MFP Implementation Director Appointed
The Multiple Futures Project (MFP), especially its Findings and Recommendations (F&R), have resonated very positively with Alliance nations and its partners, as well as with other international actors and institutions. The MFP F&R will now be moved forward within ACT along three main Lines of Effort (LoE):
1 Inform and Support a new Strategic Concept Development. This line is the main effort and work is ongoing.
2 Support Policy Forming Processes. Here, specific actions and coordination to strengthen interaction with NATO HQ are initially the main focus.
3 Align Transformation work. This line focuses on building a common transformation situational awareness and drives ACT transformational work.
All of these areas support NATO HQ, Allied Command Operations, Nations and Partners.
MFP Implementation Director
In order to leverage the work of ACT in the above three areas, an MFP Implementation Director (MFP ID) has been appointed. The MFP ID will be supported by an Implementation Team (link for contact) to build situational awareness across the command and oversee the development of a coherent and synchronized ACTION PLAN of specific tasks and activities with ACT Divisions. The MFP ID will coordinate the execution (and ongoing development) of the action plan.
The MFP ID has developed an “Operational Design” which will be used as a coherent task identification process inside ACT’s Divisions. The Operational Design identifies two main objectives, Informed Policy Makers and Aligned Transformation Work through which ACT supports its customers, the NATO structure and nations.
The Operational Design has identified three lines of effort (LoE) to achieve these two main objectives. For each LoE, ACT’s Divisions/Subdivisions will identify Specific contributions (Sc) with specific objectives and desired results. These Sc represent those concrete areas of activity that are considered essential to achieving the overall LoE. Each Sc (as well as others that may be introduced by Divisions/Subdivisions) will be analysed to define necessary work. The Sc represents the work across all ACT Divisions which, when sequenced and synchronised will constitute the ACTION PLAN that can be coherently executed to implement the MFP F&R.
Multiple Futures Project conducts Military Implications Workshop -
January 29, 2009
In the shadow of the Acropolis, in the historical city of Athens, the birthplace of democratic society, the Multiple Futures Project (MFP) looked to the future with its 12th workshop during its third and final phase.
The Athens workshop is the second and final workshop focussed specifically on military implications of the Multiple Futures. It follows a workshop conducted a week earlier in Mons where military staff from Allied Command Operations (ACO) and subordinate commands, NATO Headquarters (International Military Staff), the European Union and the European Defence Agency kicked-off the MFP discussion on military implications.
This Balkan and Southeast European Workshop on Military Implications was conducted by Spanish Air Force Brig. Gen. Jose Fernandez-Demaria, Allied Command Transformation’s (ACT) MFP Director and Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Strategic Concepts, Policy and Interoperability (DACOS SCPI).
“The Athens workshop yielded further input and refinement to the military implications developed in the MFP,” said Demaria. “Most significantly, it provided the much-needed perspective to both military implications and the overall MFP. The results of the workshop enable us to now finalize our analysis of military implications, present an update to the Military Committee and then complete the MFP Report.”
The workshop was attended by military representatives from Greece and the region, as well as academics and experts on regional security representing 14 NATO and Partner Nations. The workshop was hosted and opened with remarks by Lt. Gen. Grigorios Triantafyllidis, Greek Evolution Center Director (Transformation) and arranged by Brig. Gen. Ilias Alevetsovitis, of the Greek Evolution Directorate, who recently held the Strategic Engagement general officer post in ACT.
After an initial briefing on the MFP, five presentations, arranged by the Hellenic General Staff, further inspired discussion and set the context for a productive discussion on military implications:
1. “The effect of Russia’s re-engagement in South East Europe and the regional contribution to European energy security,” presented by Dr. Constantinos Filis, Director; Russia, Eurasia and South East Europe Centre Institute of International Relations and Senior Associate member of St. Antony’s College, Oxford and Associate, South East European Studies at Oxford University.
2. “South East Europe’s Security Environment by 2030: Local, Regional and Global Factors,” presented by Dr. Harry Papasotiriou, Associate Professor, Department of International and European Studies, Panteion University.
3. “Future Asymmetric Threats in the Balkans – S.E. Europe Military implications,” presented by Dr. Athanasios Drougos, Senior Defence Analyst.
4. “Transparency: The Foundation of Global Peace, Security and the Contribution of NGOs,” presented by Lieutenant General (HAF, ret’d) Stratos Skliris.
5. “Islam in the Balkans – A New Geostrategic Factor?” presented by Sotirios Roussos, Associate Professor Pelopponese University.
The afternoon session focused on the MFP implication deductions process. Syndicate discussions were geared toward the selection of key Multiple Futures military implications and the perceived role for NATO for each implication selected.
“Good discussion and debate was achieved in all syndicates and the workshop closed with all objectives achieved,” said Canadian Navy Cmdr. Rick Perks, Multiple Futures Project Manager. “The success of this workshop was due in large part to the outstanding support provided by the Greek General Staff.”
The Athens workshop is the 12th in a series of roundtable and workshop events conducted by the MFP since May 2008. These events have engaged some 45 nations and their national experts and institutions in building the core body of the MFP body of work.
The Multiple Futures Project team will meet with the Military Committee on Feb. 5 to discuss the Military Implications study.
NATO Discusses Security Prospects in the High North - January 28-29 2009
The Seminar on Security Prospects in the High North, hosted by the Icelandic Government, took place in Reykjavik on 28 -29 January to address emerging challenges as global warming affects the Arctic region.
The seminar brought together NATO Secretary General, a number of Allied Ministers and Ambassadors, the Chairman of the Military Committee, the two Strategic Commanders, as well as many other decision-makers and experts from Allied countries.
Addressing the seminar, NATO Secretary General said: “we are here today, not in response to a specific threat, but in response to a change, and with a view to developing a better understanding of that change”.
He further added: “The changes caused by the progressive melting of the ice cap are of concern to many countries beyond those of the Arctic Council and NATO. Indeed, the whole of the international community stands to be affected by many of the changes that are already taking place. In this situation, NATO needs to identify where the Alliance, with its unique competencies, can add value.”
