on behalf of all the personnel of the NATO SFA COE, which I am truly honoured and eager to serve as the new Director, it is my pleasure to present the issue n. 4/2020 Newsletter. The COE is committed to providing a unique capability to the Alliance, NATO Nations and NATO Partners in the field of SFA through the sharing of expertise and knowledge, while cementing the varied skills required in order to accomplish the numerous tasks, missions and challenges that NATO SFA COE face as a team. In the first article, we focus our attention on how Military Capacity Building has become an increasingly essential component of several nations’ defence approach. They have developed different perspectives designed and evolved in the field of Security Force Assistance, Security Cooperation and Capacity Building, which are similar and compatible from a conceptual and structural viewpoint. Nevertheless, each nation’s approach represents its national vision, which reflects its unique organizations, strategies, objectives, responsibilities and management. The article posits that the military component is only one of the means to be used for crisis prevention and stabilisation and its commitment should be underpinned by a shared political vision within cross-governmental strategies. In the second article, we emphasize the increasing importance of the Gray Zone, which encompasses the specific part of the spectrum of political conflict that separates competition according to traditional politics (white) from all-out war (black). In this context, where Western troops are increasingly working by, with and through local and regional Allies in important areas for global security, the role of Security Force Assistance must take on a paramount role. Given the need to understand the impact of the future operating environment, it is essential that nations currently begin to prepare their “future leaders” to resolve the complexities of future unknown environments through a new non-conventional thinking approach which places an ever-greater trust in the combination of men and machines, integrating the potential of the latter incrementally. In the third article we took into consideration the paramount importance that the Alliance assigns to the human dimension in its continuous innovation process, including by focusing on personnel enhancement efforts. We described our attempt to utilise a new approach to maximize the effectiveness of the SFA specialists’ profile and improve their interaction with Local Forces. May this newsletter be the first of a long list of reading capable of engaging the interest of the SFA Community of Interest and beyond, so as to become an inspiration for further thinking and research.
Col. Massimo DI PIETRO
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