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American Forces Press Service

Dynamic Response '07 Successful Says Rumsfeld

By K.L. Vantran
American Forces Press Service

Colorado Springs, Colo., Oct. 8, 2003 -- Dynamic Response '07, a study seminar to explore what transformation means for the alliance and how the NATO Response Force could be used in future crises and conflicts, was a success, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said here today.

The study seminar gave the defense ministers the opportunity to think creatively about NATO's approaches to crisis management on the basis of fictitious events set in an imaginary country in 2007. The event was held at the Joint National Integration Center, Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., on the first day of the NATO Informal Ministerial.

The theme for day was transformation. As the scenario unfolded, ministers discussed freely the implications of decision-making, added NATO Secretary- General George Robertson.

While no conclusions were reached, participants reached a common understanding, said Robertson. This, he added, included that future crises will require prompt decision making; rules of engagement are needed to deal with the unexpected; crises that start small can finish big and NATO needs to be more flexible; and intelligence-gathering analysis and sharing are needed in all stages of a crisis.

The secretary-general said he viewed the seminar "a great success" and hopes it will generate other such "imaginative events."

Rumsfeld stressed that while the situation was hypothetical, it was designed to deal with real-world threats and capabilities.

The seminar tested the potential capabilities of the new and evolving NATO and its abilities to deal with the types of asymmetric threats that NATO is likely to face in the future, added the defense secretary.

It also highlighted the need for the response force to be agile, swift and lethal so that "this wonderful alliance of ours can respond quickly, effectively to the rapidly unfolding crisis," said Rumsfeld. And it also showed the need for NATO to transform its decision-making structures so that NATO military commanders can take decisive action against fast-moving threats in the 21st century.

An exercise like this "challenges alliance leaders with the hypothetical but hopefully realistic scenarios to test strengths and weaknesses so that we can study and discuss what we might do improve out ability to respond," he added. "I think it was very useful. I know I learned some things and I hope others feel the same way."

The informal ministerial continues through Oct. 9. Participants will continue discussions on transformation as well as NATO's current operations in Afghanistan and the Balkans and the need for deployable soldiers, said the secretary-general.

NATO has 19 members. Also, seven nations - Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia - have been invited to join NATO next spring.

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