Rapporto Harmel: “I futuri compiti dell’Alleanza”

The 1967 “Report of the Council on the Future Tasks of the Alliance”, also known as the Harmel Report, was a seminal document in NATO’s history. It reasserted NATO’s basic principles and effectively introduced the notion of deterrence and détente, setting the scene for NATO’s first steps toward a more cooperative approach to security issues that would emerge in 1991.

  • The 1967 “Report of the Council on the Future Tasks of the Alliance” was initiated by Belgian Foreign Minister Pierre Harmel at a time when the existence of the Alliance was put into question.
  • Recognising the international environment had changed since 1949, the Report reaffirmed the aims and purpose of the Alliance and its twin functions – political and military – and set out a programme of work for the Organization.
  • It also advocated the adoption of a dual-track policy for NATO: deterrence and détente, i.e., maintaining adequate defence while promoting political détente.
  • Politically, the Report made a plea for balanced force reductions in the East and West, as well as a solution to the underlying political problems dividing Europe in general and Germany in particular; militarily, it spoke of examining “exposed areas”, citing in particular the Mediterranean.
  • It is considered as a key political and strategic think piece, which communicated to the public the spirit of the classified strategic documents adopted in 1967.
  • The Report had a lasting impact on the Alliance’s strategic thinking: building on the Report of the Three Wise Men (1956), it broadened NATO’s approach to security and anticipated the breakdown of the deadlock between East and West.

From NATO Website