Current security challenges in the region, Allied Command Transformation’s contributions to NATO’s mission and the impact of Emerging and Disruptive Technologies were the main topics discussed between General Lanata and the Croatian Armed forces leadership, led by the Croatian Chief of Defence Admiral Robert Hranj, during a country visit May 24-25, 2021.
Croatian armed forces contribute to NATO operations, missions and deployments in Kosovo, Iraq, the Baltic Sea Region, as well as to NATO’s Readiness Initiative and NATO’s Standing Naval Forces and, more recently during the COVID-19 pandemic, to the multinational battlegroup in Lithuania.
“Croatia is a highly valued Ally, making an important contribution to Alliance’s collective defence The diversity of your contributions shows your commitment to NATO’s agenda,” said General Lanata in his remarks.
Focusing on the missions assigned to Allied Command Transformation – from capability development to strategic thinking, education and training with allied countries, innovation, Emerging and Disruptive Technologies and Space environment – General Lanata said “We cannot predict the future. But we may observe trends and anticipate the context. To tackle current and future challenges, my command identifies and analyses overlaps in the future security environment, by fostering transparency and a mutual understanding within all nations, partners and others organizations, such as UE.”
Touching upon the development of the NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept, and the support provided by allied nations, General Lanata emphasized the necessity to promote and maintain interoperability between Allies, a synergy that emerges from Allied Command Transformation’s efforts to ensure countries are “interoperable” in its broadest meaning.
In a lecture to the Croatian Armed Forces’ War College, General Lanata articulated that the development of NATO’s Military Instrument of Power is not only about new weapons or protection systems, even if these are technically or budgetary feasible: the Alliance needs to understand the broader context in which the Military Instrument of Power will be developed and create the frameworks to shape proactively the environment in which this instrument will be efficiently used.
Allied Command Transformation’s essential role is to provide short and long-term adaptation, coordination and coherence in the development of NATO’s Military Instrument of Power, he pointed out, describing the Command’s mission as “continuous thinking of NATO’s military adaptation.”
In General Lanata’s words, “the primary responsibility of Allied Command Transformation, my Command, is to lead these adaptations for our armed forces. That is Allied Command Transformation’s unique role in NATO’s command structure.”
While developing the NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept, General Lanata maintained that the focus has always been on human potential, a critical enabler for the Concept to become fully implemented; said in other words, to have the right people and the right skills. Institutions like the Croatian Defence Academy, whose audience transitions towards the Croatian Defence University, will also be of the highest importance for contributing to NATO’s adaptation.