Select Committee on Defence Written Evidence

Further supplementary memorandum from the Ministry of Defence

  1.  This memorandum is provided by the Ministry of Defence as written evidence for the House of Commons Defence Committee Inquiry: The Future of NATO and European Defence. It seeks to answer questions asked by the Committee in the second section of its letter of 11 January (in italics in the text), which requested further information on points that arose during the Secretary of State's evidence session on 8 January.

A note outlining what the UK would like on the agenda for the NATO Heads of Government Summit at Bucharest in April 2008 (Q 218)

  2.  The UK's priorities for the Bucharest Summit are:

    —    a reaffirmation of Allied solidarity and purpose in current operations;

    —    giving NATO the tools to work more effectively as part of a Comprehensive Approach to security challenges and in operations;

    —    agreement to press forward in modernising NATO structures and procedures to manage complex expeditionary operations and orchestrate the development of Allies' capabilities;

    —    an invitation to the countries currently engaged in the Membership Action Plan (MAP) to join the Alliance, if they are judged to have met the required standards following the completion of the MAP cycle next month; and

    —    a commitment to deliver NATO's most pressing military requirements for operations, notably trainers/mentors and helicopters (including through the UK-initiated NATO work to identify and overcome technical/logistical problems currently inhibiting deployment of some Allies' helicopters).

A note outlining which countries are being considered for membership of the Alliance at the Bucharest Summit and the criteria by which countries aspiring to be granted a Membership Action Plan are assessed (Q 217)

  3.  Albania, Croatia and Macedonia are due decisions on their applications to join NATO at the Bucharest Summit.

  4.  The 1995 Study on NATO enlargement was carried out by the Alliance to consider the merits of admitting new members and how they should be brought in highlighting that countries seeking membership would have to be able to demonstrate that they had fulfilled certain requirements. The Intensified Dialogue process aimed to provide these countries with concrete information regarding the rights and obligations inherent to NATO membership. Once admitted, a new member country would enjoy all of these rights, and assume all of these obligations. According to the Study, any country seeking to join the Alliance must meet key requirements, which include:

    —    functioning democratic political system based on a market economy;

    —    treatment of minority populations in accordance with guidelines established by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe;

    —    commitment to peaceful resolution of disputes with neighbours;

    —    the ability and willingness to make a military contribution to the Alliance and to achieve interoperability with other members' forces; and

    —    commitment to democratic civil-military relations and institutional structures.

  5.  The Membership Action Plan (MAP) gives substance to NATO's commitment to keep its door open and is a programme of advice, assistance and practical support designed to help countries wishing to join the Alliance in their preparations for potential membership and in their drive to meet NATO standards. The main features are:

    —    the submission by aspiring members of individual annual national programmes on their preparations for possible future membership, covering political, economic, defence, resource, security and legal aspects;

    —    a focused and candid feedback mechanism on aspirant countries' progress on their programmes that includes both political and technical advice;

    —    a clearing-house to help co-ordinate assistance by NATO and by member states to aspirant countries in the defence/military field; and

    —    a defence planning approach for aspirants which includes elaboration and review of agreed planning targets.

  6.  MAP is guided by the principle of self-differentiation: aspirant countries are free to choose the elements of the MAP best suited to their own national priorities and circumstances. All aspirants submit an Annual National Programme on preparations for possible membership, covering five Chapters: political and economic, defence/military, resource, security and legal issues. They set their own objectives, targets and work schedules. These programmes are expected to be updated each year by aspirant countries. Throughout the year, meetings and workshops with NATO civilian and military experts in various fields allow for discussion of the entire spectrum of issues relevant to membership. An annual consolidated progress report on activities under the MAP is presented to NATO Foreign and Defence ministers.

