Title: NATO Topic Page on the Comprehensive Approach
Publication date: March 2012
Keywords: Comprehensive/Integrated Approach
In March 2012, NATO agreed on an Updated List of Tasks to update its Comprehensive Approach Action Plan. These tasks are being implemented by a dedicated civilian-military task force involving all relevant NATO bodies and commands. This report should be considered in the wider context of NATO’s new Strategic Concept, adopted at the Lisbon Summit in November 2010. The report is useful as it offers up to date guidance from NATO on the comprehensive approach to crisis management. A key related document to the topic guide is the recently published (2011) NATO political guidance on ways to improve its involvement in stabilisation and reconstruction. The document will be primarily useful for both civilian and military officials involved in crisis management both at national and multi-national levels.
The key lessons highlighted in the report include the following:
Planning and conduct of operations: NATO promotes the setting of a clear pre-operation definition of strategies and objectives with all relevant actors. The report notes in order to improve NATO’s contribution to a Comprehensive Approach Allies agreed to form a civilian capability to work with other actors.
Lessons learned, training, education and exercises: In order to build trust and confidence between NATO and its partners, the Alliance emphasises joint training of civilian and military personnel. This highlights the sharing of lessons learned and ultimately encourages improved coordination.
Enhancing cooperation with external actors: Effectiveness can be improved by achieving mutual understanding, trust and respect among relevant actors. As part of this, NATO is establishing closer links with relevant actors whilst also understanding the autonomy of each organisation.
Public messaging: Critical to the success of the Comprehensive Approach is coherent public messaging. This includes NATO’s information campaigns, which consist of systematic and up to date information.