Mehmet Kinaci


Mr. Mehmet Kinaci

Future Forces Forum Logistics Capability Conference (LCC) 2018 Future Forces Exhibition 2018

Strategic Analyst, Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate, Strategic Analysis Branch
Allied Command Transformation (NATO ACT)


Strategic Foresight Analysis 2017/Framework for Future Alliance Operations 2018 documents

The Strategic Foresight Analysis 2017 Report aims to identify trends that will shape the future strategic security environment, to derive defence and security implications out to 2035 and beyond. It provides a balanced view and a wide-ranging shared understanding of the future security context, describing challenges as well as identifying potential opportunities. The FFAO looks into the interaction of trends, identifies instability situations then develops military implications. Together, the SFA and FFAO are designed to improve the Alliance’s long-term perspective of the future security environment to support and inform the NATO Defence Planning Process (NDPP), as well as other NATO and national processes that require an assessment of the long-term future.

The rapidly changing environment, combined with growing uncertainty and increasing interconnectedness, will continue to be the main driver for the Alliance’s adaptation. However, the rate of change has taken unprecedented dimensions and we have evolved from a complicated to a complex security environment.  

As a result of the Warsaw decisions, NATO’s emphasis has returned to collective defence, with a 360 degrees approach to projecting stability and cooperative security, given the wider understanding of the complex global environment. 

The redistribution of economic and military power, most notably towards Asia, is likely to pose a growing challenge to NATO and the Western dominance.

  • Russia is resurfacing with the will to become a major power again, challenging the established order in the former Soviet space, by taking advantage of the lack of unity and resolve of Western nations. 
  • China, is leveraging its economic power to increase defence spending, as the foundation of a growing global power strategy.
  • A wide variety of emerging non-state actors - ranging from terrorist groups to global-reaching companies – with significant resources and ambitions are increasingly influencing societies, national governments and international institutions.
  • Using power politics in the former Soviet space, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and North Africa will continue to increase competition between major powers and may intensify the likelihood of confrontation and conflict in the future.
  • The growing complexity of the security environment, due to a wide variety of actors requires NATO to develop a global strategic awareness, beyond the Euro-Atlantic area and highlights the importance of commitment to collective defence.

Asymmetric demographic change, aging populations, and increasing urbanization, combined with the polarization of our societies.

  • Ageing populations will continue to challenge medical and social welfare policies, potentially restraining the necessary budgets for defence and security.
  • The polarization of societies is increasingly affecting Western developed nations more than developing countries. 
  • Increased urbanization will lead to more resource competition and even to scarcity. Ownership and control of critical infrastructure could become contested, which will create additional vulnerabilities for the distribution of available resources. 

New and emerging technologies offer enormous opportunities, but also present new vulnerabilities and challenges as the world pivots towards digitalization.

  • The increasing rate of technology advancement will challenge the interoperability between nations and institutions, legal and ethical frameworks, and acquisition management processes.
  • Individuals, state actors and non-state actors have greater opportunity to exploit readily available technologies in an innovative and potentially disruptive manner.
  • The scale and speed of global networks allow individuals and groups immediate access to information and knowledge but may also enable the dissemination of false or misleading information.
  • Commercial innovation has outpaced traditional defence Research and Development (R&D). Reductions in defence budgets have led to over-reliance on commercially available solutions, the loss of defence-focused R&D skills and may increase security risks.

Globalization has opened markets and intensified economic integration, while increasing the influence of developing countries and straining natural resources.

  • An increasingly interconnected global financial system is more vulnerable to attacks by both state and non-state actors.
  • Access to and control over natural resources, either in existing or in emerging areas such as Arctic, will play an increasing role in power politics.
  • Increased inequality is a catalyst for migration and can have second-order effects such as fractured and conflictual societies, violent extremism, and nationalism.

Climate change impacts nearly all domains, and comprises technical, legal and political challenges. The increases in frequency and severity of natural disasters will continue to shape the security environment. 

•       The easier accessibility of the Arctic region will cut distances between Europe and Asia by a third, and will also allow increased military use of the High North and Arctic regions.  This will both impact the Alliance’s threat assessment of these regions, and also offer greater opportunities for our strategic lines of communications.  

•       There is a need to build resilience against deficiencies in primary resources and infrastructures while planning for military operations. Extreme weather events, water and food security issues and other climate and environmental stressors must be included in Allies’ situational awareness and planning processes.  

•       Natural disasters will increase requirements for humanitarian support. The unavailability of military assets required for this support, must also be taken into account in operational plans. 

The SFA 2017 Report depicts the trends that could lead to a crisis, but the greatest danger is the confluence of these trends, building up to trigger strategic shocks of a yet unseen magnitude.

Curriculum Vitae

Mr. Kinaci has a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering and earned his M.A. in International Security Management and Leadership in 1992. During his military career, he has been employed at the strategic and operational level at NATO and National HQs, involved in the NATO operations in Balkans, Mediterranean and Afghanistan and other programs such as the Partnership for Peace (PfP) and Mediterranean Dialogue (MD).

After retiring at the rank of Colonel in 2008, he served at HQ ISAF. During that period, his responsibilities included analysis of the security and governance lines of operation of the ISAF campaign plan and measuring progress in security line of operations. He was responsible for the generation and development of the Quarterly Campaign Assessment (CA) and the ISAF Strategic Assessment Capability (ISAC) in JFC Brunssum between Jan 2009 and Aug 2010. Within the context of the ISAC process, he had the opportunity to interact with a variety of experts, including advisers to Afghan ministers, directors of research institutes and special advisers to international community representatives in Afghanistan, further improving his experience and knowledge of the Governance, Social, Cultural and Economic situation in the country.      

He joined Allied Command Transformation in 2010. His area of expertise includes Strategic Foresight and Energy Security. As part of ACT’s Future Work, he was the team leader in the development of the ‘Strategic Foresight Analysis (SFA) 2013 Report’ and currently he is project manager of the SFA Programme. The SFA aims to create a wide-ranging shared understanding of the future security environment that is expected to unfold out to next two decades. The latest version of the SFA was released in October 2017, which builds upon the Strategic Foresight Analysis 2013 and 2015 Update Reports. He successfully completed the NATO Executive Development Programme in 2011/2012. He continues his PhD in the International Studies programme of the Old Dominion University. His dissertation is focused on the global shift of power and its consequence on energy security with a particular focus Central Asia – European relations.

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