Defence written question – answered on 5th March 2007.

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Photo of Mark Harper Mark Harper Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 19 February 2007, Official Report, column 312W, on NATO, what assessment he has made of progress in the continuing transformation of NATO's capabilities.

Photo of Des Browne Des Browne Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence, The Secretary of State for Defence

NATO's ongoing transformation process is vital for ensuring that the alliance has the modern expeditionary capabilities it needs to undertake the full range of potential missions, including collective defence and crisis response operations. Building on the decisions taken at the Prague and Istanbul summits, much progress has already been made to make alliance forces more capable and more usable—exemplified by the development of the NATO Response Force, which was declared fully operational at the Riga summit last November. Other important new initiatives agreed at Riga were to increase the strategic lift available to allies; enhance co-operation between special forces; improve logistics support; develop a more comprehensive approach to operations; further streamline NATO's command structures; and strengthen NATO's ability to work with those current and potential contributors to NATO operations and missions, who share its interests and values.

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