French-American Defense Symposia

Since the program’s establishment in 1996, the French-American Foundation has hosted 12 Defense Symposia to consider the ways in which the roles of the French and American military are changing and adapting, how these changes affect cooperation between the two militaries and how both militaries can learn from each other and work together more efficiently. Each symposium builds on the work of previous meetings, while addressing timely topics in the defense and security field. The venue for the symposium alternates between the United States and France.

Past meetings have addressed the following topics:

Cyber Security
October 2-4, 2013

Key U.S. participants:

  • General Keith Alexander, Commander, U.S. Cyber Command & Director, National Security Agency
  • Vice Admiral Michael Rogers, Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command & U.S. Tenth Fleet
  • Teri Takai, Chief Information Officer, U.S. Department of Defense

Key French participants:

  • Lieutenant General Gratien Maire, Deputy Chief of Staff for International Relationships, Etat-Major des Armées
  • General Jean-Paul Paloméros, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, NATO
  • Rear Admiral Arnaud Coustillière, Cyber Defense General Officer, Ministry of Defense
  • Christophe-Alexandre Paillard, Deputy Director of the Directorate for Strategic Affairs, Ministry of Defense

Cyber Security
April 2-3, 2012

Key U.S. participants:

  • Vice Admiral Timothy Giardina, Deputy Commander, U.S. Strategic Command
  • Lieutenant General Rhett Hernandez, Commander, U.S. Army Cyber Command
  • Rear Admiral Samuel Cox, Director of Intelligence, U.S. Cyber Command
  • Howard Schmidt, Cyber Security Coordinator, National Security Council
  • Eric Rosenbach, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber Policy

Key French participants:

  • General Patrick de Rousiers, General Inspector of the French Armed Forces 
  • General Stéphane Abrial, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, NATO
  • Rear Admiral Arnaud Coustillière, Cyber Defense General Officer, Ministry of Defense
  • Zacharie Gross, Deputy Director, Delegation for Strategic Affairs

Security and Stability in Africa in the 21st Century
April 8-10, 2010

Download the report on the 2010 program here.

Key U.S. participants:

  • Ambassador Johnnie Carson, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
  • Major General William B. Garrett III, Commanding General, U.S. Army Africa
  • Ambassador J. Anthony Holmes, Deputy Commander for Civil-Military Activities, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM)
  • Professor Andrew S. Natsios, Distinguished Professor, Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, Former Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development

Key French participants:

  • Vice Admiral Philippe Combes, Deputy Chief of Staff, in charge of international relations at the French joint staff 
  • Stéphane Gompertz, Director, Africa and the Indian Ocean, French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs 
  • Major General Pierre-Michel Joana, Special Advisor, Peace and Security in Africa, EU Council Secretariat
  • Pascal Teixeira, Director for Strategy at the General Directorate for External Security, French Ministry of Defense 

Energy and Environmental Challenges to Security
April 10-12, 2008

Key U.S. participants:

  • General James E. Cartwright, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • Ambassador Eric S. Edelman, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

Key French participants:

  • Vice Admiral Michel de Monval, Deputy Chief of Staff for International Affairs, Navy Staff
  • Lieutenant General Jean-Paul Palomeros, Deputy Chief of Staff, Air Force

Civil-Military Coordination and Crisis Exit Strategies
October 19-21, 2006

Key U.S. participants:

  • Major General Frank J. Grass, Director, Reserve Affairs, U.S. European Command
  • Ambassador John E. Herbst, Coordinator, Reconstruction and Stabilization, Department of State
  • Rear Admiral Carlton B. Jewett, Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Defense Planning Supreme Allied Command for Transformation
  • Dr. Jeffrey Nadaner, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Stability Operations

Key French participants:

  • Lieutenant General Christian-Charles Falzone, Deputy Chief of Staff, International Relations, Etat-Major
  • Lieutenant General Patrick Paimbault, Deputy Chief of Staff (Operations), Etat-Major
  • Major General Bertrand Ract-Madoux, Director, Military Strategy and Studies Division, Etat-Major

Defense Transformation: French and U.S. Responses to the Security Challenges of the 21st Century
March 17-19, 2005

Key U.S. participants:

  • Admiral Edmund Giambastiani, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation
  • General Larry Welch, former Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force

Key French participants:

  • Vice Admiral Alain Coldefy, Vice Chief of Defense Staff

The Military Role in Countering Terrorism at Home and Abroad: U.S. and French Approaches
November 20-22, 2003

Key U.S. participants:

  • Nicholas Burns, U.S. Ambassador to NATO
  • General James L. Jones, Supreme Allied Commander Europe

Key French participants:

  • General Henri Bentégeat, Chief of Defense Staff
  • Vice Admiral Alain Coldefy, Vice Chief of Defense Staff

Promoting Jointness: What Next After September 11th?
February 7-9, 2002

Key U.S. participants:

  • Dr. Jacques Gansler, former Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics
  • General James L. Jones, Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps

Key French participants:

  • General Christian Delanghe, Général de Corps d’Armée 2ème section, Director of Research, U.S.-CREST
  • Général de Corps Aérien Richard Wolsztynski, Chief of Staff of the Air Force

Multinational Operations in Light of the Experience of Balkan Interventions
October 5-7, 2000

Key U.S. participants:

  • General Montgomery C. Meigs, Commanding General, U.S. Army Europe

Key French participants:

  • General Jean-Pierre Kelche, Chief of Defense Staff
  • Admiral Jacques Lanxade, former Chief of Defense Staff

National Decision-Making Processes in an International Crisis 
June 18-20, 1999

Key U.S. participants:

  • Stephen J. Hadley, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy
  • Admiral (ret.) Leighton W. Smith, Jr., former Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Naval Forces Europe

Key French participants:

  • Lt. General Bruno Elie, Former Deputy Commander, SFOR
  • Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Chairman, Institut des Hautes Etudes de Défense Nationale; former Director for Policy Planning, Foreign Affairs Ministry
  • Vice Admiral (ret.) Ghislain de Langre, Ancien Adjoint au Secrétaire Général pour la Défense Nationale

Peacekeeping Operations and Future Military Structures: Operations Other than War
April 16-18, 1998

Key U.S. participants:

  • General Wesley K. Clark, Supreme Allied Commander Europe
  • Jan Lodal, Principal U.S. Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
  • Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, U.S. NATO Ambassador

Key French participants:

  • General Alain Faupin, Director for International Relations, Etat-Major
  • General Jean-Pierre Kelche, Chief of Defense Staff
  • Alain Richard, Minister of Defense

21st Century Militaries: Professionalization, Force Structure and Missions 
March 6-8, 1997

Key U.S. participants:

  • General Wesley K. Clark, Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Southern Command
  • Major General Mark R. Hamilton, Director of J-8, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • General John Sheehan, Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Atlantic Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic

Key French participants:

  • General Alain Faupin, Director for International Relations, Etat-Major
  • General (ret.) Philippe Morillon, Former UNPROFOR Commander
  • General Christian Quesnot, former Military Chief of Staff to Presidents Chirac and Mitterrand