NATO Special Operations Senior Leaders Convene in Riga

NATO Special Operations Senior Leaders convened for the NATO Special Operations Forces (SOF) Conference “Evolving NATO SOF in Line with Today’s Security Environment” in Riga, Latvia, from Oct. 19 to 21, 2021.

More than 30 Alliance and Partner nations participated in the conference co-hosted by Latvian Special Operations Command and NATO Special Operations Headquarters (NSHQ) to discuss topics ranging from Special Operations as a domain within NATO to support to Ukrainian SOF Developmental plan.


The conference seeks to promote efforts to align strategic planning, modernisation efforts and military activities. It also provides a venue suitable for open discussions where SOF military and civilian leaders can explore increased coordination and interoperability opportunities.

Latvia’s Minister of Defence Artis Pabriks…emphasised that Special Operations Forces are uniquely suited to operate in a grey area.


Today’s threats are constant and target NATO’s shared values. For NATO SOF leaders, it is crucial to understand and ensure national plans are coordinated and integrated with NATO plans. The Deterrence and Defence of the Euro-Atlantic Area (DDA) strategy is a hierarchy of integrated plans….”

“Due to a changed security environment, NATO is in a fundamental shift towards a stronger focus on collective defence. [Article 5 collective military assistance clause] Special Forces can play a unique role in this,” said Admiral Bauer. “Because, contrary to popular belief, you often come in before a conflict reaches its highest intensity. And then you [are] often acting as an interlocutor that connects civilian, military and societal capabilities.”