June 1, 2003
Transforming NATO Command and Control for Future Missions
No military function is more critical to operational success than effective command and control (C2). There also is no more daunting military function to get right when it comes to the employment of complex multinational formations in the fast-paced arena of crisis response. Since the Cold War, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)—unique as an alliance with a permanent standing C2 structure—has ventured into a broader spectrum of missions and across a wider geographical area of operations, posing far greater C2 challenges than the single- mission, fixed-territory defense of the past. Threats to NATO interests have increased, demanding military structures and capabilities that can be employed on shorter notice and further outside NATO territory. At the same time, more sophisticated information-based battle systems and technologies are driving the need for increasingly interoperable forces. A key factor for success in this new environment will be a more agile, flexible, and responsive NATO C2 architecture for the 21st century.