A Message from SACT
The Chicago Summit will soon be upon us, and it will be most significant for ACT in many respects.
- It will be the first such event on American soil in over a decade – which resonates for us, the only NATO command on this side of the Atlantic.
- It will also be the first time a US city other than Washington DC hosts such a Summit. That the 28 national leaders will gather in the American heartland carries a powerful message: a reminder that the Alliance is dedicated to the security not only of Europe, but equally to that of its North American members, as was demonstrated in the aftermath of 9/11.
- And it is meaningful for us that the Chicago area is one of the Alliance's main hubs in aeronautics and electronics, given ACT's focus on capabilities and the industrial base that make them possible.
- But the agenda in Chicago is even more significant: capability issues will be front and centre, as the Nations endorse Smart Defence as the way to meet the ambitions set out in Lisbon in 2010 despite their budgetary challenges.
- As one would expect, Allied Command Transformation has been very much involved in helping put together the Chicago package. But we are losing no time in looking beyond the Summit: as Secretary General Rasmussen reminded us at the SACT Seminar last month in Washington DC, "Smart Defence is not a one-off Summit slogan", but a change of mind-set that will continue to unfold well into the future.
- This edition of The Transformer explores many ways in which this mind-set can be applied throughout ACT's portfolio. For example, the harmonised Education and Training landscape we are working on will make it easier to align national and collective priorities and to promote interoperability.
- I hope our readers will feel free to consult ACT's website, www.act.nato.int, where they will now be able to engage with the authors featured in The Transformer, and more generally follow the latest transformation news both in the run-up to and in the aftermath of Chicago.
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