The true strength of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is its ability to use all elements of power on the world stage -- diplomatic, economic and military, according to the Army War College's guest speaker for the 2008 Kermit Roosevelt Lecture, Oct. 16.

British General Sir John McColl, Deputy Supreme Allied Command Europe, spoke to the student body about NATO's past, present and the road to future success.

"NATO is more than the sum of its military powers," he said. "It cannot succeed with the integration of military, diplomatic and economic measures."

Operations in Afghanistan require all elements of national power need to be involved and alliance members must take a long-term approach, McColl noted.

"We must be prepared to stay for the long haul," he said. It is a very dangerous and complex situation.

"It must be a far-sighted strategy, he added. It will become more difficult and we need to be prepared for that."

Alliances, like NATO, are key in today's environment.

"No nation state can do this alone," he said. "Alliances are crucial to the success of any mission."

McColl background

McColl was commissioned into the 1st Battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment in Cyprus in 1973. In his 35 years of service he has held command and staff positions at every level of the British Army, served in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan. McColl also served as the Commander of International Security Assistance Force I. In 2004, McColl served as the Deputy Commander, Multi National Force Iraq. In 2005, he was appointed to the Prime Minister's special envoy to Afghanistan.

Lecture series background

The Kermit Roosevelt Lecture Exchange Series is an annual exchange of British and U.S. military lecturers, dating to 1947. The series honors Major Kermit Roosevelt who served in both the American and British armies during World Wars I and II; he was the son of President Theodore Roosevelt.

Mrs. Kermit Roosevelt conceived of the program to honor her late husband. In a June 1944 letter to Army Chief of Staff Gen. George C. Marshall, she wrote that Roosevelt was convinced that "a better understanding between the military forces of the United States and the United Kingdom would contribute in large measure to the preservation of world peace."