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Activity title

Conceptual framework for Comprehensive National Defence System

Activity Reference



System Analysis and Studies

Security Classification




Activity type


Start date


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AllofGovernment Approach, Civil Military Cooperation, Framework of Comprehensive Defence, Hybrid threats, Resilience, Situational Awareness, Threat perception


• In an ever-changing security environment, military and civil institutions need to cooperate. As stated in the Lisbon Summit Declaration of 2010, operational experience has taught that military means, although essential, are not enough on their own to meet the many complex challenges to security. The military must work with other actors to contribute to a comprehensive approach that effectively combines political, civilian and military crisis management instruments. Its effective implementation requires all actors to contribute in a concerted effort, based on a shared sense of responsibility, openness and determination, and taking into account their respective strengths, mandates and roles, as well as their decision-making autonomy. • Information sharing and mutually understandable operating procedures are the prerequisites for comprehensive defence, aligning objectives, structures, processes and procedures amongst diverse stakeholders and contingencies. • As various models of comprehensive defence are implemented in different NATO member and Partner states there is a need to study the conceptual underpinnings, as well as methods for planning, analysing, and validating the capability requirements and concepts of operation. • For the purposes of this study, the national comprehensive defence system is broadly understood as coordinated cooperation of different government, public, private, and non-governmental organizations with military structures, integrating different operating concepts, methods of Command and Control, information flows, and processes and procedures.


To bring together NATO-bodies, member and Partner states to explore, examine and share concepts and frameworks supporting comprehensive defence, and to enable optimization of the existing capabilities and development of new capabilities in the future.


The project is envisaged to be conducted in two phases, specifics of the Phase 2 will be determined as Phase 1 nears to its end. For the whole project: Conceptual aspects of the comprehensive defence framework and application practices. 1. How have different NATO members and Partner states approached the comprehensive defence framework? Structured overviews and short descriptions of the current practices in each participating member or Partner state. What generalisations can be drawn from the existing practices? 2. Actors and Stakeholders: Identification, description, classification and management options. 3. Identification of added value and limitations of comprehensive defence frameworks. 4. Future perspectives of international collaboration on comprehensive defence. In the Phase 1 of the project, the following topics will be covered: In the main body of the report 1. Analytical and conceptual framework (e.g., concept of escalation) 2. Deterrence through resilience 3. Hybrid warfare calling for more and more integrated civilian capabilities 4. Complementarity of Comprehensive Defence and Allied Defence 5. Performance metric applicable to all participating agencies, military and non-military 6. Discussion of shared processes and procedures, to include C4I compatibility 7. Situational awareness 8. Discussion of Comprehensive Defence frameworks In national case studies 1. Threat perception; national objectives and priorities 2. Relevant references to the concept of Comprehensive Defence in National strategic documents 3. Internal and international C2 and logistical interoperability - Any existing doctrinal documents - Organisational setup related to civil-military crisis management - Roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders - Standing legal provisions, e.g. for activation of the system - Standing Operating Procedures compatibility - Equipment compatibility 4. Challenges of implementation - Joint planning, training, and procurement - Societal perceptions and support

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