Showcasing a New Concept: Unified NATO Security Force Assistance
Adopting the GOTEAM Framework is an example of how NATO is "thinking out of the box" to fill an identified gap for a common process: assisting foreign security forces.
Addressing New Issues is a Mindset
In March 2012, ACT finalised a Security Force Assistance (SFA) Conceptual Study with the aim of comprehensively approaching a problem and proposing a solution. The study determined that existing identified requirements are a subset of a much broader NATO capability gap, necessitating a redefined NATO requirement — "to develop the capability to conduct Security Force Assistance". The application of comparative interpretation helped to shift the focus from a "training-only" paradigm to a more comprehensive understanding of the problem that needs to be addressed.
The NATO Strategic Concept 2010 states that Allies will "develop the capability to train and develop local forces in crisis zones". But conventional wisdom is focused too much on training and no other types of assistance. NATO operational experience shows that NATO forces provide more than just training to local security forces: NATO provides enabling capabilities, advice, and mentorship.
Whilst at a policy level NATO sticks to a paradigm of "Training Local Forces", at doctrinal level the concept of "Security Force Assistance" has been adopted, but only as a subset of Training
Local Forces. However, even if Concepts of Operations (CONOPs) have been developed to direct assistance efforts on the ground, there is no NATO overarching, comprehensive and unified framework for assisting local security forces.
Nations' Approaches and the Development of GOTEAM
Such recognition of a NATO conceptual and capability gap triggered an analysis of related Nations' approaches. The analysis revealed that Security Force Assistance (United States), Partnering Indigenous Forces (Britain), Security Force Capacity Building (ABCA), and Operational Military Assistance (France) are all related to a common process of assisting foreign security forces. The result: the NATO "GOTEAM", Generate & Organise, Train, Enable, Advise and Mentor.
Building a Framework for NATO Security Force Assistance
Within the GOTEAM framework, NATO SFA has been defined as: the assistance provided by NATO, in a bi-dimensional comprehensive way, to generate and organize, train, enable, advise, and mentor foreign security forces and their supporting institutions.
The Framework also addresses supporting principles, lines of assistance, stages, types, the impact of human factors, and specific force employment and training methods.
Furthermore, a comprehensive NATO SFA concept should address the requirement for NATO to provide assistance in a unified civil-military way. That is directly related to another strategic requirement for NATO "to identify and train civilian specialists from member states, made available for rapid deployments by Allies for selected missions, able to work alongside our military personnel and civilian specialists from partner countries and institutions". In practice, NATO assistance tends to be limited only to providing military advisors, mentors and trainers. This leaves a gap at institutional/ministerial level of assistance, which is addressed by this framework.
Name it GOTEAM !
• GOTEAM leverages national approaches and matures further NATO's understanding of Security Force Assistance. It resembles the collective foundation of the organisation!
• GOTEAM is a comprehensive framework that can be tailored to both current and future NATO tasks and provides NATO a flexible response. This is an opportunity for NATO to develop a conceptual framework tailored to its specific needs, rather than adopting one from a nation.
• GOTEAM acronym enables simple strategic messaging.
Finally, writing this article is also the opportunity for a call for contributors that are willing to join the efforts of the ACT SFA team on maturing the GOTEAM framework further into a NATO Concept for Security Force Assistance. Inquiries should be directed to the author, Major Evgeniy Ivanov, Ph.D. at Evgeniy.Ivanov@act.nato.int
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