Understand and Shape the Future

Understanding the current and future security environment is required to prepare the Alliance to address emergent security challenges successfully. NATO ACT provides that insight, agreed by all Allies, through the Strategic Foresight Analysis/ Framework for Future Alliance Operations and the NATO Defence Planning Process.

Strategic Foresight Analysis

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The Strategic Foresight Analysis Report provides a wide-ranging shared understanding of the future security environment that is expected to unfold out to 2035 and beyond. The Report depicts political, social, technological, economic, and environmental trends and their implications. The latest Strategic Foresight Analysis Report is the 2017 Report, released October 2017, which builds upon the Strategic Foresight Analysis 2013 and 2015 Update Reports.

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The aim of the Strategic Foresight Analysis Report is to identify trends that will shape the future strategic context and derive implications for the Alliance out to 2035 and beyond.

The Strategic Foresight Analysis does not attempt to predict the future, for the future is neither predictable nor predetermined.

It provides an iterative assessment of trends and their implications to understand and visualise the nature of the dynamic and complex security environment.

The Strategic Foresight Analysis is the initial phase of the ongoing Long-Term Military Transformation efforts at Allied Command Transformation and sets the intellectual foundation for a follow-on report, the Framework for Future Alliance Operations.

The Strategic Foresight Analysis Report examines the main trends of global change and the resultant defence and security implications for NATO, highlighting challenges as well as opportunities. It is structured along the following themes: political, human, technology, economics/resources and environment.

The new Strategic Foresight Analysis 2017 Report has been released. The glossy print version is available by clicking the link on the left. The text version is available here.

Framework for Future Alliance Operations

180514 ffao18Using the Strategic Foresight Analysis Reports as its foundation, the Framework for Future Alliance Operations proposes how Alliance forces might plan to transform, and recommends abilities that these forces may need to develop over the next 15 years. The Framework for Future Alliance Operations can be used to inform the NATO Defence Planning Process and be taken into consideration by defence planners to expand the NATO Defence Planning Process into the long-term.

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Today, the Alliance military forces face a challenge in that they should adapt, evolve and innovate to meet an ambiguous, complex, and rapidly changing security environment. The Framework for Future Alliance Operations is a document that seeks to identify the abilities of a future Alliance pool of forces to meet the potential demands of the security environment from today through to the foreseeable future, 2035 and beyond. The Framework for Future Alliance Operations is designed to improve the Alliance’s long-term perspective of the future security environment to support and inform the NATO Defence Planning Process, as well as other NATO and national processes that require an assessment of the long-term future.

Overall, the future security environment through 2035 and beyond will likely be increasingly complex and present both challenges and opportunities to NATO’s military forces. A wide variety of drivers could lead to instability situations resulting in the Alliance’s decision to employ military forces. NATO military forces will need to apply the existing tenets of the law of armed conflict in new contexts, including emerging areas of ethical concern (e.g., human enhancement, cyber, the employment of automation/artificial intelligence, and blurring lines between combatants and non-combatants). However, NATO military forces could seize many opportunities in the future, including building and strengthening relationships, capitalising on innovative technology, ideas to maintain the military edge, as well as understanding and influencing the human aspects of conflict.

The Framework for Future Alliance Operations (FFAO) 2018 Report has been approved and signed by both SACT and SACEUR. The report was sent to the NATO Secretary General to the NATO Military Authorities and to the NATO and Partner nations. The FFAO provides the Bi-SC’s best military advice that identifies the required characteristics and abilities of forces that need to be available to the Alliance to retain the military edge and prevail in future operations, address challenges, and seize opportunities of the future. Building on the foundation of the FFAO 2015, this edition includes new discussion on the nature of war and character of conflict, Instability Situations, legal and ethical questions, and opportunities. The FFAO 2018 also includes an overarching Central Idea, refined Strategic Military Perspectives, Enabling Elements, and refined Military Implications. In addition, this document includes new emphasis on nuclear issues, terrorism, human capital, mission command, cross-domain operations and effects, full-spectrum cyberspace operations and space issues, and new disruptive technologies including artificial intelligence as a game-changer. The FFAO 2018 Report can be used to inform the NATO Defence Planning Process and might be taken into consideration during the development of the Military Committee recommendation to the next Political Guidance. The glossy print version is available by clicking the FFAO 2018 Report link on the left. The text version is available here.

Partnerships 360 Symposium

p360 logo 300x250The NATO Partnerships 360 Symposium is a contemporary and innovative venture, held for the first time last year in Berlin, Germany.

The event, co-hosted by NATO's Allied Command Transformation and International Staff Political Affairs and Security Policy Division, engages the partnership network and community in a “one NATO” spirit of political-military cooperation.

This year, the Symposium was held in the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Centre in Chania, Greece, from 11 till 13 June 2019.

Envisaged as a participative workshop focused on the future evolution of NATO’s partnerships policy, it brought together civilian and military representatives from Allies and all partner nations to stimulate free exchange of ideas.

Topics were among reinforcing the 2018 Summit program, supporting Projecting Stability, shared awareness and understanding of new technologies in the face of hybrid challenges, through critical thinking and discourse on issues beyond the focus of current events.

Given the success from 2018, the event included a number of smaller break-out groups where participants contributed their thoughts and brainstorm issues and policy approaches actively.

Participants were Allied and partner civilian and military delegates working on NATO partnerships and cooperative security policy at subject matter expert level, including relevant stakeholders from the broader community of interest.

NATO-Industry Forum

nif2019“We will further develop our partnership with industry and academia from all Allies
to keep pace with technological advances through innovation.”

Brussels Summit Declaration

Hosted by the United States of America, the NATO-Industry Forum 2019 will take place in Washington D.C. on 13 and 14 November.

Context of the 2019 NATO-Industry Forum

The NATO-Industry Forum 2019 takes place against the backdrop of a challenging, unpredictable and fluid security environment, in which an increasingly interconnected world facilitates the relentless evolution of, and global access to technology and information with tremendous impact on the global conversation. Decision makers at all levels have to understand the wider information landscape and build trust in the information they use in decision-making.

In the year marking NATO’s 70th anniversary, and less than a month before the Leader’s Summit in London, this edition of the NATO-Industry Forum will focus on Enhancing Decision Making. NATO, partner nations, international organizations and industry should reflect on their decision-making mechanisms to leverage innovative solutions. Participants will strategize on how to harness emerging and disruptive technologies to adapt their decision-making mechanisms, processes and procedures, allowing NATO to draw its own conclusions on solutions to further strengthen its deterrence and defence posture. The discussions will focus on interoperability, innovation and technology, NATO’s engagement with industry, and will aim to identify changes required to adapt and project the Alliance into the future.

OPEN Publications

open publications 300x250The NATO Open Perspectives Exchange Network (OPEN)

OPEN stands for OPEN Perspectives Exchange Network, which is a network for understanding the modern security environment from other than military point of view run by NATO Allied Command Transformation’s Plans and Policy Branch.

OPEN is a strategic thinking tool that seeks alternative perspectives on matters of importance to NATO and others. OPEN aims to share quality products on important topics and understand things from our reader's points of view. OPEN is based on a model that was extremely successful - the Civil Military Fusion Centre (CFC) and works with freelance expert writers who may fit into the following criteria: non-conventional military expert, non-NATO employee, published and proven author, and an acknowledged subject matter expert in their field.

OPEN products are not classified and openly sourced.

For more information on OPEN, contact us by email or phone +1 757-747-4326.