Military education is key component to a fitter, faster and more flexible NATO
General Knud Bartels, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, a strong proponent of military education and Chairman of the Academic Advisory Board of the NATO Defense College visited the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and the Marine Corps War College, Quantico, Virginia during his tour of the United States (30th September 2014 – 3rd October 2014).
Visiting the US Army War College (UAWC) General Bartels was welcomed by the UAWC Commandant, Major General William E Rapp. The Chairman, a graduate from the 1994 UAWC International Fellows (IF) programme, was given the opportunity whilst visiting the college to give a lecture to the current students and staff. General Bartels’ lecture at the UAWC focused on the strategic challenges NATO faces from his point of view as Chairman of the NATO Military Committee.
During his lecture General Bartels emphasized how important education was to NATO’s future and its transformation. The Chairman said, “If you do not understand what was created by the dramatic changes that followed World War I, you will fail to understand what is going on today..”. General Bartels also spoke of how important the lessons learnt during the ISAF campaign are and how extraordinary well Allies and partners have worked together and have enabled NATO to build a broad cooperative security network.
While at UAWC, the Chairman, was honoured when he was inducted into the (IF) Hall of Fame by the Commandant of the UAWC, Major General William E. Rapp. The Hall of Fame was established to provide a visible means of honouring USAWC IF graduates who have obtained the highest position in their armed forces or in an international organization.
At the Marine Corps University in Quantico General Bartels met with the Commandant Brigadier General Thomas D. Weidley and former ISAF Commander General Dunford and gave a lecture to students on NATO’s future. The Chairman impressed upon the assembled students and staff when talking about NATO’s future military strategic posture that although it required changes, none of them would work unless you exercise, train, test and evaluate. Concluding his lecture, General Bartels said of NATO: “we are a strong and powerful military-political alliance and we do make a difference, we have made a difference and we will make a difference in the future if we want.”