On Friday, February 14, CEPA and the New Strategy Center co-hosted a Thematic Dinner on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference. The event featured insights from: Nicolae Ciucă, Minister of Defense of Romania, Mircea Geoană, Deputy Secretary General of NATO, Andriy Zagorodnyuk, Minister of Defense of Ukraine, and David Zalkaliani, Foreign Minister of Georgia, among others. The introduction was provided by CEPA President Dr. Alina Polyakova. The conversation was moderated by CEPA Pershing Chair in Strategic Studies LTG (Ret.) Ben Hodges. The discussion was concluded by the New Strategy Center's Ambassador Sorin Ducaru.

The Black Sea region is critical for European security and stability, but it needs a unified strategy. The aim: to compete—and win—in this contested region. The discussion focused on determining the next steps in formulating a comprehensive strategy for the Black Sea region.

Due to the heightened tensions over frozen conflicts and extensive militarization, deterrence around the Black Sea must be strengthened. By eliminating the distinction between “tailored” and “enhanced” in favor of one Forward Presence— “one flank, one presence”—and placing greater emphasis on the Black Sea region, NATO and its partners can reduce the likelihood of a tragic miscalculation by the Kremlin about the Alliance’s willpower, cohesion, and capabilities.

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LTG (Ret.) Ben Hodges

Dr. Alina Polyakova