian nationalists claim Kosovo on grounds of history, demography and military conquest. The centre of Serbia’s medieval empire, Kosovo fell under Ottoman rule in the 14th century and remained part of the Ottoman Empire until the Balkan wars early in the 20th century. The predominantly Albanian province was conquered by Serbia and, with the exception of the two world wars, remained part of what became Yugoslavia. A process of Albanian emancipation, which began in the 1960s and culminated in autonomy for Kosovo, was violently reversed in 1989, when Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic altered the status of the region, removing its autonomy and bringing it under the direct control of Belgrade, the Serbian capital.

From then on the potential for full-scale conflict steadily increased.

During 1998, open conflict between Serbian military and police forces and ethnic Albanian forces in Kosovo resulted in the deaths of over 1500 ethnic Albanians and displaced 350,000 people from their homes. NATO countries became gravely concerned about the escalating conflict, its humanitarian consequences and the risk of it spreading to other countries in the region. In October 1998, NATO initiated a phased air campaign against Yugoslavia, designed to force the Milosevic regime to withdraw some of its forces from Kosovo, cooperate in bringing an end to the violence and facilitate the return of refugees to their homes in accordance with UN Resolutions calling for these and other measures. At the last moment, following further diplomatic initiatives, President Milosevic agreed to comply and the air strikes were called off.

The United Nations, concerned about the excessive use of force by Serbian security forces and the Yugoslav army, called for a cease-fire by both parties to the conflict. Limits were set on the number of Serbian forces in Kosovo and on the scope of their operations, following a separate agreement between the government in Belgrade and NATO.

It was agreed, in addition, that the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) would establish a Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM) to observe compliance on the ground and that NATO would establish an aerial surveillance mission. The establishment of the two missions was endorsed by the United Nations. Several non-NATO nations agreed to contribute to the surveillance mission. NATO established a special military task force to assist with the emergency evacuation of members of the KVM, if renewed conflict should put them at risk. During 1998 the situation stopped short of full-scale war but flared up again over allegations and counter-allegations over the repressive role of the Serbian authorities in relation to the people of Kosovo and the uncompromising attitude of the Kosovar independence fighters. In January 1999, following an escalation in the Serbian offensive against ethnic Albanians and the massacre of over 40 civilians in the village of Racak, the situation deteriorated further.

Through concerted initiatives culminating in negotiations in Rambouillet near Paris, the international community sought to pave the way for a long-term political solution to the conflict. Such a solution would have to ensure a greater degree of autonomy and self-administration for Kosovo, while preserving the territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro).

It would have to safeguard the human and civil rights of all inhabitants of Kosovo, whatever their ethnic origin. Stability in Kosovo was also linked to progress in the democratisation process in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as a whole.

NATO supported and reinforced international efforts to bring about a solution by agreeing on 30 January 1999 to the use of air strikes if required, and by issuing a warning to both sides in the conflict. The negotiations in Rambouillet took place from 6 to 23 February and were followed by a second round in Paris, from 15 to 18 March, culminating in acceptance of the proposed peace agreement by the Kosovar Albanians. However, the talks broke up without agreement from the Serbian delegation.

Following the failure of the negotiations, Serbian military and police forces stepped up the intensity of their operations against the ethnic Albanians, moving extra troops and modern tanks into the region. Tens of thousands of people began to flee their homes in the face of this offensive. On 20 March 1999, the OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission was withdrawn from the region, when obstruction from Serbian forces made it impossible for it to fulfil its task. US Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke then flew to Belgrade, in a final attempt to persuade President Milosevic to stop attacks on the Kosovar Albanians or face imminent NATO air strikes. Milosevic refused to comply, and on 23 March the order was given to commence air strikes.

NATO's objectives in relation to the conflict in Kosovo were set out in the Statement issued at the Extraordinary Meeting of the North Atlantic Council held at NATO on 12 April 1999 and were reaffirmed by Heads of State and Government in Washington on 23 April 1999.

They were:

- a verifiable stop to all military action and the immediate ending of violence and repression;

- the withdrawal from Kosovo of the military, police and paramilitary forces;

- the stationing in Kosovo of an international military presence;

- the unconditional and safe return of all refugees and displaced persons and unhindered access to them by humanitarian aid organisations;

- the establishment of a political framework agreement for Kosovo on the basis of the Rambouillet Accords, in conformity with international law and the Charter of the United Nations.

The achievement of these objectives and of measures to ensure their full implementation was regarded by the Alliance as the only way of bringing to an end the violence and human suffering in Kosovo.

During the conflict, NATO forces were at the forefront of humanitarian efforts to relieve the suffering of the thousands of refugees forced to flee Kosovo by the Serbian ethnic cleansing campaign, building refugee camps, reception centres and emergency feeding stations, as well as moving many hundreds of tons of humanitarian aid to those in need. The Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) established at NATO in May 1998 also played an important role in the coordination of support for relief operations conducted by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

On 10 June 1999, after an air campaign lasting 78 days and confirmation that the full withdrawal of Yugoslav forces had begun, NATO's air operations were suspended. The NATO Secretary General announced that he had written to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and to the President of the United Nations Security Council, informing them of these developments and indicating NATO's readiness to undertake a new mission to bring the people back to their homes and to build a lasting and just peace in Kosovo. The first elements of the NATO-led peacekeeping force (KFOR) entered Kosovo on 12 June as Serb security forces began to withdraw. Since then NATO has formed the core of the international peacekeeping mission to Kosovo, or Kosovo Force (KFOR), consisting of some 46,000 military personnel from 39 countries. A number of NATO's Partner countries, including Russia, as well as other non-NATO countries, contribute to the force. The mission is seeking to build a secure environment within the Serbian province in which all citizens, irrespective of their ethnic origins, can live in peace and, with international aid, democracy can begin to grow.

KFOR’s mandate comes from the Military Technical Agreement signed by NATO and Yugoslav commanders on 9 June 1999 and from UN Security Council Resolution 1244 of 12 June 1999. Its responsibilities cover the following areas:

- deterring renewed hostility and threats against Kosovo by Yugoslav and Serb forces;
- establishing a secure environment and ensuring public safety and order;
- demilitarising the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA);
- supporting the international humanitarian effort;
- coordinating with, and supporting the UN Interim Administration Mission (UNMIK), which is the international civilian presence in Kosovo.

