- Research & Publications
- About the NDC
Monday 24 January 2011
Senior Course 117 successfully completes the Crisis Management & Negotiation Exercise
As the last academic event of Senior Course 117, Senior Course Members received lectures on the changing nature of Crisis Management, UN-NATO relations in Crisis Management, the NATO Crisis Management System, the role of the Military Committee in this context, and International and Multilateral Negotiations. These lectures were followed by a new Crisis Management Exercise/ Negotiation, Mediation and Decision-Making Exercise (CMX/NMDX), based on NATO CMX08 and CMX09.
First Mr Ted Whiteside, Secretary of the North Atlantic Council, provided a lecture on the most significant recent changes in Crisis Management. Dr Brooke Smith-Windsor then focused on UN-NATO relations in Crisis Management, after which Mr Ilay Ferrier, from the Crisis Exercising and Management Systems in the Operations Division at NATO HQ, explained how NATO Crisis Management works, the roles of the different bodies involved and the NATO Crisis Management Process. He also stressed the importance of NATO’s contribution to an emerging Comprehensive Approach. This lecture was followed by a presentation by LtGen (ret.) Jo Godderij, former Director-General of the International Military Staff (DGIMS), who explained to the Course Members the role and functioning of the Military Committee and the International Military Staff in the decision-making process in cases of Crisis Management.
On Monday afternoon Mr Anthony Cragg, former Assistant Secretary General for Defence Planning and Policy, talked about practical approaches to conducting and participating in multilateral international negotiations, and outlined some of the options available to NATO in seeking to influence the development of a crisis.
After this briefing the Course Members formed their Working Groups for the rest of the week. As a last phase of their preparations, they held very fruitful discussions on key terms used in the exercise, such as “NATO end state”, with the speakers of the day as Senior Mentors.
The exercise itself started on Tuesday morning. During the exercise, the Course Members represented members of several senior NATO committees, including the Political and Partnership Committee, an International Military Staff Working Group, the Operations Policy Committee and the North Atlantic Council. Individual Course Members were assigned to act either in official positions on these committees, including taking the role of the NATO Secretary General and the Chairman of the International Military Staff Working Group, or as Representatives of individual NATO Nations, including as Permanent Representatives in the North Atlantic Council.
The exercise scenario was a generic one, set on the fictitious Island of Roke, where three completely different countries are situated: Glefa, Mancy and Falun. The UN had already deployed a UN mission in the region of Gora, part of Mancy, one of the countries on Roke, but was not able to cope with the situation, which was further deteriorating as a result of the presence of the Goran Revolutionary Army, supported by Glefa, and the international terrorist activities of Halucha, a group protected by Glefa. The UNSG requested support from NATO to relieve the current UN mission with a NATO-led operation. The Course Members participated in a simulation of the various stages of the NATO Crisis Management Process and practised negotiation, mediation and decision-making techniques.
They learned about group dynamics in a multinational negotiation process and were subjected to a complex process of multilateral consensus building in order to decide on a common course of action. Some NATO senior level committees and the North Atlantic Council provided the ideal framework for this exercise, reflecting the strategic political-military level at which the Senior Course is focused. The Course Members in the role of NATO Secretary General and Spokesman also experienced what it is like to be “grilled” by the media. The importance of Strategic Communications and Public Diplomacy was better highlighted than in past exercises.
Throughout the exercise, the Senior Mentors gave valuable advice and feedback to Course Members. The Faculty Advisers were also actively involved in playing the role of capitals, offering the national representatives the possibility to receive guidelines to adapt their national positions if necessary. The CMX/NMDX proved to be an intellectually challenging and enjoyable conclusion to the academic programme for Senior Course 117.