At the Wales Summit in September 2014, NATO introduced new initiatives to enhance the capacity of its various partners to work with the Alliance. In themselves, these initiatives were by no means novel. Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has developed an extensive partnership program. The main tool for such cooperation, the Partnership for Peace program (PFP), was launched in 1994; from a humble beginning it has morphed into a network connecting the 28 Alliance members with more than 40 partners around the world.
This network extends geographically from Europe and North Africa to Asia and Australia, and from the High North to the Middle East. The partners have contributed meaningful military capabilities to a number of NATO operations, such as in Afghanistan and Kosovo, and have brought regional perspectives to NATO debates, thus enriching the Alliance’s understanding of these regions.
In return, NATO has provided its partners military education, training and exercises along with a seat at the NATO table for political dialogue on shared interests. Perhaps most importantly, in over two decades of cooperation, the NATO Allies and partners have achieved unmatched military interoperability. NATO partnerships have truly been “a two-way street of mutual benefit.”