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NATO Members, Strategic Partners Nearing Half The World's Nations

NATO International
Allied Command Transformation
November 5, 2008

SMPC 2008 highlights Multiple Futures
By U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Mike Jones, ACT
Public Affairs Office

-SMPC [Strategic Military Partnership Conference] is
an annual event dedicated to providing a unique venue
for all [26] NATO, Partnership for Peace (PfP),
Mediterranean Dialogue (MD), Istanbul Cooperation
Initiative (ICI) and selected Contact Country (CC)
Chiefs of Defence for frank and open discussions on
issues important to partners and NATO.

[Partnership for Peace members:
Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Finland, Georgia, Ireland, Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro
Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan,
Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
Mediterranean Dialogue:
Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco
and Tunisia.
Istanbul Cooperation Initiative:
Effectively the Gulf Cooperation states of Bahrain,
Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab
Contact Country:
A looser term to designate NATO partners, ad hoc and
long-term, that are not in any of the above three
categories, which at this point could reasonably
include Afghanistan, Australia, Djibouti, India, Iraq,
Kenya, Kosovo, Japan, Mongolia, New Zealand, Pakistan,
Somalia, South Korea and others not yet openly
acknowledged to have agreements with NATO such as
Lebanon, the Dutch Antilles and numerous sub-Saharan
African nations.]

Allied Command Transformation (ACT) and various other
NATO member Nations joined together for the 2008
Strategic Military Partnership Conference (SMPC) Nov.
3 - 5 in Tirana, Albania.

Albania was invited in April 2008 to begin accession
talks to join the Alliance through the Bucharest
Summit Declaration issued by the Heads of State and
Government participating in the meeting of the North
Atlantic Council in Bucharest April 3.

As a result, Tirana proved an ideal location to hold
the SMPC and continue discussions within the ACT-led
Multiple Futures Project (MFP) - this year's
conference theme.

Supreme Allied Commander Transformation U.S. Marine
Corps Gen. James N. Mattis praised Albania's
hospitality and enthusiasm for becoming NATO members.
"I salute this country and its friendly people for how
we were welcomed here," he said. "This is one of the
most coherent, well put-together plans that my command
has seen in the corporate history of the staff members
I have. This country, this military has earned full
status in NATO."

Albanian Minister of Defence, the Honorable Gazmend
Oketa explained he looks forward to each aspect of the
membership process and what his country’s future
within the Alliance will bring. "Once we have become
members of NATO we will be treated as if we have been
members for 60 years," he said. "The Albanian
government and the Ministry of Defence have very clear
ideas about what to expect once we become members."

The Albanian delegation joined other member and
partner nations at this year’s event for a series of
in-depth MFP-oriented sessions and workshops.

MFP provides a logical approach to thoroughly scan the
horizon, develop a broad understanding of the
corresponding security implications and support
strategic dialogue.

The project encourages and supports strategic dialogue
as a vehicle for developing common, long-term insight,
explained Spanish Air Force Brig. Gen. Jose A.
Fernandez Demaria, Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff,
Strategic Concepts, Policy and Interoperability.
“Looking to the future and trying to be better
prepared is a positive thing,” he said.

Through the means of a futures study, MFP creates an
intellectual framework that articulates plausible
future environments facing the Alliance. “The aim of
the conference is to gather the inputs and the views
of our partners. We’re not only looking at challenges,
but also opportunities,” Demaria added. “(We’re
looking for) anything that will happen in the future
that would provide an opportunity for a better, more
secure world.”

SMPC is an annual event dedicated to providing a
unique venue for all NATO, Partnership for Peace
(PfP), Mediterranean Dialogue (MD), Istanbul
Cooperation Initiative (ICI) and selected Contact
Country (CC) Chiefs of Defence for frank and open
discussions on issues important to partners and NATO.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.

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