NATO's Strategic Warfare Development Command

In February 2023, NATO Defence Ministers approved the Political Guidance for Defence Planning 2023, perhaps heralding the most significant change in Defence Planning since the end of the Cold War.

Informed by the best political and military thinking including the latest Strategic Concept, the Concept for Deterrence and Defence of the Euro-Atlantic Area and the NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept, ACT looks forward to an exciting and challenging year.

Political Guidance 2023 represents the culmination of the first step of the defence planning cycle. The Strategic Commands, with Allied Command Transformation in the lead, are already deeply immersed in the work necessary to translate the guidance from the Nations into the Minimum Capability Requirements that will describe the pool of forces and capabilities required by Alliance to achieve its level of ambition.

The combination of a demanding level of ambition, a wide range of new and developing concepts and a strengthening drive to more closely align Operations and Defence planning means that many challenges will be acute over the next year.

Working closely with Allied Command Operations and other NATO entities, Allied Command Transformation will need to embrace the unknown, remain flexible and preserve manoeuvre space to deliver on the high expectations of the Nations.

The NATO Defence Planning Process is not linear, there is more that Allied Command Transformation will be doing in 2023. Preparations are underway for the targeting process that will commence in 2024 and deliver in 2025 with the objective of providing a consistent and transparent result. In a similar vein, our teams in Mons will support the International Staff in the fall of 2023 as they commence the demanding yet important process of reviewing the results of the last cycle.

This will involve Bi-lateral meetings with each of the Allies in turn and naturally offers the opportunity to embrace the open and candid conversations necessary to deliver the requisite capabilities to enable the Alliance’s three core tasks: deterrence and defence; crisis prevention and management; and cooperative security.