Lieutenant General Scott Kindsvater, Deputy Chairman of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Military Committee headed a delegation in an official visit to Dubai Airshow 2019,Mohamed Fahed AL Halabieh, Al Jundi reporter, seized the opportunity and had an interview with the Lieut. General Kindsvater and discussed with him cooperation between UAE and NATO, keeping peace and maintaining world and Gulf security and stability, ways to overcome security challenges and some other related issues.
What is the aim of your visit to Dubai Airshow 2019?
My aim is obviously to visit the Airshow, but then to represent NATO Headquarters and to communicate our thanks to the partnership of the UAE, to the UAE Ministry of Defence and the capabilities they brought to the alliance.
The UAE is proud of its partnership with NATO, of course, and is keen to play a bigger role in keeping peace and maintaining stability in this world through this partnership. How do you describe the UAE partnership with you?
It has been fun for me professionally. And personally, I have deployed several times to the UAE as a young officer, but when you think about the relationship with the UAE, it goes all the way from strategic, operational and all the way down to the tactical level. So when you think through the strategic partnership, it’s excellent. And the operational and tactical level partnership and the military capabilities that the UAE brings to the security of the alliance are very credible.
What are the best means to sustain and enhance this partnership and cooperation between NATO and the UAE?
We’ve just talked about one through partnerships like ICI, but it is also then the deployment of nations. It’s continuing to educate our new officers because of military transition with new people so much, you have to continue to educate your officers and your corps, both at the tactical level and at the operational level so that when those young officers move up to the strategic level the cooperation in their lifetime just gets better and better. That’s kind of plan and process we are in now with UAE and a number of other nationals.
What about joint military exercises?
Yes, that’s a part of the tactical level. When you think through the tactical level, building that interoperability, building that capacity together, joint exercises are a key piece of that. As a matter of fact as a young officer as a lieutenant colonel, I got to lead the 2nd. ever US regiment of “Iron Falcon Exercise” at Al Dhafrah Airbase which was quite a treat for me as a young officer.
Such good will alliances and partnerships usually face challenges, especially by “bad will” rogue nations who do not like to see this world secure, what are the most critical challenges our partnership faces?
Sure. There are always challengers, disrupters. There are always nations that are more willing to be destabilizing than stabilizing. This is why the alliance over the last seventy years has been so reliable and strong, because it has a brand, because peace-loving nations, peoples and societies want to be a part of. When nations bring destabilizing activities or activities that create chaos in the international environment, they usually don’t have a brand.
What are the best means to face those challenges effectively and to defeat emerging threats which are fast-changing nowadays?
It’s what you just said. If the speed of 21st. century activity is such, that it’s really fast, that means you have to be able to make decisions fast, as a political body. Your military activities have to be integrated, interoperable and linked so that the situation awareness of our leaders is such that they can make very quick decisions. And that your rules of engagement at the tactical level have to be fast enough that you can blunt an adversary which means that your joint exercises and your interoperability have to be very very good.
What about flexibility and adaptability?
That’s a part of interoperability as well, so if you are going to operate, what I called, at speed to deter any type of adversary, that deterrence activity then has to be very rapid which means flexible, adaptable and interoperable.
How do you assess the security in the Gulf region and worldwide?
That’s a tough question, so I think there are obviously spoilers out there, but you have a number of nations willing to continue to work together to deter those spoilers, and that’s been going on for decades now. Any alliance is one of those institutions that are all about continuing peace. And then on the regional level, with the Gulf States here, there are signs of continuing challenges and nations just have to be willing to work together to mitigate those challenges.
What is your impression about Dubai Airshow and how do you compare it to other similar shows you have visited around the world.
Yes, it ranks right up there with the best I have seen. In terms of quality, quality of the aviation demonstrations, the quality of products displayed around there and the quality of the amount of nations and amount of companies that are here as well, you can tell what I would use here the US term ” the street credibility” of the UAE is very high because of this Airshow.
you, one day, come back to this Show, what would you like to see in it?
I’d like to go back and be a Captain and a fighter pilot, back in my mid twenties, so reverse history, and go back to fly F-15 here in the flight land, that’s what I would wish.
Any message to the UAE armed forces through Al Jundi Journal?
Keep up your good work. Operational, tactical level expertise and capabilities are hard to earn. It takes hard work and effort by all the officers and non –commissioned officers involved, and credibility isn’t something immediate, it’s earned over time. That’s really really important. Out of my experience here, that’s what I have seen in the UAE.
Interviewed by: Mohamed Fahed AL Halabieh – Photography by: Mohammed Alshaer