Advanced Command and Staff Course students have recently returned from a brief visit to Brussels as part of their international security studies.
The visit could not have come at a more apposite time, given the current situation with Daesh, Syria and Russia, with students hearing from the NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow, the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Sir Adrian Bradshaw KCB OBE, and Professor Sven Biscop from the European Defence Agency.
Speaking openly and honestly on all issues, the speakers vividly brought to life much of international security theory and history learned and discussed in the lecture halls and syndicate rooms back in the UK.
As part of the visit there were also sessions on the Common Security and Defence Policy in the European Security and Defence Academy, including an insight into the development of the EU’s new Global Strategy. This was followed by a visit to the European Parliament, and discussions on the impact of the migrant crisis, France’s decision to invoke article 42.7 following the attacks in Paris and Britain’s expected referendum on EU membership.
The visit is symbolic of the UK’s investment in these institutions and afforded a far greater understanding of the UK’s alliances that could not be achieved any other way.