Netherlands Chief of Defence standing for Chairman of the NATO Military Committee
Admiral Rob Bauer is in the race for the position of Chairman of the NATO Military Committee. The Netherlands government has formally nominated Bauer for the NATO position. Should he be elected, he will hand over his current position of Chief of Defence to his successor in the summer of 2021.
One of the reasons for his nomination is that Bauer is known for his honest, constructive and unfettered advice. According to Bauer, that is the only way to ensure that what is politically desirable is indeed militarily attainable. His transparent, to the point and result-oriented leadership style, with clear communication and a sound delegation of tasks and responsibilities, is also notable.
Bauer’s view is that NATO needs to show its unity, its capacity and its readiness to deter and defend. As far as he is concerned, that is the only way to keep people safe, particularly in the current climate of political power shifts and increasingly complex security threats. Transatlantic relations need to be strengthened, while European responsibility within NATO needs to be fortified. Bauer intends to dedicate himself to this wholeheartedly. “We live in a time when alliances make the difference between success and failure. Between conflict and stability. Alliances are about trust and compromise. Give and take. Recognizing each other’s strengths and accepting each other’s weaknesses. And above all, about the fundamental belief that together you are stronger than you are alone.”
Admiral Bauer knows full well that the best leader is a leader who is first and foremost a good listener. Fulfilling the position of Chairman means being a catalyst among NATO’s military leaders. The Committee is the essential link between the political decision-making process and the military structure of NATO. Should Bauer be elected as Chairman, he must bring together north, south, east and west, large and small, in order to provide the political leadership with clear and strategic military advice.
3.2 million military personnel serve NATO
A total of 3.2 million military personnel serve NATO. Bauer believes that the main task of the Military Committee is to ensure that these men and women in uniform are equipped to fulfill their important task in keeping their countries safe.
Bauer has been the Netherlands Chief of Defence since 2017. As the Netherlands most senior military officer, he has become intimately acquainted with, military advices, policy, the workings of the military structure, and command and control within NATO.
In the election for the chairmanship, to be held from 18 and 19 September, Bauer will be in competition with one other Chief of Defence, namely Poland’s General Rajmund Andrzejczak.