MUNICH, Germany — Senior leaders, national defense ministers and ambassadors gathered together during the 46th Munich Security Conference to debate current and potential national security issues. Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), Adm. James G. Stavridis, attended the conference and participated in a panel discussion with other senior members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Strategic Concept team of experts – to include team chairman Madeline Albright.
The team fielded questions from the audience regarding the objectives of the strategic concept, its purpose and projected goals for NATO and the expectations of NATO countries to provide national security to other member nations. Innuendo was made suggesting NATO to be an alliance of countries targeting Russia, although this idea was promptly laid down by Chairman Albright.
"NATO used to be an alliance against the Soviet Union, but the Soviet union no longer exists. Now, NATO is an alliance of countries aimed against a concept," said Albright.
Stavridis stressed his concept as commander that "Peace will not be won through the barrel of a gun alone." He stressed the importance of countries coming together to discuss security issues and work together towards resolution. He additionally pointed out that a recent attack by the Taliban in Afghanistan was successfully countered by the Afghanistan response forces within record-breaking time of six hours.
This was one example used to express the effective balance of politics and military forces to counter national security challenges and terrorism. The value of NATO to provide support to nations in the way of training security forces, providing logistical support and augmenting national security forces in the time of conflict was stressed as well.
The NATO strategic concept panel discussion was only one aspect of the conference amid speeches and discussions by various national security agencies.