Strategic Concepts

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Kennedy arrived at the White House. He was concerned by the issue of limited warfare and the notion that a nuclear exchange could be started by accident or miscalculation. In the meantime, the Berlin crisis intensified, leading to the construction of the Berlin Wall, and in October , the Cold War peaked with the Cuban missile crisis. The United States started advocating a stronger non-nuclear posture for NATO and the need for a strategy of "flexible response".

Initial discussions on a change of strategy were launched among NATO member countries, but there was no consensus.

It was basically NATO's first attempt to temper its policy of massive retaliation by submitting the use of nuclear weapons to consultation under varying circumstances. Other attempts at introducing greater flexibility followed, but these caused resistance from several member countries. This internal resistance combined with the fact that the US Administration had been shaken by the assassination of Kennedy and was increasingly concerned by US military involvement in Vietnam, momentarily froze all discussions on a revised Strategic Concept for NATO.

There were two key features to the new strategy: flexibility and escalation.

Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE)

It identified three types of military responses against aggression to NATO:. As NATO was setting its strategic objectives for the next 20 years, it also decided to draw up a report that provided a dual-track approach to security: political and military. It provided a broad analysis of the security environment since the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty in and advocated the need to maintain adequate defence while seeking a relaxation of tensions in East-West relations and working towards solutions to the underlying political problems dividing Europe.

It defined two specific tasks: political and military; political, with the formulation of proposals for balanced force reductions in the East and West; military, with the defence of exposed areas, especially the Mediterranean. In that respect, as already stated in the context of the Report of the Three Wise Men, it set the tone for NATO's first steps toward a more cooperative approach to security issues that would emerge in However, between and , there were still moments of great tension between the two blocs, as there were instances that gave rise to hope of a less turbulent relationship.

Tensions increased with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the deployment of Soviet SS missiles to which NATO reacted by initiating its Double-Track Decision, December it offered the Warsaw Pact a mutual limitation of medium and intermediate-range ballistic missiles and, failing a positive reaction from Moscow, threatened to deploy Pershing and cruise missiles, which it eventually did. By the mid- to late 80s, both blocs moved to confidence-building. However, mutual distrust still characterised East-West relations and it was not until the fall of the Berlin Wall, the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the break-up of the Soviet Union that relations could start on a new basis.

In , a new era commenced. For the Alliance, the period was characterised by dialogue and cooperation, as well as other new ways of contributing to peace and stability such as multinational crisis management operations. The Strategic Concept differed dramatically from preceding strategic documents. Firstly, it was a non-confrontational document that was released to the public; and secondly, while maintaining the security of its members as its fundamental purpose i. It also reduced the use of nuclear forces to a minimum level, sufficient to preserve peace and stability:. The Alliance's security policy is based on dialogue; co-operation; and effective collective defence as mutually reinforcing instruments for preserving the peace.

Making full use of the new opportunities available, the Alliance will maintain security at the lowest possible level of forces consistent with the requirements of defence. In this way, the Alliance is making an essential contribution to promoting a lasting peaceful order. The 's Strategic Concept's accompanying document was - and still is - classified. In , the year of NATO's 50th anniversary, Allied leaders adopted a new Strategic Concept that committed members to common defence and peace and stability of the wider Euro-Atlantic area.

It was based on a broad definition of security which recognised the importance of political, economic, social and environmental factors in addition to the defence dimension. It identified the new risks that had emerged since the end of the Cold War, which included terrorism, ethnic conflict, human rights abuses, political instability, economic fragility, and the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and their means of delivery. The document stated that the Alliance's fundamental tasks were security, consultation, and deterrence and defence, adding that crisis management and partnership were also essential to enhancing security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area.

It noted that NATO had managed to adapt and play an important role in the post-Cold War environment, and established guidelines for the Alliance's forces, translating the purposes and tasks of the preceding sections into practical instructions for NATO force and operational planners. The strategy called for the continued development of the military capabilities needed for the full range of the Alliance's missions, from collective defence to peace support and other crisis-response operations.


It also stipulated that the Alliance would maintain for the foreseeable future an appropriate mix of nuclear and conventional forces. NATO needed to protect its populations both at home and abroad. It therefore underwent major internal reforms to adapt military structures and capabilities to equip members for new tasks, such as leading the UN-mandated International Security Assistance Force ISAF in Afghanistan.

