NATO's fundamental tasks and missions
The fundamental principle of existence of NATO is the common commitment to support mutual cooperation between Member States, based on the indivisibility and security of its members. The primary objective of NATO is to safeguard freedom and security of its members based on political-military means of defensive of the NATO security policy.
- ensuring a stable Euro-Atlantic security, based on democratic institutions and the peaceful settlement of disputes;
Maintaining an adequate military capabilities for cohesive action for collective defense remains the core of the Alliance's security objectives. In this respect we established the following fundamental security tasks:
NATO Strategic Concept
The Strategic Concept is an official document that outlines NATO’s enduring purpose and nature and its fundamental security tasks. It also identifies the central features of the new security environment, specifies the elements of the Alliance’s approach to security and provides guidelines for the adaptation of its military forces.
Generally speaking, since the birth of NATO, there have been three distinct periods within which NATO’s strategic thinking has evolved:
One could say that from 1949 to 1991, NATO’s strategy was principally characterized by defence and deterrence, although with growing attention to dialogue and détente for the last two decades of this period. From 1991 a broader approach was adopted where the notions of cooperation and security complemented the basic concepts of deterrence and defence.
At the Strasbourg-Kehl Summit in April 2009, NATO leaders endorsed the “Declaration on Alliance Security” which, inter alia, called for a new Strategic Concept. This provoked a thorough debate and analysis of NATO issues and, together with the economic context, has presented an opportunity for rethinking, reprioritising and reforming NATO.
The 2010 Strategic Concept “Active Engagement, Modern Defence” is a very clear and resolute statement on NATO’s core tasks and principles, its values, the evolving security environment and the Alliance’s strategic objectives for the next decade.
The document describes the current security environment and identifies the capabilities and policies it will put into place to ensure that NATO’s defence and deterrence, as well as crisis management abilities are sufficiently well equipped to face today’s threats. These threats include for instance the proliferation of ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons, terrorism, cyber attacks and fundamental environmental problems. The Strategic Concept also affirms how NATO aims to promote international security through cooperation. It will do this by reinforcing arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation efforts, emphasizing NATO’s open door policy for all European countries and significantly enhancing its partnerships in the broad sense of the term. Additionally, NATO will continue its reform and transformation process.
A New Strategic Concept was adopted at the Lisbon Summit in November 2010, for the next ten years, reflecting a transformed security environment and a transformed Alliance. New and emerging security threats, especially since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, NATO’s crisis management experience in the Balkans and Afghanistan, and the value and importance of working with partners from across the globe, all drove NATO to reassess and review its strategic posture.
More details on nato.int