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TRANSCRIPT: Ward Speaks at International Peace Operations Association Annual Summit
At the International Peace Operations Association 2008 Annual Summit, "Engaging AFRICOM," held October 26 to 28, 2008 in Washington, D.C., General William E. Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, provided an overview of the command, highlighting
At the International Peace Operations Association 2008 Annual Summit, "Engaging AFRICOM," held October 26 to 28, 2008 in Washington, D.C., General William E. Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, provided an overview of the command, highlighting aspects of its mission statement, strategies, and long-term goals. Ward discussed the two necessary elements of peace operations that are mutually supported: the restoration of peace and the sustainment of peace. He also noted the desire of African nations to have the capacity to confront their own security issues, including peacekeeping capacity and the ability to export security across the continent. "The time is now for building capacity for our African partners. And we want to help them prevent conflict, improve security, not only from a military standpoint, but holistically," said Ward. Ward described U.S. Africa Command's strategy as entailing "a persistent and sustained level of effort focused on security-assistance programs that seek to prevent conflict and enhance conditions that contribute to development by our African partners." According to Ward, the goal of the command is to make programs and activities on the African continent more effective and efficient by building partner security capacity. The complete transcript of Ward's speech and the question and answer session that followed is provided below: WARD: Let me start off by saying that it is nice to be here this evening. As I sat and listened to Doug start his earlier remarks, and you all just werennt giving him any respect, I said to myself, well, maybe I can be here after all. (Laughter.) But, then, as things would happen, the mood settled, a calm drifted over this august audience and you became attentive. (Laughter.) I wonder how long that will last. (Laughter.) The good news is that I have heard that the session thus far has been a very gratifying one with each of you here in attendance. Obviously, as you come together for your annual meeting with such a diverse representation of folk from the various peacekeeping organizations that you represent, but also other members of the community who are concerned about what goes on and a very important part of the world for Kip Ward back on the continent of Africa and its island nations. You come here with a very diverse mix of talents that clearly lends itself to a seminar, a conference, a discussion that will no doubt provide good food for a way ahead as we do, in fact, move ahead in trying to bring stability and (inaudible) long way to a most important region of the world that affects all of us. And I have also been informed that you already had a bit of discussion and presentation on my command. And so I will not repeat much of that hopefully. Mr. Paul Saxton who I think was a member of one of your panels earlier today and Paul, I heard that you did a fantastic job, buddy, so good for you. (Applause.) I think it certainly will be adding something to what you may have heard earlier today from Paul, as well as (inaudible) major debate (inaudible) where is is he here? AWOL, okay. (Laughter.) He is at the bar, huh? (Laughter.) Itts a great group. (Laughter.) Loyal, too. Hees actually great. (Laughter.) But, again, let me thank you for I know what you have done over the course of your deliberations in taking a critical look at peace operations in Africa. And in so many respects, the subject of peace operations speaks to what I view as perhaps the most significant aspect of our job as a newly operationalized U.S. Africa Command. And while, as Doug mentioned, we did become a unified command on 1 October this year, we have been in existence for a year already as a sub-unified command of U.S. European Command. And so we are now entering into our second year. And I think, as a unified command, what we now will be looking to do is to cause those things that mean something to each of you here by the fact that you are here, and that is helping to create helping to create a degree of stability on that important continent that can better serve the developmental priorities of those sovereign nations, as they support their people and hopefully contribute to an environment that is seen as an enhancer to global developing. So the command helping to bring stability to that continent (inaudible) that there are two sides to peace operations and those two sides are mutually supported. One is the restoration of peace terminating hostilities as quickly as practical and returning to a state of peace such that conflict is less likely to occur. The other is the sustainment of peace preventing that nascent conflict. I think the former is clearly important; the latter is vital for supporting the mission to foster economic and social developments that our partner, the U.S. government, and international agencies are working to achieve with our African partners. The issue of how we help bring stability, our approach, our strategy is what I will address this evening. I think you have heard a bit about what the command is. I will tell you a bit about how we hope to look to see what it is we want to do. Now, allow me to (inaudible) of the dynamic we are facing on the African continent. As you might have imagined, I have traveled the continent extensively in the past several years both in my current job and in my past role as deputy commander for European Command. And in my discussions with African leaders, both civilian and military, as well as the Pacific leaders, as well as the State Department leadership, nine different government organizations and other international partners, my observation is this: Emerging regional security in growing economic communities throughout Africa have created a growing will among many African nations to confront security issues head on. They express a strong desire to have the capacity to deal with their own security issues, including greater peacekeeping capacity and the ability to export security across the continent. The will is there. What is lacking? The means. Now, the time is now for building capacity for our African partners. And we want to help them prevent conflict, improve security not only from a military standpoint, but holistically: police forces, border security, customs, regimes and the like, and ultimately, to defeat the threat and conditions that undermine African groups from transnational terrorism to natural disasters. Our approach