NATO Long-Term Military Transformation
The Long-Term Military Transformation programme is Allied Command Transformation’s process for anticipating and preparing for the ambiguous, complex and rapidly changing future security environment. The first component is the Strategic Foresight Analysis. The second component is the Framework for Future Alliance Operations. The Long-Term Military Transformation informs decisions and actions that are required to prepare the Alliance for tomorrow’s security challenges.
NATO's Allied Command Transformation promotes and leads many initiatives designed to transform NATO's military structure, its forces, capabilities and doctrine. To provide a foundation for this work, Allied Command Transformation conducts strategic foresight analysis to identify future global trends and to identify potential military implications for the Alliance.
This foresight work is known as Allied Command Transformation’s Long-Term Military Transformation programme. Within the Long-Term Military Transformation programme, every four years, Allied Command Transformation conducts a comprehensive look at the global security environment and describes it in two visionary documents. These documents are the Strategic Foresight Analysis and the Framework for Future Alliance Operations.
Although Allied Command Transformation is based in Norfolk, Virginia, the foresight work takes a global approach, holding annual conferences in USA and Europe that bring together the Allied Nations, NATO Centres of Excellence, and other key stake-holders, including members of academia and industry.
The overall purpose of Allied Command Transformation’s Futures Work is to describe the trends, future security challenges, potential opportunities and the related military implications that shape the future security environment, and to recommend the abilities that NATO forces may need to address them.
Strategic Foresight Analysis
The Strategic Foresight Analysis Report provides a wide-ranging shared understanding of the future security environment that is expected to unfold out to 2035 and beyond. The Report depicts political, social, technological, economic, and environmental trends and their implications. The latest Strategic Foresight Analysis Report is the 2017 Report, released October 2017, which builds upon the Strategic Foresight Analysis 2013 and 2015 Update Reports.
|SFA 2013 Report|
|SFA 2015 Interim Update|
|SFA 2017 Report|
The aim of the Strategic Foresight Analysis Report is to identify trends that will shape the future strategic context and derive implications for the Alliance out to 2035 and beyond. The Strategic Foresight Analysis does not attempt to predict the future, for the future is neither predictable nor predetermined. It provides an iterative assessment of trends and their implications to understand and visualise the nature of the dynamic and complex security environment.
The Strategic Foresight Analysis is the initial phase of the ongoing Long-Term Military Transformation efforts at Allied Command Transformation and sets the intellectual foundation for a follow-on report, the Framework for Future Alliance Operations.
The Strategic Foresight Analysis Report examines the main trends of global change and the resultant defence and security implications for NATO, highlighting challenges as well as opportunities. It is structured along the following themes: political, human, technology, economics/resources and environment.
The new Strategic Foresight Analysis 2017 Report has been released. The glossy print version is available by clicking the link on the left. The text version is available here.
Framework for Future Alliance Operations
Using the Strategic Foresight Analysis Reports as its foundation, the Framework for Future Alliance Operations proposes how Alliance forces might plan to transform, and recommends abilities that these forces may need to develop over the next 15 years. The Framework for Future Alliance Operations can be used to inform the NATO Defence Planning Process and be taken into consideration by defence planners to expand the NATO Defence Planning Process into the long-term.
|FFAO 2015 Report|
|FFAO 2018 Report|
Today, the Alliance military forces face a challenge in that they should adapt, evolve and innovate to meet an ambiguous, complex, and rapidly changing security environment. The Framework for Future Alliance Operations is a document that seeks to identify the abilities of a future Alliance pool of forces to meet the potential demands of the security environment from today through to the foreseeable future, 2035 and beyond. The Framework for Future Alliance Operations is designed to improve the Alliance’s long-term perspective of the future security environment to support and inform the NATO Defence Planning Process, as well as other NATO and national processes that require an assessment of the long-term future.
Overall, the future security environment through 2035 and beyond will likely be increasingly complex and present both challenges and opportunities to NATO’s military forces. A wide variety of drivers could lead to instability situations resulting in the Alliance’s decision to employ military forces. NATO military forces will need to apply the existing tenets of the law of armed conflict in new contexts, including emerging areas of ethical concern (e.g., human enhancement, cyber, the employment of automation/artificial intelligence, and blurring lines between combatants and non-combatants). However, NATO military forces could seize many opportunities in the future, including building and strengthening relationships, capitalising on innovative technology, ideas to maintain the military edge, as well as understanding and influencing the human aspects of conflict.
