COMPREHENSIVE POLITICAL NATO North Atlantic Treaty GUIDANCE Organization
THE COMPREHENSIVE POLITICAL GUIDANCEThe Comprehensive Political Guidance is a major policy document that sets out theframework and priorities for all Alliance capability issues, planning disciplines andintelligence for the next 10 to 15 years.It analyses the probable future security environment, but acknowledges the possibilityof unpredictable events.Against that analysis, it sets out the kinds of operations the Alliance must be able toperform in light of the Alliance’s Strategic Concept and the kinds of capabilities theAlliance will need.
THE COMPREHENSIVE POLITICAL GUIDANCEAn evolving strategic contextProviding the means to implement the objectivesAdoption of the Comprehensive Political Guidance
AN EVOLVING STRATEGIC CONTEXTThe threats, risks and challenges now faced by the Allies are very different from those of theCold War.NATO no longer perceives large-scale conventional military threats to Alliance territory.Instead, today’s security threats include instability, ethnic and religious-based rivalries, competition for natural resources, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, failed states, genocide, mass migration, organized crime, cyber attacks and terrorism.
AN EVOLVING STRATEGIC CONTEXTThe challenge is to cope with an ever-increasing set of demands and with new types ofoperations.That is why Allies are committed to pursuing the transformation of their forces: current andfuture operations will continue to require agile and interoperable, well-trained and well-led military forces – forces that are modern, deployable, sustainable and available to undertake demanding operations far from home bases.This also places a premium on close coordination and cooperation among internationalorganizations and of particular importance to NATO is its relationship with the UnitedNations and the European Union.
PROVIDING THE MEANS TO IMPLEMENT THE OBJECTIVESCapability requirementsThe defence planning processThe CPG Management Mechanism
CAPABILITY REQUIREMENTSThe Comprehensive Political Guidance (CPG) sets out the kinds of operations the Alliancemust be able to perform in the future and, as a logical consequence of that vision, the kindsof capabilities the Alliance will need.It defines NATO’s top priorities among those requirements, starting with expeditionary forcesand the capability to deploy and sustain them.These capability requirements are expressed broadly. How specifically these capabilitieswill be filled is left open, since that is for members to determine both individually andcollectively through NATO’s defence planning process.
THE DEFENCE PLANNING PROCESSAs such, the defence planning process is also under review to guarantee that NATO haseffective military capabilities for defence and deterrence, as well as to fulfill the full rangeof its missions.The defence planning process comprises a number of planning disciplines including armaments, civil emergency planning, consultation, command and control, logistics and resource, nuclear and force planning. Subordinate documents, such as Ministerial Guidance, provide more detailed, quantitative and qualitative guidance. Usually provided every four years, Ministerial Guidance establishes the Alliance level of ambition in military terms and provides further strategic level politico-military direction for relevant planning disciplines. This provides the basis for specific requirements to be set by the NATO force planning system for those member countries engaged in collective force planning. The system then later assesses their ability to meet these planning targets through a biennial defence review process.
THE DEFENCE PLANNING PROCESSBuilding on the CPG, new Ministerial Guidance was agreed in June 2006.It seeks to provide NATO with the ability to conduct a greater number of smaller-scaleoperations, while retaining its ability to carry out larger operations.In addition, future planning targets will embrace the further transformation of the Allianceand will continue to seek to improve NATO’s capabilities to pursue the sort of expeditionaryoperations in which it is currently engaged.
THE CPG MANAGEMENT MECHANISMThe implementation of the CPG, both within the Alliance proper and by the Allies themselvesis crucial. Ultimately, implementation should lead to the development of more usablecapabilities for future operations and missions, thereby ensuring that the Alliance remainseffective, credible and relevant in the 21st century. To this end, in February 2006, a CPGManagement Mechanism was established.Two aspects of the implementation of the CPG are being pursued: monitoring andevaluating the actual fulfillment of the required capabilities; and improving NATO’sprocesses for identifying, developing and delivering the required capabilities.
ADOPTION OF THE COMPREHENSIVE POLITICAL GUIDANCEThe CPG was agreed on 21 December 2005 by the 26 NATO member countries.It was endorsed by NATO Defence Ministers at their June 2006 meeting at NATOHeadquarters in