‘Rome was not built in a day’

‘Rome was not built in a day’

I took this photo as visiting researcher at the NATO Defense College in Rome. For me, it brings to mind the expression ‘Rome was not built in a day’, reminding us that creating a stable security forum like NATO takes time, continuous effort, and compromise from all parties. Equally, it evokes the fragility of a political-military power once believed to be ‘eternal’, which fell because it failed to adapt to geopolitical changes. Illustrating Rome’s past and present, the photo consequently highlights the necessity of innovation and adaptability, two key concerns for NATO. To future-proof its security alliance, the Warsaw Summit is a landmark step in positioning NATO for unprecedented challenges in 2016 and beyond: NATO now faces cyber and asymmetric warfare, territorial aggression and the largest refugee crisis since WWII. Therefore, only a mindset guided by forward-looking innovation and adaptability, across nationalities and existing structures, can inform an effective response. The Defense College in Rome nurtures such a mindset by providing an institution for NATO military, civilian officials, and researchers to exchange ideas and debate security solutions. The photo therefore embodies what NATO means to me: a forum for innovation and adaptability to create a more secure future for everyone.