NATO’s Military Structure: Change and Continuity

NATO’s Military Structure: Change and Continuity

Ali Bilgin VARLIK


The military structure of NATO is of two components; command and the force structure. Command
structure comprises military headquarters responsible for the command and control of the military forces.
Force structure of the Alliance is made up of forces allocated to NATO by member states. The Alliance has
experienced four major transformative steps in command structure since its establishment. The initial force
structure of the Alliance which covers all allocated forces including the fixed ones to NATO has gradually
transformed to deployable (movable) force structure by three subsequent changes after the Cold War. The
new force structure is set based upon considerations on a gradual readiness level. This paper deals with
the historical changes and continuity of NATO’s both command and force structures’ transformation and
their justifications -which have been rarely studied academically. Based upon this knowledge adequacy, effectiveness and rationality of both structures are scrutinised. The argument of the paper is that throughout
NATO’s past the military structures has not only been a result of organizational change but also one of
the main causes and determinants for the evolution and transformation of the Alliance.

Keywords: NATO, NATO’nun dönüşümü, NATO’nun Askeri yapısı, dönüşüm, değişim

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