On the 15th of February, Col. Massimo Di Pietro, the Director of the NATO Security Force Assistance Centre of Excellence (NATO SFA COE), gave a lecture to the 72nd Session of the IASD Course.

The Institute for Advanced Defence Studies (IASD) is the top joint educational institution of the Italian Defence establishment. Annually it offers three types of courses focusing on the analysis of issues related to defence, security, international relations and more generally, economic and industrial policies at global level.

The Director began the lecture by outlining the constitution of the NATO Centres of Excellence and highlighted how the NATO SFA COE trains and educates leaders and specialists from NATO member and partner countries.

He then went on to stress the importance of expanding the participation to a wider range of formal and informal actors in SFA activities, pushing forward to a new dimension where the different parts of the Assisted Nation’s defence and related security sector feel that they are part of one team, reducing instability and strengthening relationships.

In addition, he explained the potential of an upgrade of the traditional SFA empowered by a dedicated SFA reach-back component, operating from the homeland, that directly supports in a virtual mode the troops on the ground. In this scenario the reach-back structure should involve highly specialized SFA personnel, with a regionally oriented posture, to effectively support the SFA deployed task forces.

Finally, the lecture was concluded by emphasizing the complexity of the SFA system, which does not end with the military domain, but requires a synchronized use of all instruments of power with a view to achieving enduring and sustainable effects. This can be done through the enhancement of the coordination with the political sphere, the synergy with diplomatic efforts and the delivery of economic aids.