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Mon, Mar 21, 2016

Train, hone, deter

NATO exercises play a vital role in ensuring that Alliance forces can respond to any contingency quickly and effectively. Not since the early 1990s has NATO’s exercise program drawn as much attention from NATO’s national leaders as it does now, due in large part to Russia’s increasingly aggressive misbehavior. The NATO exercise program provides the vital functions of keeping the member states’ forces interoperable by integrating new technologies into the force, practicing new doctrine, and validating units for their rotation into contingency roles, like the NATO Response Force.

Issue Brief by Matt Brand

Europe & Eurasia NATO

Brigadier General, USA (Ret.) Matt Brand is a specialist in foreign and national security policy, working for the last fifteen years in senior policy positions with the US Department of Defense (DOD). In his most recent position as the deputy chief of staff, strategic plans and policy for NATO’s Allied Command-Transformation in Norfolk, VA, he led the Alliance’s future military transformation studies work and articulated policies to direct Alliance transformation programs, most recently in developing strategies to counter hybrid threats. His final position in government was as senior mentor to the chief of staff of the US Army’s team that developed options for national decision-makers to preserve security in Europe, in the face of developing threats from the east and south. 

One of the Army’s most accomplished Foreign Area Officers, General Brand integrated national policies into actionable country plans in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, and Georgia that built those nations’ security capacity. As the senior US defense official and lead cultural specialist in the region in three of those nations, he worked closely with senior US decision-makers across the whole of government to develop realistic, effective strategies that led to effective policy decisions. As an infantry officer, he deployed twice to the Middle East as company commander and battalion operations officer, and was awarded the Silver Star for actions during Operation Desert Storm.

He is a graduate of the US Military Academy, Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, US Army Command and General Staff College and the US National War College. He has completed Russian, Uzbek, and Georgian language training and has a master’s degree in Russian from Stanford University, and in national security studies from the US National War College.