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Monday 10 May 2010
Generals, Flag Officers and Ambassadors' Course (GFOAC) 2010-1
The NATO Defense College's Generals, Flag Officers and Ambassadors' Course (GFOAC), ran from 3-7 May 10 in Rome. Forty-seven course members from 28 different nations participated in the first of two GFOACs to be held this year. Many nations from NATO, the Mediterranean Dialogue (MD), Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI), and the Partnership for Peace, along with Japan, South Korea, Iraq, and for the first time, Pakistan were represented.
The theme for GFOAC 2010-1 was "NATO's New Strategic Concept: Creating a Vision for a Secure Future." The course started with a presentation by Lieutenant General P.J.M. GODDERIJ, the Director of the International Military Staff at NATO Headquarters. In a wide-ranging series of lectures, the course members heard presentations about the Transatlantic Link, NATO and the MD and ICI, NATO and Russia, Terrorism and Insurgency. The capstone lecture on Friday, delivered by Dr Karl-Heinz Kamp of the NATO Defense College, tied the week together with a look at how all of these important strategic issues are influencing the development of NATO's New Strategic Concept.
Another highlight of the course was an almost one hour video teleconference with NATO's Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan, Ambassador Mark SEDWILL. Ambassador SEDWILL gave a candid and forthright presentation of the challenges facing NATO in Afghanistan and progress on implementing a comprehensive approach. At the end of his presentation Ambassador SEDWILL fielded questions from the course members.
The next GFOAC is tentatively scheduled for 29 November through 8 December 2010, and will feature a week in Rome followed by three days in Brussels to visit NATO HQ, the European Union and Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe and hold discussions with senior officials from each of those organizations.