Latvia's Annual National Program 2001
The 1999 Washington Summit offered candidate countries a Membership Action Plan (MAP) which will help them prepare for NATO membership. Aspiring members were asked to prepare their annual national programs on preparation for future membership.
Latvia's Annual National Program 2001 is developed on the basis of experience gained while preparing Latvia's NATO Integration Plan 1999 and Annual National Program 2000. It is also designed, taking into account NATO "Progress Report on Latvia's Participation in the Membership Action Plan: 1999-2000" and valuable comments provided by Allied countries during the NATO-Latvia meetings of 1999/2000, as well as at numerous bilateral political-military consultations.
The ANP 2001 builds on membership requirements set out in the Washington Treaty, the Study on NATO Enlargement and the documents of Washington Summit 1999.
The main body of the Program gives a short overview of the progress towards NATO membership and identifies the priority areas in 2001.
The Annex to the Program contains a list of specific activities scheduled for the year 2001 defining the funding allocated, setting the deadlines and naming responsible authorities. These activities have been carefully selected so that the Program is realistic, precise and achievable. In order to facilitate the practical readiness of Latvia for accession to NATO, a total of 85 tasks in 17 areas have been scheduled for the year 2001.
The plan consists of 6 chapters.
The Chapter on Politics and Economy describes the compliance of Latvia's security and defense policy with NATO acquis and acknowledges the Latvia's readiness to assume the liabilities of a NATO member state. The chapter confirms that in order to be as well-prepared as possible for the next round of enlargement, Latvia will do its utmost to use every opportunity offered by Membership Action Plan.The chapter reflects that Latvia is a stable, democratic country with sound judicial system and a viable market economy. It describes the progress already achieved and the tasks envisaged for the year 2001 in the following areas:
- enforcement of democracy and the rule of law
- implementation of human rights
- development of the economy,
- democratic control over National Armed Forces,
- regional co-operation and development of good neighborly relations,
- Latvia's preparation for EU membership
- Latvia's participation and contribution to increased security of the Euro-Atlantic Region,
- development of crisis management system in Latvia,
- environmental issues
- informing the society about issues related to security and defense policy.
The Chapter on Defense and Military gives an overview of the tasks and activities the implementation of which would develop and improve the military preparedness of National Armed Forces of Latvia and secure the readiness of Latvia for NATO membership.
To raise the efficiency of the defense system, the following priorities for the year 2001 have been singled out:
- improvement of the combat capabilities of the National Armed Forces (NAF) and self-defense capability of Latvia adequate to the security risks of the 21st century;
- improvement of the compatibility with NATO (a consistent implementation of the goals and compliance with the co-operation requirements between Latvia and NATO);
- improvement of the capabilities of National Armed forces to provide assistance to civilians in peacetime;
- participation in peace-keeping and peace support operations;
- increase in responsibility of the Baltic States for the implementation and development of common Baltic co-operation projects - a process named "baltification";
- building of the administrative capacity of the national defense system;
- improvement of the defense planning system - strengthening of Planning, Programming and Budgeting System;
- information security;
- improvement of the personnel management system;
- gaining support of society and the state for the defense system.
To achieve those goals, main NAF development priorities highlighted in the Program are:
- increase of self-defense capabilities;
- provision of compatibility and co-operation capabilities with NATO;
- participation in international peace-keeping and support activities.
The Defense Planning System envisages annual recurrent clarification and review of the plans and strategies. The stages of NAF development planning include 12year plans (long-term), 4year plan (medium term) and 1 year plans (short-term). The long and medium term development plans (12 and 4 years) were elaborated and ratified in the year 2000. Also the NAF strategy has been elaborated, and the two-year cycle of budget formation has begun.
When compiling defense-planning documentation, Latvia, as a NATO candidate country, integrates also the requirements set by NATO.
In order to promote the development of National Armed Forces and a closer integration into NATO, Latvia actively participates in NATO/PfP projects. In 2000, Latvia joined the programme Partnership Goals (PGs) elaborated in accordance with NATO defense-planning principles. It facilitates Latvia's integration in the planning system of NATO. An implementation plan for each Partnership Goal is prepared so that they meet the deadlines set; it envisages the necessary resources, training, documentation and equipment, etc.
