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To meet the challenges of the future, NATO needs operationally agile forces that are resilient, strategically aware, supported by proactive strategic communications, and networked with a wide range of security partners.

Our work ensures that Alliance, national leaders and defence planners have a common perspective from which to anticipate the challenges facing the Alliance in the decades to come.

Strategic Foresight Analysis

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Leading NATO’s military transformation and developing capabilities to address defence and security challenges by providing future military estimates, perspectives and advice is one of the key tasks given to Allied Command Transformation.

Allied Command Transformation has developed an enduring capability to meet this task; the persistent foresight and future studies. The initial part of this effort, the Strategic Foresight Analysis, addresses the opportunities and challenges of the future.

The aim of the Strategic Foresight Analysis is to identify trends that shape the future strategic context and derive defence and security implications for the Alliance to 2030 and beyond. It serves as the foundation of the Framework for Future Alliance Operations, a strategy document to assist with preparations for the future military capabilities of the Alliance.

Framework for Future Alliance Operations

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The Framework for Future Alliance Operations is updated on a four-year cycle in concert with the NATO Defence Planning Process to provide an informed perspective of the challenges and opportunities facing the Alliance forces in the decades to come.

It is intended to inform National defence planning; strategic discussions and white papers; NATO defence planning; capability development; concept development; and doctrine, training, exercises, leadership, and education.

Overall, this is a strategic level document, and although it will discuss abilities NATO forces may require in the future, it is not intended to constrain NATO's decision making, National-defence planning, nor detailed capabilities development efforts.

Of note, this document is unclassified and disclosed to the general public to stimulate discussion and debate.


Framework for Future Alliance Operations Workshop - NATO Defense College, Rome, 28-30 March 2017

170328ws7 poster300x400Report from the Workshop

Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) Strategic Analysis Branch (SAB) is pleased to report the findings of the Framework for Future Alliance Operations (FFAO) workshop held in Rome, Italy from 28-30 March 2017.

1. The FFAO workshop was a three-day working-level event held at the NATO Defence College (NDC) which brought together more than 115 participants from 20 NATO and Partner Nations (17 NATO, 3 Partners), NATO Commands and Agencies, 16 Centres of Excellence (COEs), European Committee and Defence Agency, think tanks and academia. The primary deliverable for this conference were recommended changes to the draft Chapter 2 of FFAO 2018, Strategic Military Perspectives.

2. The workshop began with a plenary session for introductory remarks, discussion of workshop concept and objectives, survey results, and discussion of applicable lessons learned. Then the workshop participants broke down into small syndicates for facilitated syndicate work to address the core question: Based on the possible INSTABILITY SITUATIONS in the future security environment of 2035 and beyond, what is a FRAMEWORK that will enable the success of NATO military forces at its core tasks? The first day concluded with a brief icebreaker event. The second day of the workshop began with a plenary session on ACT’s Urbanization Project followed by continued syndicate work. The last day consisted of continued syndicate work followed by out-briefs commencing in a plenary session. Closing remarks from COL Szabo concluded the workshop in the afternoon.

Overall, the major findings from the session were as follows:

a. Overall, although the concept of a central idea was largely accepted, the FFAO should keep the idea of a simple list of Strategic Military Perspectives (SMPs) to stay consistent with the previous version of the FFAO. The FFAO needs to keep the ideas discussed in the tenets and enabling elements but keep them in the background with the SMPs as the big message of the FFAO.

b. The FFAO should increase the emphasis on strategic communication, operating and adapting at the same time, innovation, adaptability, being multi-purpose by design and the ethical questions.

c. The syndicates discussed at great length idea of “federation” as a key and persistent characteristic of the future force. Many syndicates felt that the term federated itself is not clearly understood and we need to clearly and succinctly define what we mean by the word. The syndicates developed a draft definition of federation for consideration during the workshop as follows: Efforts to enhance strategic awareness to leverage and explore options via dialogue, linkages, synchronization, de-confliction and collaboration with a broad cross-section of stakeholders (both internal and external, without ceding autonomy) to promote a unity of effort and efficiency to achieve a well-defined end-state.

Way ahead

3. The Long-Term Military Transformation Programme will continue with the aim of completing the FFAO in 2018. Moving forward, we will make needed adjustments to the draft Chapter 2, staff the document for adjudication and approval, and brief Supreme Allied Commander Transformation in June to provide and update on the status of the document. Following that review, we will conduct the next workshop 3-5 October 2017 in Stavanger, Norway to discuss Chapter 3 of the FFAO, Military Implications.

170328group photo300Workshop documents:

FFAO Rome Workshop SACT COS Thank You Letter
FFAO Rome Workshop SACT DCOS SPP letter
FFAO Rome Workshop Report
FFAO Rome Workshop Out brief Slides

Should there be any questions, please contact us.

Points of contact:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Strategic Analysis Branch, branch head;
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., for Framework for Future Alliance Operations matters; and
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +1-757-747-3268 or NCN 555-3268, for coordination issues.





Supreme Allied Command Transformation - Strategic Plans & Policy - Strategic Analysis Branch Contact information

Branch Head: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +1(757)747-3374

Senior Analyst: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +1(757)747-3489

Senior Analyst: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +1(757)747-3981

Strategic Foresight Analysis team leader: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +1(757)747-3991

Framework for Future Analysis Operations team leader: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +1(757)747-3693