NATO Long-Term Military Transformation
The Long-Term Military Transformation programme is Allied Command Transformation’s process for anticipating and preparing for the ambiguous, complex and rapidly changing future security environment. The first component is the Strategic Foresight Analysis. The second component is the Framework for Future Alliance Operations. The Long-Term Military Transformation informs decisions and actions that are required to prepare the Alliance for tomorrow’s security challenges.
NATO's Allied Command Transformation promotes and leads many initiatives designed to transform NATO's military structure, its forces, capabilities and doctrine. To provide a foundation for this work, Allied Command Transformation conducts strategic foresight analysis to identify future global trends and to identify potential military implications for the Alliance.
This foresight work is known as Allied Command Transformation’s Long-Term Military Transformation programme. Within the Long-Term Military Transformation programme, every four years, Allied Command Transformation conducts a comprehensive look at the global security environment and describes it in two visionary documents. These documents are the Strategic Foresight Analysis and the Framework for Future Alliance Operations.
Although Allied Command Transformation is based in Norfolk, Virginia, the foresight work takes a global approach, holding annual conferences in USA and Europe that bring together the Allied Nations, NATO Centres of Excellence, and other key stake-holders, including members of academia and industry.
The overall purpose of Allied Command Transformation’s Futures Work is to describe the trends, future security challenges, potential opportunities and the related military implications that shape the future security environment, and to recommend the abilities that NATO forces may need to address them.
Strategic Foresight Analysis
The Strategic Foresight Analysis Report provides a wide-ranging shared understanding of the future security environment that is expected to unfold out to 2035 and beyond. The Report depicts political, social, technological, economic, and environmental trends and their implications. The latest Strategic Foresight Analysis Report is the 2017 Report, released October 2017, which builds upon the Strategic Foresight Analysis 2013 and 2015 Update Reports.
|SFA 2013 Report|
|SFA 2015 Interim Update|
|SFA 2017 Report|
The aim of the Strategic Foresight Analysis Report is to identify trends that will shape the future strategic context and derive implications for the Alliance out to 2035 and beyond.
The Strategic Foresight Analysis does not attempt to predict the future, for the future is neither predictable nor predetermined.
It provides an iterative assessment of trends and their implications to understand and visualise the nature of the dynamic and complex security environment.
The Strategic Foresight Analysis is the initial phase of the ongoing Long-Term Military Transformation efforts at Allied Command Transformation and sets the intellectual foundation for a follow-on report, the Framework for Future Alliance Operations.
The Strategic Foresight Analysis Report examines the main trends of global change and the resultant defence and security implications for NATO, highlighting challenges as well as opportunities. It is structured along the following themes: political, human, technology, economics/resources and environment.
The new Strategic Foresight Analysis 2017 Report has been released. The glossy print version is available by clicking the link on the left. The text version is available here.
Framework for Future Alliance Operations
Using the Strategic Foresight Analysis Reports as its foundation, the Framework for Future Alliance Operations proposes how Alliance forces might plan to transform, and recommends abilities that these forces may need to develop over the next 15 years. The Framework for Future Alliance Operations can be used to inform the NATO Defence Planning Process and be taken into consideration by defence planners to expand the NATO Defence Planning Process into the long-term.
|FFAO 2015 Report|
|FFAO 2018 Report|
Today, the Alliance military forces face a challenge in that they should adapt, evolve and innovate to meet an ambiguous, complex, and rapidly changing security environment. The Framework for Future Alliance Operations is a document that seeks to identify the abilities of a future Alliance pool of forces to meet the potential demands of the security environment from today through to the foreseeable future, 2035 and beyond. The Framework for Future Alliance Operations is designed to improve the Alliance’s long-term perspective of the future security environment to support and inform the NATO Defence Planning Process, as well as other NATO and national processes that require an assessment of the long-term future.
Overall, the future security environment through 2035 and beyond will likely be increasingly complex and present both challenges and opportunities to NATO’s military forces. A wide variety of drivers could lead to instability situations resulting in the Alliance’s decision to employ military forces. NATO military forces will need to apply the existing tenets of the law of armed conflict in new contexts, including emerging areas of ethical concern (e.g., human enhancement, cyber, the employment of automation/artificial intelligence, and blurring lines between combatants and non-combatants). However, NATO military forces could seize many opportunities in the future, including building and strengthening relationships, capitalising on innovative technology, ideas to maintain the military edge, as well as understanding and influencing the human aspects of conflict.