In line with the Military Technical Agreement, the Yugoslav army and Serbian police withdrew from both Kosovo and a five-kilometre buffer zone between the province and the rest of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Since then, more than 1.3 million Kosovo Albanian victims of ethnic cleansing have returned to their homes and villages; the murder rate has fallen from 50 to seven per week; and more than 16,000 houses, 1,165 schools and almost 2,000 kilometres of roads have been cleared of mines and unexploded ordnance. Despite flashpoints, such as Mitrovica, life has returned to most towns with Pristina, the capital, now a bustling centre of cars, commerce and shops.

KFOR troops conduct between 500 and 750 patrols every day, guard more than 550 key sites, and man more than 200 vehicle checkpoints. Although many Serbs have fled Kosovo, most did so during the conflict or immediately after KFOR’s arrival, when troops had not yet been deployed to protect the population against ethnic violence. More than half of KFOR’s manpower is engaged in the protection of Serbs and other minorities and many have returned to the province.

Following an undertaking by the KLA to disband, KFOR has collected and destroyed 3,800 small arms and a further 8,500 weapons have been voluntarily handed in by former KLA fighters. KFOR is now helping build the Kosovo Protection Corps, a local civil emergency force, which will in time be accountable to the province’s democratically elected leadership. KFOR troops also patrol Kosovo’s borders and man crossing points.


At the Summit meeting in Washington in April 1999, Alliance Heads of State and Government set in train work on the further development of the European Security and Defence Identity and initiated discussions to address a number of key aspect of this process. These included arrangements to ensure the development of effective mutual consultation, cooperation and transparency between the European Union (EU) and the Alliance, based on the mechanisms established between NATO and the Western European Union (WEU) The role of the Western European Union is being progressively transferred to the European Union. Informal contacts were therefore established between the NATO Secretary General and the EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy;

Discussions in Washington also focussed on the participation of non-EU European Allies and practical arrangements for EU access to NATO planning capabilities and NATO’s collective assets and capabilities. Alliance work on the implementation of the agenda established at the Washington Summit is continuing, taking into account the evolution of relevant arrangements in the EU. In mid 2000, discussions between NATO and the European Union were placed on a more formal, institutional basis.

An essential part of the development of ESDI is the improvement of European military capabilities.

The Alliance’s Defence Capabilities Initiative (DCI) agreed in Washington, is designed to ensure the effectiveness of future multinational operations across the full range of NATO missions and will play a crucial role in this process. Objectives arising from the DCI and the efforts of the EU to strengthen European capabilities are mutually reinforcing.

The Helsinki meeting of the Council of the European Union held in December 1999, established a “Headline Goal” for EU member states in terms of their military capabilities for crisis management operations. The objective is to enable the EU to deploy, by the year 2003, and sustain for at least one year, military forces of up to 50,000 to 60,000 troops to undertake the full range of the so-called Petersberg tasks set out in the Amsterdam Treaty of 1997.

The Petersberg tasks consist of humanitarian and rescue tasks; peacekeeping tasks; and tasks of combat forces in crisis management, including peacemaking, whose role would be to undertake military operations led by the EU in response to international crises, in circumstances where NATO as a whole is not engaged militarily. This process is part of the EU’s resolve to develop a common European policy on security and defence which would underpin its Common Foreign and Security Policy, while avoiding unnecessary duplication with NATO structures.

In addition, the EU decided to create permanent political and military structures, including a Political and Security Committee, a Military Committee and a Military Staff, to ensure the necessary political guidance and strategic direction for such operations. Interim structures have been put in place. The EU also decided to develop arrangements for full consultation, cooperation and transparency with NATO and to set up appropriate structures to ensure the necessary dialogue, consultation and cooperation with European NATO members which are not members of the EU, on issues related to European security and defence policy and crisis management.

The Alliance is committed to reinforcing its European pillar through the development of an effective European Security and Defence Identity and of separable but not separate capabilities, which could respond to European requirements and at the same time contribute to Alliance security. The assumption of greater responsibility for their own security by the European member countries is intended to strengthen the Alliance as a whole and to lead to a stronger and more balanced transatlantic relationship. NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson has emphasised repeatedly that “more Europe” will not lead to “less NATO”.

On the contrary, "a stronger Europe means a stronger Alliance".

As part of this process, the Alliance has over recent years worked out mechanisms and procedures, in close coordination and cooperation with the WEU, to enable the latter to use NATO assets and capabilities for crisis management operations under its own political control and strategic direction. This includes the concept of “Combined Joint Task Forces” (known by the acronym “CJTF”), which gives the Alliance the necessary flexibility by allowing for separable but not permanently separate capabilities. These mechanisms and procedures are being put to the test in exercises. In February 2000, the first joint NATO-WEU crisis management exercise was held.

Explanatory notes.

1. The European Union (EU) was established on the basis of the Treaty of Rome signed on 25 March 1957 by Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom joined in 1973, Greece in 1981, Portugal and Spain in 1986, and Austria, Finland and Sweden in 1995. 2. The Western European Union (WEU) has its origins in the Brussels Treaty of Economic, Social and Cultural Collaboration and Collective Self-Defence, signed in 1948 by Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Subsequently, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain also joined the organisation. 3. In the Maastricht Treaty on European Union signed in 1991, EU leaders agreed on the development of a Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) "including the eventual framing of a common defence policy which might in time lead to a common defence". The Treaty referred to the Western European Union as an integral part of the development of the European Union and requested the WEU to elaborate and implement decisions and actions of the European Union with defence implications.

4. The former NATO Secretary General, Dr. Javier Solana, was appointed EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy and Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union in 1999. This role was subsequently combined with the role of Secretary General of the Western European Union. ADAPTING THE ALLIANCE FOR NEW MILITARY TASKS

Today's NATO must be able to respond to a variety of security challenges rapidly and effectively.

It must be sufficiently flexible not only militarily, but also politically, to play its part in resolving security questions which may not simply consist of direct threats to the Alliance itself.

