NATO’s 2020 Chiefs of Transformation Conference took place virtually on December 3rd, 2020.
The conference, normally held in Norfolk, Va., over a three-day period went virtual this year to align with NATO COVID-19 guidance.
The Chiefs of Transformation Conference is the only venue where national Chiefs of Transformation from the Alliance have the opportunity to interact and collaborate with the senior leadership of NATO’s Allied Command Transformation and many other senior NATO leaders involved in innovation and transformation. This year, although shortened to one day in a virtual environment, leaders discussed in detail the NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept.
The NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept looks to answer one main question: where will NATO be in 2040? Allied Command Transformation is leading the development of the NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept, a military concept based on a 20-year warfighting perspective, shaping NATO’s Warfare Development trajectory and informing the development of the Alliance’s Military Instrument of Power while also ensuring its effectiveness and employability.
The NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept, along with Allied Command Transformation’s Concept for the Deterrence and Defence of the Euro-Atlantic Area, operationalises NATO’s 2019 Military Strategy—the first document of its kind in over 50 years.
While the Concept for the Deterrence and Defence of the Euro-Atlantic Area considers the immediate to short-term, the NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept proposes an ambitious “North Star” vision for the Alliance’s Warfare Development, aiming to ensure NATO’s military is ready to address future challenges and that the Alliance maintains its warfighting advantage to 2040. This vision aspires to be a military instrument of power which can out-think, out-excel, out-fight, out-pace, out-partner, and out-last any adversary.
The NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept aims to address an important concern: if NATO does not think, organise and act differently than it does today, the Military Instrument of Power will face an eroding advantage. The future success of the Alliance depends on the ability to continually transform to meet tomorrow’s challenges and a steady “North Star” path ensures warfare development will be deliberate, proactive and effective.
Reconsidering the way NATO thinks, organises and acts in order to make best use of resources in its warfare development will allow the Alliance to prepare for a more unpredictable world and respond to the consequences of a changed security environment, enabling NATO’s core mission of defending almost 1 billion people.
The result of over 18 months of concerted effort by NATO’s Allied Command Transformation and wide consultation and collaboration with NATO and outside experts, the NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept is positioned for approval by NATO Nations in 2021.