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Revitalising Security in the North Atlantic

About the Speech:

The IIEA will host a panel discussion on a newly published RUSI Whitehall Paper, entitled “NATO and the North Atlantic”, with Col John Andreas Olsen, Dr Ian Speller and Amb Marie Cross, who will consider the implications of the paper’s findings. Col John Andreas Olsen, the editor of the RUSI paper, will argue that the North Atlantic remains essential to the commerce and trade that sustain the economic prosperity of all countries sailing in its waters. In his view, NATO must have effective control of the North Atlantic, or at least the ability to deny naval access to hostile adversaries. Col Olsen will argue that NATO must invest in its maritime capabilities and situational awareness going forward and that its current command structure is not appropriate to countering present-day strategic challenges and requirements.


About the Speakers:

John Andreas Olsen is a colonel in the Royal Norwegian Air Force, currently assigned to the UK and Ireland as defence attaché. He is also a visiting professor at the Swedish Defence University and a non-resident senior fellow of the Mitchell Institute. His previous assignments include tours as director of security analyses in the Norwegian MoD, deputy commander at NATO Headquarters, Sarajevo, dean of the Norwegian Defence University College and head of the college’s division for strategic studies. He has a doctorate from De Montfort University and a Master’s degree from the University of Warwick.

Dr Ian Speller is Director of the Centre for Military History and Strategic Studies and Senior Lecturer in History at Maynooth University. He also lectures in history and strategy at the Irish Defence Forces Military College. Prior to moving to Ireland he was a Senior Lecturer in the Defence Studies Department at King’s College London and the UK Defence Academy. His research interests include maritime strategy, naval warfare and military history.

Marie Cross served as Irish Ambassador to the Political and Security Committee of the EU from 2006 to 2009. She also served as Irish Ambassador to the Czech Republic and to Ukraine.