Event: 15th Annual Western Hemis;phere Security Colloquium: Rethinking Hemispheric Security and Strategy: Ten Years after the Mexico City OAS Declaration: Day One Part One

Date: May 21, 2012

Hosted by: Institute for National Strategic Studies

Host: John (Jay) A. Cope Senior Research Fellow Center for Strategic Research, Western Hemisphere: http://www.ndu.edu/inss/index.cfm?type=section&secid=34&pageid=6

Introduction The Colloquium is the culmination of a collaborative study: Rethinking Hemispheric Security and Strategy: Ten Years after the Mexico City OAS Declaration. The focus is rethinking of strategy in the Western Hemisphere. 5 themes from the research will be presented at the Colloquium.

Presenter: Deputy Asst Secretary of Defense Frank Mora

Content: Sect’y of Defense Leon Panetta’s visit to South America highlighted innovation to establish new defense and security partnerships and alliances. Moving forwarrd in the current complex security environment has seen progress since the OAS Declaration in 2003 in the creation of a vision for the Armed Forces and agreements on norms.

The System: Sec’ty Panetta noted important opportunities emerging as SA countries are exporting security within and beyond their borders. The proliferation of bilateral, subregional, and multilateral defense is evidence of a system of defense cooperation in the hemisphere. A mature interamerican defense system is vital to address current needs. Current defense and security is trending toward Central American security capacity builiding through training, troop and equipment provision. The U.S. is pursuing bilateral defense and subregional partnerships to leverage the resources of partners to confront transnational crime. Collective efforts by defense partners is having a positive impact on regional and global peace and security. The new realities of defense cooperation underpins many documents. Collaboration is the foundation.

The Institutions: The foundation lies in the institutions that made up the former defense and security system. OAS works to build formal defense relationships to share best practices with other instituions. The environment surrounding defense and security institutions of increased professionalism and increasingly unthinkable interstate conflict change the strategic foci. The political commitments of the OAS 2003 Declaration are mandated to address multidimensional threats and require interagency and multinational response. Western hemispheric defesne institutions have responded to the new security environment. The role for defense institutions is to strengthen defense cooperation.

Defense Cooperation: What does defense cooperation mean? It means more concrete cooperation. Chile, Brazil, and others have increased administration and logistical support for cross country ministerial action. the CDMA Board is also developing more collaboration activities. Further discussion is needed to define the role for institutions as useful fora for deeper cooperation and effective action. Strong leadership and national participation is vital to steer the instituions into the 21st Century. Failing to effectively partner will increase risk.

Change Over Past 10 Years: Current threats were unthinkable 10 years ago. All security organizations are moving toward citizen security. The overwhelming attacks on democracy are overwhelming nonmilitary security resources. Militaries are increasingly asked to perform nonmilitary security action. US DoD feels that commitment to partnership has a multiplier effect on global security. The US/Mexican sharing of information has resulted in increased defense cooperation with other countries.

Challenges: The defense industry needs to challenge the assumption that military inclusion actually  militarizes anything. But the support of democracy, respect for human rights, rule of law and civilian authority must be supported carefully. Leaders must address the military as the last resort. A professional force must be trained in dealing with civilian populations with respect and professionally. Nonmilitary missions must be short term, not long term solutions to problems. Militaries cannot assume the responsiblities for civil institutions. Defense institutions are not teachers, medical services, and must remain apolitical and supported to civilian authority.

Conclusion: A strong defense system of cooperation can address the 21st century defense needs through a multilateral approach to advance peace and security throughout the hemisphere. Countries are moving daily toward this cooperative trend. The institutions that provide this foundation must continue to expand the dialogue on topics that affect each member of the colloquium. Sec’ty Panetta states a commitment to reinvigorating U.S. participation in the region. The lack of unanimity to strengthening hemispheric collaboration must not be a block.

Resources: The power points of individual presentations of the Colloquium are available at http://www.ndu.edu/inss/index.cfm?secID=205&pageID=17&type=section. INSS publications, news and events announcements are also available on the site.

The Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas will host a conference in Uruguay, October 2012. http://www.cdmamericas.org/

Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense, January 2012 http://www.defense.gov/news/Defense_Strategic_Guidance.pdf

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