The Austrian National Security Strategy (ANSS) considers defense policy as an integral part of comprehensive security provisions, which should be harmonized with Austria’s internal security policy as well as with foreign, and development policies.  Austria’s main defense policy objectives remain:

  • Provision of military capability to maintain Austria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity; and
  • Military assistance to the civil authorities in protecting Austria’s population and its constitutional institutions.

In addition, the ANSS states that the Austrian Armed Forces (AAF) should also be able to provide and sustain adequate contributions to international crisis response operations within the framework of multinational organizations, namely the UN, EU, NATO, and OSCE.  These operations should preferably be conducted under a UN mandate.

Austria sees NATO/EAPC and NATO/PfP as important fora for further strengthening transatlantic cooperation in the field of security policy and crisis management. 

The political guidance stated that the AAF face the following challenges:

  • operating in a changed and more complex security environment with growing terrorist and hybrid threats
  • supporting the civilian authorities and security organizations in managing an increasing irregular migration challenge;
  • responding to more frequent natural disasters due to climate change

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