In its 21st century NATO strategy “Basic and historic principles are well reconciled, as is that of collective defence, given the new threats. Moreover, it insists on an approach to operations that is not solely military, but also civilian, therefore comprehensive”. This was Minister Frattini’s comment at the end of the Foreign Affairs-Defence Ministerial meeting of the Atlantic Alliance, in which the 28 members approved the new strategic concept document drafted by NATO Secretary General Anders Rasmussen, and around which a new and more modern Alliance is to be built. A strategic concept that “will certainly be adopted at Lisbon”, at the NATO Summit of 19 and 20 November, the minister asserted. It is expected that a decision will be made in Lisbon on the creation of a new missile defence system. In his document Rasmussen spoke about a “very clear missile threat” and proposed interconnecting all the missile defence systems at the disposal of the allies. His proposal included extending the invitation to Russia, whose cooperation in considered indispensable.
It was also agreed in Brussels that the number of agencies at the service of the Alliance would be reduced from 14 to 3, and that the military command structure would be overhauled to lower costs and make the organization more dynamic. The current 11 military commands will be reduced to 6, and the aim will be to downsize the workforce from 13,000 to 9,000. The headquarters for the three new agencies (acquisitions, logistics and communications) and employee cuts will be decided after the Lisbon Summit.