Virtual Field Study to the United Kingdom
On the last day of Field Study I, Senior Course 137 was virtually in London. The topics covered the UK’s approach to Defence and their expectations on security in both the European and Euro-Atlantic relationships.
Welcome remarks were made by Mr Nick Gurr, Director of Strategy at the Ministry of Defence, and an alumnus of the NDC’s GFOAC. The first two lectures focused on the UK’s Global Defence Outlook, Defence Policy and the UK’s place in the world. Key messages included the UK’s full commitment to its international role in Europe and as a NATO partner, and how the UK is actively seeking opportunities to align its strategic planning with Allies and partners in both bilateral and multilateral fora.
During the last session, Mr Daniel Drake from the Euro-Atlantic Security Policy Unit stressed the UK’s expectations on security in both the European and Euro-Atlantic relationships. They include solidarity in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a shared understanding of evolving security threats, and burden-sharing to develop/deploy capabilities. Flexibility and speed of decision-making and a broader contribution to a stable international order with a positive UK/EU and NATO/EU relationship represent the UK’s primary security expectations.
All the sessions were followed by Q&A sessions with almost a third of SC137 CMs able to ask questions to which frank replies were provided within the context of the Chatham House rule.