The 2011 Strategic Military Partner Conference kicked off June 14 in Belgrade, Serbia.SMPC is an event that offers military leadership of both NATO and its partners the opportunity to share views and experiences on the evolving security environment and its challenges.
With the overarching theme of “Post Lisbon: Delivering Transformation”, attendees exchanged ideas on how to address these challenges, both by implementing the Summit’s decisions and by looking toward the future.
In his keynote address, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, French Air Force General Stephane Abrial spoke about the importance of this event.
“This event comes at a very significant time for partnerships as well as for NATO itself,” said Abrial. It is the first forum of its kind since the Alliance’s new Strategic Concept was adopted in Lisbon.
Abrial explained that there are approximately 20 non-NATO nations engaged in ISAF at any given time and that the qualitative and quantitative impacts of these contributions are substantial.
“ISAF and other recent operations have helped us learn a lot about how to best associate our partners in operations, and I believe the results have been apparent in Operation Unified Protector,” said Abrial. “Not only are members of all three established partnership frameworks taking part, but they have been associated from the outset of the campaign, and their inclusion was a priority in setting up the decision architecture of the operation.”
As NATO’S leading agent for change, ACT is responsible for driving, facilitating and advocating improvement of Alliance capabilities. Partnerships are vital to the mission of ACT.
“As I review the big transformational issues in which ACT is active, I cannot think of any that wouldn’t benefit from the development of partnership engagement,” said Abrial. “This is true across the board – from responding to emerging threats to training and optimizing our capability development.”
Abrial added,” Responding to emerging challenges and threats, first, is a central driver in transformation – as the new Strategic Concept and its accompanying documents reflect.”
The conference concludes the afternoon of June 15. For more information about the conference, visit http://www.act.nato.int/smpc.
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