In his presentation, Mr. De Hoop Scheffer pointed to a number of contributions that NATO could make in this respect, including relief operations, search and rescue missions, as well as serving as a forum of discussion and utilizing the opportunities inherent to the NATO-Russia Council.
In his turn, the Prime Minister of Iceland, Mr. Geir Haarde, addressed the guests: “I believe that this relatively modest seminar in Reykjavik can make a major contribution towards promoting greater understanding of security prospects in the High North and, thereby, enhance security and stability in the region.”
JUST RELEASED: MFP SECURITY IMPLICATIONS - INTERIM REPORT - December 18, 2008
The following has been newly published by the Multiple Futures Project:
This Interim Report provides both the North Atlantic Council (NAC) and Military Committee (MC) with initial insights on the security implications facing the Alliance derived from engagements with NATO nations, partner countries, and a variety of international, governmental, and non-governmental experts. The report focuses mainly on security implications and their potential consequences for the Alliance which can be used to inform the strategic dialogue with regard to the future role of the Alliance and the capabilities required.
Contact the MF Project : email@example.com
Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation Italian Navy Adm. Luciano Zappata addresses the Hungarian Parliament - November 21, 2008
Transcript from DSACT speech:
It is a real pleasure and an honour to address the Hungarian Parliament today. As the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Tranformation I would like to address some topics of military interest, and I bring you the warmest regards of the Comander, General Jim Mattis.
Let me begin from the strategic environment where NATO operates, which is very complex and continuously changing and then I will focus on some aspects of military transformation.
The level of ambition of the Alliance is challenged by the high tempo of current operations and the resources required to sustain these efforts. However, NATO must also remain focused on potential future threats to our forces and populations. The security environment can change rapidly and we must ensure that we do not find ourselves unprepared.
The list of security challenges is long. For instance: terrorism, energy security, piracy, climate change, human trafficking, mass migration, cyber dimension, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. And it is far from being complete.
The current financial crisis will impact likely on the defense budgets of the member Nations: we must become not only more efficient in the way we develop capabilities increasing the speed of the cycle from the development of an idea to the fielding of the capability. But we must also do our best to assess which capabilities will be likely needed in the future.
Finally, the alliance will soon start the debate about the declaration on allied security and possibly a new strategic concept. This process is a great challenge, but also a unique opportunity.
ACT HAS INITIATED THE "MULTIPLE FUTURES PROJECT"
Under this effort we are building a series of possible futures. This work will enable NATO and Nations to better understand the challenges the alliance is likely to face as it navigates out to the year 2030 in order to better understand how we may organize, equip our forces and define our future capability requirements.
In doing so, we have reached from East to West in the Alliance calling on our national experts and institutions to provide national and regional inputs. Last July, here in Budapest, we held one of our first expert workshops at the Hungarian National Defence University - a very successful and valuable event.
Additionally, we have reached out to the EU and other major international organizations and many governmental and non-governmental organizations to discuss this work and explore ways in which to cooperate in this endeavour.
In essence, the Multiple Futures Project seeks to articulate what may threaten the very fabric of our societies in the future.
A few weeks ago, the SACT Seminar was held in Copenhagen. This seminar is important, as it is one of the few opportunities where the Permanent Representatives of the North Atlantic Council and of the Military Committee meet with SACT to discuss the most pressing transformational issues.
This year’s seminar was focussed on the Multiple Futures Project. The potential futures, ranging from a deceptively stable world, to a return to power politics were discussed to derive security implications and corresponding military implications.
These implications will contribute to a strategic dialogue for a better understanding of possible threats. They will also support decision makers in the consideration of policy options and subsequent guidance to better align pre-existing defence planning, policy and capability development efforts within NATO.
This work will enable us to address also an inclusive and open approach of NATO in support of other international organisations.
The changing nature of our militaries, in this environment, calls for the adoption of a comprehensive approach. This is already well evident and it reconciles the apparent difference between defense and security. We cannot approach these complex situations in isolation. We need to address the question: can our Nations afford to develop parallel sets of almost the same capabilities for military and civilian organizations? And what is the proper balance?
On the same line, in order to continue to drive the transformational process to be more adaptive and responsive to new challenges and changing conditions, there are political challenges, which we must address collectively. Let me summarize some of them:
Re-balancing territorial defence with security beyond NATO’s border: Static forces are not a solution to tackle the threats the Alliance faces. Current operations show that expeditionary forces are necessary keeping in mind that, if needed, such forces have to also ensure territorial defense. ACT is working actively on this issue.
Deployability of forces need to be developed further: We need to have an accurate picture of NATO forces in terms of deployability and sustainability. In this area ACT, through the Defense Planning Team can help Nations to better assess their own capacities. But what forces are able to do when deployed is as important as the deployment itself.
Training, therefore, is a main tool to promote common understanding of complex situations, common processes, and interoperability… and it must be supported by a unified approach to lessons learned, in order to ensure we adapt and learn fast. ACT provides expertise in all those areas.
Multinational capabilities: Offer greater efficiency, economies of scale and interoperability are all benefits of cooperative approaches…
ACT has established a list of capability shortfalls and redundancies and can provide nations with advice considering the proper balance between conventional and unconventional capabilities.
The Alliance has a need for a cooperative defence planning: It is important for a military organization to evaluate nation defence. This strikes at the heart of unfettered military advice and is why defense planning remains in ACT’s remit. We are currently working to make it more transparent, simple, and more useful to Nations. We need to interact better with nations to understand national planning priorities.
All these political questions require national analysis to shape a common understanding.
They deal directly with the role of ACT with regard to the Nations and highlight the importance of achieving interoperability. I am here today to tell you that ACT is ready to help Hungary in these various dimensions.
NATO needs to link and synchronize its action with other organizations.
In order to act in a coordinated way and apply a wide spectrum of instruments, we need to network and develop synergies with major actors, such as the EU, the UN and the various NGOs.
Moreover, future operations will be conducted together with Partner Nations. This means that interoperability, collaboration and information sharing have to be our priorities if we want to be effective and successful. In this effort, we are supported by the national centers of excellence, which make specific expertise available to NATO.