The continuing adaptation of the Alliance is guided by three fundamental objectives: to ensure the Alliance’s military effectiveness and ability to perform its traditional mission of collective defence while undertaking new military roles; to preserve the transatlantic link, by strengthening NATO as a forum for political consultation and military cooperation; and, to strengthen the European role within the Alliance by creating the possibility for NATO-supported task forces to perform missions under the direction of the Western European Union nations and, in time, of the European Union. Responding to the need to ensure the Alliance's continued military effectiveness, member countries have agreed on changes in NATO's integrated military structure designed to provide command and force structures adapted to the needs of the 21st century.

The role of the integrated military structure of NATO is to provide the organisational framework for fulfilling the military responsibilities and undertaking the military tasks given to the Alliance by its member governments. Some of those tasks have to do with the basic obligation of the Alliance to defend its member countries against threats to their security, in accordance with Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty. Others relate to the implementation of the Alliance’s new missions, that is, operations other than those required by the commitment to collective defence of Article 5. NATO has very few permanent military forces and only relatively small integrated, multinational staffs at the various military headquarters and agencies which make up the integrated military command structure. The majority of so-called ”NATO Forces” are forces that remain under national control and only become available to the Alliance in specific circumstances. They are then placed under the responsibility of NATO military commanders. The integrated military command structure is the agreed basis for organising, training and controlling these forces.

The new security environment has allowed NATO countries to reorganise their forces. In most cases, this has meant introducing major reductions in nuclear weapons, cutting back conventional ground, air and naval forces by 30% to 40%, and reducing the levels of readiness at which many of these forces had previously been maintained.

NATO countries have also endorsed a blueprint for developing a new NATO military command structure designed to enable the Alliance to carry out the whole range of its missions more effectively, including crisis management, peace-keeping or other peace support operations.

The new structure comprises two Strategic Commands (SCs) – one for the Atlantic and one for Europe – with a simplified subordinate structure of regional and sub-regional commands. It involves a reduction in the number of command headquarters located in different member countries, from 65 to 20. The result is designed to provide a structure that is more flexible and better adapted to NATO’s present-day requirements.

This facilitates cooperation between NATO and its Partner countries. Moreover, the new structure also incorporates a framework for commanding operations involving rapidly deployable, multi-national, multi-service units adapted to the requirements of the Alliance’s Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) concept.

The transition to the new command structure is a complex process, calling for new headquarters to be activated and former headquarters to be deactivated in a coordinated way, while ensuring that there is no overall reduction in the operational effectiveness of the Alliance. The whole process has to be managed within existing resource limitations and will not be fully implemented before the year 2003.

At the April 1999 Summit Meeting in Washington, Alliance leaders also addressed the second objective which has guided the process of adaptation. Reaffirming the importance of the transatlantic dimension of the Alliance, they took further initiatives to strengthen NATO's overall role as the principal forum for political consultation and military cooperation among Alliance member and Partner countries. In particular, they launched a new Defence Capabilities Initiative (DCI) to ensure the effectiveness of future multinational operations across the full spectrum of Alliance missions in the present and foreseeable security environment. The DCI places special focus on improving interoperability among Alliance forces and, where applicable, between Alliance forces and those of Alliance Partner countries.

The fulfilment of the third objective of the Alliance's adaptation process has called for changes to enable European nations to take increased responsibility for regional security; and to enable Partner nations to participate in NATO operations. The concept of Combined Joint Task Forces (CJTFs) was one of the means developed to meet these needs.

At the January 1994 NATO Summit meeting in Brussels, approval was given to the idea of creating Combined Joint Task Force headquarters as part of NATO’s integrated command structure. The concept is less complex than it sounds.

A force is any grouping of military capabilities, manpower and equipment in organised units. A task force is a grouping that has been organised to achieve a specific mission or task. A task force is usually disbanded as soon as that mission is accomplished and the units return to their parent commands. The term joint means that two or more military services (army, navy, air force or marines) are part of the task force.

Combined means that forces of two or more nations are involved.

The CJTF initiative was designed to provide flexible command arrangements within which allied forces could be grouped to take on a wide variety of missions beyond the borders of Alliance countries. Specifically, the concept is designed for the following purposes:

- to give NATO’s force and command structure sufficient flexibility to respond both to Alliance security requirements and to new missions.
- to facilitate the use of NATO forces and command structures for operations run by the Western European Union (WEU), which is the defence organisation chosen as the framework for constructing a “European pillar” within NATO. Its membership includes only European countries. Working within the framework of the WEU, European nations would be able to undertake missions with forces that are “separable but not separate” from NATO. Gradually, it is intended that the role played by the WEU will be assumed by the European Union (EU).
- to facilitate the participation of non-NATO Partner countries in operations, exercises and training which take place in the framework of the Partnership for Peace programme of cooperation.

Following the January 1994 Brussels Summit meeting, NATO member countries began the difficult job of turning agreements in principle on the adaptation of the Alliance to the post Cold War world into programmes of action. One of their important tasks was to give effect to the decision to strengthen the European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI) within the framework of the transatlantic Alliance. At critical meetings in Berlin in June 1996, NATO Foreign and Defence Ministers agreed on significant new steps which would meet this requirement. In particular, the Allies approved the implementation of the CJTF concept, along with a series of agreements designed to create the basis for enabling Europe to develop its own “European Security and Defence Identity” within NATO. The CJTF concept has already been tested in several Alliance exercises. Alliance operations, such as the peacekeeping role which NATO has undertaken in Bosnia and Kosovo, could be conducted in the future through CJTF headquarters. Implementation of the concept will also make it possible for the European Allies to take responsibility for future military operations in which the Alliance as a whole is not involved, with the support of NATO’s military capabilities. Under the agreements reached, NATO assets and capabilities would be made available for future military operations commanded by the Western European Union (WEU). Decisions would be made regarding these arrangements by consensus, on a case-by-case basis.

To facilitate such operations, European officers in the NATO structure would be able to act under command arrangements making them responsible to the WEU, when appropriate.

