Security in Northern Europe: Deterrence, Defense and Dialogue

October 25, 2018 - 3:30 pm

1030 15th St NW, 12th Floor
Washington, DC, DC
Please join the Atlantic Council for a public conversation on “Security in Northern Europe: Deterrence, Defense and Dialogue” on Thursday, October 25, 2018 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m at the Atlantic Council's Headquarters (1030 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20005).

With the resurgence of great power competition as a major challenge to transatlantic security, Northern Europe has once again emerged as an area of strategic relevance for the US and its Allies. Evolving geopolitical dynamics, changing warfare, and new capabilities have further contributed to turbulence in the region, demanding a stronger response and updated strategy from US and European leaders.
Convening a panel of experts from both sides of the Atlantic, this discussion will focus on how key NATO allies can respond to the complex situation in Northern Europe through a mix of effective deterrence, ability to fight, and constructive dialogue with Russia. The conversation will feature several coauthors of the new Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) Whitehall Paper on this topic, which will also be launched at the event.

Register now by clicking the RSVP button above. We hope you can join us for this important discussion.

Security in Northern Europe:
Deterrence, Defense and Dialogue

 Welcomed by:
Barry Pavel
Senior Vice President, Arnold Kanter Chair, and Director, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security
Atlantic Council

Introduction by:
John Andreas Olsen
Defense Attaché
Embassy of Norway, London;
Visiting Professor
Swedish Defense University;
Nonresident Senior Fellow
Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

Discussion with:
Svein Efjestad 
Policy Director
Ministry of Defense of Norway

Ambassador Alexander Vershbow
Distinguished Fellow, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security
Atlantic Council

Rolf Tamnes
Professor, Center for Norwegian and European Security
Norwegian Institute for Defense Studies

Moderated by:
Kathleen J. McInnis
Specialist in International Security
Congressional Research Service;
Nonresident Senior Fellow, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security
Atlantic Council


Svein Efjestad became policy director at the Norwegian Ministry of Defense (MoD) in 2013. He joined the MoD in 1981 after obtaining his MA in political science from the University of Oslo and serving for a brief period at the Norwegian Institute of International Relations (NUPI). Efjestad has held different positions in the MoD and served at the Norwegian delegation to NATO from 1986-1990. From 1995 to 2013 he served as director general for security policy at the MoD where he had broad responsibility in policies regarding national readiness, intelligence, defense planning and NATO affairs. Efjestad has represented the MoD in a number of national and international committees dealing with different security policy issues. In his current position, Efjestad is primarily engaged in policy planning, support to security policy research, Nordic defense cooperation, and bilateral defense and security issues. He is also chairman of the Norwegian Coast Guard Council.

Ambassador Alexander Vershbow is a distinguished fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. Ambassador Vershbow was the deputy secretary general of NATO from February 2012 to October 2016. Prior to his post at NATO, Ambassador Vershbow served for three years as the US assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs. In that position, he was responsible for coordinating US security and defense policies relating to the nations and international organizations of Europe (including NATO), the Middle East, and Africa. From 1977 to 2008, Vershbow was a career member of the United States Foreign Service. He served as US ambassador to NATO (1998-2001); to the Russian Federation (2001-05); and to the Republic of Korea (2005-08). He held numerous senior positions in Washington, including special assistant to the president and senior director for European affairs at the National Security Council (1994-97) and State Department director for Soviet Union affairs (1988-91).

Rolf Tamnes is a professor and head of the security and defense in Northern Europe program at the Norwegian Institute for Defense Studies (IFS). Prior to this, Tamnes was head of the expert commission on Norwegian Security and Defense Policy appointed by the Norwegian defense minister and member of the Afghanistan Committee appointed by the Norwegian government.  He was director of IFS from 1996–2012; head of the Geopolitics in the High North research program from 2008–2012; adjunct professor at the University of Oslo from 1995–2009; public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center from 2005–2006; and visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies from 2005-2006.
Kathleen J. McInnis is a nonresident senior fellow with the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. She currently serves as a specialist in international security for the Congressional Research Service, writing on US defense policy and strategy issues. Prior to that, she was a research consultant at Chatham House in London, working on NATO and transatlantic security matters. Between 2010 and 2012, Dr. McInnis cofounded Caerus Associates, a strategic design consulting company. From 2006 to 2010, Dr. McInnis served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Policy), working NATO-Afghanistan matters and stability operations capability development. In that capacity, she helped formulate and support US policy for two NATO summits, eight NATO Defense Ministerial meetings, and four Regional Command- South Ministerial meetings. Prior to joining Stability Operations, Dr. McInnis spent several years at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), analyzing US nuclear weapons strategy, strategic capabilities, NATO, European security, and transatlantic relations. She has appeared on CNN, Sky News, BBC, Al Jazeera English, and Voice of America. Her articles have featured in publications including The Atlantic Monthly, Defense One,, The Washington Quarterly, Defense News, War on the Rocks and The Washington Times, and was a contributing author to several Chatham House and CSIS studies.