The NATO Response Force remains an important tool to transform: its current operational status of today is far from being satisfactory. But I would like to mention the power of the transformational role of the NRF. Indeed, involving forces in the NRF allows Nations to promote the indispensable interoperability required by complex operations. As we must work together, Nations and their militaries, owe their forces the proper preparation both in terms of common procedures and interoperable assets….the NRF allows Nations to test their preparation and should be used more often.… it is up to Nations to use this tool. ACT offers this possibility.
Tirana ATA in English: Defence Minister Oketa Says Albania 'On Verge of Joining' NATO - November 19, 2008
"Albania is now on the eve of joining the biggest North Atlantic Alliance," Minister of Defense Gazmend Oketa said at a joint news conference with Supreme Allied Commander Transformation for NATO, James Mattis.
Report by Suada Daci
Speaking to reporters at the end of conference "NATO and partners exploring future strategies", held in Tirana, Oketa said, "Organization of this activity in Albania is part of our commitments to strengthen partnership with NATO and its strategic commands in the future".
"Theme of the conference was of a special importance as it promotes cooperation among allies and partners in coping with risks and other common peace and security challenges in the future".
Asked why our country was selected to host this conference, Minister of Defense explained that "Albania was chosen due to successful reforms in Armed Forces, contribution these forces have given in international peacekeeping missions, and due excellent cooperation the Albanian Armed Forces and Ministry of Defense have established with the Alliance's Transformation Command"
On his part, General James Mattis, hailing Albania's and Armed Forces' achievements, said, "Albania will become a NATO member state very soon.
UPCOMING EVENT INFORMATION: Chiefs of Transformation Conference (COTC) Read-Ahead Package - November 17, 2008
Nov. 17, 2008 - The 2008 Chiefs of Transformation Conference (2008 COTC) is an annual event directed towards Flag/General Officer level decision makers involved in Transformation. Representatives from NATO and partner countries (Partnership for Peace, Istanbul Cooperative Initiative, Mediterranean Dialogue and Contact Countries), NATO Command Structure, Centres of Excellence and NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Centre, as well as European Union Military Staff and European Defence Agency are invited to participate.
For more information please visit the 2008 COTC Webpage
JUST RELEASED: Strategic Military Partners Conference (SMPC) Analysis Report - October 21, 2008
Nov. 14, 2008 - The following has been newly published by the Multiple Futures Project: SMPC Analysis Report - 14 Nov 08
The purpose of this Analysis Report on the Strategic Military Partners Conference 2008 is to memorialize the results of the SMPC by documenting the discussions, conclusions, and recommendations. The report is intended to contribute to the MFP and its efforts to develop a series of plausible futures that will be used as a tool to explore, examine and identify security implications to NATO.
SMPC 2008 Highlights Multiple Futures - November 05, 2008
Albania was invited in April 2008 to begin accession talks to join the Alliance through the Bucharest Summit Declaration issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Bucharest April 3.
As a result, Tirana proved an ideal location to hold the SMPC and continue discussions within the ACT-led Multiple Futures Project (MFP) - this year's conference theme.
Supreme Allied Commander Transformation U.S. Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis praised Albania's hospitality and enthusiasm for becoming NATO members. "I salute this country and its friendly people for how we were welcomed here," he said. "This is one of the most coherent, well put-together plans that my command has seen in the corporate history of the staff members I have. This country, this military has earned full status in NATO."
Albanian Minister of Defence, the Honorable Gazmend Oketa explained he looks forward to each aspect of the membership process and what his country’s future within the Alliance will bring. "Once we have become members of NATO we will be treated as if we have been members for 60 years," he said. "The Albanian government and the Ministry of Defence have very clear ideas about what to expect once we become members."
The Albanian delegation joined other member and partner nations at this year’s event for a series of in-depth MFP-oriented sessions and workshops.
MFP provides a logical approach to thoroughly scan the horizon, develop a broad understanding of the corresponding security implications and support strategic dialogue.
The project encourages and supports strategic dialogue as a vehicle for developing common, long-term insight, explained Spanish Air Force Brig. Gen. Jose A. Fernandez Demaria, Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff, Strategic Concepts, Policy and Interoperability. “Looking to the future and trying to be better prepared is a positive thing,” he said.
Through the means of a futures study, MFP creates an intellectual framework that articulates plausible future environments facing the Alliance. “The aim of the conference is to gather the inputs and the views of our partners. We’re not only looking at challenges, but also opportunities,” Demaria added. “(We’re looking for) anything that will happen in the future that would provide an opportunity for a better, more secure world.”
SMPC is an annual event dedicated to providing a unique venue for all NATO, Partnership for Peace (PfP), Mediterranean Dialogue (MD), Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) and selected Contact Country (CC) Chiefs of Defence for frank and open discussions on issues important to partners and NATO.
Top NATO Leaders Discuss Muliple Futures During SACT Seminar - October 16, 2008
By U.S. Navy Master Chief Petty Officer Priscilla Kirsh
The Multiple Futures Project (MFP) was the topic of discussion as NATO’s Secretary General, the North Atlantic Council, the Chairman of NATO’s Military Committee and Permanent and Military Representatives met in Copenhagen, Denmark Oct. 15 and 16 for the annual Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) Seminar.
MFP aims to explore what the future could possibly look like 10-25 years from now, and create a framework that allows military planners to consider the implications of those possible futures.
NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said the Multiple Futures Project is most timely given our evolving security environment. He emphasized the importance of planning for the future.
“Looking ahead is one thing, but drawing the right conclusions from what we see is another,” he said. “When it comes to security, the saying ‘ignorance is bliss’ does not apply.”
The MFP encourages strategic dialogue to develop common, long-term strategic insight across the Alliance. These insights allow SACT to provide the best military advice to strategic decision makers in the Alliance and its nations.
Chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, Italian Navy Adm. Giampaolo DiPaola how the MFP will help deliver the right capabilities for the future.
