Event: 15th Annual Western Hemis;phere Security Colloquium: Rethinking Hemispheric Security and Strategy: Ten Years after the Mexico City OAS Declaration:
Day One Part Four: Subregional Contributions to Regional Security
Date: May 21, 2012
Hosted by: Institute for National Strategic Studies
Host: Nicolas Rostow, Director, Center for Strategic Research Institute for National Strategic Studies; http://www.ndu.edu/info/LeaderShipBios/Rostow.cfm
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 strategy in the Western Hemisphere. 5 themes from the research are presented at the Colloquium.
Presenter 1: Rear Admiral Richard Greenwood, Canadian Forces
Content: Many positive directions have developed in collabortive defense and security over the last 30 years. The LA contribution to global security has increased by 719 %. Defense and security among nations has never been easy or automatic. Every ally wants to do the least with the most credit and be the ONE that solves the problem. Defense strategy itself pulls away from cooperation. Jealousy, revealing weakness or vulnerabilities, and the automatic move toward worst-case planning. The idea of Northern or Eastern hemispheric cooperation is not an accepted norm in the defense world. Shining examples of cooperation (when it works really well) show that mutual respect (Good Neighbor Policy) supports deep reform across borders for the last 8 years. The lesson is that LA asked for peace relationship in 1945. It is not a case of the U.S. bludgeoning others for cooperation. Transformation is affected by geographic divide by Columbia, ideological divide from a traditional Left wing versus recent political moves toward the right. The institutions for cooperative system is hampered by the geographic and ideological factors. Mexico and the Caribbean exhibit change in the use of military forces for nonmilitary actions. Further south the dynamic successes in Guyana and Suriname for cooperative confidence building measures, natural disaster relief plan. The many factors contributing to change are not hemispheric but geographical and regional.
What is to be done? The need for a mindset change will be founded on the truth that the old North and South Americas are gone. The questions that must be answered are the problems, and priorities. All problems are not the fault of the U.S. That said, many changes must happen in North America: modernization of forces, natural disaster cooperation, reform of security apparatus, handling the increase of the military role, border control (SMART borders tech), timely intelligence, confidence buildings, creation of a defense community, building capacity for jointness, improved exposure of armed forces to peacekeeping.
The key is building confidence. Two generations of leaders have been poisoned about the values and aims of the U.S. We must show commitment to mutually respect, common interests and working together to build a new defense and security cooperative system. Europe is in the western hemisphere for territorial interests only, not external interests.
If the institutions we’ve got ain’t working lets get some that do.
Presenter 2: Major General Walter Braga Netto, Embassy of Brazil
Content: How is Brazil in the World. The Brazilian border shares with 10 SA countries and a huge coastline. Comparatively Brazil has the largest border in the Western Hemisphere. Border security became a military problem in 1999. The Green Amazon borders 7 countries. The problems are ON the borders, not the borders themselves. Brazilian military works for cooperation versus dissuasion. The Amazon system is integrated with the remaining border for cooperative border control. SISFRON surveillance system is the future vision to establish a unified presence at the border.
Presenter 3: Ivelaw Griffith, PhD, Provost of York College, City University of NY
Content: The focus is that there is a collaboration imperative for small states. Regional Caribbean Security as described by exPM ANR Robinson frame Griffiths emphasis on context. You don’t have hemispheric collaboration just because you have a hemisphere. The nature of the configurational enterprise. What matters is the regional landscape manifests itself on the special security challenges that acrue. The components of the challenges requires understanding differences of the nature of the states. Voltaire’s principle of defining the terms before getting too far into the conversation means that decisionmakers must look at the reasons for security in the region. Traditional security (border disputes) do still exist but are secondary to the danger and endurance of nontraditional threats (drugs, crime, arms trafficking). The common denominator is the transnational and multidimensional nature of the threat. Security is no longer linear because you must deal with all threats all the time. The nature of the global arena means that all countries overlap multilateral engagement zones. Small state capabilities have many resource issues to contend with: housing, water supply. The capability challenges undermine the ability to exercise sovereignty. Institutionalization and cooperation challenges have “platitude syndrome”: a big speech or treaty looks good but requires follow up in domestic legislation that change platitudes into meaningful execution and evaluation. The Dimensional Cooperation Challenge: the difficulty of cooperation within and among institutions.
Summary: Collaboration is an imperative in the context of the fixed nature of the Caribbean states.
Questions and Discussion: 30 minutes
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