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Research Report

Unfolding Green Defense: Linking green technologies and strategies to current security challenges in NATO and the NATO member states

Kristian Knus Larsen
Copyright Date: Dec. 1, 2015
Pages: 56
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Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. 1-3)

    This report is about green technologies, green strategies, and current security challenges. In recent years, many states have developed and implemented green public policies aimed at various policy areas, including defense and security. Until now, the development of green policies has primarily been a national concern. However, the new NATO Green Defence Framework provides a basis for increased knowledge-sharing and research coordination, which can support the development of cheaper and more effective green solutions for defense—solutions capable of addressing a number of contemporary and emerging security challenges, in particular energy security, global climate change, defense spending, and the logistical...

  2. (pp. 3-5)

    Fuel consumption was not considered a key military challenge while Operation Enduring Freedom–Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom were being prepared in 2001 and 2003, respectively. This changed as the military operations continued and fuel consumption evolved into a distinct operational challenge that limited operational parameters, caused inflexibility, put service personnel in harm’s way, and inflated the operational expenditures.1

    Access to fuel was essential for the forces operating on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq. The fuel was used to power ground and air vehicles with advanced weapons and surveillance systems, which enabled the forces to monitor their surroundings, follow...

  3. (pp. 5-14)

    This section of the report will focus on the Green Defense concept. The NATO Green Defence Framework will be introduced after which a number of analyses and insights that the concept builds upon and further develops will be considered.

    In February 2014, the NATO Defence Policy and Planning Committee agreed to the NATO Framework for Green Defense. NATO had already addressed the link between security and the environment in the 1991 Strategic Concept. NATO has not, however, initiated specific initiatives aimed at environmental or climate challenge since. The importance of the Green Defense agenda was noted at the 2014 NATO...

  4. (pp. 14-29)

    A number of green military technologies and strategies have been developed, implemented, and used by NATO member states in recent years. The developments have rarely been explicitly linked to the NATO Green Defense agenda, but the policy initiatives will be important in the further development of the NATO Green Defence Framework. To unfold the technical, organizational, military, and political elements of Green Defense, the next two sections will provide specific examples of Green Defense technologies and strategies. The first focuses on green technologies and the second on green strategies. This structure reflects the distinct potential of the two categories of...

  5. (pp. 29-31)

    When General Allen and Secretary Panetta argued that new energy technologies could improve military operational effectiveness, they were not speaking to a well-known military debate or an established research agenda. Instead, they were addressing specific contemporary operational challenges in Afghanistan and Iraq. The 2014 NATO Green Defence Framework reintroduced Allen’s and Panetta’s arguments while at the same time expanding the discussion by introducing a number of additional security challenges and green initiatives. Thus, the NATO framework included both new and well-known insights and experiences. By combining these elements, the NATO framework provided a basis for discussing political, military, technological, and...

  6. (pp. 31-34)

    The 2014 NATO Green Defence Framework builds upon and further develops the debate about using green defense solutions to handle current security challenges. Green solutions have previously been linked, particularly in the U.S., to military operational effectiveness. Large amounts of fuel are required to operate the advanced military technologies currently used on the battlefield, and fuel consumption in both Afghanistan and Iraq turned out to be a significant military vulnerability. The NATO framework combines this operational challenge with a number of other security challenges, namely defense expenditures, energy security, and global climate change. This is illustrated in Figure 2.