Generals, Flag Officers & Ambassadors’ Course (GFOAC 2017-2)
The Generals, Flag Officers & Ambassadors’ Course took place this week at the NATO Defense College. Bringing together 48 high-level civilian and military participants from 31 different countries, GFOAC 2107-2 was entitled “NATO: Facing an Increasingly Diverse, Unpredictable, and Demanding Security Environment”.
The Course was introduced on Monday 13 November by Course Director BrigGen Heinz-Josef Feldmann (DEU A), Head of the NDC Academic Planning and Policy Division, and participants were warmly welcomed by the Dean of the NDC, BrigGen (ret.) František Mičánek. An opening lecture entitled “Cultural Dialogue: the Western Encounter with the Rest” was delivered by Prof. Christopher Coker (GBR). In the afternoon, further lectures took place: focusing on “The Transatlantic Link: the Cornerstone of the Alliance”, these were given by Ambassador Robert E. Hunter (USA) and Prof. Dr Rob De Wijk (NLD).
On the following day, GFOAC Course Members enjoyed lectures on “Demographic Trends”, by Prof Gunnar Heinsohn (DEU); and “NATO Conventional and Nuclear Deterrence”, by Dr Jeff Larsen (USA) of the NDC and Mr Richard Perks (CAN).
On Wednesday 15 November, the Course focused on the main threats and challenges the Alliance is facing. There was a lecture on “Russia’s Threat Perception and Military Outlook”, by Mr Keir Giles (GBR), followed in the afternoon by a lecture on “The Future of NATO”, delivered by Prof. Julian Lindley-French (GBR).
The participants were able to deepen their knowledge about NATO’s structure and key features by attending interesting lectures on “NATO in the Post-Cold War Order: Challenges and Implications”, by Dr Karl-Heinz KAMP (DEU) and Prof. Peter Viggo JAKOBSEN (DNK); “NATO and the Transatlantic Link”, by Mr Stanley R. SLOAN (USA) and Prof. Sten RYNNING (DNK); “ NATO Strategic Guidance”, by Mr Michael RÜHLE (NATO/DEU); “NATO Resource Policy”, by Mr Joris GHESQUIERE (BEL); “NATO Conventional and Nuclear Deterrence”, by Mr Timo KOSTER (NATO/NLD) and Dr Jeffrey LARSEN (NDC/USA); and final presentations on “NATO Defence Planning”, by Mr Ian BAYLESS (NATO/GBR) and Prof. Alexander MATTELAER (BEL).
Lectures on the following day focused on regional issues relevant for NATO and its partners: “The Middle East and North Africa”, by Prof. Mustapha Benchenane (FRA); and “The Security Implications of the Rise of China”, by Prof. Jonathan Holslag (BEL).
The course ended on Friday 17 November with a lecture by Mr Michael Rühle (DEU/NATO) on “NATO Strategic Guidance”. Closing remarks were given by BrigGen Feldmann.
One of the NDC’s main courses, the GFOAC offers an in-depth review of NATO security concerns, priorities and capabilities for high-ranking participants from NATO, the Partership for Peace, the Mediterranean Dialogue, the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative and Global Partners.