FAO program guest speaker discusses democracy issues in Africa

FAO program guest speaker discusses democracy issues in Africa

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   Editor’s note: This article is a feature from the Foreign Area Officer program’s monthly U.S. Army officer professional development series at DLIFLC. MONTEREY, Calif. – Nicholas Tomb, program manager of the Center for Civil-Military Relations Africa Program at the Naval Postgraduate School, in Monterey, spoke to U.S. Army Foreign Area Officers in language training at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, Sept. 20, about Africa. Tomb titled his talk “Beyond Democracy in Africa” and began by asking FAOs what is the definition of democracy. FAOs suggested ideas of government ruled by the people, equality and freedom. Tomb shared the lengthy United Nations definition of democracy, but dwelled on the concept of representative governance – the manner of governing in which the people determine their political, economic, social and cultural systems. He followed with an anecdote to show the low quality of representative governance in African countries. “Mo Ibrahim, Sudanese businessman and telecom magnate, offers the Mo Ibrahim Award to any African president that steps down from power at the end of his term,” said Tomb. Since 2006, only four African leaders have been honored with the $5 million award, proving the Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership to be one of the world’s most exclusive awards. Tomb continued, “The fact that so few African leaders have accepted the award and stood down demonstrates the fact of how much money is to be made by staying in power.” “There’s this perception that Africa is a very poor place and there are certainly a lot of poor people, but in reality, it...
FAO program guest speaker on North Korea’s nuclear ambitions

FAO program guest speaker on North Korea’s nuclear ambitions

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   Editor’s note: This article is a feature from the Foreign Area Officer program’s monthly U.S. Army officer professional development series at DLIFLC. MONTEREY, Calif. – Dr. Wade Huntley, academic director of the Regional Security Education Program at the Naval Postgraduate School, in Monterey, spoke to U.S. Army Foreign Area Officers in language training at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center along with students from the Institute’s Korean School, Aug. 16, about North Korea and its nuclear weapons program. Huntley’s talk came merely two weeks after North Korea’s threat to strike the U.S. Territory of Guam prompting U.S. Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, to say that, “The United States and our allies have the demonstrated capabilities and unquestionable commitment to defend ourselves from an attack,” and also stated that, “The DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people.” Huntley subtitled his talk “Dr. Strange Kim (Jong Un)… or, how I learned to stop worrying and love the crazy dictator with the bomb.” Kim Jong Un took power in North Korea in 2011 after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il. “Why does North Korea do anything it does?” asked Huntley, who explained that the motives of the world’s most secretive and isolated regime are sometimes baffling. “Most analysts come to a consensus that the primary focus of North Korea is regime survival.” Huntley continued with a detailed lecture on North Korea’s quest to obtain the bomb. Beyond the Cold War South Korea...
FAOs and Special Operations bring benefits to country teams

FAOs and Special Operations bring benefits to country teams

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   Editor’s note: This article is a feature from the Foreign Area Officer program’s monthly officer professional development series at DLIFLC. MONTEREY, Calif. – Lt. Col. Gordon Landale from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey spoke to Foreign Area Officers in language training at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center March 15 about U.S. Army Special Operations and how it can work within a country team to advance U.S. priorities. A country team is the foundation of a U.S. Embassy and includes many interagency personnel to promote diplomacy abroad. Some country teams are further augmented by the National Guard’s State Partnership Program. Special operations, which include U.S. Army Special Forces, Psychological Operations and Civil Affairs, can bring even more capabilities to the team, according to Landale. Landale, with special operations experience in various theaters and joint task force duties with NATO, began his 21-year career as an infantry officer before going to Special Forces selection in 2001. During the qualification course he trained in a mock embassy, but it would take 15 years before he stepped foot into a real embassy in Tajikistan. “Without the Defense Attaché, I would not have known what to expect,” said Landale, speaking about the importance of interoperability. U.S. Government agencies along with the departments of State and Defense must collaborate to achieve U.S. priorities in a given country under the Integrated Country Strategy – the ambassador’s multi-year plan that articulates those priorities. Peacetime engagements by special operations go hand-in-hand with the diplomatic relationships built by FAOs. Special operations has a diverse portfolio and are used for...
FAO program guest speaker on U.S. – Israeli policy

