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CIOR Seminar about the “NATO’s New Strategic Concept and its Plan to Deal with a Complex World”

Now that the “New Strategic Concept” adopted by the 28 Heads of State and Government of the Alliance at the Lisbon Summit on 20 November will be implemented, CIOR organized its annual Seminar around the topic “NATO’s New Strategic Concept and its Plan to Deal with a Complex World”. This annual geopolitical Seminar which traditionally always reflects topical NATO issues has been hosted by CIOR at the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation Conference Centre from 6 to 9 February 2011 in Wesseling, in Germany. This year, there was a full quota of reserve officers in the auditorium with 63 participants from 22 countries, not including people attending from various other backgrounds. 

The wide variety of high-ranking participants, both military and civil, made for a breeding ground of different perspectives and, at times, some contradictory points of view. The audience particularly appreciated the richness of the question and answer sessions; the schedule often allowed more than half an hour for exchanges.
 

Main principles

The new Strategy concept was presented to the reserve officers and the main principles we recapped: Collective Defense, Crisis management, Cooperative Security. Furthermore, New Threats and Security Challenges were also presented: The Threat of Global Terrorism, Cyber-Attacks “The current amount of economic costs resulting from cyber attacks is estimated at 20 to 50 million Euros per year”, Energy- and Resources-Security “90% of global trade by volume is carried by sea with 50% of the world’s containers passing through the Indian Ocean”, Global Effects of Climate Change and NATO- Missile Defense. The new Strategy concept was also the subject of a round table discussion, the theme being “Potential for Success and Impact of NATO’s New Strategic and Comprehensive Approach”.

- An Overview of NATO’s New Strategic Concept and Comprehensive Approach, Dr. Olaf Theiler, National Specialist, Operations Division, International Staff, NATO HQ, Brussels
- Panel Discussion: Potential for Success and Impact of NATO’s New Strategic and Comprehensive Approach - Dr. Hall Gardner, Professor and Chair, Department of International and Comparative Politics, American University of Paris - Dr. Patrick Keller, Coordinator for Foreign and Security Policy, Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Berlin.
Moderator: Dr. Klaus Olshausen, LTG, German Army (ret.), Former German Military Representative to the NATO Military Committee, President of the Clausewitz-Gesellschaft, Meckenheim.

NATO’s Afghanistan Mission

Approx. 140,000 troops are deployed on NATO operations on three continents and in the Mediterranean, with more than 5,000 of those coming from non-NATO troop contributing nations. NATO’s largest operation to-date is ISAF. Therefore, the Afghanistan subject was at the heart of everyone’s concerns and some very realistic points of view were noted, which were often perfectly convergent with the actual situation in Afghanistan.

- An Update of NATO’s Afghanistan Mission, Brigadier General Marc van Uhm, Netherlands Army, Director of the Strategic Operations Center, HQ SHAPE, Mons, Belgium
- Pakistan’s Role and Impact on NATO in Afghanistan, MG(R) A.K. Hukku
Former Chief Military Intelligence Advisor, Cabinet Secretariat (New Delhi), Pune, India
- An Overview of Views of the Afghanistan Mission in NATO Nations, Barbara Jankowsk, Research Fellow, Department “Defense and Society”, French Military Academy, Institute for Strategic Research (Institut de Recherche Stratégique de l’Ecole Militaire), Paris
- Iran’s Impact on NATO’s Afghanistan Mission, Prof. Bernard Hourcade
Senior Research Fellow at the CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research), Director of Iranian Studies, Paris

The conflicts or potential problems and Specific presentations

The conflicts or potential problems were covered, as usual, in accordance with the plans. Specific presentations were also given.

- China as Rising Military and Economic Power, MG(R) A.K. Hukku, Former Chief Military Intelligence Advisor, Cabinet Secretariat (New Delhi), Pune, India
- The Russian Dimension – Relations with the West and China, Hall Gardner, Professor and Chair, Department of International and Comparative Politics, American University of Paris
- Operations of the Marshall Center Outreach to the East, D. Ben Reed US Executive Director, Outreach Programs Directorate, George C. Marshall Center, Garmisch
- The Current Status of Al Qaeda and Related Organizations, Dr. Asiem El-Difraoui German Institute for International and Security Affairs (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik), Berlin
- U.S. Army Reserve Theater Engagement Strategy and Building Partner CapacityCOL Joseph L. Ingignoli, Director, Strategy and Policy, Army Reserve G-35, Office of Chief, Army Reserve, Pentagon, Washington DC

Another round table discussion worth noting was held on the subject of water in the Middle East; a sensitive subject susceptible to much controversy, where the CIOR representatives have attempted to play the go-betweens in order to bring the differing points of view together.


To conclude

The conference documents will be published next month on the CIOR internet site. Both the clarifications contributed by the attendees and the conference documents will be made available to NATO and our respective countries. They can be disseminated among our associations, to our ministers of defense and foreign affairs in order for the CIOR to stand out and to turn this conference into a sort of “think tank”.


Photos: Henry Plimack (US) - CIOR Seminar 2011




© 2012 Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers