17 September 2020

CMS contributes to Expert Symposium on NATO’s Warfighting Capstone Concept

On June 30th, Henrik Breitenbauch participated in a virtual Expert Symposium on NATO’s War Fighting Capstone Concept (NWCC) hosted by The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS) and the Netherlands Defence Academy (NLDA) in collaboration with the NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT). Based on the discussion and expertise captured during the event, HCSS and NLDA present the key findings of the Symposium in a newly published report.

“Carl von Clausewitz on a tripod stool playing with LEGO”

A starting point for the NWCC is that the “Alliance cannot succeed in tomorrow’s fight with yesterday’s approach”. In order to deal with this uncertainty, the Alliance needs to be agile. One way to capture the agility requirement is the image of Carl von Clausewitz sitting on a tripod stool while playing with LEGO. The metaphor suggests that the NWCC as all good strategies needs to balance the stool’s legs of ends, way and means; Clausewitz reminds us that the ends are politically given, and the LEGO bricks that the means are relatively static: only the ways, embodied in Clausewitz playing, provide immediate agility and adaptability. Emphasizing ways in the NWCC means to look for implications for the human software side of warfare development – including creativity, doctrine, training, ésprit de corps, a NATO mind-set, etc.

The report can be downloaded here.