The Minister of National Defence of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan visits the NDC
On 21 February 2018 the NATO Defense College was honoured to receive the visit of the Minister of National Defence of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, LtGen Tariq Shah Bahrami. The Minister was accompanied by the Ambassador of Afghanistan to Italy, H.E. Waheed Omer, and the Military Attaché, BrigGen Ahmad Bahram Akbari. Other high-level officials from the Ministry of Defence, as well as external advisers, were part of the delegation.
Contacts such as this, and last year’s visit from the Afghan Ambassador to Italy, are an appropriate reflection of the excellent relations between Afghanistan and NATO. On this occasion, the purpose of LtGen Bahrami’s visit was to deliver a lecture of Opportunity to the 19th NATO Regional Cooperation Course (NRCC-19). The NRCC is the Alliance’s major educational outreach to Mediterranean Dialogue (MD) and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) countries, as well as other valued partners from the broader region of the Middle East. During this ten-week strategic-level course, participants discuss and exchange views on issues of shared concern for NATO and partner countries. Afghanistan often sends Course Members to the NRCC.
Upon his arrival at the NDC, LtGen Bahrami spent time in discussion with the Commandant LtGen Chris Whitecross.
The Minister started his lecture by underlining the importance of education and strategic leadership in the career of senior military officers and civilians. He then described the multiple security challenges faced by the Afghan authorities as well as the reforms undertaken by the Ministry of Defence, with the support of the Alliance, to empower the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces. He also mentioned efforts initiated by the Ministry to fight corruption, increase transparency and address challenges related to radicalization and terrorism. In this respect, he reported the progress made in the fight against terrorist groups. Finally, the Minister reaffirmed his conviction that conflict resolution can be achieved only through peaceful negotiation.
The lecture was followed by an engaging question-and-answer session. This afforded NRCC-19 Course Members a valued opportunity to acquire first-hand information about the different dimensions of Afghan security strategy.