NATO hosts Colombian War College visit
On 8th September 2023, the NATO International Military Staff, under the auspices of its Cooperative Security Division, welcomed a group of students from the Colombian War College, to the NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. The group received a series of briefings to enhance their understanding of NATO, its role and responsibilities, especially in light of the current security environment and the outcomes of the recent Summit in Vilnius.
Welcoming the students to the NATO Headquarters, the Director General of the International Military Staff, Lieutenant General Janusz Adamczak provided an overview of the current security environment, the implications of the war in Ukraine on European and global security as well as the importance of partnerships. “We value the unique perspective and experience you bring to the table. There is already a strong political dialogue in place, with regular consultations, including on regional security, counter-terrorism, disinformation and cyber threats. Practical and military cooperation is essential. We have much to learn from each other. Moreover, there are many benefits to working together on common and global challenges. The current security environment highlights the significance of partnerships. And, we are especially grateful to be able to count on Colombia”, underscored the Director General.
As part of the International Geostrategic Practices of the Higher Military Studies Course, the 45 students hailing from Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, were briefed on the recent outcomes of the Vilnius Summit, especially in regards to further strengthening NATO’s Deterrence and Defence Posture, in response to Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine. By providing Ukrainian troops with special training in countering improvised explosive devices, Colombia has been contributing to Ukraine’s ongoing efforts to push back the invading forces and advance through heavily mined territory. The group received an overview on NATO, its role and responsibilities as a defence and security provider, as well as on the intricacies of its political-military structure. The programme concluded with a briefing on NATO’s ongoing partnerships, existing partnership programmes and the changes that resulted from the Madrid Summit in July 2022, which saw Nations advocate for more cooperation with Partners and a willingness to engage with new ones.
Colombia became NATO's newest partner in 2017, and the first in Latin America. As part of this partnership, NATO supports Colombia in its continuing efforts to develop its armed forces, while Colombia provides demining training to NATO Allies and other partner countries. In December 2021, Colombia and NATO agreed a new framework of cooperation, the Individually Tailored Partnership Programme, marking the beginning of even closer cooperation. Colombia was the first partner to transition to this new programme, which covers areas for enhanced cooperation such as interoperability, building integrity, training and education, as well as new areas like climate change and security.