The Framework for Future Alliance Operations (FFAO) 2018 Report has been approved and signed by both SACT and SACEUR. The report was sent to the NATO Secretary General to the NATO Military Authorities and to the NATO and Partner nations. The FFAO provides the Bi-SC’s best military advice that identifies the required characteristics and abilities of forces that need to be available to the Alliance to retain the military edge and prevail in future operations, address challenges, and seize opportunities of the future. Building on the foundation of the FFAO 2015, this edition includes new discussion on the nature of war and character of conflict, Instability Situations, legal and ethical questions, and opportunities. The FFAO 2018 also includes an overarching Central Idea, refined Strategic Military Perspectives, Enabling Elements, and refined Military Implications. In addition, this document includes new emphasis on nuclear issues, terrorism, human capital, mission command, cross-domain operations and effects, full-spectrum cyberspace operations and space issues, and new disruptive technologies including artificial intelligence as a game-changer. The FFAO 2018 Report can be used to inform the NATO Defence Planning Process and might be taken into consideration during the development of the Military Committee recommendation to the next Political Guidance. The glossy print version is available by clicking the FFAO 2018 Report link on the left. The text version is available here.
What's New - What's Hot
This section contains a list of upcoming workshops and future products, with details and relevant links, as well as related news and events.
For each event, a list of available documents is provided.
Older events are available in the archive sections below: NATO'S Long-term Military Transformation Workshops Archive.
Strategic Foresight Analysis Workshop on the Russia from Euro-Atlantic Perspective
Helsinki, Finland on 17-19 June 2019
ACT Strategic Plans and Policy, Strategic Foresight Branch held ‘Russia from a Euro-Atlantic Perspective’ regional workshop in Helsinki co-hosted by Finland and Sweden. There were more than 130 participants in total from NATO and Partner Nations, NATO international staff, NATO command structures and agencies, COEs, the EU and EDA, industry and academia.
After welcoming remarks of MG Jari Kallio, Commandant, Finnish National Defence University, co-hosts of the workshop, Ms. Helena Partanen from Finnish MoD and MG Michael Claesson from Swedish Armed Forces provided keynote addresses. This was followed by opening remarks provided by DCOS SPP MG Hickman. MG Hickman highlighted that ‘the Alliance faces a range of security challenges and threats that originate both from the east and from the south; from state and non-state actors; from military forces and from terrorist, cyber, or hybrid attacks. Russia's aggressive actions, including provocative military activities in the periphery of NATO territory, and its demonstrated willingness to attain political goals by the threat and use of force, are a source of regional instability, fundamentally challenge the Alliance.’ He stated that SFA/FFAO provide a unique added value by supporting the development of a shared understanding of the strategic future security environment, describing the most significant political, social, technological, economic and environmental trends, and their relevant military and security implications for the Alliance, out to the next two decades.’
This was followed by four panel sessions provided by distinguish speakers and moderators from governments, academia and think tanks:
- Resurgent Russia: Russia’s foreign policy ambitions to reach and maintain great power status and the consequences for NATO and Euro-Atlantic security.
- Russian sphere of influence: Russian economic and energy strategies and their implications foreign policy.
- Russia’s Innovation Edge: The development of new technologies and how they will be exploited for strategic and tactical goals.
- The Future of Russia: Moscow’s domestic policies and strategies for regime survival.
This workshop also marks the first time that a Future Exploration Game was conducted in a Strategic Foresight context. The aim of the game was to allow participants to explore a potential future scenario out to the next two decades to identify trends and their implications while encouraging strategic conversation to reduce uncertainty. It also contributed to the development of non-linear thinking to improve our understanding of future eventualities. The Strategic Foresight Team received support from CAPDEV AOA Branch, NCIA SMEs, and wargaming experts.
We received a lot of good feedback for the high-quality speakers and moderators. We also received positive feedback for the Future Exploration Game. There are certain areas for improvement but this event set an excellent start for the use of exploration games. Overall, the workshop was a great success setting up the foundation for the development of the ‘Russia from a Euro-Atlantic Perspective’ report.