The principle of a total defense lies at the basis of the long-term development goals of the state defense system. The territorial defense system, devised in accordance with that principle, aims at provision of defense for each part of Latvia, as well as at the implementation of NATO common defense system and the tasks set out in the Strategic Concept.
One of the most important preconditions for the participation in NATO/PfP is implementation of Partnership Goals in Land, Air and Naval Forces.
The priorities defined in the medium term development plan are as follows: development of peacetime organization; development of command, control and communication systems; development of the mobilization system by forming the first three mobile reserve battalions; development of a peacetime and wartime logistics system; completion of formation of LATBAT by 2003; accumulation of equipment for two training centers and three mobile reserve battalions; implementation of PGs in accordance with LNAF long-term development plans and priorities; development of a total defense planning system.
To continue the development of NAF the following activities are envisaged for 2001: To elaborate and introduce war and peacetime Command and Control system in NAF; to reorganize National Guard and establish regional Command and Control system; to develop Land Forces - to prepare one Mandatory Military Service company in 12 months in Adazi; to develop and improve the military co-operation between the Baltic States; to develop Naval Forces; to develop Air Forces.
The following tasks were accomplished in the development of NAF in the course of the year 2000: the development concept of Latvian Battalion (LATBAT) has been elaborated; the formation of the first LATBAT company has been commenced in accordance with the development plan of LATBAT, the personnel has been provided with individual equipment, weapons and ammunition; the establishment of EOD Training center preparing combat engineers has been commenced; the formation of Anti-aircraft Division has been commenced - the headquarters have been established, partial training of the personnel has been carried out and armaments are received. Also, the NAF Logistic Doctrine and the Logistic Reporting System has been elaborated and a common training system introduced.
The increase of the national defense potential as well as the capability of NAF to achieve compatibility with NATO depends on the training of accordingly qualified personnel and the improvement of the personnel management system. That is why personnel- related issues are among NAF priorities.
In the Annual National Program 2001, the issues concerning development of personnel have received special attention, concentrating on the ability of personnel to integrate into the work of NATO's political and military structures, elaboration of educational and training criteria of the military and civil personnel, as well as personnel managers.
The following activities have been carried out in 2000:
- certification and evaluation system of the professionalism of military personnel has been introduced;
- rotation of senior officers as well as financial incentives to support the mechanism have been set up;
- documentation of the infantry platoon section leader training course has been prepared
- with the support of Danish specialists, the course on military pedagogy and management has been introduced to the officers and lecturers of the National Defense Academy;
- significant progress in the improvement of living conditions of the military personnel has been achieved;
- a school for non-commissioned officers has been established.
Special attention is paid to the Joint Baltic Co-operation Programs as well as bilateral co-operation issues. The co-operation of the Baltic States in military field is significant since it increases the mutual compatibility capabilities between the Baltic States and NATO as well as optimizes the utilization of common defense resources. Continuing the co-operation of the Baltic States in military field, Latvia takes part in the following joint military co-operation projects: BALTBAT, BALTNET, BALTRON and BALTDEFCOL. Project BALTPERS project was commenced in 2000 with the objective to develop a common register of the Baltic military personnel.
In May 2000, NAF commanders of the Baltic States ratified the BALTBAT Development Plan for the period of five years. In the same year also the BALTNET system was launched, and the Regional Air-Space Surveillance Co-ordination Center established. Working on further development of the Project BALTRON, the improvement of infrastructure of the Navy base has been commenced. Also the development of Navy Diver Training Center was started and an anti-mine device installed. In 2000, BALTDEFCOL turned out its first graduates, among them 8 officers from Latvia. Among the staff of BALTDEFCOL, there is one lecturer from Latvia specializing in National Administration.
The Baltic States have been working together actively, taking up co-operation on an ever growing number of areas. The Baltic States are co-operating also in the field of "baltification" - which means that the Baltic States are gradually taking over the projects from the supporting countries, paying special attention to financial, managerial and personnel issues.
