OSCE High-Level Military Doctrine Seminar: Transparency and trust needed to rebuild confidence in face of complex European security challenges
VIENNA, 9 February 2021 — Fostering military transparency and building mutual confidence and trust among OSCE participating States is the aim of the two-day High-Level Military Doctrine Seminar, which opened today and was organized by the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC) and chaired by the FSC Chairpersonship of the United States.
“The seminar provides an excellent opportunity to discuss current perceptions of European security and to rebuild confidence by presenting and exchanging views on key trends and developments in military doctrines,” said OSCE Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid during her opening remarks. “I encourage you to actively engage in these discussions, which are in themselves indispensable trust-building exercises.”
She emphasized how the Seminar’s dialogue can re-establish and reinvigorate communication channels, but that it should not be limited to doctrines. “It should take a wider approach, one that includes confidence- and security-building measures (CSBMs). Indeed, we need to renew our political and military commitments to fulfill our CSBMs both in letter and spirit.”
In his keynote address and representing the US FSC Chairpersonship, United States Air Force General Tod D. Wolters, commander of the United States European Command, called for unity in this “increasingly complex and contested world” to address current security challenges such as political uncertainty, energy competition, and diffusion of disruptive technology.
“Across Europe and increasingly throughout the world, it is our responsibility as military leaders to maintain laser-focus on our comprehensive readiness in all domains and to continue to improve transparency and alignment of our operations, activities, and investments,” Wolters said, adding that all states “must continue, collectively, to let democratic values and fact-based communication lead our actions in order to avoid any misunderstanding or misperceptions.”
General Robert Brieger, Chief of Defence Staff of the Austrian Armed Forces, underlined the acuteness of military challenges in the OSCE region and the rise of interstate tensions and eruption of unresolved conflicts. He said that the Seminar, along with two OSCE intersessional doctrine seminars hosted by Austria in 2017 and 2019, contribute to strengthening the common security of OSCE participating States by providing important opportunities for high-level military to meet and exchange strategic assessments and trends.
Around 350 senior-level military officials and experts from the OSCE’s participating States and OSCE Partners for Co-operation are attending the event.
Participants will take part in five sessions featuring high-level speakers and panel discussions. The first session will explore the current European security situation and assess recent operational trends, while the second will consider participating States’ views on conventional deterrence. The third and fourth will discuss, respectively, strategic competition and its impact on doctrines, and how doctrines can address co-operation. The fifth will highlight the role of military forces during crisis response and how the COVID-19 pandemic is shaping doctrine development.
The High-Level Military Doctrine Seminar, the eighth to take place, is held in accordance with the Vienna Document 2011 on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures, which encourages participating States to periodically hold such a seminar. The Vienna Document contains provisions on the exchange of military information, verification and other forms of military co-operation.
For PDF attachments or links to sources of further information, please visit: https://www.osce.org/forum-for-security-cooperation/477778
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