News

04 December 1997

TEXT: FINAL COMMUNIQUE OF DPC AND NPG MINISTERIALS AT NATO

(Defense Planning Committee, Nuclear Planning Group 12/2) (1400)



Brussels -- The Defense Planning Committee (DPC) and the Nuclear
Planning Group of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization met in
ministerial session December 2, after which a Final Communique was
released.


The ministers concluded that "The military effectiveness of the
Alliance will remain indispensable for Euro-Atlantic security and
stability.... In addition to providing for deterrence and collective
defense it must now also be sufficiently flexible to meet the demands
of a changing and more complex security environment."


Further actions taken and conclusions reached and subsequently
detailed in the Final Communique were:


-- By preparing the nations invited to join NATO, the ministers said
in the communique, the defense planning system has proved its worth.
They endorsed guidance on the process of developing, with the three
invitees -- the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland -- Target Force
Goals by next spring.


-- The NATO force structure remains capable of fully meeting the
requirements of the Alliance's core functions of deterrence and
collective defense and will continue to be adapted in order to respond
better to the risks and potential threats associated with the
proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and their
means of delivery.


-- They expressed appreciation for U.S. Defense Secretary Cohen's
presentation on the prospects for ratification of the second Strategic
Arms Reduction Treaty (START II) and hope that the Russian Federation
will promptly ratify the treaty.


-- The ministers welcomed a second set of agreements signed on 26th
September by the United States with the Russian Federation, Belarus,
Kazakhstan and Ukraine relating to the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile
(ABM) Treaty and theater ballistic missile defenses.


-- The DPC and the NPG reaffirmed their conviction that the dialogue
between the U.S. and Russian military and in the Joint Permanent
Council will help to increase transparency and improve understanding
of the role of nuclear weapons in the security strategies of NATO and
the Russian Federation.


-- The defense ministers confirmed that nuclear forces continue to
play an essential role in NATO strategy and that their fundamental
purpose is political: to preserve peace and prevent coercion and any
kind of war, because by ensuring uncertainty about the nature of the
Allies' response to aggression, they demonstrate that aggression of
any kind is not a rational option.


Following is the text of the Final Communique of the ministerial
meeting of the DPC and NPG:


(Begin text)



Press Release M-DPC/NPG-2(97)150, 2 Dec. 1997



Final Communique

Ministerial Meeting of the Defense Planning Committee and the Nuclear
Planning Group on 2nd December 1997


1. The Defense Planning Committee and the Nuclear Planning Group of
the North Atlantic Treaty Organization met in Ministerial Session in
Brussels on 2nd December.


2. The Madrid Summit advanced the Alliance's comprehensive
transformation, including the adaptation of NATO's defense
capabilities and its military structure to undertake the whole range
of the Alliance's roles and missions. The military effectiveness of
the Alliance will remain indispensable for Euro-Atlantic security and
stability.


3. We accordingly reaffirm our determination to ensure the
effectiveness and coherence of our individual and collective military
capabilities to fulfill the full range of Alliance missions including
the core function of collective defense. In this context the
Alliance's collective defense planning system remains of vital
importance. In addition to providing for deterrence and collective
defense it must now also be sufficiently flexible to meet the demands
of a changing and more complex security environment.


4. The defense planning system has proved its worth as a means of
preparing for membership nations invited to join NATO. It is playing a
central role in preparing the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland for
the military responsibilities and obligations of Alliance membership.
We are pleased that the three invitees have declared themselves
prepared to make appropriate and significant military contributions to
the Alliance on accession and to participate fully in the defense
planning system. We took note of a report on their force structures
and plans which also set out the force contributions they intend to
make available to the Alliance on accession. We also endorsed guidance
on the process of developing, with the three invitees, Target Force
Goals by next Spring which will address areas for further work with
initial emphasis on the ability of their forces to operate together
with those of the Alliance.


5. We have reviewed national defense plans for the period 1998-2002
and beyond and have adopted a five-year force plan which will ensure
that our defense plans continue to match the requirements of the
changing security situation. We have concluded that our force
structure remains capable of fully meeting the requirements of the
Alliance's core functions of deterrence and collective defense,
including for the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland on accession.
Alliance forces will continue to be adapted in order to respond better
to the risks and potential threats associated with the proliferation
of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and their means of
delivery. They will also be adapted, while maintaining their ability
to conduct Article 5 operations, to the greater likelihood of their
being called on for non-Article 5 operations, which may increasingly
be carried out in cooperation with our Partners. In this context, work
is continuing in order to provide a clearer indication of the
availability of forces for such missions. We have also assessed
through the NATO defense planning system the military requirements for
WEU operations and the forces and capabilities that might be available
to meet these requirements, and we intend to refine this work further.
As the Alliance continues to adapt its force structure to new
circumstances, we emphasized the need to commit appropriate levels of
resources to ensure that our leaner military capabilities are properly
manned, equipped, and trained.


6. We received with appreciation a presentation by the U.S. Secretary
of Defense on the prospects for ratification of the second Strategic
Arms Reduction Treaty (START II). In this context, we welcomed the
agreements signed by Secretary Albright and Foreign Minister Primakov
on 26th September to enhance the prospects for Russian ratification of
START II. We expressed our hope that the Russian Federation will
ratify START II promptly so that the benefits of that treaty may be
attained and negotiations can begin soon on START III.


7. We also welcomed a second set of agreements signed on 26th
September by the United States with the Russian Federation, Belarus,
Kazakhstan and Ukraine relating to the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile
(ABM) Treaty and theater ballistic missile defenses. Taken together,
these agreements will ensure the continued viability of the ABM
Treaty, which has been an important element of strategic stability for
over 25 years. We fully support the goal that the Comprehensive Test
Ban Treaty should enter into force as soon as possible and, to this
end, encourage all states to sign and ratify the treaty without delay.
We also continue to attach great importance to the early beginning of
negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty.


8. We welcomed the initiation of reciprocal exchanges between Russian
and U.S. strategic force commanders and took note of the recent visit
by the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Strategic Command to Russian
nuclear installations. We received a presentation on the status of
Russian tactical nuclear forces. We look forward to consultations on
nuclear weapons issues with Russia in the Permanent Joint Council. We
reaffirmed our conviction that this dialogue will help to increase
transparency and improve understanding of the role of nuclear weapons
in the security strategies of NATO and the Russian Federation.


9. We confirmed that nuclear forces continue to play an essential role
in NATO strategy and that their fundamental purpose is political: to
preserve peace and prevent coercion and any kind of war. By ensuring
uncertainty about the nature of the Allies' response to aggression,
they demonstrate that aggression of any kind is not a rational option.
The changes in NATO's nuclear policy and posture since the end of the
Cold War are amongst the most radical in the Alliance's
transformation. Since 1991, NATO has significantly reduced its nuclear
stockpile and force posture in the light of the changed security
environment. Alliance nuclear forces are not targeted at any country;
and NATO has reduced the number and readiness of its dual capable
aircraft.


(End text)