- Research & Publications
- About the NDC
Tuesday 5 October 2010
SC 117 Field Study, Copenhagen and Sarajevo
Sarajevo- The NATO Defense College Senior Course 117 completed its field study on European security with visits to Copenhagen and Sarajevo, 29 SEP - 1OCT, gaining valuable insights into the national perspectives of Denmark and Bosnia and Herzegovina, respectively. Both visits were defined by the great hospitality of the host nations, the historical significance of the capital cities, and highly-informative sessions arranged for the course members of SC 117.
Beginning this final leg in Copenhagen, the Senior Course was hosted by Rear Admiral Lars KRAGELUND, Deputy chief of Staff for Denmark's Defence command. After a brief tour of Copenhagen, the Senior Course was welcomed by Rear Admiral KRAGELUND, at a reception at the Kastellet- the famed Citadel of Danish Defense. The highlight of the visit was a distinguished forum, led by General Knud BARTELS, the Danish Chief of Defense.
General BARTELS was accompanied by several distinguished speakers on Danish foreign and security policy. Rear Admiral Henrik KUDSK, the commander of Greenland Command, started the discussion by providing an in-depth analysis of Arctic security and Denmark’s interests in the High North. Rear Admiral KUDSK also fielded numerous questions from the course members on Arctic security, and joined the panel discussion after subsequent briefings.
The next briefing on the Danish Armed Forces was delivered by Mr. Kristian FISCHER, Denmark's Deputy Permanent Secretary of State for Defence. Mr. FISCHER underlined Denmark's role in NATO and Europe's security architecture, highlighting its operations in Afghanistan, and Denmark's regional cooperation with neighboring Scandinavian and Baltic states. He was followed by Mr. Lars Bo MØLLER, Head of Security Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who addressed Danish foreign and security policy. Mr. MØLLER expanded upon Denmark's national interests and how the nation plays its role in NATO and global affairs.
General BARTELS then provided his insights from his perspective as the Danish Chief of Defense. Following an overview of force structure and priorities, General BARTELS spoke about the intricate balance between conducting current operations and funding future requirements. He also shared his personal views about the human dimension of security, and the consequences that all decision makers should reflect upon.
The lectures were followed by extensive Q&A periods, during which the Course Members of SC 117 presented challenging and salient questions to their hosts. Lieutenant General Wolf-Dieter LOESER, the Commandant of the NATO Defense College, thanked the General for his remarks, and also thanked him and his entire staff for making the visit such a rewarding experience. The visit to Denmark ended with a reception at the seat of the Royal Danish Military Academy, Frederiksberg Palace, where course members enjoyed an evening of camaraderie with each other, their hosts, and numerous other distinguished visitors.
The next stage of the European field study took the Course to Sarajevo, in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was a historic visit, indeed, as this was the first visit of a NATO Defense College Senior Course to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Furthermore, whilst many of the course members and staff had previously deployed to Bosnia and Herzegovina, many had never before seen the historic city of Sarajevo nor the governmental institutions visited during the field study.
The visit commenced with an informative walking tour of Sarajevo, followed by a welcome dinner hosted by the Minister of Defense, Mr. Selmo CIKOTIĆ. The special evening provided course members an excellent opportunity to interact with numerous governmental officials and military officers from Bosnia and Herzegovina. The following morning, Mr. CIKOTIĆ also hosted, and initiated, a series of informative briefings on defense and security issues.
Mr. CIKOTIĆ spoke about a wide range of issues, from ongoing defense reforms in Bosnia and Herzegovina, to Bosnia and Herzegovina's path to eventual NATO membership. His themes were continued by two subsequent briefings by Mr. Boško ŠILJEGOVIĆ, the Parliamentary Military Commissioner, and Major General Rizvo PLEH, Deputy Chief of the Joint Staff. Both officials provided candid and enlightening perspectives about the challenges of the country's defense reforms, the current activities of its armed forces, and its relations with other nations and international organisations.
The panel of distinguished lecturers also entertained a series of questions from the course members of SC 117, resulting in an informative discussion period, which concluded the visit to the Army House of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Lieutenant General LOESER thanked Mr. CIKOTIĆ and all of the participants who contributed to the discussion, and commended them for the gains Bosnia and Herzegovina has made in the past and continues to make, today.
The last official event of the field study was the Senior Course visit to the Parliamentary Assembly Building of Bosnia and Herzegovina. After a brief tour of the Assembly rooms and facilities, an overview of the Assembly's history, composition, procedures and current focus was provided by Mr. Željko GRUBEŠIĆ, a staff advisor to the Joint Committee for Defense and Security Policy of the Parliamentary Assembly.
Mr. Željko GRUBEŠIĆ was again joined by Mr. ŠILJEGOVIĆ and Major General PLEH for the final discussion forum of the field study. Lieutenant General LOESER thanked the panelists for their frank and informative responses to questions posed by the course members. Lieutenant General LOESER added that their efforts produced a visit which exceeded all expectations, and particularly recognised that it took a lot of effort, indeed, to arrange such a special visit for the NATO Defense College.