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DPC and NPC Meeting at NATO Headquarters

DPC and NPC Meeting at NATO Headquarters

Ministerial Meeting of the Defence Planning Committee and the Nuclear Planning Group held in Brussels, Belgium, on June 6, 2002. Source: NATO Press Release (2002)071 6 June 2002.

Final Communiqué

1. The Defence Planning Committee and Nuclear Planning Group of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization met in Ministerial Session in Brussels on 6 June 2002.

2. We reaffirmed our determination that, to carry out the full range of its missions, NATO must be able to field forces that can move quickly to wherever they are needed, sustain operations over distance and time, and achieve their objectives. In this context, we adopted a new set of NATO Force Goals covering the period until 2008. We welcomed the decision by Iceland to participate in the Force Goal process for the first time.

3. To ensure that the Alliance has the structures and deployable forces capable of fulfilling its fundamental security tasks in a changing strategic environment, including responding to the threats posed by terrorism and the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, there is a need to look again at the Alliance’s overall command and control structures. Towards this end, there is an urgent need to take forward and build upon the ongoing assessment of the Alliance’s overall command arrangements. The implications of the changing strategic circumstances, and the associated risks and potential threats, for NATO’s ability to fulfil the full range of its missions must be fully taken into account in the course of this work. This review must be comprehensive, embracing all elements of NATO’s command structure, including the Combined Joint Task Force Headquarters, and the headquarters of the NATO force structure, with the aim of defining the minimum military requirements. Therefore, today we directed the NATO Military Authorities to take forward this work with urgency and report back to us at our meeting in September to enable us to give further guidance for the preparation of specific recommendations for decisions to be taken at the Prague Summit. Our intention is that the Heads of State and Government at Prague should establish clear guidance and a firm timeframe for completing this work, so that decisions on command arrangements can be taken by the Summer of 2003.

4. In considering Force Goals 2002, we noted in particular that they address to a large extent military capabilities needed to respond to terrorism. We also considered how far they address the key areas for improvement identified in the Defence Capabilities Initiative. The Force Goals continue to focus on the development of better equipped, deployable, sustainable forces and their restructuring. They also incorporate, to a large extent, requirements derived from the review of the NATO force structure which has been undertaken by NATO's military authorities and which aims at the development of more deployable forces. In the light of the changing strategic environment, while the overall requirement for land combat forces has declined, the requirement for ground combat forces that are deployable has more than doubled.

5. We therefore recognise that the ability of the Alliance to fulfil its missions in the current strategic environment depends on our ability to increase substantially the proportion of our combat forces and support forces that can be deployed on operations away from home territory or without substantial host nation support. This is a significant challenge and we are committed to meet it. On the basis of discussions on the development of the Force Goals, it is clear that more effort needs to be focussed on the development of key capabilities including defence against nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, strategic transport, support capabilities for combat units and a number of specialised capabilities such as surveillance and target acquisition, support jamming and airtoair refuelling. We noted that reprioritisation, multinational cooperation and role sharing, including where appropriate by means of joint or common funding or through commonly-owned and operated NATO systems such as AWACS, will have an important role to play in overcoming these deficiencies. To facilitate such common programmes, we intend to devote particular attention to efficient ways of managing collaborative projects and coordinating defence acquisition. However, in many cases additional financial resources will also be required. We undertake to give a high priority in our national defence plans to implementation of the 2002 NATO Force Goals and to seek the necessary resources to ensure this.

6. At our Nuclear Planning Group meeting, we reviewed the status of NATO’s nuclear forces and addressed related issues and activities. We received with appreciation information by the United States Secretary of Defense on the results of the recent Summit meeting between Presidents Putin and Bush at Moscow and St. Petersburg, particularly with regard to the further development of the New Strategic Framework between the United States and Russia. We welcomed the results of the Summit and expressed our full support for its agreement on a Treaty to reduce, over the next decade, U.S. operationally deployed strategic nuclear warheads to a level of between 1,700 and 2,200 and to reduce Russian strategic nuclear warheads to the same level.

7. We recalled that NATO’s sub-strategic nuclear forces have been reduced by over 85 percent since 1991, and are maintained at the minimum level sufficient to preserve peace and stability. In this context, we provided guidance to further adapt NATO’s dual-capable aircraft posture. We reaffirmed that the fundamental purpose of the nuclear forces of the Allies is political: to preserve peace and prevent coercion and any kind of war. We continue to place great value on the nuclear forces based in Europe and committed to NATO, which provide essential political and military linkage between the European and the North American members of the Alliance.

8. In this regard, we note that deterrence and defence, along with arms control and non-proliferation, will continue to play a major role in the achievement of the Alliance’s security objectives. We reaffirmed our determination to contribute to the implementation of the conclusions of the 2000 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference and welcomed the full discussion of issues at the Preparatory Conference for the 2005 Review Conference in April this year. We continue to support the existing moratoria on nuclear testing.

9. We expressed satisfaction with the results of the Joint Seminar of NATO and Russian nuclear experts, held at The Hague in April 2002, to deal with topics of nuclear safety and security. The Seminar represented the first step in further advancing consultations and cooperation on NATO proposals for confidence and security building measures to enhance transparency between the two sides on nuclear weapons issues. In this context, we welcomed the additional impetus and focus provided by the results of the Putin-Bush Summit for this work.


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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).