  7.  Aspirant countries are expected to achieve certain goals in the political and economic fields. These include settling any international, ethnic or external territorial disputes by peaceful means; demonstrating a commitment to the rule of law and human rights; establishing democratic control of their armed forces; and promoting stability and well-being through economic liberty, social justice and environmental responsibility. Defence and military issues focus on the ability of the country to contribute to collective defence and to the Alliance's new missions. Full participation in Partnership for Peace (PfP) is an essential component. Through their individual PfP programmes, aspirants can focus on essential membership related issues.

  8.  Partnership Goals for aspirants include planning targets which are covering those areas which are most directly relevant for nations aspiring NATO membership. Resource issues focus on the need for any aspirant country to commit sufficient resources to defence to allow them to meet the commitments that future membership would bring in terms of collective NATO undertakings. Security issues centre on the need for aspirant countries to make sure that procedures are in place to ensure the security of sensitive information. Legal aspects address the need for aspirants to ensure that legal arrangements and agreements which govern co-operation within NATO are compatible with domestic legislation.

The UK's attitude to those countries currently aspiring to NATO membership[143]

  9.  Albania and Macedonia have been part of NATO's Membership Action Plan (MAP) since 1999, Croatia have been part of NATO's MAP since 2002. All three are looking for a positive invitation by Allies to join NATO as full members at the Bucharest Summit in April 2008. At the Riga Summit in 2006, Allies commended the progress made by the three countries, saying that they intended to extend invitations in 2008 to those that had met NATO standards. We will be waiting to see the results of their annual MAP assessments before making any commitment of support a membership application. The UK wants all three countries to join NATO when they are ready as part of a wider attempt to enhance regional security in the Balkans and promote democratic, economic and human rights reform. If all three countries meet the standards and continue with their reforms, thereby receiving positive NATO assessments in February, we would support their accession.

  10.  Albania: NATO enjoys a high level of public support in Albania and membership is a stated political goal. The Riga Summit declaration stated that it was critical that Albania made sustained progress against organised crime and corruption.

  11.  Croatia is in a strong position, and remains on course to meet the requirements for NATO membership, with public opinion now around the 50% mark in favour of joining NATO.

  12.  Allies will want to see sustained progress by Macedonia on reform up until the Summit. Discussions continue under UN negotiator Matthew Nimetz over the country's constitutional name.

  13.  Ukraine and Georgia are taking part in an Intensified Dialogue on their aspirations for NATO membership.

  14.  Ukraine: The Ukrainian Government has written to the NATO Secretary-General requesting "positive decisions" on a Membership Action Plan (MAP) by Bucharest. The UK continues to support Ukraine's progression on the path towards eventual membership.

  15.  Georgia: President Saakashvili has made Georgia's deepening relationship with NATO a top foreign policy priority. The UK continues to supports Georgia's long-term Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

A note outlining the Government's assessment of the success and shortcomings of the last NATO Heads of Government Summit in Riga in November 2006 (Q 219)

  16.  A detailed assessment of the NATO Summit at Riga was provided by the Secretary of State for Defence in his statement to the House on 30 November 2006 (Official Report, 30 November 2006, columns 1239—1251).

A note outlining the progress achieved in improving Alliance burden-sharing arrangements for the ISAF mission in Afghanistan (including the removal or revision of national caveats and the level of troop commitments) since the beginning of that mission (Q220-226)

  17.  NATO and Non-NATO nations are contributing a great deal towards, and engaging in, the ISAF Military effort in Afghanistan. In addition to the UK, there are 39 nations in Afghanistan, including all the 26 NATO nations.

  18.  A number of countries have removed some or all of the caveats they began with. More importantly NATO is aware of any restrictions and COMISAF is fully aware of any remaining national caveats and can plan around them. There has been agreement from all nations to extend their operations in the case of a requirement to provide in-extremis support.