The Framework for Future Alliance Operations (FFAO) 2018 Report has been approved and signed by both SACT and SACEUR. The report was sent to the NATO Secretary General to the NATO Military Authorities and to the NATO and Partner nations. The FFAO provides the Bi-SC’s best military advice that identifies the required characteristics and abilities of forces that need to be available to the Alliance to retain the military edge and prevail in future operations, address challenges, and seize opportunities of the future. Building on the foundation of the FFAO 2015, this edition includes new discussion on the nature of war and character of conflict, Instability Situations, legal and ethical questions, and opportunities. The FFAO 2018 also includes an overarching Central Idea, refined Strategic Military Perspectives, Enabling Elements, and refined Military Implications. In addition, this document includes new emphasis on nuclear issues, terrorism, human capital, mission command, cross-domain operations and effects, full-spectrum cyberspace operations and space issues, and new disruptive technologies including artificial intelligence as a game-changer. The FFAO 2018 Report can be used to inform the NATO Defence Planning Process and might be taken into consideration during the development of the Military Committee recommendation to the next Political Guidance. The glossy print version is available by clicking the FFAO 2018 Report link on the left. The text version is available here.
What's New - What's Hot
A list of upcoming workshops and future products, with details and relevant links, as well as related news and events.
Some of the most common questions and answers are also listed in this section.
NATO Strategic Foresight Analysis Workshop in Cadiz, Spain
The Strategic Foresight Analysis Workshop in Cadiz has been an initial attempt to share ideas and objectives for the 2018 and 2019 timeframe with the Strategic Foresight Analysis community of interest.
In the next two years, the convergence of the technology trends and their implications on all other trends in the political, human, economy/resources and environment domains will be analysed and a test report, using computing power in the analysis process, will be developed.
Additionally, short regional reports on Russia-Eastern Europe, the Arctic, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and North Africa and the Sahel will be provided as an outcome of regional workshops.
In this work, computing power will be used to support the research and analysis phases, development of scenarios to validate and inform trend analysis, and identification of implications. This process will provide an example of using technology and innovative approaches in staff processes, and of testing new ground to make an end product that adds value to NATO and Nations.
The aim of the Strategic Foresight Analysis workshop was to take stock, review methodology, discuss best practices and to outline a proposed way ahead toward the development of future Reports, while maintaining collaboration with NATO and Partner Nations, NATO Command and Agencies, Centres of Excellence, academia and industry.
NATO Shares Strategic Foresight Analysis 2017 with the Public
NATO ACT will publicly launch its Strategic Foresight Analysis for 2017 this fall in Washington, DC as well as in Berlin.
NATO ACT is hosting launch events to give this report the widest dissemination in the United States and Europe. This will apprise leaders and influencers of the dynamic and complex future security environment and identify challenges and opportunities to peace and security that lie on the horizon and beyond.
The Strategic Foresight Analysis 2017 is the only NATO report of its kind and is a shared vision for the future authored by Allied Nations, Partner Nations, academia, and industry to foster a common understanding of the future that NATO expects to face out to 2035.
Allied Command Transformation is keen to share the report as widely as possible, to act as a foundation for wider debate about subject of our future.
Strategic Foresight Analysis 2017 Report Launch in Washington D.C.
Opportunities and Challenges of a Complex Future
The shift toward multi-polarity and a growing potential for major power conflict, combined with increasing populism, rapidly changing demographics, and emerging technologies, is presenting unique challenges to governments, militaries, and societies around the world. Allied Command Transformations’ (ACT) 2017 Strategic Foresight Analysis report identifies the key drivers of these global trends and their implications for NATO and the Alliance. The panel – featuring US and European experts on security, strategy, and foresight – will discuss how NATO and the Alliance can use insights from the analysis to help prepare itself for a future that is more complex, interconnected, and unpredictable.
Strategic Foresight Analysis 2017 Report Launch in Europe
Europe under pressure – security and defence in unpredictable times
The congress is organized by the Behörden Spiegel and supported by an Advisory Board made up of distinguished international personalities. The members of this group are:
- Michel Barnier, Head of the Negotiation with the UK, Task Force Article 50 and Adviser of President Juncker on European Defence
- Wolfgang Hellmich MP, Chairman of the Defence Committee, German Bundestag
- Prof. Ioan Mircea Pașcu MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament, former Defence Minister of Romania
- Dr. Hans-Gert Pöttering, Chairman of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and former President of the European Parliament
- Michael Roth, MP, Minister of State for Europe, Commissioner for Franco-German Cooperation, German Federal Foreign Office
- Jiri Sedivý, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to NATO, former Minister of Defence, Congress President BSC 2015-2017
- Dr. Karl von Wogau, Secretary General of the Kangaroo Group and Congress President 2001-2011
- Robert Walter, President of the Assembly of the Western European Union 2008 – 2011, President of the European Security and Defence Association (ESDA), Congress President BSC 2012 – 2014
The Congress addresses the European armed forces and the security organisations in Europe and those Non-European organisations that cooperate with them. It addresses also the respective ministries and agencies, the embassies in Berlin and the national and international companies. A special invitation goes also to the members of all national parliaments and those of the European Parliament. This event is open to press and on the record. .
Framework for Future Alliance Operations Stavanger Workshop, Norway, 2-5 October 2017
Supreme Allied Commander Transformation is pleased to report the findings of the Framework for Future Alliance Operations workshop held in Stavanger, Norway from 3-5 October 2017. Read more in the FFAO Archive area below.
Visit here to see our archive of previous Futures Studies and Workshop Reports.
NATO'S Long-term Military Transformation Workshop, 28-30 March 2017, NATO Defense College, Rome, Italy
Workshop Invitation Letter | Agenda | Read Ahead | Administrative Instructions | FFAO Rome Workshop SACT COS Thank You Letter | FFAO Rome Workshop SACT DCOS SPP letter | FFAO Rome Workshop Report | FFAO Rome Workshop Out brief Slides
NATO'S Long-term Military Transformation Workshop, 26-30 September 2016, Bydgoszcz, Poland
SFA Workshop Introduction (~4MB) | FFAO Workshop Introduction (~9MB) | UK MOD DCDC Global Strategic Trends Programme (~5MB) | Assassin Bots Trained to Kill Reef-eating Starfish (mp4 video, ~14MB) | Capuchin Monkey Fairness Experiment (mp4 video, ~2MB)
NATO'S Long-term Military Transformation Workshop, 19-22 April 2016, Lucerne, Switzerland
Read-ahead documents | SFA FFAO - HNR Welcoming Remarks | Workshop Presentations | Australian Defence White Paper | Out-brief slides | Strategic Foresight Analysis (SFA) Workshop Report, 19-20 April 2016
Strategic Foresight Analysis 2015 Update Report WS-2
Strategic Foresight Analysis Interim Update Workshop - II
RADM Pete GUMATAOTAO (US Navy) - Deputy Chief of Staff Strategic Plans and Policy
Strategic Foresight Analysis 2015 Update Workshop
Mr. Mehmet Kinaci & LTC Aaron Bazin - Strategic Analysis Branch, Strategic Plans and Policy
U.S. Joint Staff Futures Series - Briefing to NATO Strategic Foresight Analysis Workshop
Duncan Brown, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab
--- This presentation is password-protected. Password should be requested to the Workshop organizers. ---
Emerging Risks and Disruptive Trends in (Global) Supply Chain Networks
Dipl.-Ing. Johannes Göllner, MSc - Section Head, Knowledge Management - National Defence Academy, Austrian Ministry of Defence and Sports
Dr. Joachim Klerx, Senior Researcher - Innovation Systems Department, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Strategic Foresight 2040 - Capability Planning in the German Armed Forces
Dr. Olaf Theiler - Future Analysis Branch, Bundeswehr Planning Office
Framework for Future Alliance Operations 2017
Framework for Future Alliance Operations Workshop #1 2017
2-5 October 2017, NATO JWC, Stavanger, Norway
Supreme Allied Commander Transformation is pleased to report the findings of the Framework for Future Alliance Operations workshop held in Stavanger, Norway from 3-5 October 2017.
The Framework for Future Alliance Operations workshop was a two-and-a-half-day working-level event held at the Joint Warfare Centre which brought together 87 participants from 18 Nations (15 NATO & 3 Partner Nations), NATO Commands and Agencies, 16 Centres of Excellence, European Committee and Defence Agency, think tanks and academia. The primary deliverable for this conference were recommended changes to the draft Chapter 3 of Framework for Future Alliance Operations 2018.
The workshop began with a plenary session for introductory remarks, discussion of workshop concept and objectives, survey results, and discussion of applicable lessons learned. Then the workshop participants broke down into small syndicates for facilitated syndicate work to address the core question: In 2035 and beyond, what abilities will NATO forces require in the areas of prepare, project, engage, sustain, C3, protect, and inform in order to accomplish NATO core tasks? The first day concluded with a brief icebreaker event. The second day of the workshop began with a plenary session on SAS-123 brief panel followed by continued syndicate work. The last day consisted of out-briefs and discussion commencing in a plenary session. Closing remarks from Colonel Szabo concluded the workshop around noon.
The Long-Term Military Transformation Programme will continue with the aim of completing the Framework for Future Alliance Operations in 2018. Moving forward, the Framework for Future Alliance Operations team will incorporate recommended changes into the draft Chapter 3 of the document. In October 2017, this document will be submitted for full staffing and review, followed by Bi-SC review in early 2018.
Moving forward with this project the Framework for Future Alliance Operations team will incorporate recommended changes into the draft Chapter 3 of the document. After this the fullFramework for Future Alliance Operations-2018 Report will be transmitted to stakeholders for red-line comments. All stakeholders will have about six weeks from end of November 2017 until 06 of January 2018 to provide final comments. Framework for Future Alliance Operations team is going to have a review with Allied Command Transformation and Allied Command Operations stakeholders in the same time and the Team will have a Line-by-Line Review of full Framework for Future Alliance Operations final draft with small group from Allied Command Operations in Brussels 12-16 February 2018. After this review the Framework for Future Alliance Operations Writing team will develop the final draft and will start the Bi-SC approval process. According to our timeline the Framework for Future Alliance Operations Report will be Bi-SC approved at mid-March.