In Phase 2 of the NATO Debates thirty student-participants will engage in three days of debates, seminars and simulations on NATO Burden Sharing and the future of the alliance at the Egmont Royal Institute for International Relations in Brussels. During the competition the students will be accompanied and coached by a faculty advisor also representing their school.
Each day of the three day program will be devoted to a different method of investigating the NATO Debates topic and will seek to engage a Brussels-based general public, invited Brussels-based experts and officials including private sector officials, and media.
First, on Wednesday, June 19, the students will participate in "present and defend" debates judged by juries of faculty advisors from the other participating schools. During these debates, the students will be given 30 minutes to argue the same topic as in their Phase 1 video presentations. After each 30 minute presentation the students will take 15 minutes of questions from the juries. The top two teams from the preliminary round will advance to debate before a jury of prominent Brussels-based officials and experts in the NATO Debates championship round.
Second, on Thursday, June 20, the participating students will take part in a conference on NATO burden sharing and the future of the NATO Alliance. Conference panelists will include Brussels-based experts and officials, experts from The George Washington University, and faculty advisors of participating schools.
NATO Debates Conference Program (Working Draft)
- Session 1: “The landscape of anti-Atlanticism in Europe today”
- Session 2: “Electoral prospects and defense platforms of opposition parties in European politics”
- Keynote speaker
- Session 3: “Political economy of NATO burden-sharing: national dilemmas between defense vs. social expenditures”
- Session 4: “Assessing the potential effects of Western economic tensions on NATO burden-sharing”
Finally, on Friday, June 20, students will participate in a "Model NATO" tabletop simulation exercise involving an original scenario developed by GWU staff and NATO's Allied Command Transformation that will aim to test how being “above” vs. “below” the Wales thresholds affects (1) the political atmospherics of the North Atlantic Council and (2) NATO’s collective defense and crisis response capabilities. This simulation will proceed as follows:In April 2019, GWU and ACT staff will allocate to each of our thirty student participants the role of a NAC ambassador, in addition to a “Secretary-General”. GWU and ACT simulation managers will submit a phased scenario to our participants, with A/V support. Under the guidance of the student playing the “Secretary-General”, participants will be asked to negotiate the NAC’s response. The exercise will comprise two phases, replicating conditions below vs. above the Wales thresholds.