“Transformation is the process which leads us from today to tomorrow and to transform the proper way in the right direction, we need to look to tomorrow. That’s what the Multiple Futures study is doing. We will be in a position to have the right capabilities and the right doctrine and military posture to respond to the challenges of tomorrow,” he said.
Danish Minister of Defense His Excellency Søren Gade described the importance of Multiple Futures to the transformation of NATO, and how the alliance has a responsibility to recognize the changes in the security environment.
“We have to look into the future even though we have to deal with the daily problems, and that’s the reason why it’s important. We might miss a point or two if we don’t take the time to study those scenarios,” Gade said.
ACT will continue to develop the Multiple Futures Project in close coordination with Alliance and Partner Nations. Individual nations lead transformation, and venues such as SACT Seminar provide an opportunity to further collaborate in order to capture national perspectives, gather feedback and foster continuing discussions to further develop the MFP.
Berlingske Tidende:" NATO is Preparing for the Worst" - October 15, 2008
The world is changing and NATO's top leaders are preparing right now in Copenhagen for a new world filled with deep conflicts and many more countries with weapons of mass destruction.
By Christian Brøndum - Berlingske Tidende
Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. NATO's top civilian and military leaders explain that the alliance at a seminar in Copenhagen right now is preparing itself for a world that is even more full of conflicts between rich and poor, between countries with aging populations and those with exploding populations and massive waves of immigration to the developed part of the world. The conflicts are going to be between countries, which under pressure from climate change and dwindling resources are fighting for economic and military power. Conflicts between the old and new powers like China and India, are demanding their share of power and wealth. "We are here to focus on the military capabilities that NATO needs in the future and to help nations to start the strategic dialogue," said James N. Mattis, NATO's supreme commander for transformation, as he and Defense Minister Soren Gade (V), Defense Tim Sloth Jorgensen and military committee chairman, explained the seminar's purpose.
"We were all horrified by the terror attacks of 11 September 2001 on the United States of America. And one thing is certain: There will be something terrible again. But if we can predict what might happen, we might avoid or minimize the damage," said Soren Gade. "We cannot know for sure, but we might have been able to avoid 11 September, if we at that time had been in Afghanistan with a comprehenive approach between military and civilian efforts, as we are now, " he added.
Søren Gade used a quote from the automotive industry's founder, Henry Ford, to describe what NATO is looking for. "Henry Ford once said that if he had asked people what they needed, they would have asked for faster horses. And if there is anything NATO does not need, it's the equivalent of faster horses.”
At the seminar in Copenhagen participants include the chief of NATO's military committee, the Italian Admiral Giampolo Di Paola and the U.S. General James N. Mattis. And it is especially the latter, as the driving force behind NATO's future studies which plays a key role in getting NATO members to think strategically and long-term on potential dangerous developments in the next 25 years. Especially small countries like Denmark, with limited future research establishments will, according to Defense Chief Tim Sloth Jørgensen, benefit from a strategic process like the one that NATO is now completing. Even if the results come late in relation to the domestic Defense Commission's work, they will still have an impact on the discussions both within the Commission and between the political parties next year when they are going to discuss defense.
This is how the world can go astray
NATO's special command with responsibility to transform the alliance's military forces so they can handle the demands of a very uncertain future have devised four scenarios for the future of the world's gloomy state 25 years from now, and the military implications that will be necessary. The project will support a common strategic understanding within NATO and will culminate in a final report next year. Several threats are repeated in the four scenarios.
1st The dark side of a divided world
Climate change and lack of resources has led to a growing gap between the developed market economy countries and countries that are excluded from globalization and innovation that is driving the market in 2030. Friction between the countries is reinforced by nationalism and rapidly growing poor populations. The developed countries have become increasingly independent of oil, and countries that used to rely on their oil resources, and neglected to invest in education, technological infrastructure and innovative culture, have seen a steady erosion of their economy. Large crowds are moving to developed countries, struggling with the growing rift in their society.
MILITARY REQUIREMENTS: Deploy forces to ensure global communication and access to resources. Support civil-emergency response and humanitarian efforts.
2nd Deceptive security
On the surface there is a general feeling in the developed countries of deceptive security. They are most concerned with their own internal problems like integrating new workers into their aging populations. Younger people are flocking to the developed countries and leaving a 'brain drain' in the poorer parts of the world, so the gap between rich and poor countries are made deeper. NATO countries focus on their own problems and the struggle for resources can leave them blind to global threats, while supply routes are interrupted and piracy and human and drug trafficking grows.
MILITARY REQUIREMENTS: Aid to civilian authorities, including support for the police. Ensure the territorial integrity and protect its citizens. Identify the emerging international threats.
3rd Clash of Modernities
Strong technological development and faith in rationality have linked the technologically advanced countries in the global network. This network is challenged from the outside by poor and authoritarian regimes in the global backyard. Within these networked societies are challenged by a delicate balance between the system's ability to supervise society on the one hand and the demands for civil liberties on the other hand. In the developed world, highly effective urban areas have grown up with with a very high standard of living, and the Earth's middle and upper classes are working and exchanging information without boundaries. Tensions arise on the border between the wealthy urban communities and the poor areas, where authoritarian regimes reject the urban community's culture and values. Destabilization occurs when regimes seek power through disturbance of the town's supply of resources.
MILITARY REQUIREMENTS: Protecting military computer networks, secure resources and supply routes, protect society's most valuable installations against asymmetric attack. Protect citizens and borders and change the military organizations tasks.
4th New Power Politics
Rising prosperity in the world and the widespread proliferation of weapons of mass destruction have increased the number of great powers that are conducting power and deterrence politics. One or two superpowers have been replaced by numerous regional power centers that compete for resources and influence in a constant quest for military and economic power. International institutions and law will be weakened, while countries pursue their own interests and nationalism flourishes. States with ambitions to join the club with the most powerful nations using nuclear technology to gain influence, energy independence, deterrence and stronger military capability. Risk of conflict between states. Ideals have been replaced by power politics.
