By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 27, 2013 – NATO’s supreme allied commander for transformation encouraged about 70 college students here yesterday to apply their talent and motivation in assessing current and future crisis management and security challenges.
NATO, Allied Command Transformation and partner organizations hosted the 2013 Young Professionals Day at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies here, where Gen. Jean-Paul Paloméros of the French air force delivered the keynote address.
The general called participants “active crew members” charged to provide fresh and innovative perspectives in strategic thinking for an ever-changing security environment to NATO leadership and analysts from the alliance’s 28 member nations and its partners.
“In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, NATO fully recognized that threats to the security of our nations are increasingly global and transnational,” Paloméros said.
The general reminded the students that two major milestones, both unforeseen, marked NATO’s transformation: the dismantling of the Soviet Union and 9/11.
As joint cyber, missile defense and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities increasingly define technology, the general said, new risks and opportunities can influence the security landscape. And since the alliance has become more inclusive -- nearly doubling its membership since Paloméros was a college student -- the NATO response must constantly evolve as a younger, more diverse force helps to create the strategic blueprint for interoperability.
“Within a very ambitious strategy concept, we still need to solve our security equation,” the general said. “We need to find the best way to match the security requirement to the security supply and resources.”
While the interconnection of people, ideas, trade and economies is not itself a security challenge, Paloméros said, it does have a direct effect organizationally on Allied Command Transformation, based on access to resources and the sharing of ideology.
“Interdependence of nations and regions can also create vulnerabilities,” Paloméros said. “[It] creates a growing demand for international security, and this has to be addressed … [with] a comprehensive approach.”
Assessing resources is critical to that approach, he continued, as the alliance cannot underestimate financial realities that jeopardize allies’ ability to resource their armed forces. NATO can do more through collaborative initiatives, he added, but individual nations may not be able to do more due to budget constraints that may be the norm for years to come.
NATO’s vision for outreach is not limited to allied nations, Paloméros emphasized, noting key partnerships with the European Union, United Nations, African Union, and the Red Cross among others. “Those partnerships are the key components of our vision for the alliance,” he said.
The links with these organizations will be fundamental to success in the way ahead, he said. “The ultimate goal of this work will be identifying security implications for future operation capabilities,” the general told the students.
Based in Norfolk, Va., Allied Command Transformation is central to NATO’s efforts to lead continuous military transformation that enhances effectiveness in current and future operations through training, education, capabilities, doctrine and concepts.