September 18, 2021 – NATO’s thirty Chiefs of Defence gathered in Athens, Greece for the fall session of the Military Committee Conference 2021. The agenda for the Conference was challenging but necessary so that the Military Committee, in its highest format, could provide guidance to the Strategic Commanders and advice to the NATO Secretary General and the North Atlantic Council.
Discussions focused on NATO-led operations, missions and activities and the threats and challenges facing NATO. The Chiefs of Defence exchanged views on the military input to the Alliance’s lessons learnt process that will evaluate the Alliance’s engagement in Afghanistan.
The Military Committee received briefings from NATO’s Strategic Commanders, General Tod Wolters, Supreme Allied Headquarters Commander Europe (SACEUR) and General André Lanata, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) on the concept of Deterrence and Defence of the Euro-Atlantic area and NATO’s Warfighting Capstone Concept.
The Chief of Defence discussed enduring threats and peacetime challenges. They stressed how the geopolitical environment was changing and the line between peace and crisis was increasingly blurred. The Military Committee then deliberated the changing nature of warfare and how the Alliance needs to maintain pace with the speed of technological change.
The NATO 2030 agenda was the focus of the next session as the Chiefs of Defence discussed its implications and opportunities for the NATO Military Authorities. Discussions then turned to how the Chiefs of Defence would provide their military advice into the next NATO Strategic Concept.
The final meeting of the day saw the Chiefs of Defence nominate Lieutenant General Janusz Adamczak as the next Director General of the International Military Staff. Lieutenant General Janusz Adamczak from Poland will take office in the summer of 2022.