GFOAC-2 at the NDC, 10-14 November 2014
From November 10-14 2014, the NDC in Rome hosted the Generals, Flag Officers and Ambassador’s Course of 2014 (GFOAC 2014-2): a top-level course which raises and reinforces mutual understanding of security concerns, political-military issues and NATO's interests and capabilities. On this occasion, 37 distinguished participants, from 25 different Countries, had the chance to discuss some of the dominant issues confronting the Alliance in this year’s theme: “NATO After the 2014 Summit”.
On the first day of the course, participants were warmly welcomed by the Dean of the NDC, Dr, Daria Daniels Skodnik (SVN C). Subsequently, an opening lecture entitled “Cultural Dialogue: the Western Encounter with the Rest” was delivered by Prof. Christopher Coker (GBR), Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics. During the afternoon, a second lecture entitled “NATO: Beyond the Wales Summit” was presented by Mr Michael Rühle (NATO/DEU), Head, Energy Security Section, in the Emerging Security Challenges Division in NATO’s International Staff.
On the following day, the GFOAC Course Members enjoyed other three interesting lectures: “The Transatlantic Link: the Cornerstone of the Alliance” by Ambassador Robert E. Hunter (USA), Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations of Johns Hopkins-School of Advanced International Studies, and Prof. Henning Riecke (DEU), Head of the program on “USA/Transatlantic relations” at the German Council on Foreign relations in Berlin; “NATO, Russia and Crisis in Ukraine” by Prof. Victor Kremenyuk (RUS), Professor in Political Science and Doctor of History; and “The Strategic Challenge of NATO’s Operations in Afghanistan and Transition to Resolute Support” through VTC with General Joseph F. Campbell (USA), Commander of International Security Assistance Force and United States Forces-Afghanistan (ISAF).
On Wednesday 12 Nov, Prof. Fawaz A. Gerges (USA/LEB), Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and Prof. Mustapha Benchenan (FRA), Political Scientist and Professor of Political Science, provided a detailed and focused lecture on “The Middle East and North Africa”. In the afternoon, a motivating lecture entitled “The Security Implications of the Rise of China” was delivered by Dr. Jonathan Holslag (BEL), Professor of International Politics at the Free University of Brussels.
The programme for Thursday 13 offered two lectures on the very topical subjects of “Technological Development: Risks and Opportunities” by Prof. Dr Holger MEY (DEU), Head of Advanced Concepts, CASSIDIAN, Unterschleissheim near Munich, and “Cyber Power – The Cyber Domain as a Military Operational Domain” by Gen (Ret) Sverre Diesen (NOR), who served as Norway’s Chief of Defence till September 2009.
The GFOAC Course Member’s attention was on one last significant lecture on Friday 14: “The future of Conflict and its Implications” by Mr. Camille Grand (FRA), Managing Director of the Fondation pour la recherche stratégique
This edition of high-level GFOAC Course once again was of great value and interest to participants through a combination of lectures and question periods with academic experts and peer discussions. Following Rome the Members will continue their GFOAC programme in Brussels from the 17 – 19 November.