Following the Berlin decisions, it was decided that the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, a senior European commander, and other European officers in the NATO structure, would have dual roles enabling them to act as both NATO and when required, as WEU commanders. Without duplicating resources and personnel, this would permit the Western European Union countries to use the NATO command structure in order to organise and conduct military operations to be undertaken primarily under European auspices. The measures agreed upon at Berlin were designed to help to adapt NATO to its new tasks, to respond to calls for more effective sharing of international security burdens, and to create a more cohesive European role in the Alliance. They signalled the development of a more flexible and dynamic military structure, as well as the commitment of the United States, Canada and the European Allies to ensuring that NATO can respond to today’s security needs. They also reflected consensus on the need to create greater European cohesion in the field of defence and security.


The aim of NATO’s Defence Capabilities Initiative or DCI is to ensure that the Alliance can meet the security challenges of the 21st century and is prepared to deal effectively with crises like that in Kosovo, as well as maintaining the ability to fulfil its fundamental responsibilities for the defence of its member countries. In the words of Secretary General Lord Robertson: “The Defence Capabilities Initiative is designed to ensure that all Allies not only remain interoperable, but that they also improve and update their capabilities to face the new security challenges.”

Launched at the Alliance’s 50th anniversary Washington Summit in April 1999, DCI covers almost all areas of military capability. This includes the mobility of forces; their logistical support; their ability to protect themselves and engage an adversary; and the command and control and information systems they use in order to ensure that, when necessary, they can deploy rapidly and efficiently to the locations where they may be needed to manage crises, if necessary, for extended periods.
New Security Challenges
Since the end of the Cold War, the European security environment has become more complex. Formerly, NATO’s defence planning was primarily concerned with maintaining the capabilities needed to defend against possible aggression by the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact. Today the most likely threats to Alliance security come from internal conflict in countries on Europe’s fringes, such as in the former Yugoslavia, or from proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

As a result, NATO must now be ready to deploy forces beyond Alliance borders to respond to crises, in addition to being able to defend against deliberate aggression. Moreover, as in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo, where NATO forces are currently deployed, future Alliance military operations are likely to be markedly different from the kind of operation for which planning was undertaken during the Cold war. They will probably take place outside Alliance territory; they may last for many years; and they will involve troops of many nations working closely together - principally from member states but also, in some instances, from partner countries. Moreover, crisis management tasks demand different skills from those required for fighting wars.
Meeting the Challenges
To meet these new security challenges, NATO has to ensure that its forces have the equipment, personnel and training needed to successfully carry out all their tasks. Lessons learned in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo, as well as the experience of other multinational operations involving NATO countries, have demonstrated where changes are needed. The Defence Capabilities Initiative was launched to ensure that NATO is ready for every eventuality. A High Level Steering Group was formed to oversee the programme. The Group, which is made up of senior officials from national capitals and chaired by the Deputy Secretary General of NATO, meets every few weeks to review progress and guide the process. DCI will also contribute to the development of the European Security and Defence Identity, or ESDI, by strengthening European defence capabilities and the European pillar of NATO. This will enable the European allies to make a stronger and more coherent contribution to NATO.
DCI Targets
DCI aims in particular to improve Alliance capabilities in the following five, overlapping areas:

- “mobility and deployability”: i.e. the ability to deploy forces quickly to where they are needed, including areas outside Alliance territory;

- “sustainability”; i.e. the ability to maintain and supply forces far from their home bases and to ensure that sufficient fresh forces are available for long-duration operations;

- “effective engagement”; i.e. the ability to successfully engage an adversary in all types of operations, from high to low intensity;

- “survivability”: i.e. the ability to protect forces and infrastructure against current and future threats;

- and “interoperable communications”: i.e. command, control and information systems which are compatible with each other, to enable forces from different countries to work effectively together.

To enhance NATO’s ability to deploy forces in distant crisis areas, member states are investigating improved arrangements for transporting troops and equipment. This includes the sharing of resources and arrangements enabling commercial planes and ships to be called upon if necessary. The use of commercial resources would require arrangements to be put in place well in advance and clear legal arrangements to be made for their use.

Logistics is a crucial element in any military operation. The DCI initiative aims to enhance the numbers and capabilities of Allies’ logistic units. The scope for pooling of logistic capabilities is also being examined in order to increase efficiency. This will lead to the creation of Multinational Joint Logistic Centres as part of the Combined Joint Task Force Concept.

Modern technologies can permit military force to be applied in a discriminating way which reduces collateral damage and can shorten a conflict by demonstrating that continued aggression can not succeed. Such technologies include day/night and all-weather weapons systems and precision-guided munitions. DCI is also addressing these areas.

To improve the protection and survivability of forces engaged in military operations, NATO is looking at ways of enhancing military capabilities. Improvements are being examined in reconnaissance and surveillance systems; air defence systems; and systems to counteract the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction.

At the same time, as the forces of different countries work more and more closely together, for example in undertaking crisis management operations, the need increases to ensure that they can communicate effectively at every level. The DCI aims to ensure that technological advances do not degrade communications interoperability. It also seeks to ensure that advances in technology are put to the best use in developing communications methods for military use. NATO AND ARMS CONTROL

During the Cold War, a top priority for the NATO Allies was to seek reductions in nuclear and non-nuclear weapons deployed by NATO and Warsaw Pact nations and to reduce the danger of military confrontation leading to war. In particular, NATO strongly supported U.S. negotiations with the Soviet Union aimed at reducing strategic and intermediate range nuclear forces and East-West multilateral negotiations designed to reduce non-nuclear or “conventional” forces in Europe.

Arms Control and Reductions Relating to Conventional Forces

Negotiations aimed at cutting non-nuclear forces in Europe began in 1973 as a direct result of NATO initiatives.

These East-West talks on “Mutual and Balanced Force Reductions (MBFR)” went on for several years without major progress and eventually gave way to new negotiations on “Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE).” As the Cold War came to a close, the CFE negotiations produced a landmark agreement reducing non-nuclear military forces from the Atlantic to the Ural Mountains and subjecting the remaining forces to tight controls.

The CFE Treaty of 19 November 1990 is the most comprehensive, legally binding agreement on conventional arms control ever produced. Its goal, now largely accomplished, was to reduce imbalances in the numbers of major conventional weapon systems in Europe in order to eliminate the potential for surprise attack or large-scale offensive operations. Since the Treaty entered into force on 9 November 1992, some 60,000 battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, pieces of artillery, attack helicopters and combat aircraft have been removed from the area and destroyed. One of the agreement’s biggest accomplishments has been its contribution to transparency — making all military establishments and forces more visible to all other states. The Treaty’s requirements for the timely provision of information and for elaborate inspection procedures help to reduce concern about the intentions and capabilities of neighbouring states. It would be very difficult to “hide” any significant military capabilities in today’s Europe, partly because of the provisions of the CFE Treaty.

