Transformation and the Transatlantic Relationship
Achilles Seminar on Transformation and the Transatlantic Relationship
Co-sponsored by the Streit Council, the Atlantic Council, and the Allied Command Transformation's Department of Strategic Vision (NATO Public Diplomacy Division), Washington, DC and Norfolk, VA - October 16-19, 2006
Named after NATO founder and late Atlantic Council Chairman Theodore Achilles, this four-day event brought together young emerging young from Atlantic countries for a dialogue on defense policy with government officials, think tanks analysts, and other experts in Washington DC and Norfolk.
Welcoming speeches were delivered by Robert Hunter, President of the Atlantic Treaty Association and former US Ambassador to NATO, Jim Townsend of the Atlantic Council of the United States, Tiziana Stella of the Streit Council for a Union of Democracies, and Carmen Iezzi of the Young Atlantic Treaty Association.
The idea of the seminar was rooted in Theodore Achilles' "the successor generation problem." Achilles felt it was essential to convey an understanding of the continuing relevance of the Atlantic Alliance to future generations, which had not gone through the experience of Alliance bonding during the World Wars. This led to the establishment of an ongoing Successor Generation Program at the Atlantic Council. Speakers included Robert Hunter, Ian Brzezinski (former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Europe) and Terry J. Pudas, (Director of the Office of Force Transformation of the Department of Defense).
The seminar took on the widening and deepening of the Atlantic Alliance by focusing on NATO's global partnerships of NATO as well as its internal reform. Experts offered broad coverage of NATO transformation, showing how structural reforms are also associated with NATO's new partnerships and global developments in the defense industry. The seminar attendees were then tasked with working out a common position on issues related to NATO transformation.
Students travelled to Norfolk, Virginia to visit Allied Command - Transformation (ACT) and learn about new directions in military capabilities and doctrine, and how these will affect NATO and its operations.
The Streit Council cosponsored the event as part of its work to advance the ideas of the Atlantic movement in a contemporary context, and to involve young graduates in the study of Atlantic and inter-democracy integration.