Today the NATO Defense College in Rome had the pleasure to welcome the Eighteenth NATO Regional Cooperation Course (NRCC 18).
Lieutenant General Chris Whitecross (CAN F), NDC Commandant, warmly welcomed guest speaker General Salvatore Farina (ITA A), Commander of NATO’s Joint Force Command (JFC) Brunssum.
The ceremony, held in the Maynard-Thorn Auditorium of the College, was introduced by the Commandant, who presented the Course by explaining that “since its establishment in 2009, the NRCC has become recognized by NATO’s leaders as a cornerstone of NATO’s engagement with Partner countries.”
One of the main educational programmes offered by the College, the NRCC this time 46 totals attendees from 20 countries, including NATO Member States together with partners from the Partnership for Peace (PfP), the Mediterranean Dialogue (MD), the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) and other Global Partners.
The aims of the Course are to improve the understanding of international, regional and collective security issues regarding the Middle Eastern region; to enhance knowledge of the historical and socio-political situation in the region; to develop Course Members’ abilities in strategic thinking and critical analysis; and to work towards mutual understanding on key political and military issues affecting the Middle East and NATO. Reinforcing these purposes, the Commandant stated: “There is no question that the security and stability of NATO and its member nations matters to the rest of the world. Equally, there is no question that the stability and security of the wider Middle East region is crucial.”
Based on a combination of different teaching methods, the Course includes panels, debates, discussions, committee work and case studies.
The Commandant then gave the floor to Gen. Farina.
In his speech, Gen. Farina illustrated the adaptation process of the Alliance, pursued in order to face new challenges, offering his own perspective as Joint Operations Commander. In particular, while defining the focus of NATO’s three core tasks, Collective Defence, Crisis Management and Cooperative Security, Gen. Farina provided a wide-ranging overview of how prevention, deterrence and dialogue will always be part of any adaptation measure undertaken by the Alliance. Equally important, the General added, is NATO’s role in cooperative security and in the fight against terrorism. Hence the need for credible, ready and well trained forces, as well as non-provocative and clear messages and initiatives.
Finally, answering specific questions, Gen. Farina praised the decision to establish the NATO Hub for the South, part of the “twin” Command at Naples, thus welcoming the initiative shown by countries along NATO’s southern border and complementing the success of the “more together” approach in pursuing this initiative.