NATO's Strategic Warfare Development Command

NATO Chiefs of Defence Focus on the Alliance’s Military Instrument of Power

January 14, 2022

NATO Chiefs of Defence Focus on the Alliance’s Military Instrument of Power

The 30 Allied Chiefs of Defence met virtually for the first of their scheduled meetings in this format on January 12th and 13th, 2022. Over the two days, the Allied Chiefs of Defence focused on Military Strategic Thinking, military requirements and capabilities, NATO’s 360° Deterrence and Defence Posture as well as a dedicated session with Partners Ukraine and Georgia.

Opening the first day of meetings, the Chair of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Bauer welcomed all 30 Chiefs of Defence to the first meeting in this format of 2022. “We are at a pivotal moment for our shared security. Ahead of next month’s ministerial and the upcoming Summit, it is primordial that you, the Chiefs of Defence provided unfettered military advice to the North Atlantic Council on a multitude of topics, ranging from our current Deterrence and Defence Posture, to our future requirements in the digital era, as well as enhancing our military cooperation with Partners. Our strength as an Alliance lies not only in our cohesion and our decisiveness, but also in our ability to prepare together for the future and the unexpected”, he emphasized.

NATO Chiefs of Defence engaged in discussions with Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, General Lavigne and Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Wolters, on the existing and potential new opportunities to enable NATO’s troops, capabilities and procedures to deliver on its three core tasks in the digital era.

In General Lavigne’s words, “Improving our ability to understand better, decide faster and be stronger together is critical for our relevance and for maintaining the status of the most successful Alliance in history. And, above all, remaining capable of providing security and protection to more than a billion people.”

Allied Chiefs of Defence also focused on the Alliance’ Strategic Military Thinking and how it should feed into NATO’s new Strategic Concept. They were briefed on the implementation of NATO’s Warfighting Capstone Concept as well as the progress on the Concept for the Deterrence and Defence of the Euro-Atlantic Area.

In light of the dynamic strategic environment, the Alliance Chiefs and Heads of Defence agreed to NATO’s Military Strategy in May 2019: a renewed approach setting out Alliance military-strategic objectives and the ways and means to implement them. The Chiefs and Heads of Defence directed strategy implementation through two high-level concepts: one concept framing the employment of the Alliance’s military instrument of power to deter and defend against known threats and another concept setting a 20-year vision to develop the military instrument.

Together, the NATO Military Strategy and its two implementing concepts have the potential to set the direction for NATO’s ongoing adaptation. The NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept provides the long-view as part of the coherent package of NATO Military Authorities’ best military thinking. The 2019 NATO Military Strategy, the 2020 Concept for Deterrence and Defence of the Euro-Atlantic Area and the 2021 NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept together provide NATO Military Authorities with a new baseline on which to guide the development of the NATO military instrument of power and to provide military advice.