The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is adapting its future combat strategy to prepare for changing demographic trends that show most population growth over the next 15 years will occur in urban areas and developing countries.
NATO’s Norfolk, Virginia base ended bidding among the private defense contractor industry on Monday for new ‘NATO Concept’ for close-quarters combat, Stars and Stripes reports.
According to the request for proposals posted on NATO’s Allied Command Transformation website, NATO "is not sufficiently organized, trained, or equipped to comprehensively understand and execute precise operations across the maritime, cyberspace, land, air, space dimensions/domains in order to create desired effects in an emergent complex," especially an environment where a "dense, interconnected" population resides.
After berating NATO on the campaign trail as "obsolete,” US President Donald Trump changed his tune during a news conference with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the White House in April. "I complained about [NATO’s counterterrorism activities] a long time ago. Now they do fight terrorism. I said it was obsolete. It’s no longer obsolete," the president said.
NATO anticipates that moving forward, roughly 80 percent of the population will live within 100 kilometers from a coast will continue, comparable to current estimates of population dynamics.
Urbanization poses a “potential instability situation for NATO,” according to the RFP. “The world as a whole passed the 50 percent urban mark seven years ago. Estimates are that five billion people live in cities with two billion of these living in slums. It is also estimated that 1.4 million people worldwide migrate to cities each week,” NATO states.
One benefit for the contract winner is that it won’t have to pay any taxes on income earned from the contract award. “In accordance with the agreements Article VIII of the Paris Protocol dated August 25 1952, goods and services under this contract are exempt from taxes, duties and similar charges,” the RFP says. An award sum is not listed. NATO seeks a minimum of 600 billable contract hours’ worth of work with an option for 1500 additional hours.
The final concept will be presented at the end of 2018 when military planners will assess how to adjust the NATO Urban doctrine.