MILITARY REQUIREMENTS: Conventional and nuclear deterrence. Ability to detect and prevent weapons of mass destruction. Ensure critical infrastructure and territorial integrity. Deploy forces to secure critical resources to ensure citizens and to ensure communication and prevent genocide.
Top NATO Leaders Meet in Copenhagen to Discuss Multiple Futures Project - October 14, 2008
NORFOLK, Va. – Alliance leaders, including the Secretary General, North Atlantic Council (NAC) and the Chairman of NATO’s Military Committee (MC) meet in Copenhagen, Oct. 15-16, 2008, for the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) Seminar. The Seminar will provide the NAC and the MC with a platform for strategic debate about the long term security challenges, risks and threats facing the European and North American populations. The basis for this discussion is SACT’s Multiple Futures Project (MFP).
The aim of the MFP is to explore what the future could possibly look like 10-25 years from now, and create a framework that allows military planners to consider the implications of those possible futures. The MFP encourages strategic dialogue as a vehicle for developing common, long-term strategic insight across the Alliance. These insights allow SACT to provide its best military advice to strategic decision makers in the Alliance and its nations.
The Alliance has agreed processes in place for defence planning and capability development. The MFP will not replace these more technically focussed processes, but it can inform them. The military advice generated through the MFP will support strategic decision makers in their consideration of policy options and their subsequent guidance to defense planning and capability development processes.
NOTE TO MEDIA: There will be a media availability conducted in English with the Danish Minister of Defense H.E. Søren Gade, NATO Chairman of the Military Committee Adm. Giampaolo Di Paola and SACT Gen. James Mattis, at 17:30 (CEST), Oct 15, at the conference site in the Marriott Hotel, Copenhagen. Prior to the availability, interested media may also attend a background briefing on the Multiple Futures Project at 16:30 (CEST). Media wishing to cover these events must register no later than 18:00 (CEST), 14 Oct, with SACT Public Affairs, U.S. Navy Master Chief Petty Officer Priscilla Kirsh. There is more information on the MFP website.
Multiple Futures focus of upcoming SACT Seminar - October 10, 2008
Headquarters, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (HQ SACT) will host members of the North Atlantic Council, Military Committee and other key NATO leadership at its annual seminar Oct. 15-16 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The seminar aims to foster relationships and focuses primarily on the Multiple Futures Project.
The Multiple Futures Project identifies how the world may change in ways, such as uncontrolled urban growth in currently undeveloped nations; energy security and the ability of oil and gas producers to increase investments and production in order to meet global demand; and globalisation, which examines the deepening economic problems, political instability and cultural differences countries face.
The Alliance has agreed processes in place for defence planning and capability development. According to U.S. Navy Capt. John Malfitano, SACT Seminar project officer, the Multiple Futures Project will not replace these more technically focussed processes, but it can inform them.
“The military advice generated through the Multiple Futures Project will support strategic decision makers in their consideration of policy options and their subsequent guidance to defence planning and capability development processes,” said Malfitano.
The outcome of discussions such as this will be used to develop the best possible military advice and ensure the Alliance will produce the right capabilities and meet potential threats.
“With the support of national experts, Multiple Futures will help to form a shared vision and support strategy, capability and policy development,” said Malfitano. “Support from experts will help to prepare us by examining the threats, challenges and opportunities associated with any given future.”
ACT will lead and facilitate NATO’s unceasing quest to enhance military effectiveness and interoperability by building on the work of the Multiple Futures Project to deliver more relevant and interoperable capabilities for future operations.
JUST RELEASED: Multiple Futures Phase 1 - Analysis Report - August 8, 2008
August 8, 2008 - The following has been newly published by the Multiple Futures Project: Multiple Futures Phase 1 - Analysis Report
This working copy delivers the analytical products derived from the tools (tables) used at the Round Tables and Workshops. When the written summaries of the Round Tables and Workshops arecomplete they will be added to this report and will be published in both print and electronic form.
Meeting provides way ahead for Multiple Futures Project - August 01 2008
News from ACT Public Affairs
Norfolk, Va. — The Multiple Futures (MF) Project Team comprised of leadership from Headquarters, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (HQ SACT) and various subject matters experts gathered at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, for two days of planning and discussions July 29-30.
The aim of MFs is to explore what the future could possibly look like 10-25 years from now, and create a framework that allows military planners to consider the implications of those possible futures.
“The purpose of the offsite was to close out phase one of the Multiple Futures project and kick off the second phase,” said Canadian Navy Cmdr. Rick Perks, Multiple Futures Project Manager. “It was a planning and decision making activity that brought together leadership and senior concept developers to get their advice as we plan out this phase and how best to achieve success.”
The first phase of the project was focused on understanding and analysing drivers of change, which are a path that a major trend is taking and examines how the trend will impact the world and future environment.
“Climate change is happening and it is something we are seeing that is driving change within the world,” said Perks. “Climate change is causing us to think about resources in the arctic and sea lines through the Northwest Passage. It is causing us to think about agriculture, food production and changes, and how it could lead to migration in the world.”
As part of phase two, the project team will develop various possible future realities.
“We are building three futures and incorporating some potential surprises or discontinuities,” said Perks. “We will then take those futures and deduce the security implications for each one then take those to the experts and Nations to build on the work that we have started.”
The planning and preparation conducted during the offsite will lead up to an important milestone for the project.
“At the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) Seminar in October, we will present to the North Atlantic Council (NAC), Military Committee and NATO’s Secretary General the futures that we have derived based on our analyses of the drivers and get their feedback on the work we have done. The goal is to get their support to further develop futures and implications to be used by the Alliance.”
Perks explained that the input of people outside the core team is vital to preparing for the SACT Seminar.
“They give us the perspective we need from people who have experience presenting things to the NAC in a way that makes sense to improve our chances of success,” said Perks. “The concept developers are like a ‘red team.’ We are using them as a reality check for laying out our process and ensuring it makes sense. They ask the tough questions like ‘Why are you choosing to do this?’ It is great because it forces us to defend why and explain the logic behind our decision making. This is such an important project that we want to ensure the intellectual rigor by choosing and planning processes that will be defendable.”