Strategic Foresight Analysis Workshop on the Future Security Environment in North Africa and the Sahel
Madrid, Spain, 2-4 April 2019
HQ Allied Commander Transformation is pleased to report the findings of the Strategic Foresight Analysis (SFA) North Africa and the Sahel Regional Perspectives Workshop held at the Centro Superior de Estudios de la Defensa Nacional (CESEDEN) in Madrid, Spain on 2-4 April 2019. Building on the discussions from the previous SFA workshops in 2018 in Cadiz and Budapest, the aim of this workshop was to develop an understanding of key trends, issues, and implications both within and emanating from North Africa and the Sahel regions. This event was supported by over 150 participants from 29 different nations including 25 NATO and Partner Nations, and 4 Mediterranean Dialogue Nations (Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia). Participants represented a diverse array of organizations including NATO HQ, NATO Commands and Agencies, Centres of Excellence (COEs), the United Nations, European Defence Agency, industry, think tanks, and academia.
The North Africa and the Sahel Regional Perspectives Workshop provided an open and transparent environment that enabled extremely useful discussions on the key trends, concerns, and issues related to these regions. It is clear from the workshop discussions that there are numerous diverging views and interests on these trends, implications, and their potential outcomes in the next twenty years. Therefore, the workshop report should be read as a reflection of the discussions held during the workshop and should not be perceived as the views of the Alliance or ACT on any particular subject.
The results of the workshop will be reflected in and serve as a foundation for the Regional Perspectives Report on North Africa and the Sahel scheduled for release in the summer of 2019. During the report development process, we will invite and will provide opportunity for national input and collaboration. The North Africa and the Sahel regional report, along with other separate regional reports to follow, will serve to inform the next SFA scheduled for release in 2021 and Framework for Future Alliance Operations (FFAO) scheduled for release in 2022.
Visit here to see our archive of previous Workshop Reports.
The archive below encompasses all strands of NATO's Long-Term Military Transformation and is organized chronologically, from the most recent event down to the oldest event.
Visions of Warfare 2036
"This anthology of stories was developed as a proof of concept that futurist prototyping would be a useful tool to advance our thinking around the future.
Many inventions and innovations were described in stories many years before they became a reality. Advanced submarines, flying to the moon, flip phones, iPads and the Internet itself were foretold decades before the underlying scientific challenges were solved. That futurist literature informs or inspires product design has become an established practice. The foundational hypothesis for this project is that leveraging the rich tradition of futurist storytelling will assist innovative and transformational thinking. I hope that the broader and imaginative ideas provided here can be assessed by those at the cutting edge of technology delivery and conceptual thinking and will be useful in postulating possible future evolutions of technology and the environments enabled by them.
SciFutures brought together a group of talented futurist authors and gave them a profile of the future developed from Allied Command Transformation’s broad library of futures work including the Strategic Foresight Analysis, Framework for Future Alliance Operations, Technology Trends Survey and Long Term Aspects of requirements. With this profile in mind, but unbounded by military strictures or the subliminal requirement to be “realistic”, the authors began a journey of envisioning the future, and exploring and imagining how technology and trends could affect future operations. This anthology is the result of that journey.
These stories will incite inventive thinking and discussion about future possibilities and add to the toolbox that the Alliance military and others can leverage to imagine and contemplate how NATO will undertake operations in the coming decades. Insights ranging from human enhancement to advanced weaponry, robotics, artificial intelligence and atypical soldiers will enlighten and colour how we think about future military engagements, and inform new iterations of intellectual thought on long-term military transformation within Allied Command Transformation.
This project has literally taken on the challenge levied by Sergey Brin, one of the founders of Google, who said, “If what we are doing is not seen by some people as science fiction, it’s probably not transformative enough.” Allied Command Transformation offers this anthology to provoke a rich debate on the future. I hope that you enjoy reading these stories and I encourage you to engage actively in coming discussions."
