This Strategic Concept reaffirms the defensive nature of the Alliance and the resolve of its members to safeguard their security, sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Alliance's security policy is based on dialogue; co-operation; and effective collective defence as mutually reinforcing instruments for preserving the peace. Making full use of the new opportunities available, the Alliance will maintain security at the lowest possible level of forces consistent with the requirements of defence. In this way, the Alliance is making an essential contribution to promoting a lasting peaceful order.
The Allies will continue to pursue vigorously further progress in arms control and confidence-building measures with the objective of enhancing security and stability. They will also play an active part in promoting dialogue and co-operation between states on the basis of the principles enunciated in the Paris Charter.
NATO's strategy will retain the flexibility to reflect further developments in the politico-military environment, including progress in the moves towards a European security identity, and in any changes in the risks to Alliance security. For the Allies concerned, the Strategic Concept will form the basis for the further development of the Alliance's defence policy, its operational concepts, its conventional and nuclear force posture and its collective defence planning arrangements.