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SACT Seminar focuses on future challenges

sact seminarSupreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT), French Air Force General Stephane Abrial hosted the SACT Seminar in Washington D.C. Tuesday 28 February.

Among many high level attendees were NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, United States’ Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Dr Jim Miller, and the NATO Military Committee with its chairman General Knud Bartels.

The SACT Seminar is one of five key, strategic engagement events for ACT that brings together NATO’s political and military leaders. It is designed so that participants have an opportunity to engage in in-depth discussions on issues concerning transformation – which assists in maintaining a high level of security for all Nations, the ultimate goal of the Alliance.

This year, however, the seminar had a unique twist; instead of focusing solely on ACT’s work, the event was used as a milestone towards the upcoming NATO Summit in Chicago in May.

“Issues related to capabilities, which are central to ACT’s mission, will be among the most prominent in Chicago,” said Abrial. “It makes perfect sense that the preparations for Chicago will be the key focus of this seminar.”

sact seminar press conference“Stakes higher than ever”

“Today, it is apparent that the stakes are higher than ever for the Alliance to continue its Transformation and address the way it will design, develop and deploy the capabilities required to fulfill its level of ambition,” Abrial said in his opening remarks. “The emerging security challenges and requirements [that are] needed to meet them are in no way receding. Challenges linked to the growing availability of high-end capabilities, conventional and non-conventional, to a variety of actors, not all of them well intentioned.”

NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen stated, “I know that many of you here, from ‘think tanks’, academia and industry enjoy a close working relationship with Allied Command Transformation. This means that we have already had significant contributions from you to our work. Today we have an opportunity to exchange views, in a slightly wider format and this allows me to seek your support, on a subject that is vital for the Alliance’s future – capability development.”

The opening remarks were followed by various sessions, the first of which was on “Smart Defence” and “NATO 2020 and Beyond” where participants were encouraged to share ideas and practices to improve the NATO Alliance in a way that financially troubled member nations can afford.

More (NATO Headquarters Website)

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