is inclusive and transparent with countries and the regional organizations of the continent most notably, the African Union. Earlier this month, as I mentioned, we launched our operational standup of the United States Africa Command as a unified command at our ceremonies and Stuttgart and here in Washington, we had U.S. ambassadors to African nations in attendance, African ambassadors and diplomats were there. Our allied friends and partners were there. Representatives from the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development spoke enthusiastically about their role in U.S. Africa Command. And notably, the African guest speaker who is the director for peace operations at the African Union was present. And his presence and clear words of support signaled the strong relationship that the African Union hopes to share with U.S. Africa Command. He said that the establishment of the command was a clear testimony and I quote, of the cordial relationship that exists between Africa and the government of the United States of America.. I was predicting to get a stronger endorsement than that. Now, that endorsement was not automatic - it didnnt just happen. I believe it was partly the result of the hard work that we have put forth to build relationships with the African Union and with our other key partners throughout the continent, fully cognizant of and respectful of the role that they have in their sovereign governments. These relationships encourage dialogue about ways forward to support African efforts to resolve their ongoing challenges and to help prevent future conflict. Ultimately, that is what we all here want stable societies that reduce the potential for future conflicts. And I believe a stable and secure African continent and environment provide greater opportunities for growth in the developmental sector, including private enterprise. In my travels around Africa, especially among nations that have endured protracted conflict, they want to ensure that their economic and societal gains are, in fact, sustained. They want to build strong institutions and be an active contributor to their regional growth and global-security environments. Most importantly, they want the ability to control and reduce negative influencers in their countries. Achieving such stability is not going to be quick, especially in parts of Africa still recovering or engaged in conflict. Throughout the past year, the message I have received from the Africa leaders is clear security and development are inextricably linked. One would not progress without the other. For the nations currently at peace and developing, we can see this linkage in action. And positive examples of that do exist. For nations still confronted by the scourge of conflict and its after effects, there is work to be done to ensure sufficient peace to permit the seeds of development to in fact grow. Now, with the United States Africa Commandds formation, the continent of Africa and its island nations have one command whose sole focus is to support a Department of Defense program for Africa. No longer is Africa the second or third priority for three other geographic unified commands. It is our first priority. We are now implementing a wide range of programs, some of which I will get to shortly, that are preventative in nature and are designed to help build capacity in the African nations, so that they can have a better chance of providing for their own security, as they have expressed a will and a desire to do. The good news is that our African partners understand this and understand what the command is about. And, I tell you, they are excited. They see possibilities and opportunities available to them that perhaps were not so available before. And their requests to us for assistance are increasing. We know we cannot and should not do everything ourselves. The U.S. military is busy in many parts of the world. And like all unified commands, we compete for resources from the global pool to get our job done. And while the Joint Staff and the Office of the Secretary of Defense recognize the added value of working with our partners in helping them to build their capacity, forces for sustaining our desired level of activity are not always available. So it is our efforts that we work to (inaudible) with and how we support the work of others to ensure this consistent level of engagement. Sustaining our efforts is what we strive to do in order to help the Africans achieve their long-term goals. And yes, that is in our national interest, as well. Sustained effort applied consistently that is the message. And this comes out of the commandds mission statement, which I believe has a natural marriage with the private-sector goal that have been laid out during some of your civil-law sessions today. Our mission statement, as approved by the secretary of defense, states, The United States Africa Command in concert with other U.S. government agencies and international partners conducts sustained security engagement through military-to-military programs, military-sponsored activities and other military operations as directed to promote a stable and secure African environment in support of U.S. foreign policy.. There are some key points that I would like to make about the mission statement. In concert with other U.S. government agencies and international partners everything we do at the unified command is in support of the entire U.S. government effort. Conducts sustained security engagementt at U.S. Africa Command, we have committed ourselves to the delivery and sustainment of effective security cooperation programs that add value to the security and stability of Africa in support of our national security objectives and our foreign policy goals: not separate from, not even in addition to, but clearly in support of established policies. I am often asked well, General Ward, what would you do about XYZ? Kip Ward does not make policy. (Laughter.) We support our established policy. Where there are (inaudible) Department of Defense equity is there as it pertains to the continent of Africa and its island nations, U.S. Africa Command is the implementer. And other military operations as directed is also important. As you know, we are a military command, even with our diverse and different makeup, we are an instrumentality of the Department of Defense. And, therefore, we can be directed to take action under the presidentts orders. We act with the same authorities as other unified commands. So just how do we go about the providing the capabilities necessary to help our African partners? What is our strategy? Our strategy entails a persistent and sustained level of effort focused on security-assistance programs that seek to prevent conflict and enhance conditions that contribute to development