The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of CCADD.



CCADD –  Birmingham, UK – 01 September 2007


Major General Frank H.J. HYE, Belgian Army,

 NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Transformation

Representative in Europe




Mr. Chairman, Ladies, Gentlemen,


Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to provide you with some background information on how NATO is dealing with the topic of Responses to Terrorism.




The 9/11 terrorist attacks against the United States demonstrated both the capability of a determined enemy and the vulnerability of Alliance members to large-scale terrorist attack, to include the potential use of Weapons of Mass destruction. As you might remember, NATO’s Article 5 invocation and subsequent operations demonstrated the Alliance’s resolve to deal with this threat. Already in December 2001, NATO’s Defence Ministers tasked NATO to prepare a Military Concept for Defence Against Terrorism, a concept that was agreed upon in September 2002.


During last year’s NATO Summit in Riga, Heads of State endorsed a document called the Comprehensive Political Guidance setting the priorities for all Alliance capability issues, planning disciplines and intelligence. It recognised that terrorism, increasingly global in scope and lethal in results, and the spread of weapons of mass destruction are likely to be the main threats to the Alliance over the next 10 to 15 years.  


NATO has defined terrorism as the unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence against individuals or property in an attempt to coerce or intimidate governments or societies to achieve political, religious or ideological objectives.


My intervention will focus on two recent NATO documents: the Future Security Environment, and the NATO’S Extended Protection Concept. Both documents are NATO Unclassified and therefore releasable to this audience.




NATO’s Allied Command Transformation, in coordination with NATO’s Allied Command Operations, delivered the Future Security Environment Study on 16 March 07. It is a very extensive document, some 150 pages long. This FSE paper is to be used openly, as an input to aid conceptual thinking, strategic policy development and capability development work, and as a foundation document for NATO Defence Planning.


Whereas the NATO Agreed Intelligence (NAI) mechanism covers a 10-year timeframe (and updated annually), the Future Security Environment paper’s horizon is 2025.


Without going too much into detail, let me now just focus on some the key findings in this document.


It is anticipated that terrorism and the spread of WMD are likely to be the principal threats to the Alliance over the period. Furthermore, a growing range of actors may conduct both physical attacks and computer network attacks. Criminal organisations and networks will expand the scale and scope of their operations, including piracy.


China’s emergence as a new superpower will define global economy and security in the 21st Century. Also India, because of its growing population, robust military establishment and increasing high technology, is a rising political, economic and military player. Russia’s re-emergence will be highlighted by its control of energy resources. North-Korea, Iran and Syria will continue to be countries of concern for WMD proliferation.



The main weapon for enemies will be asymmetric warfare, including terrorism, using technological advanced capabilities. This, together with proliferation of WMD and their means of delivery, will constitute the most immediate threat to NATO.


Other global security concerns are global warming, faster spreading of new epidemics, transforming from oil to new sustainable forms of energy and immigration pressures.


Amongst the regions of interest to NATO are: Sub-Saharan Africa (at risk for new and worsening humanitarian emergencies), South Caucasus (because of unresolved local conflicts, weak economic fundamentals and continued Russian influence), the Middle East (likely to become even less stable) and North Africa (facing a troubled economic future).

This document is now available for everybody.


The Future Security Environment (FSE 2025) holds many threats that can be potentially diminished or countered in many ways. The resultant potential threats to NATO security from the many trends described within the Future Security Environment paper cover a spectrum of dangers that goes from criminality, terrorism, subversion, insurrection to inter-state conflict. Military power will still be applicable to many situations, but other concerted measures could be examined in order to weaken other components of potential aggression against NATO. This observation is consistent with the Comprehensive Approach and the current thinking in NATO on the Effects-Based Approach to Operations.


NATO’s member nations should not only develop capabilities for the ongoing asymmetric warfare but also look at what capabilities we are going to need to overcome the future challenges ahead, to be prepared for the next war.





Cascading from the grand strategic level, EBAO is implemented differently at various levels of decision-making.  It requires specific practices and procedures for each level, the establishment of clear links between actions, effects, objectives and the end-states and, where possible, the harmonization of political, military, civil and economic planning.  The following EBAO principles are applicable to all levels:

·    It is a philosophy that reflects a way of thinking that complements other philosophies such as the indirect approach and mission command;

·    It focuses on the end-state and on determining the effects that must be created in order to influence the behavior and capabilities of key actors to achieve it;

·    It considers the engagement space as a system in which all actors and entities interact to create effects;

·    It requires an analysis of the system to understand the relationship between actions and effects;

·    It requires harmonizing the contributions of the various instruments of the Alliance (as described earlier in Paragraph 5) and, where appropriate, the actions of sovereign states (possibly members of the Alliance) and other actors;

·    It requires continuous assessment of the effectiveness of actions and adapting the plan if necessary.

