In our interconnected world conflicts cannot be resolved by any one country alone. It is just as true that hardly any country can fully protect itself against cross-border threats. That is why we need partners and alliances that provide mutual support and solidarity. The North Atlantic Alliance (NATO) remains a central pillar of German security and defence policy. With its current 29 members, NATO is an important guarantor of security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area.
Collective defence, crisis management and cooperative security
Collective defence, crisis management and cooperative security are the three core tasks that NATO member countries have jointly agreed to perform. At the 2010 Lisbon Summit, Allies laid down these tasks in NATO’s Strategic Concept, which remains valid to this day.
Collective defence lies at the heart of the Alliance, whereby NATO member countries are committed to protecting each other if one or more of them comes under armed attack. However, to prevent a situation in which Article 5 would need to be invoked, preventive and credible deterrence of potential attackers must be ensured.
The crisis management efforts of the Alliance focus on creating security and stability where the security of NATO member countries may be affected. This includes crisis prevention, that is, activities to prevent crises and escalation, as well as post-crisis stabilisation efforts, such as in Afghanistan or in Kosovo.
The third task, cooperative security, describes NATO’s desire to cooperate with non-NATO countries with a view to maintaining international security and stability. This cooperation may take different forms, for example promoting dialogue with a view to creating transparency and building confidence.