The Multiple Futures Project will run through the Spring of 2009 at which time a major summary conference will be held.
NATO holds milestone meeting on effort outlining global concerns - July 24 2008
By Fawzia Sheikh - Inside The Pentagon
Norfolk, Va. - NATO held a key meeting last week in its bid to identify potential global security concerns for the next 10 to 25 years and understand the military implications of the scenarios, according to Canadian navy Cmdr. Rick Perks, the initiative’s project manager. The alliance’s military committee discussed Allied Command Transformation’s ongoing project, known as “Multiple Futures,” from July 17 to 18 in Norfolk, VA, Perks told Inside the Pentagon. Specifically, talks focused on key drivers of change that could transform NATO’s military-strategic dialogue. The meeting marks the end of the first phase of the project, he said.
Collectively, drivers are “those things out there in the world beyond the control of the alliance that can affect the future by leading to change,” Perks explained, noting there was a solid interaction with the military committee. One is the changing state capacity — “looking at power and influence in the world and what’s happening with that,” he said, referring to the influence of state and non-state actors.
Moreover, NATO is examining trends related to energy and resources such as food and water, Perks said. The broader impact of globalization as a whole, the effect of climate change on the future security environment and world views and ideologies are also the subject of discussion, he said.
Speaking at a security and defense conference last month, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer discussed what he describes as emerging threats. Among these are the growing number of failed states that may provide havens for terrorists or organized crime; the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction that may be exacerbated by the expanding use of peaceful nuclear energy; and the dangers that climate change is increasing competition over water and other resources, weakening fragile states and provoking waves of migration, noted De Hoop Scheffer.
More important than the individual drivers of change, Perks maintained, is “how these drivers intersect and what are the interesting things that we can learn from considering these drivers together.” Perks said the study’s next phase is due to take place in August. He said this stage involves building a “futures landscape” that reflects the perceptions of these global concerns among NATO members and other expert institutions. This will precede the creation of “an intellectual tool” allowing for more discussion of potential future scenarios, he said.
"We don’t think for a minute that we can predict the future,” Perks told ITP. “But we think that by going through this exercise, we can probably do a decent job in perhaps preparing for it so that the impacts, the shocks, the black swans, as people call them, would potentially have less of an impact.”During the first phase, NATO began holding a series of workshops within member nations eliciting the views of “the key people in the nation” such as members of parliament, educators, economists and those in the arts, he explained. These workshops will continue into the second phase. Participants are asked which drivers they believe are most relevant to NATO and which are most important in terms of their impact on “the populations and/or values of the alliance, as well as their uncertainty.”
Perks said the multiple futures project will also hold a Supreme Allied Commander-Transformation seminar in October, drawing permanent members of the alliance’s North Atlantic Council and the military committee. He said this will be another opportunity to introduce the project to the strategic level in NATO, and gain members’ feedback.
In the spring, the multiple futures initiative will hold a final conference presenting potential strategic issues that require more study. “The key outcome at the end of the day is to provide the best possible military advice to our political leadership based on what we think the future could hold,” he concluded.
ACT engages NATO’s Military Committee to strategise on the Alliance’s future - July 17, 2008
News from ACT Public Affairs
NORFOLK, Va--After wrapping up discussions on how to best deliver effective forces and capabilities during Allied Reach 2008, NATO’s Military Committee (MC), including its newly-appointed chairman Italian Navy Adm. Giampaolo Di Paola gathered at Headquarters, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (HQ SACT) to discuss Allied Command Transformation’s (ACT) ongoing Multiple Futures (MF) Project July 17-18.
Spanish Air Force Brig. Gen. Jose Fernandez-Demaria, Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff, Strategic Concepts, Policy and Interoperability, explained the strategic value of the MF Project and the benefits it provides to the Alliance.
“If we have a plan, we can make sense of what needs to be achieved,” said Demaria. “We aim to build a framework of military and strategic dialogue, which will help steer the Alliance toward success.”
The aim of MFs is to explore what the foreseen future could possibly look like 10-25 years from now. There are many global concerns that have the potential to shape the future. NATO leaders are engaged in discussions to find the best way to plan for the most likely futures, and the military implications of those potential futures.
“We have to understand that the Multiple Futures study, which has been conducted under the leadership of General Mattis, is a study, not to predict the future, because no one can predict the future, but to try to prevent missing an opportunity or challenge that will be there that we are not looking at,” said Di Paola.
The outcome of these discussions will be used to develop the best possible military advice and ensure the Alliance will produce the right capabilities and to meet potential threats.
Multiple Futures key to success for Military Committee visit - July 11, 2008
News from ACT Public Affairs
NORFOLK, Va.--NATO’s Military Committee (MC), including its newly appointed chairman Italian Navy Adm. Giampaolo Di Paola, will visit Headquarters, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (HQ SACT) July 17–18.
The visit aims to foster relationships and focuses primarily on the Multiple Futures (MF) Project. The MF Project identifies how the world may change in ways, such as uncontrolled urban growth in currently undeveloped nations; energy security and the ability of oil and gas producers to increase investments and production in order to meet global demand; and globalisation, which examines the deepening economic problems, political instability and cultural differences countries face.
The outcome of these discussions will be used to develop the best possible military advice and ensure the Alliance will produce the right capabilities and meet potential threats.
NATO’s Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, at the Security and Defence Agenda in June, discussed the importance of thinking about the future, and how this helps to sharpen our focus on what we want to achieve.
“Clearly for an organisation that is engaged in several operations, it is often difficult to go beyond operational day-to-day management issues. But looking ahead to the next decade, I see no choice but to scan the strategic horizon much more thoroughly,” he said.
Four workshops have been conducted that use planning and collaboration to maximise the Alliance’s ability to respond to a broad range of scenarios. Discussions at the Royal United Studies Institute (RUSI) in London, the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS), the NATO Next Decade Conference in Brussels, and the Chiefs of Transformation Conference Working Group in Strausberg, Germany, examined issues such as climate change, technology, global demographics and resources. These types of venues will continue to be used to examine MF progress and way ahead.