  19.  There has been a substantial increase in troop levels since NATO started operating in southern and eastern Afghanistan in 2006. A number of force increases and pledges to the ISAF mission have been made recently including agreement from the Czech Republic to deploy two Weapon Locating Radars to Kandahar airfield in April 2009. Turkey has pledged to provide two additional Operational Mentoring and Liaison Teams (OMLT) to help train the Afghan National Army. Poland has recently announced they will increase their contribution by eight Helicopters, a mobile training team and additional support to the Regional Command (E) Provincial Reconstruction Team. Germany will provide additional training teams for the Afghan National Army. President Sarkozy of France announced an additional deployment of an OMLT team in southern Afghanistan and has increased their Close Air Support contribution. The USA is the single largest troop contributor and amongst their force increases is the recent announcement of a seven month deployment of approximately 3,000 marines predominantly to the south. In addition to these contributions some countries offer assistance despite not having forces deployed in Afghanistan; Iceland who has paid for some for strategic airlift used by NATO allies, is one example.

  20.  A number of countries have also recently renewed their parliamentary mandates to deploy forces to Afghanistan these include The Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark.

  21. We continue to urge other nations in bilateral meetings and international fora to keep Afghanistan at the forefront of discussions, and we will continue to work with our ISAF partners to ensure that national caveats are kept to a minimum.

A note outlining the UK's priorities for the reform of NATO's organisation; what it would expect an internal reform process to achieve (Q 246)

  22.  For the UK, the aim of reform is to enhance NATO's ability to manage complex operations like that in Afghanistan; to drive the development of new capabilities; build a network of partnerships; and communicate what it is doing to the public and to the wider world.

  23.  We would expect a reform process to achieve a stronger focus in the North Atlantic Council on giving greater strategic direction; swifter decision-making; better management of common resources; more effective working within and between each element of the NATO HQ and command structure, including greater integration between military and civilian staffs, and a command structure that is more affordable and better meets the priorities identified in NATO's Comprehensive Political Guidance; stronger relations with other international organisations, including the UN and EU and institutions such as the World Bank; and a fresh approach to new partners, engaging with Japan, Australia, New Zealand and others.

A note outlining in the ways in which the UK believes the European Defence Agency has "lacked structure and orientation"—as the Secretary of State suggested—what the Government is doing to improve the performance of the EDA, and what it believes the EDA's key priorities should be (Q 335)

  24.  The lack of structure and orientation in the EDA is primarily a result of a lack of a clear understanding of collective priorities. The initial emphasis was on pursuing activity in all four areas of the Agency: armaments, industry and markets, capabilities and research and technology, but this was perhaps at the expense of a coherent process across the Agency.

  25.  This lack of structure and orientation is being resolved with the development of a number of key strategies and initiatives within the Agency. The EDA Capability Development Plan has been devised to make the EU Long Term Vision (an assessment of the challenges that the EU may face in 2030) more practical and usable by Member States for long term capability planning and by the Agency to prioritise its future work programme. The European Defence Technical and Industrial Base (EDTIB) Strategy aims to define the industrial base needed to support European defence. The European Defence Research and Technology (EDRT) Strategy aims to identify key technologies that need to be maintained and the mechanisms that could be used to ensure they are.

  26.  Without prejudicing the results of the work on the Capability Development Plan the UK believes that the first priority of the Agency should be to address interoperability. If EU Member States are to work alongside each other on operations then being able to operate together is essential. We believe that the second priority should be deployability, both tactical and strategic. Any Member State involved in operations should be able to get their forces and equipment to the theatre of operation, sustain them in place and manoeuvre around the theatre of operations.

A table providing details of the expenditure on defence of each member of the NATO Alliance over the past five years, expressed in real terms and as a percentage of GDP

  27.  UK Defence Statistics 2007 provides details of the defence spending of NATO Allies expressed both in national currencies at 2000 prices and exchange rates and as percentage of GDP, and can be found at:

A table providing details of the contribution of each member of NATO to the collective budgets of the Alliance, including the civil, military and NSIP budgets

