chapter  5
8 Pages

More teeth for the NATO Tiger

How the Framework Nation Concept can reduce NATO’s growing formation–capability gap
ByClaudia Major, Christian Mölling

NATO's new formations generate capabilities only by reorganizing existing capabilities, not by generating new ones. Fancy formations do only half of the trick as regards military power. They are the bones or skeletons, but for military power, muscles - actual capabilities - are needed as well. Germany in 2013 proposed the Framework Nations Concept (FNC). Since then, the FNC has become a fashionable concept for the revitalization of NATO's European defence cooperation. It aims to preserve European capabilities through sustained cooperation, thereby guaranteeing the continued capacity to act for European militaries. The development of multinational units would, in theory, increase sustainability and help preserve military key capabilities. Smaller armies could plug their remaining capabilities into an organizational backbone provided by a larger 'framework' nation. Politically, the concept represents a step towards transatlantic burden sharing. Sustaining or even growing capabilities via cooperation would entail taking defence planning to a multinational level, especially for FNC nations.