NATO's New Strategic Concept (22-11-2010)

At the Summit Conference in Lisbon on 19 and 20 November, NATO heads of state and government formally accepted a new Strategic Concept for the next ten years, in accordance with an agreement reached in 2009 (As discussed in my "Western Cooperation Origins and History" on pages 238-240 with documentary reference to doc. II.3.29). The Concept had been prepared and discussed extensively in a special group of advisers. The text of the Report will be the subject of my next item. As was the case with the Strategic Concepts of 1991 and 1999, the new Concept is an open document prepared openly. As a consequence it is bound to state general principles rather than give detailed strategic guidelines. NATO Summits, especially since 1989, are declared to be historic, path-breaking and steps towards major reforms. Still the new strategic concept looks quite similar to the previous one. The most important strategic decision (a missile defence system) was left to agreement after the visit of Russian President Medvedev, both referred to in two follow-up news items.

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