From the International Institute For Strategic Studies: NATO’s Policy Planning Unit provides staff support to this group and serves as a secretariat. While it is not actively participating in the [Group of Experts] GoE’s deliberations so as to not unduly influence its work, it briefs the group on certain specific issues including NATO–Russia relations. NATO governments, meanwhile, are trying to influence the GoE’s work by supplying a flood of policy papers. Furthermore, several circles of advisers are supporting the group, including a US-based team assisting Albright, as well as several European advisers and military experts – the group has no members with a military background. The GoE thus has to process a wide range of information from multiple sources. According to Stuart Eldon, the British ambassador to NATO, the group’s responsibility lies in decision-shaping, not decision-making: “[Its] role is to advise and ventilate the issues, rather than to draft [the strategic concept]…”

It is thus not until the late summer of 2010 that the actual drafting and negotiation phase for the new strategic concept will begin. The negotiations will be led by the secretary general and will be conducted directly with the NATO member governments. This process will produce the paper to be presented at the Lisbon summit which, once approved, will become NATO’s new strategic concept. (photo: NATO)