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Friday 17 September 2010
NDC SC 117 Completes Study Period A Part 2, The Global Security Environment- 13-16 September 2010
Senior Course 117 continued to examine the the Global Security Environment during Study Period A Part 2. The objective of Study Period A Part 2 is to review the fundamental processes and conceptual issues that underlie the security environment in the 21st Century, and to analyse specific trends in the evolution of the security environment and their significance for NATO. Course Members have the opportunity to propose, by consensus in their Committees, a Vision of the World in 2025 as a consolidation exercise. Study Period A Part 2 helps set the scene for this work, as well as provides a foundation for the remainder of the course.
On Monday, 13 September, SC 117 was presented an in-depth look at the International Trade and Finance Systems by Dr. Mark Aspinwall of the University of Edinburgh and Mr. Alastair Newton of Nomura PLC. The lectures provided a critical assessment of the process of global financial integration and the role of international organizations such as the G8, G20, IMF and others, focusing on their impact on security and stability.
On Tuesday, 14 September, the topic was the Media and Strategic Communication. Mr. Thomas Wiegold, formerly a reporter for Focus Magazine in Germany, and now a free-lance writer gave the course members very good insights into the imperatives of modern journalism and how they interact with the military and NATO. Group Captain Tony Gunby, Deputy Director of Strategic Communication at HQ SHAPE, complemented that presentation with a look at the vital role strategic communications plays in the modern political and military landscape. The course members were challenged with an exercise where they had to craft a notional strategic communications plan for ISAF.
The course members were presented with an important lecture on Religion and Conflict on Wednesday, 15 September. Dr. Fabio Petito of the University of Sussex provided an outstanding analysis of this sensitive subject and amplified his remarks during an excellent question and answer session. The course members finished the day with a significantly greater understanding of the implications of the subject to international stability and security.
On Thursday, 16 September, the Senior Course had a full day with two separate lecture topics. The first lecture, presented by Dr. Dan Kuehl of the National Defense University, covered the topic of Information and the Cyber World. Dr Kuehl effectively laid out the importance of the flow of information to all aspects of society and the challenges and risks associated with it. He was followed in the afternoon by a lecture from the NATO Defense College's Dean, Dr. Grant Hammond who gave a superb and thought provoking lecture on Technology and Transformation. Dr. Hammond challenged the course members to examine the major technological developments and their relevance to the international security environment. Both of the lecturers were excellent in the question and answer sessions.