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Working Visit to Pankow: Royal Cooperation

Wednesday, 20. May 2015

On 12 May 2015, a delegation of the Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS) visited Berlin in order to enhance and deepen the exchange with the Federal Academy for Security Policy.

Doorway arch of Seaford House, headquarters of the RCDS in London. Picture: RCDS

Last Tuesday, Hans-Dieter Heumann, President of the Federal Academy for Security Policy (BAKS, Bundesakademie für Sicherheitspolitik), welcomed a delegation of the Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS). Head of the delegation was Sir Tom Philips, Commandant of the London-based College. The representatives of both organisations talked about future cooperation projects of their respective institutes. A delegation of the Federal Academy for Security Policy had already been to London before and thus laid the groundwork for closer cooperation.

In its coalition agreement, the Federal Government has expressed Germany’s readiness to honour its international responsibility and to be a valuable partner in the development of a fair world order. Enhanced global commitment and an effective multilateralism are only possible in cooperation with strong partners. Therefore, the actors always seek to work shoulder to shoulder with partner organisations abroad, in accordance with the comprehensive approach.

More responsibility for Germany means closer cooperation.

So does the Federal Academy for Security Policy: it is gradually expanding its international cooperation. Among its close partners is the Royal College of Defence Studies, just like the French IHEDN, the American NDU, or the European Security and Defence College.

RCDS-„Commandant“ Botschafter Sir Tom Philips (rechts) und BAKS-Präsident Botschafter Dr. Hans-Dieter Heumann Ambassador Sir Tom Philips, RCDS Commandant (right), and Ambassador Dr Hans-Dieter Heumann, President of the Federal Academy for Security Policy, during their meeting on 12 May. Picture: BAKS

In addition to the discussion of security issues, regular mutual visits and projects will be at the heart of future cooperation between the BAKS and the RCDS. After the summer recess, a team of the Academy will take part in a four-day table top exercise in London.

Founded in 1927, the RCDS forms part of the superordinated Defence Academy of the United Kingdom and constitutes the British equivalent to the much younger Federal Academy for Security Policy. The mission of the RCDS is “to prepare senior officers and officials of the United Kingdom and other countries and future leaders from the private and public sectors for high responsibilities in their respective organisations.” For this purpose, the College fosters the strategic awareness and thinking of its students regarding international and national “security, stability, and properity.” The format of this advanced training is a 45-week course at Seaford House in London’s Belgravia district, in combination with several global study tours – a didactic mix of methods for a wide range of participants, similar to the approach of the Federal Academy for Security Policy.

Sir Tom, who has been heading the RCDS since 2014, was a career diplomat from 1983 to 2012. In his last assignments, the Oxford alumnus and Middle East expert served as the British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and, prior to that, to Israel. From 2002 to 2006, he had been Special Representative for Afghanistan.

Author: Florian Beckert

Website of the Royal College of Defence Studies