Throughout 1999, efforts continued among the countries concerned, to adapt the CFE Treaty to the new security conditions in Europe, with a view to completing this process by the end of the year. Bearing in mind that the Treaty was originally developed in a framework provided by two opposing systems, it had to reflect the reality of an evolving system of cooperative security throughout Europe. At the same time, the adaptation had to take into account the special concerns of states located on the southern and northern extremities of Europe. Negotiations on the adaptation of the Treaty were successfully completed in Spring 2000.

The CFE Treaty runs in close parallel with measures adopted by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) designed to promote transparency and stability through annual exchanges of information on military forces, random verification inspections, and the presence of observers at military exercises. Arms Control and Reductions in Relation to Nuclear Forces

During the Cold War, NATO relied heavily on the possible use of nuclear weapons to deter the leadership of the Soviet Union from any conceivable attempt to threaten or use military force against Western Europe in order to achieve its ideological or political goals. The Soviet Union deployed such large numbers of military forces in Central and Eastern Europe that NATO countries worried they might not be able to stop Soviet-led troops and tanks if they were to launch an attack, however unlikely this might be.

In accordance with the strategy of “flexible response,” adopted by NATO in 1967, NATO therefore declared that it would use whatever weapons necessary – including nuclear weapons – to defeat any attack. This was intended to raise sufficient concern in the mind of Soviet leaders to prevent, or deter, aggression.

When the Cold War ended and the Warsaw Pact was disbanded, NATO radically reduced its reliance on nuclear weapons. Although they remained in existence and therefore formed part of NATO’s long term insurance against future risks to security, they could be given a much less prominent role. Adjustments were made to NATO’s nuclear strategy and deployments. Less than one year after the Berlin Wall had fallen, NATO leaders proclaimed that "the circumstances in which use of nuclear weapons might have to be contemplated had become even more remote than in the past". In October 1991, NATO decided to eliminate 80 percent of its short and medium range nuclear weapons systems. By 1993, almost all categories of nuclear weapons in these ranges, such as surface-to-surface missiles and nuclear artillery shells, had been removed. Limited numbers of aircraft-delivered nuclear bombs remained, although the level of these weapons was also reduced by well over 50 per cent. NATO decided that these cuts were justified and could safely be made, despite the fact that many short and medium range nuclear weapons continued to be deployed in Russia. However, public statements that Russia had increased its reliance on tactical nuclear weapons were a matter of concern. Equally, in view of the potential risk of accidents or of the weapons being stolen or falling into the wrong hands, the question of the protection and safekeeping of nuclear systems maintained by Russia is of the utmost importance. Meanwhile, the strategic nuclear weapons of NATO were also being reduced. The United States, under the Strategic Arms Reductions Treaty with Russia (START I), reduced its strategic nuclear weapons from over 10,000 to 6,000 and agreed to further reduce them to between 3,000 and 3,500, once Russia had ratified the next reductions treaty known as START II. The Treaty was ratified by the Russian Duma (parliament) in May 2000. The United Kingdom and France, NATO’s other two nuclear powers, have also made major reductions in their nuclear programmes.

NATO’s remaining nuclear weapons are not aimed at any particular country. Their purpose is to prevent any state from believing that it can coerce a NATO member country by using military threats.

The deployment of some US nuclear weapons in Europe also helps to preserve a strong security link between the United States and the European members of the Alliance. NATO’s Nuclear Planning Group is a forum in which Defence Ministers discuss nuclear issues and nuclear and non-nuclear member countries take part in the formulation of NATO’s policies in this field.

In the context of NATO’s decision to invite new countries to join the Alliance, it was important to demonstrate, firstly that NATO’s policies with regard to nuclear forces and nuclear arms reductions remained unchanged; and secondly that no countries outside NATO needed to fear that nuclear weapons would be moved closer to their territory or would represent any threat to them. NATO countries therefore announced that they had “no intention, no plan and no reason” to deploy nuclear weapons on the territory of any new member countries.

The biggest risk from nuclear weapons and from other weapons with the potential to cause mass destruction, such as chemical and biological weapons, comes from the spread of these weapons to additional states, in areas of the world where regional conflicts pose a serious threat that they might be used. NATO and many of its Partner countries are therefore working intensively to develop new initiatives to halt this dangerous trend and to establish effective non-proliferation agreements.


In 1992, in support of the United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs, NATO hosted an international workshop on the Use of Military and Civil Defence Assets in Disaster Relief. This workshop - in which 20 international organisations and 40 nations participated - provided the foundation for subsequent Civil Emergency Planning (CEP) cooperation activities with NATO's Partner countries, primarily in the field of disaster management and response.

In 1994, after the launching of NATO's Partnership for Peace programme (PfP), four CEP disaster-related cooperation activities were conducted. Since then, the scope of these activities has broadened to include the entire spectrum of civil emergency planning. CEP activities in the framework of PfP have increased dramatically. With 75 activities in 1999, CEP now constitutes the largest non-military component of PfP.

In most countries civil emergency planning is a responsibility which affects all levels of government, to varying degrees.

From the outset, NATO's CEP cooperation activities have therefore been aimed at involving all levels and branches of government in practical cooperation, firstly within each country; secondly, among NATO and Partner countries; and thirdly, with other relevant international organisations. Objectives have included the following:

- transforming the focus from civil defence and wartime mobilisation to the protection of civilian populations from the effects of all kinds of civil emergencies;
- developing effective crisis management and response capabilities;
- fostering regional cooperation and interoperability; and
- promoting civil-military cooperation.

Establishment of the EADRCC

In 1998, EAPC Foreign Ministers approved a Russian proposal to create a Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Capability, to serve as the focal point for the coordination of international assistance among member countries of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) in the event of a major disaster within the EAPC region. Inaugurated on 3 June 1998, the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) is located at NATO HQ and is staffed by personnel seconded from EAPC countries. A Liaison Officer from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) is also attached to the Centre. NATO staff work closely with the UN-OCHA in their efforts to improve international disaster response coordination mechanisms. NATO is also an active participant in the Core Group of the UN's European Coordination Programme. This focuses on improving the coordination of humanitarian assistance and disaster response in Europe and the Newly Independent States - an area which corresponds to the membership of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council.