(Foreword to the book by Lieutenant General Jeffrey Lofgren, United States Air Force, Former Deputy Chief of Staff Capability Development)
Second Strategic Foresight Analysis Workshop on Regional Perspectives
Budapest, Hungary, 6-8 November 2018
Headquarters, Supreme Allied Command Transformation is pleased to report the findings of the Strategic Foresight Analysis workshop in Budapest, Hungary, at the National Public University on 6-8 November 2018. Building on the discussions at the previous Strategic Foresight Analysis workshop in Cadiz, Spain, the aim of this workshop was to set the foundation for the three Regional Perspectives Workshops that are planned for 2019; respectively on North Africa, Russia and Eastern Europe, and the Arctic/High North. These workshops will contribute to the development of Regional Perspectives Reports for each region. The Budapest workshop also provided an opportunity to demonstrate potential use of data science applications to improve the efficiency and increase the capacity of Allied Command Transformation's foresight methodology.
The workshop was opened by Dr. Csaba Vezekenyi, Hungarian Deputy State Secretary on defence policy followed by a presentation on the National University of Public Service by Dr. Nyikos Gyorgyi PhD, Vice-Rector for International Affairs. After the opening we had an overviews of Hungarian transformational efforts by Dr. Gyorgy Rabai, Hungarian Ministry of Defence - Defence Policy Branch, branch head and by Dr. Gergely Nemeth Hungarian Ministry of Defence J5. After that, a short summary of the Long Term Military Transformation program was presented to inform first-time attendees on Allied Command Transformation’s foresight work and the purpose of the Regional Perspectives Reports. The morning session concluded with a short lead-in briefing focused on the aim, objectives and desired outcomes of the first breakout sessions on North Africa.
Over the following two days, participants worked in breakout sessions along the five themes of the Strategic Foresight Analysis (Political, Human/Social, Technology, Economics/Resources, and Environment) to analyse trends and implications, and to identify key areas, concerns, issues for the different regions. They were also asked to determine initial ideas that will require in-depth analysis These ideas will be distributed to a wider audience for their inputs which will serve as the basis for call for papers in development of the Regional Perspectives Reports. The participants were also requested to identify potential Subject Matter Experts that could support the Regional Perspectives workshops and reports. Before the breakout sessions on Russia and Eastern Europe and the Arctic/High North regions, the Host Nation presentation on “Defence capability development challenges and opportunities in Hungary” was provided by Imre Porkolab PhD. This was followed by briefing from Microsoft Solutions Group on their applications to conduct large data analytics and a presentation on Space by Lt Col Ryan Snider member of the SCO group.
On the last day, the breakout section were finalised and the workshop continued with a breakout presentations. The breakout session leaders/Subject Matter Experts provided back briefs of their respective regional discussions. Finally, the workshop concluded with closing remarks provided by Col Tibor Szabo, Allied Command Transformation, Strategic Foresight Branch, branch head.
The Budapest workshop provided valuable input to the development of the respective Regional Perspectives Workshops. The detailed Workshop report will be published and send to nations and workshop participants at the beginning of December 2018.
Moving forward with Regional Perspectives Reports, the Strategic Foresight Analysis / Framework for Future Alliance Operations teams will continue to plan and organize the Regional Perspectives workshops in close coordination with the respective host nations: Spain, Finland, and Norway. The results of the workshops will be reflected in and establish the foundation of the Regional Perspectives Reports. These reports will inform the development of Strategic Foresight Analysis 2021 and to the Framework for Future Alliance Operations 2022 reports.
Invitation Letter to Ministry of Defence ~ Invitation Letter Response ~ Invitation Letter v3.0
Agenda ~ Read Ahead
Plenary Keynote - Hungarian Deputy State Secretary (Dr Csaba Vezekenyi)
Plenary - University Vice Rector (Dr Nyikos Györgyi)
Plenary - Admin Brief (Col Sven Szabo)
Plenary - Opening LTMT Brief (Col Tibor Szabo, Mr Mehmet Kinaci, LtCol Rik Pleijsant)
Plenary - North-Africa Brief (LtCol Rik Pleijsant)
Plenary - Russia Brief (Dr Regian Karp)
Plenary - Space Brief (LtCol Ryan Snider)
Plenary - Arctic Brief (Cdr Geir Hestvik)
Plenary - Breakout Session out-briefs
Framework for Future Alliance Operations 2018
NATO Strategic Foresight Analysis Workshop in Cadiz, Spain
The Strategic Foresight Analysis Workshop in Cadiz has been an initial attempt to share ideas and objectives for the 2018 and 2019 timeframe with the Strategic Foresight Analysis community of interest.