EBAO is in line with a comprehensive approach to security already embedded in the Alliance Strategic Concept 99 and the NATO Crisis Management Process.  It recognizes the importance of applying the various instruments available to the Alliance to create overall effects that will lead to crisis resolution.  Achieving synergies amongst NATO and non-NATO entities, and an understanding of the interdependencies amongst contributory actors, will enable the Alliance’s military instrument to better identify how it may best harmonize its contribution with those other actors and entities involved in a crisis.  Technology offers the opportunity to support the full potential of the EBAO concept and deliver to NATO a capability for the coherent and comprehensive application of various instruments of the Alliance.  However, the human dimension remains pivotal to EBAO; technology alone will not enable the realization of EBAO.



The main weapon for enemies will be asymmetric warfare to include terrorism. Terrorism, which is increasingly global in scope and lethal in results, and the spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction, are likely to be the main threats to the Alliance. Instability due to failed states, regional crises and conflicts, the growing availability of increasingly sophisticated conventional weaponry, the misuse of emerging technologies and the disruption of the flow of vital resources are likely to be the main risks or challenges for the Alliance over the next 10 to 15 years. The most worrisome risk may be the search by terrorist groups and rogue states to obtain Weapons of Mass Destruction. (FSE 2025, p 38)


A more coherent and effective international response, which utilises all of the tools at our disposal, ranging from aid and humanitarian assistance to support institution building could well be the course to take. (FSE 2025, p 39)


A recent comprehensive study by the Clingendael Centre for Strategic Studies found 41 Terrorist Black Holes across the globe. Some of the conclusions from the study state that there are five categories of factors that contribute to a lack of government control in an area and the creation of a black hole. (FSE 2025, p 52)


These categories are: societal tension, legacy from civil conflict, geography, corruption and policy failure, and external interference. The same study also identifies six factors that constitute a comparative advantage for that area to be inhabited by terrorists or armed non-state actors: religion and ethnicity, legacy from civil conflict, geography, economic opportunities, economic underdevelopment, and regional stimuli. These factors and considerations, when used with others, could help facilitate the early identification of areas at risk of becoming black holes. (FSE 2025, p 53)



When looking more closely to the regional trends for Europe, it is observed that the European homeland will probably remain relatively safe between now and 2025. A massive military attack remains highly unlikely. In contrast, instability may grow on the European Union’s eastern borders, in particular if enlargement continues. The main threat to the European homeland and the security of its citizens will probably come from (catastrophic) terrorism and possibly epidemics. Given the growing vulnerability and interdependence of modern societies, both could cause cascading effects and have a major impact, even if the total number of casualties were limited. (FSE 2025, p 116)


Shifting to North America, it is foreseen that, whilst the US retains great asymmetric advantages over potential adversaries, especially in the areas of military capabilities, technological advantage and wealth, it remains vulnerable. North America in general and the US in particular, will remain vulnerable to terrorist attack. (FSE 2025, p 118)





Adversaries seek to exploit vulnerabilities by using unconventional attacks to produce tactical, operational and strategic effects in order to achieve their strategic objectives which are to degrade NATO’s capabilities. The timing and scale of an attack is intended to achieve maximum effects.


In an environment where adversaries choose soft targets which are considered essential for international and local public support, there is now an understood requirement for future capability development. This should be achieved through greater coherence of action and effort among NATO forces, member- and partner nations, the UN, the EU and other relevant international and regional organizations. The requirement is identified for the protection of non-military actors and activities, key civilian infrastructure and the protection of capabilities to support stabilization.


NATO must build and foster a partnership among all levels, between military, government and the private sector. This partnership should be based on a commitment to a two-way communications flow and a timely exchange of information. It should extend to research, development, and fielding of advanced technology solutions to common protection problems. Collaborative efforts should include the development and sharing of modelling and simulation capabilities to enable public-private sector decision support and interdependency analysis.


Military Terrorism Defence Capabilities are comprised of the following components: Doctrine, Organisation, Education & Training, Materiel, Technology, Personnel, Facilities and Interoperability.



Already back in 2002, the roles and missions for defence against terrorism were established.


Defence against terrorism is the sum of Consequence management and Counter-Terrorism. 





Mr. Chairman, Ladies, Gentlemen,


NATO is very much involved in combating terrorism, which is one, if not the main one, area of concern expressed in the Future Security Environment document. Therefore I would like to conclude by mentioning some more initiatives or concepts NATO is working on.



I stand ready to take any questions you might have on this subject, or even on the previous one dealing with the likely sources of future conflicts.