Bilateral co-operation among the defense systems is a tool for implementation of the tasks set by the ANP of Latvia and Partnership Goals, which cannot be accomplished with the help of national resources only. More than 400 bilateral activities were envisaged for 2000. The main emphasis was laid on co-operation between the armed forces units, material-technical assistance, as well as consultations on various topics at different levels.
The Resource Chapter characterizes the resources relating to the development of defense system and integration into NATO. The draft law on Defense Financing ratified by the Cabinet of Ministers on September 12, 2000 and submitted to the Parliament of Latvia for review, attests to the fact that defense, security and integration into NATO will invariably remain the priority of the state budget for 2001 and beyond.
The increase of the military budget, allocation of budget resources to the personnel, maintenance costs and investment projects are all discussed in the Resource Chapter. In 2001, a continuous increase of investment is envisaged, mainly in the development of infrastructure, air-space surveillance system (BALTNET), BALTRON project, development of cartography and NAF system of communications and information technology, as well as in the implementation of co-operation goals with NATO. It is envisaged to receive a significant donation of military equipment from partner countries.
With a continuous increase of resources, the issues relating to resource management system gain importance. Latvia is currently working on Planning, Programming and Budgeting system for defense. In 2000, the development of the Defense Budget was for the first time based on the review of definite programs. Certain criteria for elaboration of those programs were set. Also the implementation of programs in accordance with National Defense Concept and NAF Development Plan was provided for. Starting from January 2000, a single system for the control and monitoring of defense resources was introduced.
The Chapter on Information Security describes Latvia's progress in the sphere of guaranteeing the security of classified information in accordance with NATO requirements. It also enlists the following activities envisaged for 2001 in this field:
- enlargement of the classified information register system;
- improvement of protection regime for classified information in state institutions involved in NATO integration process, as well as Latvia's embassies abroad;
- improvement of information exchange and storage system of classified information;
- continuation of personnel training and education in accordance with NATO requirements;
- preparation and signing of bilateral agreements with NATO member states and NATO applicant countries;
- participation in seminars on protection of classified information organized by NATO.
The Chapter on Legal Issues discusses legal aspects of NATO integration. Although Latvia will be entitled to join the international documents regulating the activities of NATO only after the accession, Latvia has already started the harmonization of the legal basis in line with NATO standards and the requirements set in international agreements.
As Latvia has to be prepared to participate in the collective self-defense system, there must be no legal restrictions hindering the co-operation with NATO. To eliminate any obstacles, the analysis of legal acts and international agreements is carried out. The following issues are addressed:
- restrictions and prohibitions related to the defense of Latvia;
- integration of Latvia into NATO and the legal basis for use of military force;
- residence and status of NATO troops and the personnel of its institutions in Latvia;
- participation of NAF units of Latvia in military operations abroad.
In 2000, the process of lifting the ban on the participation of Latvia in NATO's organized activities was started. Also, measures have been taken to enhance the efficiency of decision-making procedure. A number of amendments to certain significant documents (the law "On Participation of the National Armed Forces of Latvia in International Operations", the Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers "On Entrance and Stay of Foreign Warships in the Territorial Waters and Ports of the Republic of Latvia and their Departure thereof" etc.) has been prepared and submitted for ratification.In 1999 a special internal co-ordination and control mechanism was devised to supervise the implementation of Annual National Program. It ensures the participation of all the institutions involved in NATO integration process. The main co-ordinating body is the NATO Integration Council of Latvia, administered by the Head of the Government. Since 2000, also the Ministers of Finance and Transport, the Heads of the Constitutional Protection Bureau and The Crisis Management Center, as well as the Head of the Parliamentary Defense and Interior Commission take part in the Council. The Council commissions the Committee of Senior Officials on NATO Integration Issues to co-ordinate the work on Annual National Program of Latvia. The Ministry of Defense administers the control of the implementation of the Annual National Program of Latvia and controls the evaluation of the implementation process.