In the next two years, the convergence of the technology trends and their implications on all other trends in the political, human, economy/resources and environment domains will be analysed and a test report, using computing power in the analysis process, will be developed.
Additionally, short regional reports on Russia-Eastern Europe, the Arctic, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and North Africa and the Sahel will be provided as an outcome of regional workshops.
In this work, computing power will be used to support the research and analysis phases, development of scenarios to validate and inform trend analysis, and identification of implications. This process will provide an example of using technology and innovative approaches in staff processes, and of testing new ground to make an end product that adds value to NATO and Nations.
The aim of the Strategic Foresight Analysis workshop was to take stock, review methodology, discuss best practices and to outline a proposed way ahead toward the development of future Reports, while maintaining collaboration with NATO and Partner Nations, NATO Command and Agencies, Centres of Excellence, academia and industry.
Strategic Foresight Analysis 2017 Report Launch in Europe
Europe under pressure – security and defence in unpredictable times
The congress is organized by the Behörden Spiegel and supported by an Advisory Board made up of distinguished international personalities. The members of this group are:
- Michel Barnier, Head of the Negotiation with the UK, Task Force Article 50 and Adviser of President Juncker on European Defence
- Wolfgang Hellmich MP, Chairman of the Defence Committee, German Bundestag
- Prof. Ioan Mircea Pașcu MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament, former Defence Minister of Romania
- Dr. Hans-Gert Pöttering, Chairman of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and former President of the European Parliament
- Michael Roth, MP, Minister of State for Europe, Commissioner for Franco-German Cooperation, German Federal Foreign Office
- Jiri Sedivý, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to NATO, former Minister of Defence, Congress President BSC 2015-2017
- Dr. Karl von Wogau, Secretary General of the Kangaroo Group and Congress President 2001-2011
- Robert Walter, President of the Assembly of the Western European Union 2008 – 2011, President of the European Security and Defence Association (ESDA), Congress President BSC 2012 – 2014
The Congress addresses the European armed forces and the security organisations in Europe and those Non-European organisations that cooperate with them. It addresses also the respective ministries and agencies, the embassies in Berlin and the national and international companies. A special invitation goes also to the members of all national parliaments and those of the European Parliament. This event is open to press and on the record.
Strategic Foresight Analysis 2017 Report Launch in Washington D.C.
Opportunities and Challenges of a Complex Future
The shift toward multi-polarity and a growing potential for major power conflict, combined with increasing populism, rapidly changing demographics, and emerging technologies, is presenting unique challenges to governments, militaries, and societies around the world. Allied Command Transformations’ (ACT) 2017 Strategic Foresight Analysis report identifies the key drivers of these global trends and their implications for NATO and the Alliance. The panel – featuring US and European experts on security, strategy, and foresight – will discuss how NATO and the Alliance can use insights from the analysis to help prepare itself for a future that is more complex, interconnected, and unpredictable.
Framework for Future Alliance Operations 2017
NATO Shares Strategic Foresight Analysis 2017 with the Public
NATO ACT will publicly launch its Strategic Foresight Analysis for 2017 this fall in Washington, DC as well as in Berlin.
NATO ACT is hosting launch events to give this report the widest dissemination in the United States and Europe. This will apprise leaders and influencers of the dynamic and complex future security environment and identify challenges and opportunities to peace and security that lie on the horizon and beyond.
The Strategic Foresight Analysis 2017 is the only NATO report of its kind and is a shared vision for the future authored by Allied Nations, Partner Nations, academia, and industry to foster a common understanding of the future that NATO expects to face out to 2035.
Allied Command Transformation is keen to share the report as widely as possible, to act as a foundation for wider debate about subject of our future.
Framework for Future Alliance Operations 2017
Framework for Future Alliance Operations Workshop #1 2017
2-5 October 2017, NATO JWC, Stavanger, Norway
Supreme Allied Commander Transformation is pleased to report the findings of the Framework for Future Alliance Operations workshop held in Stavanger, Norway from 3-5 October 2017.
The Framework for Future Alliance Operations workshop was a two-and-a-half-day working-level event held at the Joint Warfare Centre which brought together 87 participants from 18 Nations (15 NATO & 3 Partner Nations), NATO Commands and Agencies, 16 Centres of Excellence, European Committee and Defence Agency, think tanks and academia. The primary deliverable for this conference were recommended changes to the draft Chapter 3 of Framework for Future Alliance Operations 2018.
