NATO: Active Engagement, Modern Defence (part III)

Defence and Deterrence

The greatest responsibility of the Alliance is to protect and defend our territory and our populations against attack, as set out in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty. The Alliance does not consider any country to be its adversary. However, no one should doubt NATO’s resolve if the security of any of its members were to be threatened.

17.Deterrence, based on an appropriate mix of nuclear and conventional capabilities, remains a core element of our overall strategy. The circumstances in which any use of nuclear weapons might have to be contemplated are extremely remote. As long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO will remain a nuclear alliance.

18.The supreme guarantee of the security of the Allies is provided by the strategic nuclear forces of the Alliance, particularly those of the United States; the independent strategic nuclear forces of the United Kingdom and France, which have a deterrent role of their own, contribute to the overall deterrence and security of the Allies.

19.We will ensure that NATO has the full range of capabilities necessary to deter and defend against any threat to the safety and security of our populations.

Therefore, we will:

• maintain an appropriate mix of nuclear and conventional forces;

• maintain the ability to sustain concurrent major joint operations and several smaller operations for collective defence and crisis response, including at strategic distance;

• develop and maintain robust, mobile and deployable conventional forces to carry out both our Article 5 responsibilities and the Alliance’s expeditionary operations, including with the NATO Response Force;

• carry out the necessary training, exercises, contingency planning a