NATO also proceeded to deepen and extend its partnerships and, essentially, accelerate its transformation to develop new political relationships and stronger operational capabilities to respond to an increasingly global and more challenging world. This is major policy document set out the framework and priorities for all Alliance capability issues, planning disciplines and intelligence for the next 10 to 15 years.

A new Strategic Concept for NATO’s 70th birthday? | European Leadership Network

It analysed the probable future security environment and acknowledged the possibility of unpredictable events. Against that analysis, it set out the kinds of operations the Alliance must be able to perform in light of the Alliance's Strategic Concept and the kinds of capabilities NATO needed. Get the latest updates. Strategic Concepts Last updated: 12 Jun. Highlights Strategic Concepts equip the Alliance for security challenges and guide its future political and military development.

Some implications of strategic concepts for Western European nuclear weapons.

They are reviewed to take account of changes to the global security environment to ensure the Alliance is properly prepared to execute its core tasks, making transformation in the broad sense of the term, a permanent feature of the Organization. Over time, the Alliance and the wider world have developed in ways that NATO's founders could not have envisaged, and these changes have been reflected in each and every strategic document that NATO has ever produced.

Collective defence. That commitment remains firm and binding. NATO will deter and defend against any threat of aggression, and against emerging security challenges where they threaten the fundamental security of individual Allies or the Alliance as a whole. Crisis management. NATO has a unique and robust set of political and military capabilities to address the full spectrum of crises — before, during and after conflicts.

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NATO will actively employ an appropriate mix of those political and military tools to help manage developing crises that have the potential to affect Alliance security, before they escalate into conflicts; to stop ongoing conflicts where they affect Alliance security; and to help consolidate stability in post-conflict situations where that contributes to Euro-Atlantic security.

Cooperative security. The Alliance is affected by, and can affect, political and security developments beyond its borders. Cooperative security The final part of the Strategic Concept focuses on promoting international security through cooperation. These were among the factors that brought Allied leaders to produce a new Strategic Concept in From until the end of the Cold War From to , international relations were dominated by bipolar confrontation between East and West.

Massive retaliation put into question As soon as NATO's third Strategic Concept was adopted, a series of international developments occurred that put into question the Alliance's strategy of massive retaliation. It identified three types of military responses against aggression to NATO: Direct defence: the aim was to defeat the aggression on the level at which the enemy chose to fight. Deliberate escalation: this added a series of possible steps to defeat aggression by progressively raising the threat of using nuclear power as the crisis escalated. General nuclear response, seen as the ultimate deterrent.

The Harmel Report As NATO was setting its strategic objectives for the next 20 years, it also decided to draw up a report that provided a dual-track approach to security: political and military. The immediate post-Cold War period In , a new era commenced. It also reduced the use of nuclear forces to a minimum level, sufficient to preserve peace and stability: "This Strategic Concept reaffirms the defensive nature of the Alliance and the resolve of its members to safeguard their security, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

First, was to attend a CMA review course with a pre-set itinerary and instructors with whom I could interact. Second, was to create an intensive study schedule that included studying for 20 — 24 hours each week in addition to attending class. In order to accomplish this, I created a strategy where I would work intensely for 45 minutes and follow it by a 15 minute break.

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This permitted me to stay fresh and focused for 8 — 10 hours at a stretch. This strategy worked well for me and I accomplished my goal of earning my certification and receiving a top score with just six months of preparation. When I first started studying my approach was to study for as long as I could maintain focus. On a good day I would work steadily and absorb information for as long as four hours at a stretch. On a bad day, I would top out at two or three hours. Unfortunately, recovery time once I reached burnout was frequently equal to the amount of time that I spent studying.

Once I adjusted my studying to 45 minutes on, 15 minutes off, I found that I could study almost indefinitely without ever reaching burnout. As an individual I find it easy to focus for long periods of time. In fact, the 15 minute approach advocated by many productivity professionals does not work well for me. On the other hand, I have friends that produce their best work in the first 15 — 20 minutes.

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Their approach to studying would have been much different than mine.