The workshop began with a plenary session for introductory remarks, discussion of workshop concept and objectives, survey results, and discussion of applicable lessons learned. Then the workshop participants broke down into small syndicates for facilitated syndicate work to address the core question: In 2035 and beyond, what abilities will NATO forces require in the areas of prepare, project, engage, sustain, C3, protect, and inform in order to accomplish NATO core tasks? The first day concluded with a brief icebreaker event. The second day of the workshop began with a plenary session on SAS-123 brief panel followed by continued syndicate work. The last day consisted of out-briefs and discussion commencing in a plenary session. Closing remarks from Colonel Szabo concluded the workshop around noon.
The Long-Term Military Transformation Programme will continue with the aim of completing the Framework for Future Alliance Operations in 2018. Moving forward, the Framework for Future Alliance Operations team will incorporate recommended changes into the draft Chapter 3 of the document. In October 2017, this document will be submitted for full staffing and review, followed by Bi-SC review in early 2018.
Moving forward with this project the Framework for Future Alliance Operations team will incorporate recommended changes into the draft Chapter 3 of the document. After this the fullFramework for Future Alliance Operations-2018 Report will be transmitted to stakeholders for red-line comments. All stakeholders will have about six weeks from end of November 2017 until 06 of January 2018 to provide final comments. Framework for Future Alliance Operations team is going to have a review with Allied Command Transformation and Allied Command Operations stakeholders in the same time and the Team will have a Line-by-Line Review of full Framework for Future Alliance Operations final draft with small group from Allied Command Operations in Brussels 12-16 February 2018. After this review the Framework for Future Alliance Operations Writing team will develop the final draft and will start the Bi-SC approval process. According to our timeline the Framework for Future Alliance Operations Report will be Bi-SC approved at mid-March.
NATO'S Long-term Military Transformation Workshop, 28-30 March 2017, NATO Defense College, Rome, Italy
Workshop Invitation Letter | Agenda | Read Ahead | Administrative Instructions | FFAO Rome Workshop SACT COS Thank You Letter | FFAO Rome Workshop SACT DCOS SPP letter | FFAO Rome Workshop Report | FFAO Rome Workshop Out brief Slides
NATO'S Long-term Military Transformation Workshop, 26-30 September 2016, Bydgoszcz, Poland
SFA Workshop Introduction (~4MB) | FFAO Workshop Introduction (~9MB) | UK MOD DCDC Global Strategic Trends Programme (~5MB) | Assassin Bots Trained to Kill Reef-eating Starfish (mp4 video, ~14MB) | Capuchin Monkey Fairness Experiment (mp4 video, ~2MB)
NATO'S Long-term Military Transformation Workshop, 19-22 April 2016, Lucerne, Switzerland
Read-ahead documents | SFA FFAO - HNR Welcoming Remarks | Workshop Presentations | Australian Defence White Paper | Out-brief slides | Strategic Foresight Analysis (SFA) Workshop Report, 19-20 April 2016
Strategic Foresight Analysis 2015 Update Report WS-2
Strategic Foresight Analysis Interim Update Workshop - II
RADM Pete GUMATAOTAO (US Navy) - Deputy Chief of Staff Strategic Plans and Policy
Strategic Foresight Analysis 2015 Update Workshop
Mr. Mehmet Kinaci & LTC Aaron Bazin - Strategic Analysis Branch, Strategic Plans and Policy
U.S. Joint Staff Futures Series - Briefing to NATO Strategic Foresight Analysis Workshop
Duncan Brown, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab
--- This presentation is password-protected. Password should be requested to the Workshop organizers. ---
Emerging Risks and Disruptive Trends in (Global) Supply Chain Networks
Dipl.-Ing. Johannes Göllner, MSc - Section Head, Knowledge Management - National Defence Academy, Austrian Ministry of Defence and Sports
Dr. Joachim Klerx, Senior Researcher - Innovation Systems Department, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Strategic Foresight 2040 - Capability Planning in the German Armed Forces
Dr. Olaf Theiler - Future Analysis Branch, Bundeswehr Planning Office