The Chief of Defence Admiral General Teodoro Esteban López Calderón gave the final lecture to the students of the XLVIII National Defence Course and the LX Monographic Course on National Defence with a presentation on 'The evolution of the Spanish Armed Forces in the current geostrategic context'.
CHOD began his presentation with a quick review on the policies of the leaders of the Russian Federation since 2007 and their growing hostility towards the West. The Kremlin's "vision has since materialised in a new form of confrontation: through hybrid actions".
The unlawful attack on Ukraine revealed President Putin's goal of establishing the power of Soviet times, according to Admiral López Calderón, "Russian revisionism aims to completely replace the existing rules-based world order with one in which the use of force when necessary is justified in defence of self-interest.
China's role in this context is very significant, as "it is taking an increasing aggressive position in defence of what it believes to be its interests, which makes competition with the West more and more visible and has resulted in the United States clearly focusing its attention on the Indo-Pacific.
To this complex global geopolitical structure must be added the geographical environment closest to us: the Sahel, North Africa and the Gulf of Guinea. On this point, CHOD stressed "the importance for our security of the stability and prosperity of our neighbouring countries and the stability and good relations between the North African countries. He also considered it very concerning that international Jihadist terrorism continues to grow in Africa, and that the continent itself is already a theatre of geopolitical competition.
In view of this turbulent scenario, the Admiral General went on to analyse how our Armed Forces are facing it, since "the events we are experiencing have had a notable influence on the current defence planning process, which defines the capabilities, needs and resources that the Armed Forces will have at their disposal to fulfil their tasks. This new planning involves enhancing our defence capabilities, recuperating capabilities that continue to be necessary for the current and predictable operating environments, and boosting our capacity for anticipation, prevention and superiority in confrontation.
And finally, the JEMAD stressed the need to add to all these capabilities the gradual increase of personnel, both civilian and military, and their training and specialisation in order to face the digital transformation process that affects all the Armed Forces.
The goal of the National Defence Course is to provide a general overview of the Defence Culture to civilian leaders in our society and its students include national congressmen, leaders of the State Administration, academics, industry and professionals from media.