“With the support of national experts, MF will help to form a shared vision and support strategy, capability and policy development,” said Canadian Navy Cdr. Rick Perks, Multiple Futures Project leader. “Support from experts will help to prepare us by examining the threats, challenges and opportunities associated with any given future.”
ACT will lead and facilitate NATO’s unceasing quest to enhance military effectiveness and interoperability by building on the work of the MF Project to deliver more relevant and interoperable capabilities for future operations.
HQ SACT leaders, Defence Counsellors strategise on future military planning - June 20, 2008
NATO Defence Counsellors visited Headquarters, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (HQ SACT) June 18-20.
Defence counsellors are part of the Permanent Representative (Perm Rep) delegation and represent their member country within NATO, where open communication is their main objective. They exchange information and ideas regarding actions and decisions which their individual government has taken, is about to take or that will have an impact on the interests of the Alliance. This open communication is designed to enable Partner nations to arrive at a mutually acceptable agreement on decisions or actions by the Alliance as a whole.
This communication is also what brings the counsellors to HQ SACT.
“The first day was dedicated to the future of defence planning, which is one of the most important things ACT does,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Mark Black, from ACT’s Defence Coordination Planning Cell. “Defence planning affects the entire Alliance. Some nations synchronise defence planning mechanisms to embrace NATO’s missions and objectives. The counsellors take that information to their parliaments to explain their military budget. Needless to say, there is a great deal of interest throughout the Alliance for defence planning.”
In addition to defence planning the counsellors also discussed ACT support to operations and future challenges.
“This meeting is very important, as we are in debates now on defence planning and short and long term capabilities,” said Ambassador Jiri Sedivy, Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Planning and Chairman of the Defence Review Committee. “In all of these processes, ACT will be playing an important and crucial role. This meeting will benefit the communication process allowing us to meet to discuss what we expect and can offer one another.”
Following the briefs, subject matter experts moderated a panel discussion resulting in an open dialogue of free-flowing information.
“We worked in conjunction with the International Staff that supports the defence counsellors,” said Black. “We’ve tried to raise subject matter that the International Staff felt needed to be discussed openly between the counsellors and ACT.”
“We used this as a forum to collaborate, formulate ideas and gain acceptance so we can forge a way forward in the defence planning realm,” said Black.
The last block of discussions focused on future challenges, particularly the Multiple Futures study.
“The counsellors are very interested in what Multiple Futures is,” said Black. “Multiple Futures is looking at all the different possibilities that could happen that will impact the future operating environment. There are a plethora of scenarios that could occur and Multiple Futures asks ‘what if’ questions.”
According to Black, Multiple Futures aids in defence planning and is key to all mission areas of ACT.
“Based on what the project team produces in the Multiple Futures study, ACT is going to insert that into our scenario development and missions that have been dictated to us by the Secretary General and the North Atlantic Council,” said Black.
“The Nations are very interested in what we are doing, so this was an opportunity to educate the counsellors and to reinforce the relevancy of defence planning as an important issue for ACT,” said Black. “We also hope to spur interest within NATO HQ to show member Nations how they can inject their work into defence planning, resulting in greater synergy. It’s important for them to walk away from ACT realising that when they say something, we will adhere to it and try to accommodate them in the future.”
The end goal of the visit was to create a mutual understanding of ACT’s role in transforming NATO and to highlight what ACT is doing to enhance defence planning for the Alliance.
New NATO Study of Future Threats To Frame 2009 Summit Decisions - June 5, 2008
News from the InsideDefense NewsStand
Norfolk, Va. — Officials at NATO’s Allied Command Transformation last month kicked off a study of future security threats to alliance countries, and the review is expected to guide crucial policy decisions at NATO’s 60-year anniversary summit next spring, according to documents and sources.
The study, dubbed “Multiple Futures,” follows on the heels of a March 15 speech by NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, in which he called for a “sound evaluation” of military requirements as NATO leaders ponder the alliance’s future".
Such an assessment is a prerequisite for NATO’s ability to provide “immediate protection against threats” while fulfilling a “broader requirement to help shape a new world order,” de Hoop Scheffer argued at an event in Brussels sponsored by the German Marshall Fund.
“We need to be clear about the security environment we are going to be living in, and we need to be equally clear and honest about the limits to what can sensibly be achieved by our alliance,” he said.
Central to the “Multiple Futures” project is the development of an “intellectual framework” that will single out “drivers of change and several plausible futures,” according to an executive summary of the Multiple Futures study plan produced by ACT.
Officials at ACT will begin the study by analyzing predictions about future security threats published by NATO, the U.S. Defense Department and international organizations.
Starting in the summer, officials will host roundtable discussions and workshops to flesh out implications for NATO decision-making. A final conference and report are anticipated for March or April of next year, before alliance leaders gather in the French city of Strasbourg and the bordering German town of Kehl for the 2009 summit. The gathering will mark the alliance’s 60th anniversary.
At the summit, officials are expected to lay the groundwork for what officials have dubbed a “New Strategic Concept” underpinning NATO’s policies. Among these issues is the way ahead on ballistic missile defense. Alliance officials currently are developing an option paper outlining NATO’s role in that arena, and how much an alliance contribution to the planned U.S. system in Europe would cost.
Officials have pegged the cost of the Multiple Futures study at $1.1 million. The project is slated to conclude in September 2009, according to the ACT document.
— Sebastian Sprenger
Multiple Futures Project – “On the Road” - May 29, 2008
News from ACT Public Affairs
Allied Command Transformation’s Multiple Futures (MF) Project held its first roundtable discussion May 27 at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London.
A roundtable discussion engages experts from various disciplines to critically assess project outputs and trajectory. Its primary purpose is to ensure that necessary
intellectual rigor is applied in the project, but it also provides the opportunity for focussed intellectual input and the development of the MF Intellectual Framework.
The MF Intellectual Framework will be developed over the course of the project through a series of events including roundtables and larger workshops. The framework provides the vehicle to support military-strategic dialogue within NATO and ultimately identify the military implications associated with the futures developed. The military implications will be the credible basis on which the best possible military advice is provided.