FAO program guest speaker on U.S. – Israeli policy

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   Editor’s note: This article is a feature from the Foreign Area Officer program’s monthly officer professional development series at DLIFLC. MONTEREY, Calif. – Dr. Guy Ziv, an associate professor at the American University School of International Service in Washington, D.C., spoke to Foreign Area Officers in language training at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Feb. 15 about current Israeli policy and the role of the U.S. Coincidentally, Ziv’s lecture took place on the same day Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu met with President Donald Trump in Washington, in which they spoke about settlements, the Iran Deal, the relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, and the two state solution – two states for two groups of people. Trump has declared that he is not wedded to the two state solution, a change from U.S. policy, according to Ziv. “U.S. support of Israel is one of the few bipartisan issues in Washington today and the reason is that the two nations are democratic and share common values such as self-determination, social justice, pluralism and multiculturalism,” said Ziv. But the U.S. and Israel also have shared interests. Israel is considered a very dependable ally, from the Cold War to fighting radical regimes of today and in the prevention of proliferation of nuclear weapons, especially in Iran. As the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel receives an annual aid package from the U.S., receiving about $38 billion in 2016. In return, the U.S. receives Israeli technology, which is considered well advanced in areas such as airport security and cyber security,...
FAOs attend first Joint Foreign Area Officer Course of 2017

FAOs attend first Joint Foreign Area Officer Course of 2017

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – The Foreign Area Officer Program at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center hosted the Joint FAO Course Jan. 23-27 at the Weckerling Center on the Presidio of Monterey. FAOs, who come from the four branches of the U.S. military, are regionally focused and are considered experts on political-military issues. FAOs typically begin their careers at the one-week course. Once their FAO training is completed, which includes language training and graduate school in a regionally focused topic, they are expected to serve as defense attachés, security cooperation officers and political-military planners worldwide. Col. Phil Deppert, DLIFLC commandant, welcomed all the new FAOs to the Institute and to their profession during his welcoming remarks Jan. 24. Though Deppert is a military intelligence officer, he spoke about the cooperation and the need for FAOs in the services. The week consisted of training and guest lecturers who are experts in the field of foreign affairs, specializing in regional topics, global plans and operations, and security cooperation. The advice offered ranged cultural faux pas in a foreign country, to how to navigate the diplomatic halls of the Embassies where they will be serving.   Welcome to the community Keynote speaker Rear Adm. Todd Squire, director for international engagement, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., welcomed the young officers to the community of FAOs. “I’ve always wanted to be a FAO, even before I joined the Navy,” said Squire, who is a two-time graduate of DLIFLC in German in 2002 and Turkish in 2010. He offered some...
FAO program guest speaker on the U.S. and Latin America

FAO program guest speaker on the U.S. and Latin America

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   Editor’s note: This article is a feature from the Foreign Area Officer program’s monthly officer professional development series at DLIFLC. MONTEREY, Calif. – Dr. Christopher Darnton, an associate professor of national security affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, spoke to Foreign Area Officers in language training at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Jan. 18 about the U.S. role in Latin America. “Latin America has become a zone of peace with an asterisk,” said Darnton, summarizing the geographic region. His asterisk implies that “Latin America has had very few wars, but does not mean the hemisphere is unified.” The U.S. is concerned with instability among other regional problems. “We have not seen the last difficult regime change in Latin America,” said Darnton. Darnton based his lecture on security issues defined in the U.S. Southern Command posture statement, which includes transnational organized crime; foreign terrorist fighters; Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah; regional stability; and Russia and China engagement. The corner stone of U.S. foreign policy in Latin American, according to Darnton, is the Monroe Doctrine of 1823, which in summary states that there will be no new European colonies allowed in the Caribbean and South America. For the U.S., is was all talk for a century, but more than willingly enforced by the British Navy as London and Washington were in agreement. President Theodore Roosevelt later added a corollary to the Monroe Doctrine in 1904. “If a nation shows that it knows how to act with reasonable efficiency and decency in social and political matters, if it keeps order and pays...
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