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Friday 23 March 2012
SC 120 Field Study I: European Security Perspectives & the MD - London
After its first stop in Paris, Senior Course 120 arrived in London to gain detailed insight into the United Kingdomís security and defence policy.
On March 22 the programme began with a visit to the Houses of Parliament. The NATO Defense College delegation was welcomed and briefed by Mr Hugh Bayley MP, Vice-President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO-PA), and by UK Parliamentary Adviser Mr Roger Casales. Both distinguished speakers explained that the main objective of the NATO-PA is to foster understanding, among Alliance parliamentarians, of the key security issues facing the transatlantic partnership.
At the end of the visit to the Houses of Parliament, the traditional reception and meeting with UK Anciens took place at the Navy Club in St. Jamesís Square.
The following day the visit continued with a series of briefings on strategic-level security and defence issues.
Mr Steve McCarthy, Director of International Security Policy at the Ministry of Defence, opened the session by providing an overview of British defence and security policy, highlighting the importance for Great Britain of maintaining close relations with international organizations such as the United Nations and the European Union. He also discussed British efforts to reshape the armed forces, as well as the evolving defence and security environment in which the UK operates.
Mr Edward Ferguson, Head of Defence Strategy and Priorities at the Ministry of Defence, delivered the second presentation on British defence transformation. He provided a comprehensive insight into the UK defence planning process, emphasizing that transition in Afghanistan and the fight against terrorism remain the key priorities in national security strategy.
Gp Capt Richard Obson, Deputy Head of NATO and Europe Policy, Ministry of Defence, provided the British perspective regarding NATO and the European Union. He emphasized that NATO is the bedrock of British defence policy, and also highlighted UK contributions to the Allianceís operational commitments across the globe.
Course Members were then briefed on UK aid policy by Ms Claire Moran of the Department for International Development (DFID), where she is Head of the National Security and Conflict Prevention Group in the Conflict, Humanitarian and Security Department. This talk included an analysis of DFID approaches to resolving conflict and fragility, as well as to building peaceful states and societies.
The next country the group will visit is Germany.