Warsaw Security Forum represents a passion project of the Casimir Pulaski Foundation. It is regarded as one of the most important conferences on transatlantic cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe. Recognized worldwide for its outstanding ability to foster panels with a full line-up of ministers or industry leaders, Warsaw has become the hub for high-end discussions in the field of defence and security.
The panellists alone bring out the grandeur of the event. Speakers such as Admiral Rob Bauer (Chair of the NATO Military Committee), Thomas Bagger (German Secretary of State for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Angel Tîlvăr (Romanian Minister of Defence), Lt. Gen. (R) Ben Hodges (Commander of United States Army Europe between 2014-2018) and many more, filled in the seats on the stage of the Warsaw Room. With recent autocratic developments on the continent, WSF 2023 has been an esteemed host of leading opposition leaders of the likes of Svetlana Tihanovskaia (Belarus) or Garry Gasparov (Russia).
This year’s edition also happens to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the forum and with it a widely regarded sense of maturity and drawn lines to widely respected stages like the Munich Security Conference or Davos. Such comparisons are never made lightly, but during my time in Warsaw, it truly was a recurring description on the lips of top delegations that I’ve had the pleasure to interact with!
A forum is nothing without its panels. The panels of a forum are nothing without their reached conclusions. So, what has been discussed? The two intensive days between the 3rd and 4th of October covered topics such as Ukraine’s Membership in NATO (m. Terry Martin), Rebuilding Capabilities of Allied Land Forces (m. Robert Pszczel), Europe’s Energy Transition (m. Kasia Madera) or Russia & the Black Sea (m. Geroge Scutaru). What were the conclusions? I can say that there were many, however, I noticed an increased emphasis on bolstering logistical infrastructure and deep interaction with the private sector for securing the transition to not only renewables but also the new resource providers of the continent.
Also, a big part of the WSF is its ceremonial component. The ’Knight of Freedom’ award was accepted by Admiral Rob Bauer as a symbolic statement of support for the persistent efforts made by the NATO alliance to advance the principles of freedom, justice, and democracy.
The Warsaw Security Forum is undoubtedly a true vision board for the attitudes of transatlantic partners. Over its 10-year tenure, it has become a host of New Security Leaders and established itself as the meeting point for bilateral ministerial discussion. As the 10th edition ends, the 11th one is already projected to happen on the 1st and 2nd of October. I undoubtedly see that as an alliance, as a strategic family, we are heading towards a path where we are ready to accept the wrongs and direct our energy to strive for the better. Warsaw was a perfect illustration of the optimistic trends of the transatlantic community.
Mihnea Turcitu is a bachelor student of Political Science, specializing in International Relations and Organizations at Leiden University. Early on, he was given the opportunity to live in the Northern Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and as a result, he developed an interest in the region of the Middle East and beyond. Outside his educational background, he is an active board member of a foundation responsible for helping refugees integrate into the academic world in the Netherlands and aims to pursue a career in the field of diplomacy.