NATO must become an 'actor in a global world' able to outwit agile enemies and communicate its message to the public, the alliance's newly appointed Supreme Allied Commander in Europe (SACEUR) argued in a keynote speech at the Royal United Services Institute.
Admiral James Stavridis said that NATO must become 'lean, fast and precise' in order to meet an expanded range of threats in the twenty-first century, as it prepares a new Strategic Concept.
In particular, Admiral Stavridis warned that the North Atlantic alliance faced new priorities in cybersecurity and counter-terrorism, and a new area of operations in the High North with the thaw of the Arctic ice.
Ultimately, the Commander urged NATO and its allies to remain aware of the progress of its twenty-first century opponents as it emerges into a new era of 'brain on brain warfare'.
About the speaker
Admiral James Stavridis assumed the position of SACEUR in summer 2009. A 1976 graduate of the US Naval Academy, he commanded the USS Barry from 1993 to 1995, conducting deployments in Haiti, Bosnia and the Arabian Gulf.
After commanding Enterprise Carrier Strike Group in support of both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom from 2002 to 2004, Admiral Stavridis took charge of the US Southern Command in 2006, covering Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Admiral has also served in policy planning on the staffs of the Chief of Naval Operations and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as Executive Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy, and as Senior Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense. He holds a PhD in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and is a distinguished graduate of both the Naval and National War Colleges.