NATO's Strategic Warfare Development Command

NATO Defence Counsellors Meeting

November 17, 2020

NATO Defence Counsellors Meeting

The international security environment is undergoing rapid changes to an existing and complex web of international actors and technologies. This challenge is predominantly strategic and requires a global and balanced response, which includes dimensions like arms control, nuclear deterrence, a balance between offensive and defensive posture, along with various adaptations of our conventional capabilities. To keep the military edge and to maintain a technological advantage over all potential adversaries, NATO forces must continuously adapt, evolve, and innovate.

Against this backdrop of an increasingly complex and challenging global security landscape, delegates from NATO Nations were “virtually” hosted by Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, General André Lanata, on November 17th, for a series of briefings. The meetings were held online.

The purpose of the meetings was to discuss warfare development initiatives carried out by Allied Command Transformation in order to create military warfighting capabilities – today and in the future, with particular focus on NATO’s Warfighting Capstone Concept.

Allied Command Transformation leads the development of the NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept. An ambitious “North Star” concept, the NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept will provide a proactive, realistic and achievable Warfare Development framework for the Alliance over a 20 year time horizon to build options and flexibility against future threats and challenges.

This critical strategic engagement, one of the many during the Capstone Concept development, gave General Lanata and the Command Team an opportunity to share Allied Command Transformation’s latest thinking on the NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept and seek the perspective of the counsellors ahead of formal submission for approval by the NATO Military Committee in January 2021 and political approval at the NATO Defence Ministerial in February 2021.

In addition, the Defence Counsellors received a timely update on the NATO Defence Planning Process as well as discussing how the Alliance can become more agile in capability development.

The NATO Defence Planning Process is the framework within which national and Alliance processes can be harmonized to meet NATO objectives. It establishes how to meet the mandates of Political Guidance and sets targets for Allies and the Alliance collectively, guiding national and collective capability development. Allied Command Transformation plays a core role in framing the short, medium and long-term defence planning perspective of the enhanced NATO Defence Planning Process, providing an improved effective and transparent process to inform policy and define Capability Development.

Innovation was also a topic of discussion: Allied Command Transformation described how it incorporates innovation in its daily work and how it adapted its posture to support NATO’s capability development, especially in the face of the current global pandemic.

Allied Command Transformation plays a leading role for innovation at NATO by turning ideas into reality that achieves value for the Alliance. This leading role applies to three areas: applying innovation in capability development and warfare development efforts in order to deliver better and faster; staying at the head of the Alliance’s efforts to inform the Strategic Level on the implications of technological innovation; and, being the leading agent on innovation for the Alliance, notably facilitating the adoption of innovation practices within NATO and the nations. Allied Command Transformation identifies critical challenges for the Alliance and focuses on producing real operational capabilities for our warfighters.

The Defence Counsellors are part of the Permanent Representative delegation of their member country within NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.