Modular Short Course on “Contemporary NATO” (MSC 143-2)
From 11 to 15 of September, the NATO Defense College welcomed Modular Short Course 143-2 (MSC 143-2), the theme of which centered on "Contemporary NATO”. Running concomitantly with the Senior Course 143, the Course examines how challenging the operational environment is and how NATO progressively adapts to remain effective in the years ahead.
MSC 143-2 features a daily discussion in Committee, followed by a lecture, a Q&A session, and a consolidatory discussion in Committee. This enables Course Members to discuss and gain a general understanding of some of the identified global security issues and that are dealt with in the Academic programme’s section on "Contemporary NATO".
Day 1 began with a warm welcome to the attendees from NATO Defense College Commandant, Lieutenant General Max A.L.T. Nielsen in the Main Auditorium.
The NDC Faculty Advisors for Committees 1 and 2, Colonel Jörg Prescher and Colonel Shawn Leonard, each introduced the week-long module. Dr Ashley Tellis and Dr. Kristi Govella delivered a lecture on “Strategic Competition between Great Powers – Competitors and Global Commons (N.8)” in the Main Auditorium, identifying the strategic competitors that affect the future international security environment and provided a strategic overview of the key political, economic and security-related issues. The afternoon concluded with a Q&A session on the day's subject, which was then combined with Committee discussion to close up the day.
On Day 2, Dr. William Alberque and Mr. Jörg See discussed "Conventional Deterrence and Defence - Historical and Current Threats to NATO (N.9)", followed by afternoon Committee discussions on that topic.
The third day was based on "Nuclear Deterrence - NATO and its Adversaries" which examined the principle of deterrence from the Cold War to today. Dr. Bruno Tertrais and Prof. Dr. Holger H. Mey provided most fulsome and insightful lectures.
Dr Kevin Koehler and Mr. Javier Colomina gave presentations on "NATO Partnerships - A Cooperative Approach to Security" to start off Day 4, and thoroughly discussed the one of NATO’s core tasks: "cooperative security".
The final day of the Modular Short Course focused on "NATO's Crisis Management," with lectures from the former NDC Commandant Lieutenant General (Ret.) Olivier Rittimann and Professor Joachim Koops.
MSC 143-2 concluded with the conferment of certificates in the Main Auditorium, presided by the NDC Commandant Lieutenant General Nielsen.
Feedback by a MSC Course Member
The Public Affairs Office had the opportunity to interview one Course Members who took part in both MSC 143-1 and MSC 143-2: Squadron Leader Sarah Patterson, from the Ministry of Defence of the United Kingdom. She was most impressed by the how the courses were implemented: "it gives you the opportunity to work in the international environment with Allies and partners, which is something you do not get to do when you are working on your own countries’ issues. This is really valuable to understanding what other nations are thinking”. She also highlighted how complementary the MSC 142-1 and MSC 143-2 are. “The first week (MSC 143-1) was a really good opportunity to understand how NATO works; it included a “good lecture on exactly that, delivered by a retired 2 star general, and a subsequent lecture on funding and how all the money and the nations contribute and spend, which is was really interesting”. After that, “they slowly introduced us to wider topics that NATO is dealing with in the South, the Middle East, and beyond. This week (MSC 143-2) we’ve talked more about Partners and what deterrence is. All of these are interesting discussions on issues facing NATO. But also, we have discussed the good things happening across the Alliance. “
“I highly recommend this Course, it has been a fantastic two weeks, I really enjoyed it. It is definitely going to change the way I think about things in my day job and to consider the full picture, along with other areas we should be considering when thinking about an issue within NATO and the world as a whole”, she concluded.