In his briefings to young and senior cadets of the US Military Academy at West-Point, Col. Van der Heijden explained the unique political-military structure of the Alliance and described how NATO engages with partners around the globe in pursuing the International Community's goal for maintaining peace and democracy.
In his special guest-lecture at the Winning the Peace-Lecture for the Senior Cadets, Col. Van der Heijden focused on NATO’s counter piracy operation in the Horn of Africa (Operation Ocean Shield), the Alliance’s counter terrorism operation in the Mediterranean (Operation Active Endeavour), the recently ended operation in Libya (Operation Unified Protector), and NATO-led operations in Afghanistan (International Security Assistance Force) and Kosovo (Kosovo Force).
Concluding his brief he told the cadets that: “It is promising and encouraging seeing young military’s interest in complex organisations and operations. You are free from old Cold War thinking, and have different views on the way partnerships can contribute to global peace. You youngsters, you are the leaders of the future on whom many people will put their trust! I wish you lots of success in your military careers!”