The EADRCC was called into service only days after opening in 1998, when it received a request for assistance from UNHCR, following the large influx of refugees from Kosovo into Albania. The Centre arranged an emergency airlift to Tirana - with aircraft provided by Belgium and Norway - of 16 flights carrying 161 tons of essential humanitarian aid. Subsequently, the EADRCC actively monitored the humanitarian situation in and around Kosovo and, in April 1999, stepped up its coordination of humanitarian assistance from NATO and Partner countries to alleviate the plight of the Kosovar refugees.

It has subsequently played a pivotal role, at the request of the UN High Commission for Refugees, in ensuring that the United Nations, NATO military authorities and civilian agencies can work together effectively.

In November 1998, UN-OCHA - fully extended in Central America at the time, coping with the effects of Hurricane Mitch - requested that the EADRCC take the lead in carrying out the necessary international coordination in response to extensive floods in western Ukraine. Ten EAPC countries provided prompt assistance. Following the August 1999 earthquake in north eastern Turkey, the EADRCC was actively engaged in efforts to coordinate international support and, in September 1999, was similarly engaged when Greece was hit by an earthquake. Cooperation with Russia

In 1996, NATO and Russia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Cooperation in Civil Emergency Planning and Disaster Preparedness. Russia has actively participated in most CEP activities under PfP and has also organised and hosted a number of major exercises, seminars, workshops and meetings. In 1997, the Senior Civil Emergency Planning Committee met in Moscow - the first NATO committee to meet in Russia. Also in 1997, under the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council, a joint pilot project was launched on the use of satellite technology in disaster management.

Cooperation with Ukraine

In 1997, NATO and Ukraine signed a memorandum of understanding on Cooperation in CEP and Disaster Preparedness with emphasis on the Chernobyl Disaster. Under the auspices of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, the NATO-Ukraine Joint Group has also organised and conducted a number of CEP cooperation activities in the aviation, food and agriculture, and medical fields.

In 1996, ‘Trans-Carpathia 96’ took place in Lviv. This was a week-long programme consisting of a command post and field exercise followed by the annual seminar and meeting of NATO’s Civil Protection Committee. Support for Albania

As provided for in its Individual Partnership Plan, assistance is being given to Albania to develop legislation and implementation arrangements for civil emergency planning and disaster preparedness. Following the approval of the new Albanian constitution, and building upon a March 1999 PfP Workshop in Tirana devoted to civil emergency planning, a year-long implementation effort began, involving parliamentarians, appropriate ministries, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and selected non-governmental organisations. Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Capability

Follow-on work includes identifying and committing the various civil and military elements and capabilities - from individual EAPC countries - that will comprise the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Unit (EADRU).

A field exercise involving activation and deployment of selected elements of the EADRU took place in 1999, in cooperation with UN-OCHA.


The NATO Science Programme encourages scientists from the Euro-Atlantic area to work together for the advancement of science, progress and peace. Collaborative activities are designed to create enduring links between researchers in Partner and NATO countries and stimulate the cooperation essential to progress in science.

The Programme also aims to protect the human resources of the scientific community in Partner countries, thereby contributing to overall security. Awards are made on the basis of applications received from individual scientists in EAPC countries. Divided into different sub-programmes, the NATO Science Programme provides the following types of support:

Science Fellowships are available to provide training for young researchers in preparation for their future careers.

Cooperative Science and Technology Grants initiate research cooperation and establish enduring links between scientists of NATO and Partner countries. Collaborative Linkage Grants fund collaboration on research projects, and other funds are awarded for the organisation of high-level tutorial Advanced Study Institutes and Advanced Research Workshops.

Research Infrastructure Support offers help to Partner countries in structuring the organisation of their research and creating the required basic infrastructure for computer networking. The Computer Networking Infrastructure Grant falls under this sub-programme.

Science for Peace supports Partner countries in applying Research and Development to industry in cooperation with NATO countries.

Further information about these programmes and application forms are available on the NATO Science web site at http://www.nato.int/science.

In January 1999, the NATO Science Programme was restructured in order to focus all its efforts on funding collaboration between Partner-country and NATO-country scientists. The Programme no longer supports projects involving collaboration exclusively between scientists in NATO countries.

Any application for support must include scientists from Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) countries in order to qualify.

A Few Figures

- Each year about 13,000 scientists from EAPC countries are involved in the NATO Science Programme.
- In 1998, more than 6,000 scientists took part in 104 NATO scientific meetings.
- Almost 1,000 scientists from Russia alone have received grants to carry out work with scientists in NATO countries.
- About 500 Partner scientists have visited the United States with NATO support for scientific collaboration or training.


From 23-25 April 1999, NATO held the 15th Summit in its 50 year history in Washington, DC. The Summit took place during an exceptional period in the Alliance’s history, in the midst of a commemoration of its 50th Anniversary, tempered by an unprecedented NATO air campaign aimed at ending and reversing the repressive policies and ethnic cleansing being conducted by the government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia against the Kosovar Albanians.

Although much of the focus at the Summit was necessarily on the crisis in Kosovo, in Washington NATO leaders nonetheless also turned their attention to a host of other programmes and accomplishments with long-term implications for the Alliance.

The achievements of Washington fulfilled the promise of the Madrid Summit held two years earlier, in July 1997. At Madrid, the Alliance invited the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland to begin accession talks and promised that the door would remain open to others. In Washington, the leaders of these three countries took their place for the first time at the Summit table, and the Alliance unveiled an initiative in the form of a Membership Action Plan designed to help other interested countries prepare for possible membership in the future. “The three new members will not be the last,” Alliance leaders stated in The Washington Summit Communiqué. At Madrid, NATO leaders had pledged to enhance the Partnership for Peace programme and the full range of Alliance partnership activities; in Washington, leaders noted the progress achieved in this regard and unveiled new initiatives designed to continue the work. At Madrid, Alliance leaders had requested a review of the Strategic Concept (in essence the roadmap of Alliance tasks and the means to achieve them); in Washington a new Strategic Concept was approved, one that reflected the transformed Euro-Atlantic security landscape at the end of the 20th century. At Madrid, NATO and Ukraine had signed a Charter on a Distinctive Partnership; in Washington NATO leaders and the Ukrainian President held their first Summit meeting and acknowledged the importance of Ukraine to Euro-Atlantic security and stability.

