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Tuesday 14 December 2010
Generals, Flag Officers and Ambassadors' Course (GFOAC) 2010-2
The NATO Defense College's Generals, Flag Officers and Ambassadors' Course (GFOAC), ran from 29 November through 8 December 2010 in Rome and Brussels. Forty-three course members from 26 different nations participated in the second 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 Australia, Iraq, and Pakistan were represented.
The theme for GFOAC 2010-12 was "NATO's Direction after Lisbon." The course started with a presentation by Dr. Karl-Heinz Kamp, Director of the NATO Defense College's Research Division. He gave an analysis of where the Alliance is headed on a political and military based on the New Strategic Concept and the Summit Declaration. 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, Globalisation and the Impact on Defense and Security Policy, Afghanistan and Pakistan as a Strategic Crossroad, and the Future Character of Warfare. The academic portion of the course finished on Friday, with an excellent lecture by Dr. James Boutilier on the Strategic Implications of China's Rise to Power.
Another highlight of the course was an almost one hour video teleconference with the Commander of the International Security Assistance Force, General David Petraeus, and NATO's Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan, Ambassador Mark Sedwill. General Petraeus and 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 the presentation the two senior leaders fielded questions from the course members.
On Monday, 3 December 2010, the GFOAC Course members were welcomed to Headquarters NATO in Brussels for a series of briefings from the International Military Staff, the International Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, and Allied Command Transformation. The Course Members were also privileged to receive a highly informative series of briefings from the European Unionís Military Staff.
The next GFOAC is tentatively scheduled for 2-6 May 2011 in Rome.