Total paid
20022003 200420052006
Belgium139.726.0 28.527.530.0 27.8
Bulgaria7.00.0 2.3
Canada256.355.1 46.248.451.8 54.8
Czech Republic28.35.8 6.0
Denmark92.415.5 20.118.320.1 18.3
Estonia2.20.0 0.7
France226.139.7 32.634.062.3 57.6
Germany915.3166.0 181.5184.6196.0 187.2
Greece22.43.9 5.0
Hungary21.54.2 5.2
Iceland1.30.3 0.3
Italy306.655.5 58.559.266.2 67.1
Latvia2.80.0 0.9
Lithuania4.20.0 1.4
Luxembourg5.50.8 1.3
Netherlands155.427.0 31.330.833.8 32.5
Norway72.411.0 15.914.416.0 15.0
Poland77.916.1 13.715.016.5 16.6
Portugal25.05.7 5.5
Romania22.70.0 7.4
Slovakia9.20.0 3.0
Slovenia5.20.0 1.7
Spain157.431.4 28.429.532.5 35.5
Turkey56.012.2 9.210.311.5 12.9
United Kingdom417.6103.7 69.376.984.7 83.0
United States1,242.8246.8 239.0239.9258.7 258.4
unfunded7.91.9 0.7
Total4,281.0 828.7794.8 827.5921.9908.2

Total paid
20022003 200420052006
Belgium19.04.1 3.9
Bulgaria1.60.0 0.5
Canada39.18.0 8.8
Czech Republic6.41.3 1.4
Denmark10.22.2 2.1
Estonia0.50.0 0.2
France104.922.9 18.721.720.4 21.3
Germany111.723.2 24.1
Greece3.00.6 0.8
Hungary4.71.0 1.0
Iceland0.40.1 0.1
Italy43.18.6 10.2
Latvia0.70.0 0.2
Lithuania1.00.0 0.3
Luxembourg0.60.1 0.2
Netherlands20.44.1 4.7
Norway8.21.7 1.9
Poland17.83.7 3.8
Portugal4.70.9 1.1
Romania5.30.0 1.7
Slovakia2.20.0 0.7
Slovenia1.20.0 0.4
Spain26.35.2 6.3
Turkey11.92.4 2.8
United Kingdom116.325.7 21.123.922.4 23.2
United States158.433.4 27.432.531.2 33.9
Total719.7 149.1122.1149.6 143.2155.6

Total paid
20022003 200420052006
Belgium113.625.7 24.223.322.1 18.3
Bulgaria2.40.0 1.0
Canada138.024.0 30.030.328.8 24.8
Czech Republic24.84.4 4.5
Denmark84.320.8 18.016.715.8 13.0
Estonia0.80.0 0.3
France201.835.9 44.041.847.1 33.0
Germany629.8141.6 132.8128.6123.6 103.2
Greece30.86.2 5.3
Hungary17.93.2 3.3
Iceland0.00.0 0.0
Italy246.852.5 51.650.749.8 42.2
Latvia1.50.0 0.6
Lithuania5.01.2 0.8
Luxembourg1.00.0 0.4
Netherlands124.228.8 20.2
Norway69.317.8 14.713.512.8 10.6
Poland68.212.2 12.4
Portugal14.62.2 2.7
Romania7.90.0 3.1
Slovakia3.20.0 1.3
Slovenia94.616.1 20.219.621.1 17.6
Spain1.80.0 0.7
Turkey40.36.6 7.4
United Kingdom410.069.4 90.890.286.8 72.8
United States742.0153.5 157.0155.5150.1 125.8
Total3,074.6 622.1652.0 640.3634.9525.2

Maps showing the current membership of the Alliance, Membership Action Plan countries, Partnership for Peace countries, and Intensified Dialogue countries

  28.  The "NATO Member and Partner Countries" map, available on the NATO website (, shows the 26 members of NATO and the 23 members of Partnership for Peace. Of the Partnership for Peace countries, three (Albania, Croatia and Macedonia) have Membership Action Plans and two (Georgia and Ukraine) have an Intensified Dialogue.

12 February 2008

143   This additional note was requested at a closed HCDC session with Mr Jon Day and Lt Gen Peter Well on Iraq and Afghanistan, held on 22 January 2008. Back

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