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Visit by a delegation from the Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington

On 6 February 2019, the NATO Defense College hosted 20 students from the Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington. The students were accompanied by Dr Frederick Lorenz (head of delegation), Ambassador (ret) John Koenig and Mrs Lone Kjelgaard (Senior Assistant Legal Adviser, NATO HQ).

Delegation from the Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington, at the NDC

The Jackson School of International Studies (JSIS) is part of the University of Washington, Seattle. This is the third year of the JSIS ten-week winter quarter programme in Rome, once again including a visit to the NATO Defense College (NDC) and support from its Research Division (RD).

Colonel Ian Hope, PhD, welcomed the students and briefed them on the history of the NDC, its scope as a major centre of education, study and research, and its core mission. He also spoke about the RD’s many activities and its major projects.

While underlying the importance of 2019 as NATO’s 70th anniversary, Col Hope illustrated NATO’s governing mechanism as a tool that achieves decisions only through consensus. He described current priorities, with particular reference to:

  1. The Arctic region;
  2. The Baltic States;
  3. The situation in Ukraine;
  4. Illegal migration;
  5. The Balkans;
  6. The MENA region;
  7. The NATO Mission in Iraq and Afghanistan;
  8. Hybrid threats;
  9. NATO cyber defence policy.

NATO cyber defence policy was then analysed in depth by Mrs Lone Kjelgaard (NATO HQ), in her presentation on NATO Efforts in Cyberspace. While explaining developments since the 2002 Prague Summit, Mrs Kjelgaard placed particular emphasis on the Cyber Defence Pledge, as a tool promoting high-level focus and fostering cooperation across government institutions in order to share national experiences and raise overall levels of cyber defence. Particular attention was also given to the NATO-EU Joint Declaration, with its provision for information exchange, training, research and exercises, as well as the NATO Industry Cyber Partnership and the annual Cyber Coalition exercises.

Dr Vira Ratsiborynska, Research Analyst, spoke about the challenges of EU-NATO relations for Eastern Partnership countries. She examined such questions as cooperation priorities for the Eastern Partnership countries, NATO and the EU; security challenges; and frozen conflicts currently affecting Eastern Partnership countries. Importance was given to creation of synergies between all actors, development of security risk assessment in the Eastern Partnership countries, improvement of information exchange, and promotion of intelligence sharing between the EU, NATO and Eastern Partnership countries.

The visit proved very beneficial for the students from the Jackson School of International Studies, as it increased their knowledge of the NDC and NATO, a valuable educational experience not available on the home campus in Seattle.