Participants in Roundtable 1 included Members of Parliament, experts from the UK Ministry of Defence and Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Private Office of the Secretary General of NATO. The morning “primer” session included an academic perspective provided by Dr. Terry Terriff of Birmingham University and discussion of the UK government work in examining and understanding strategic global trends.
Afternoon sessions examined the methodology used by ACT to derive the MF Project’s “Nine Key Drivers (of Change)” and the follow-on methodology used to develop the MF Intellectual Framework and presentation of an outline of four plausible Futures. The outline Futures are equally likely and are based on a detailed study of two of the nine key drivers that are assessed as having the highest impact and highest uncertainty for the future security environment.
The outline Futures are influenced by the remainder of the drivers and written in a political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental context.
According to Royal Norwegian Navy Cmdr. Kenneth Nilsen, Acting Strategic Analysis Branch Head and Lead Analyst for the MF Project, “the intellectual framework needs to be sophisticated enough to capture complexity yet simple enough for its primary purpose – to support the ongoing military-strategic dialogue.”
Roundtable 1 was the first of three roundtable discussions and two workshops scheduled for the first phase of the MF project. An interactive session with the Chiefs of Transformation Conference Working Group, the first broad engagement of Alliance nations, will also take place in the first phase.
Click here to download and read the full report.
HQ SACT think tank aims to promote strategic dialogue through “multiple futures” framework - May 6, 2008
News from ACT Public Affairs
Norfolk, Va. — Headquarters Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (HQ SACT) strategic planners and thinkers gathered in downtown Norfolk, Va., for a first-ever Multiple Futures (MFs) project kick-off meeting May 1.
The aim of MFs is not to predict the future but to explore an array of potential futures and thus inform potential subsequent debates to determine implications in terms of military roles and missions to protect our populations.
The intent of the MF project is to build upon the ongoing work in HQ SACT and consider the contributions made by nations and experts in examining global trends to help identify “plausible” future scenarios. The combination of the overarching trends, specific influencing drivers of interest to NATO and the plausible futures are the basis of the intellectual framework.
“The MF project is more concerned about preparing for future than trying to predict it,” said Canadian Navy Cmdr. Rick Perks a MF core team member from ACT’s Strategic Concepts branch. Perks likens the MF project to military planning and the idea behind (the elder) von Moltke’s famous quote, “no plan survives contact with the enemy.” Planning fosters organisational learning and the ability to respond to a broad range of possibilities.
Similarly, the discussion and development of the MF intellectual framework and its inputs to the NATO Strategic Dialogue will provide the opportunity to develop and work towards a shared understanding of what may lie ahead for the Alliance and inform the long-range planning process.
The MF project’s objectives are to engage Nations, expert national institutions, world experts, and NATO Leadership in a focused and productive forward looking strategic dialogue; to create a MF Intellectual Framework to facilitate and support the ongoing strategic dialogue; to benefit from the strategic dialogue with the generation of questions and ideas from which credible deductions, assessments and implications can be drawn; and ultimately to provide the best possible military advice to the Alliance.
While the project will remain an ACT-led activity, it will be supported, as required, by Senior Concept Developers (SCDs) and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) with broad NATO leadership experience bringing both European and North American perspectives. In addition to providing advice and supporting the development of the process the project will follow, the SCDs will help facilitate lines of communication for the strategic dialogue at the heart of the project.
The two-day brainstorming session was held to provide the opportunity for the MF Core Team representatives from HQ SACT supporting branches; Project Director Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff Strategic Concepts, Policy and Interoperability Spanish Air Force Brigadier Gen. Jose Fernandez-Demaria; and Project Executive Assistant Chief of Staff Capabilities Danish Navy Rear Adm. Torben Joergensen as well as supporting SCDs and SMEs to meet and discuss the project. The objective was to brainstorm both the process to be followed and the content to be used to initiate the trends, drivers and futures discussion.
Contributing attendees were former ambassadors, retired flag officers, representatives from U.S. Joint Forces Command, Royal United Services Institute (London-based) and the Atlantic Council of the United States.
Mr. Stephane de Spiegeleire from the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS) in the Netherlands, the MF project lead SME, was in attendance at the kick-off meeting. He is involved with a project similar to the MF, which has a different focus and methodology. The New Horizon's project is considered complimentary and both project teams are interested in exploring the potential for collaboration.
“Mr. Stepahne de Spiegeleire has sparked great interest in many nations of the Alliance. Several institutions, with which ACT has done work in the past, are eager to participate and as this project becomes better known, we anticipate more institutions will express interest in joining the discussions,” said Perks.
Because the broad and detailed studies conducted thus far in Nations, on which this project will draw, use varying terminology, it was important to move quickly with the development of a NATO Lexicon for Multiple Futures.
“Multiple Futures – NATO Beyond ISAF,” was a fitting starting point for attendees to deliberate on complex trends and tough challenges that the Alliance may face. Based on an analysis of the ACT 2007 Future Security Environment and 19 national studies, it provided an overview of some themes likely to drive subsequent MF discussions. The subsequent discussions will include a series of focused round-tables in which experts will continually challenge the project’s methodology and deductions as well as broader workshops to discuss and further develop the intellectual framework. These discussions aim to capture a broad range of perspectives both internal and external to the Alliance and are meant to add intellectual rigor to the process. The ongoing NATO military-strategic dialogue will be regularly informed by the MF project discussion and workshop events are planned as part of the 2008 MC visit to HQ SACT as well as the SACT Seminar, in which the North Atlantic Council will be present.
The MF project is significant in terms of the breadth and depth of its content, the engagement with nations and external experts and the management of the project itself. The project is being wholly managed within ACT by the core team using the HQ SACT - PRINCE2 approach.
“Managing the project internally will ensure that the first and most important objective--broad engagement and focused strategic dialogue-- is best supported,” said Joergensen. “Moreover the approach will build the ACT corporate knowledge base and support organisational learning in complex strategic studies of this nature.”
The MF project will run through the spring of 2009 at which time a major Summary Conference will be held.
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