Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers
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Building Resilience at Home and Abroad: The Role of Reservists


 

Recent major changes in our security environment have made mandatory the study of new concepts. New buzzwords have appeared that try to define, or at least reveal, a shift of paradigm. Among those, "resilience" has gained interest, as it aims at helping individuals, systems and societies, to recover after any kind of unprecedented, unpredictable and catastrophic shock. In an era where the level of threats and risks questions the ability of stakeholders, government and international organizations to protect their population, building and maintaining resilience has become a key issue.

The Symposium of the Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers (CIOR), held in Madrid on August 2nd, 2016, pursued a dual objective: not only to inform the over 230 participants, but also help them to understand their potential role.

Opened by LtCol Dimitar Popov (BUL A), President of CIOR, and under the direction of Dr. Guillaume Lasconjarias of the NATO Defense College (Rome, Italy), the Symposium was divided into three sessions.



 

The first panel was meant to serve as an overview of the current geopolitical changes and the evolution of threats. The brilliant demonstration of Col Sanchez de Rojas (CESEDEN - SPA) offered a grim, nonetheless realistic, image of today's security and operating environment. However, Maj Estevez of the Spanish MILREP (SPA A) insisted on the continuous ability of NATO to adapt and offered a view as much as an update on the outcomes of the Alliance's Warsaw Summit that was held in Poland early July.



 

Without negating the challenges NATO faces, these presentations highlighted how NATO's members and partners still are relevant and can run the gauntlet vis-à-vis any potential adversaries or competitors defending its core values through a revised focus on collective defense and Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.

This introduction set the stage for the participants, helping them to understand in which environment they would have to operate - as much as the environment in which they live. Dr Lasconjarias, followed by Col Segovia (SPA A), both tried to define not just what resilience meant in the academic field but shared their thoughts on what resilience is today. Defining the concept as being in the same time the ability to recover, to adapt and to mitigate after a shock. They also discussed why
NATO takes this concept seriously.