The work of the Washington Summit is reflected in all the Summit documentation, but most comprehensively in the Washington Summit Communiqué and the Strategic Concept. The Communiqué captures, in a single document, the major themes of the Summit and of the Alliance at this key period in its history.

The Strategic Concept equips the Alliance for the security challenges and opportunities of the 21st century and guides its future political and military development.

The concrete accomplishments of the Summit - in the form of decisions and programmes – set the stage for the Alliance to enter the 21st century. While recognising that the Euro-Atlantic security climate had changed dramatically over the last ten years, the Strategic Concept also acknowledged “the appearance of complex new risks to Euro-Atlantic peace and stability, including oppression, ethnic conflict, economic distress, the collapse of political order, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.” It set out the Alliance's purposes and tasks for the future and reflected the resolve of Alliance member countries to maintain an “adequate military capability and clear preparedness to act collectively in the common defence….”

An important feature of the transforming military posture of NATO is the development of the European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI) within the Alliance. At the Washington Summit, Alliance leaders welcomed the progress achieved so far and called for continuing work to make ESDI a reality.

NATO also launched an important Defence Capabilities Initiative, designed to help Alliance military forces become more mobile, interoperable, sustainable and effective. This is a critical area of cooperation within the Alliance on which increasing emphasis will be placed in the coming years. Similarly, the Alliance has introduced changes in the integrated military command structure reflecting the transformed security environment. These changes will allow NATO to carry out its operations more efficiently.

The Washington Summit Communiqué outlines another new Alliance initiative on Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). NATO’s principal aim with regard to these weapons is to “prevent proliferation from occurring, or, should it occur, to reverse it through diplomatic means.”

In order to respond more effectively to the challenges of proliferation, NATO has established a WMD Centre at NATO Headquarters. The Centre will coordinate an integrated political-military approach to the following tasks: encouraging debate and understanding of WMD issues in NATO; enhancing existing programmes to increase military readiness to operate in a WMD environment; and increasing the exchange of information on WMD destruction assistance programmes among allied countries.

Even as they welcomed three new members to their first Summit, NATO leaders emphasised that the door would remain open to others and, as a practical manifestation of the Open Door policy, unveiled a Membership Action Plan (MAP).

The MAP is a programme of activities from which interested countries may choose, on the basis of national decisions and self-selection. The programme covers five areas: political and economic issues, defence/military issues, resources, security and legal issues. NATO stresses that the programme should not be regarded as a list of criteria for membership, and that active participation in the Partnership for Peace and in the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council remains essential for countries interested in possible future membership. The Alliance underscores the fact that any decision on membership would be made on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the Madrid Summit Declaration and the Washington Summit Declaration.

After the Summit-level meeting of the North Atlantic Council, leaders or representatives from the countries in the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council also met in Washington. EAPC leaders discussed the situation in Kosovo and expressed their support for the demands of the international community, and their abhorrence of the policies of violence, repression and ethnic cleansing being carried out in Kosovo by the authorities of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Leaders expressed their support for broad-based security and for economic and democracy-building efforts for the south-eastern Europe region. They also endorsed a report entitled “Towards a Partnership for the 21st Century – The Enhanced and more Operational Partnership”, which aims to improve the ability of the Alliance and Partner forces to operate together in the future.

Although Russia declined to participate in the Washington Summit because of events in Yugoslavia, NATO leaders, through the Washington Summit Communiqué, reiterated their commitment to partnership with Russia under the NATO-Russia Founding Act. They also underscored the fact that close relations between NATO and Russia are of mutual interest and of great importance to stability and security in the Euro-Atlantic area. NATO leaders also held their first-ever summit with the President of Ukraine. Both sides welcomed the progress in their Distinctive Partnership and discussed a variety of Euro-Atlantic security issues.

The Washington Summit Communiqué reiterates the importance of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue as an integral part of the Alliance’s cooperative approach to security.

NATO leaders directed the Alliance to pursue early implementation of enhancements to the political and practical cooperation initiated under the Dialogue.

The achievements of the Washington Summit were both practical and conceptual, the fruit of several years of work. They also reflected the immediate priorities of NATO member countries, in particular the urgency of bringing to an end the conflict in Kosovo, restoring the rights of the people of Kosovo, and providing the kind of military force which would be essential to preserve the peace and rebuild the structures of a multiethnic society once the conflict was over. Despite the difficulties facing it, the NATO-led Kosovo force, which began its work on 12 June 1999, continues to work towards this end. The Washington Summit decisions, and those which the Alliance has taken subsequently in relation to Kosovo and to other issues, demonstrate that NATO is an Alliance able to adapt to changing times and ready to take on the challenges of the next century.


The North Atlantic Treaty, signed in Washington on 4 April 1949, created an alliance of ten European and two North American independent nations committed to each other’s defence. Four more European nations joined the Alliance between 1952 and 1982, bringing the number of members to 16. The admission of Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland on March 12, 1999 brought the number of members to 19.

NATO’S members are Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States.

The North Atlantic Treaty, itself a very simple document, conforms to the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations and has its juridical basis in the Charter.

In Article 3 of the Treaty, member countries commit themselves, separately and jointly, to maintaining and developing their individual and collective defence capabilities. Article 4 of the Treaty provides a framework for consultations between the member countries, whenever one of them feels that its security is at risk. It is this article which underlines the fundamental importance of the wide-ranging consultation process which takes place within the Alliance.

Another article - Article 5 - refers to the right to collective self-defence as laid down by the UN Charter.

It states that an armed attack on one or more members of NATO will be deemed an attack against them all.

The admission of new members to the Alliance is in line with Article 10 of the Treaty which states that other European states in a position to further the principles of the Treaty and contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area may be invited to accede. After the recent accession of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, Alliance leaders have indicated that the door remains open to other countries in the future.

In other articles of the Treaty, each member country undertakes to contribute to the development of peaceful and friendly international relations in a number of ways, including by strengthening its free institutions and promoting conditions of stability and well-being. The Treaty also provides for efforts to eliminate conflict in the international economic policies of member countries and to encourage cooperation between them.

The Transformation of the Alliance

NATO is an alliance committed to the collective defence of its member countries as the basis for preserving peace and ensuring future security, but, following the momentous changes which occurred in Europe in the 1990s, it has become a catalyst for extending security and stability throughout Europe. The transformation of NATO, following the end of the Cold War and the end of the division of Europe, is aimed at generating a higher degree of cooperation and mutual trust, from which the whole of Europe will benefit.

At the core of the Alliance are its member countries. The representatives of the governments of these countries, meeting together, represent the highest political authorities of the Alliance. The decisions which they have taken jointly in the past decade have enabled the Alliance to act in unprecedented ways, both to extend the security enjoyed by its members further afield and to bring to an end conflicts threatening the stability of the Euro-Atlantic area.

From 1992 to the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement at the end of 1995, the Alliance acted in support of the United Nations to end the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina. After the signing of the agreement, it established a multinational Implementation Force (IFOR) responsible for implementing the military aspects of the Dayton Agreement. Subsequently, in 1996, IFOR was succeeded by a similar but smaller NATO-led Stabilisation Force (SFOR).

SFOR continues to work together with other organs of the international community to create the conditions for the country to rebuild itself.

The conflict which erupted in Kosovo in 1999, the human suffering it involved, and the risks it represented for peace and stability, not only in the Balkans but in other regions, led to the decision taken by the governments of the Alliance, in March 1999, to take military action to bring the conflict to an end. An air campaign by Allied forces resulted in the withdrawal of Serb military, police and paramilitary forces responsible for the brutal repression and ethnic cleansing which was being conducted in Kosovo on the orders of the government of President Milosevic.

The air campaign was suspended on 10 June 1999 and agreement was reached on the stationing of an international military presence in Kosovo. The deployment of the multinational Kosovo force, known as KFOR, led by NATO, created conditions for the return of many thousands of Kosovar Albanian refugees who had fled the country and for the beginning of the process of reconstruction.

The crises in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo broke new ground in terms of the willingness of the international community to intervene in order to end repression and violence unprecedented in Europe since the end of the Second World War. The Kosovo conflict was inevitably at the top of the agenda at the Washington Summit in April 1999. NATO leaders assessed the situation with a view to reinforcing the determination of the international community to bring about a lasting political settlement and to create the conditions for the restoration of peace and the safeguarding of the future security of the region. The Summit also marked NATO's 50th anniversary. NATO leaders reaffirmed the enduring value of the transatlantic link and the fundamental purposes of the Alliance - the safeguarding of the freedom and security of its members, its commitment to the principles of the UN Charter, the upholding of democracy and the constant struggle for the peaceful resolution of disputes.

The Washington Summit was also an occasion for consolidating the changes that had taken place in NATO in the 1990s as the Alliance adapted itself to meet the requirements of today’s world. These include the enlargement process; the reshaping of the Alliance's military structures to enable it to handle new roles in the field of crisis management, peace-keeping and peace-support in the Euro-Atlantic area; and the strengthening of the European role in security matters.

As part of this transformation, NATO is forging a practical partnership with many non-NATO countries with the aim of creating a more transparent Europe in which the scope for misunderstandings and mistrust is reduced.

Central to this idea is the “Partnership for Peace” (PfP) programme, which promotes cooperation among the NATO Allies and its Partner countries in a vast array of security-related activities.

The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), involving 46 countries, including the NATO member countries, provides the political framework for PfP and a forum for discussion on security-related issues. Heads of State and Government of the EAPC countries met in Summit session in Washington, on the day following the NATO Summit.

Over the past few years, Russia and Ukraine have developed special independent relationships with the Alliance, enabling them to pursue, in different ways, cooperative programmes on a wide range of practical security-related issues of benefit to their countries and to Europe as a whole. Both countries are members of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council.

Despite Russian objections to the NATO air campaign, NATO countries worked closely with representatives of the Russian government in the context of diplomatic efforts to bring about an end to the conflict in Kosovo and a lasting political solution.

NATO is confident that NATO-Russia cooperation in the wider sphere will continue to develop positively. Successful cooperation efforts, first in the Implementation Force (IFOR), and then in the Stabilisation Force (SFOR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and subsequently in the Kosovo Force (KFOR), as well as in many other spheres, have demonstrated the benefits of working together.

A programme of special cooperation is also being pursued, in the context of NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue, with seven non-NATO Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia). The goal of the Mediterranean Dialogue is to contribute to mutual understanding and enhance security and stability in the Mediterranean region. Within NATO itself, different committees are responsible for planning ahead in such areas as political consultations, defence planning and operations, armaments cooperation and others. The committees recommend action to the North Atlantic Council - NATO’s highest decision-making body - or to NATO’s Defence Planning Committee, which deals primarily with questions relating to NATO's integrated military structure.

NATO also provides a forum for active cooperation among its member states and its Partner countries in areas such as civil emergency planning, disaster relief and scientific and environmental programmes. Although each nation bears the principal responsibility for its own planning to deal with civil emergencies, NATO works to ensure that civil resources can be used in the most effective way, when the moment requires.

Consultations also take place on economic questions related to security, including issues such as defence spending and the conversion of defence industries to civilian purposes.

NATO’s role is often a coordinating one. In November 1998, the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordinating Centre (EARDCC), inaugurated the previous June, coordinated a relief operation to flood-hit parts of Western Ukraine. Following the deterioration of the situation in and around Kosovo, the EADRCC also played a key role in coordinating humanitarian aid from NATO and Partner countries to alleviate the plight of the Kosovar refugees and assist neighbouring countries.

NATO also runs a number of international exchange programmes relating to scientific and environmental problems of concern to NATO and Partner countries. These programmes provide support for high-level scientific research, encourage development of national scientific and technological resources, and enable cost savings to be achieved through international collaboration. A number of these activities are designed to tackle defence-related environmental problems, affecting neighbouring nations, which can only be resolved through cooperative action.


NATO 2000, CD-rom -

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