‘Halifax International Security Forum’ – who is participating

Participants include

Robert Gates (US Defense Secretary & former chief of the CIA); Sen John McCain (Senate Armed Forces Committee); Gen Stanley McChrystal (Commander of ISAF); Stephen Hadley, George W. Bush National Security Advisor; Gen Victor Renuart (US head of NORAD); Adm Mark Fitzgerald (Cmdr, US Naval Forces Africa);

Defence Ministers of Belgium, Poland, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Brazil, France;

Peter MacKay (Minister of National Defence and the Atlantic Gateway); Gen Walter Natynczyk (Chief of Canadian Defence Staff); and Darrell Dexter, premier of Nova Scotia.

NATO: US Admiral James Stavridis (Supreme Allied Commander, Europe); James Appathurai (spokesman); Stefanie Babst (Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy); Jamie Shea (Director of Policy Planning).

NATO ambassadors from Canada, Romania, Albania, Latvia, Estonia, Serbia and Germany.

Middle East: Gen. Keith Dayton (US Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority); Amos Gilead, Director, Political-Military Bureau, Ministry of Defense, Israel.


The Department of National Defence is funding the German Marshall Fund (GMF), Washington to organize this conference in Canada. This American neo-conservative agency is deeply involved in NATO’s attempts to reconfigure itself and expand its global reach, especially in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. The conference website describes the role of the fund as follows:

“GMF is known for its innovative convening, including Brussels Forum, its annual flagship event, and its NATO Summit Conferences at Istanbul, Riga, and Bucharest. Brussels Forum […] brings together top North American and European policymakers and opinion-makers from politics, industry, and the media to discuss the most pressing challenges currently facing both sides of the Atlantic. The NATO Conferences bring together leading figures from the Alliance to debate its current agenda.”

According to Wikipedia references, the US Fund – an agency of big American and German capital with close links to the CIA and the National Endowment for Democracy – was involved in inciting the “colour-coded revolutions” in Europe and the Balkans under what they call “trans-Atlantic values” (i.e., US hegemony).

The US Fund has expanded into Eastern Europe through the establishment together with USAID of a program worth $25 million, the Balkan Trust for Democracy. It has offices in Washington, Berlin, Brussels, Paris, Bratislavia, Belgrade, Ankara and Bucharest.

Topics of agenda

The “forum” includes many closed sessions (“off the record”) and excludes the public. Why and what do they have to hide?

The topics take up the precise agenda defined by NATO’s “new strategic doctrine.” The scope is global: to justify giving this military bloc the “right” to intervene anywhere on the planet and in any sphere of life. The language of conflict, tension and war is evident:

Global Transatlanticism – Where the Allies Are; Afghanistan – Transition to What?; Pakistan: Who Can Help and How?; Protecting Ports – Threatening Trade?; Securing the Seas; Law v Power – Who Rules? Who makes the Rules?; Arctic – New Great Game; Laws of War: Do They Work?: States v. Non-State Actors; Engagement with Bad Actors; Partners and Problems: North Korea / Middle East; Iraq: Still Work to Do; A Conversation on Iran; Space Security; Pandemics – Public and Private Preparedness: What Ideas Are Worth Defending?; Cyber Security; Space Security; Security and Climate Change; Geopolitical Consequences of the Economic Crisis; Ukraine Before the Elections; Made in China: Challenges and Opportunities; Terrorism: What’s Next?; What Should NATO Stand For?

– Tony Seed

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Filed under Canada, No Harbour for War (Halifax)

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