NATO's Strategic Warfare Development Command

Unveiling the Future: The Release of Allied Command Transformation’s Strategic Foresight Analysis 2023

January 17, 2024

Allied Command Transformation's Strategic Foresight Analysis 2023Strategic shocks in NATO`s security environment have necessitated reinforcing futures thinking at NATO ACT with strategic foresight, a proven practice for understanding the extent and direction of change in the strategic environment. Since its re-establishment, NATO Allied Command Transformation’s strategic foresight function has enabled the Allied future thinking community to chart a wide range of key challenges, and consider their implications. Furthermore, it has provided a platform for the increasing Allied military foresight community to exchange collaborative dialogue and research.

In a significant milestone, NATO Allied Command Transformation has recently concluded its most comprehensive futures research in years, encapsulated in the Strategic Foresight Analysis 2023. This report will serve as a baseline assessment for subsequent futures research projects, including NATO`s Future Operating Environment, which addresses challenges and opportunities of transforming NATO`s Military Instrument of Power, in order to remain fit for the future.

The analysis, derived from 10 intensive workshops, stands as a collaborative effort that incorporates the insights of over 800 Allied experts. This extensive collaboration ensures a multifaceted view of the future, considering diverse perspectives and expertise. The result is a holistic understanding that addresses fundamental trends shaping our world and potential strategic shocks.

The Strategic Foresight Analysis aims to inspire thinking on existing as well as novel problem sets and enable the Allied defence planning, warfare development and concept development communities in their long-term considerations. While the report is decidedly risk oriented, and therefore it portrays a bleak picture, it serves a crucial purpose. By presenting a most demanding future scenario, the analysis allows us to assess the force requirements and challenges integral to transforming the Military Instrument of Power. It acts as a stark alert, prompting strategic thinkers and decision-makers to confront potential obstacles head-on.

This initiative is part of a broader commitment by Allied Command Transformation to anticipate and assess future scenarios. By actively engaging in the NATO Defence Planning Process, the organization strives to align Allied forces with the evolving global landscape. The Strategic Foresight Analysis acts as a baseline in this ongoing effort, which builds on the fundaments of the Strategic Foresight Analysis 2017 and the NATO Warfighting Capstone, while at the same time it updates assumptions and expands the scope of futures research at Allied Command Transformation to guide the transformation of military capabilities.

Allied Command Transformation’s dedication to anticipating possible futures is more than a strategic endeavour—it’s a proactive stance to ensure that the Alliance remains resilient and adaptive in the face of emerging challenges. By continuously refining and adjusting our approach based on foresight analysis, we position ourselves to not just react, but to shape the future.