NATO Defence Education Enhancement Programme continues its long-standing contribution to the sustainment of Afghan defence and security institutions
For more than a decade, through its Defence Education Enhancement Programme, NATO has supported the development and sustainment of Afghan national defence and security military education system. This programme is articulated through three intertwined pillars: curriculum development, faculty development and institutional assistance.
A key component is the Executive Senior Leaders’ Seminars series. Several executive-level officials and practitioners representing Afghanistan’s defence sector ministries have participated. The Seminar series is unique and achieves impressive results over time by focusing on building strategic thinking and practical skills at the senior leadership levels and within the Marshal Fahim National Defense University (MFNDU).
Another key component of the programme with Afghanistan concerns faculty members. For the past three years, by bringing together defence and military experts from Allied countries and partners to exchange experience in modern teaching methodologies and to adapt afghan approaches, a real qualitative leap has been achieved. 20 Afghan instructors from the MFNDU and related military schools are involved in this process. All of them showed courage, open-minded approach, strong commitment, and flexibility. The main objectives are to familiarize the faculty members with modern teaching methods, active learning techniques, exercise development, execution and feedback processes, critical thinking. The next faculty development activity will take place end of October in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Despite recent developments including the COVID crisis, the programme never lost the momentum for reforms and never lost contact with Afghan counterparts. The strong engagement based on a real co-ownership approach continued throughout all last year and also through online adaptation.
The Defence Education Enhancement Programme (DEEP) is a vehicle for reform, providing tailored practical support to individual countries in developing and reforming their professional military education institutions. Through faculty development, curriculum development and peer-to-peer consultations, DEEP fosters defence capacity and institution building. By enhancing democratic institutions, it makes an important contribution to NATO’s efforts to project stability in the Euro-Atlantic area and beyond.
Currently, DEEP initiatives are ongoing in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Iraq (as part of the NATO Mission in Iraq), Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mauritania, the Republic of Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Serbia, Tunisia, and Ukraine.