by our African partners. Our pursuit of this strategy is through four major categories of activities. The first, building partner security capacity is the hallmark of that strategy. It is the primary role that we will perform on a day-to-day basis. We perform hundreds of these types of activities routinely, such as our military-to-military contacts, our training programs, our exercises, our education programs and our professional development work that we do in conjunction with our African partners. Again, activities that we engage in are activities that we have been requested to perform after dialogue with our African friends, respectful of what they see as in their best interest and come to us and ask for assistance, and where that assistance is in keeping with our stated national-security and foreign-policy objectives. Our goal is to add value to these activities to make them more effective and more efficient at building capacity that the Africans themselves desire for professional militaries that abide by the rule of law and function as legitimate institutions. One of the most important reasons for establishing this Africa Command is so we can better harmonize the Department of Defense efforts in Africa. An important Africa (inaudible) continent in promoting our strategic relationships. We plan to build partner security capacity. We look to be steadfast proponents in matters that are in our mutual best interest. We take a proactive and forward-looking stance to ensure that the partnerships we build today last well into the future and that they are relevant for meeting the goals set by our government as we partner with the nations of Africa. We will continue to support our U.S. government partners and civil military activities. Now, these activities not only provide outstanding training and experience for those in our military communities such as doctors, engineers, veterinarians, they also support African humanity and capacity building and bring goodwill to the African people. Ultimately, they support the U.S. government efforts to foster development that complements security. Again, we donnt look to take over the leading role for development. It is not our job, but what we do hope to do is to be as supportive as we can for those who have that as their primary goal, so that we, in fact, add value and do no harm. At U.S. Africa Command, our mechanism for strategy implementation lies in the effective delivery of programs. They can only be effective when we are consulting with, listening to and dialoguing with our partners. Implementation of these programs is a big deal. It is such a big deal that the execution of programs is my number-one priority. It is because programs deliver the long-term results that the Africans want: capabilities to provide for their own security. The African Union has stated has a stated requirement for an African standby force, including one brigade for each of their regional economic communities. These brigades are being formed, some progressing more rapidly than others. The African Union and the nations themselves want and need more training peacekeepers. Many of you are familiar with the Department of Statees African Contingency Operations Training Assistance Programs, the ACOTA program, with 21 nations participating. We support that program and seek to fill gaps in it as requested by the participating nations. We need programs to focus on the need right now to address the fundamentals of logistics for development, as well as the state. This is a major aspect of peace operations on the continent. And we want to ensure that it is addressed comprehensively. I will give you an example of something recently that has occurred. An Army major on my staff he exercised some pretty good initiative in generating a program we call ADAT, the Africa Deployed Assistance-based Training. As Uganda was preparing to deploy on a peacekeeping mission, it was noted by our country team there that the requirement existed for deployment training something that as a young lieutenant, became very, very first hand to me. You build a pallet, load the pallet. You donnt have flammables mixed with explosives, mixed with foodstuffs, mixed with batteries. You do these things, so that you can get there safely. Having witnessed a misstep, that training deficiency was identified. The major, having heard Kip Ward say small things matter when you want to help your partner, your buddy, put together a small training package: an Army lieutenant, an Army sergeant and an Air Force sergeant to go and spend about 21 days training 46 logistics officers and NCOs with how to properly prepare for deployment. That program went off so well, I received a call, can they come back again and train another 46? Three servicemen building relationships, teaching, coaching and the good news in all of that training them to be able to do it for themselves. So it is not just training and doing for them. It is training them, so that they can do it for themselves. It is that example that I think makes such a difference. That training enabled the effective deployment of that peacekeeping force this past September. The process begins with ideas, ideas that take a problem or need that the Africans have identified as important to them, dialogue and finding ways to help meet that need, so as to contribute more effectively to a (inaudible) security structures. U.S. Africa Command represents the Department of Defensees and the United States governmentts long-term commitment to strengthening security ties with Africa, as well as a new approach to conducting security assistance within the Department of Defense itself. We are dedicated to partnering with African governments to listening to them, to partnering with African security forces agents, to listening to them, to partner with our international partners and the international community, as well as our interagency community, to help the people of Africa achieve the goals they have set for themselves. As Nelson Mandela says so eloquently, We see an Africa that is capable of providing for its own security, but with the help of our friends.. We seek to be a friend to the continent of Africa, its nations and its institutions. All of our efforts focus on adding value to our engagement efforts and not disrupting, nor confusing the ongoing U.S. government or international programs. It is really my honor to serve with these uniformed men and women, as well as our interagency partners and civilians who have made the United States Africa Command a reality. As we grow and develop, we will do our best to make this work and it will grow and develop. What exists this year will be different than what exists next year and five years I am often asked, what is your vision for the United States Africa Command? IIm an instrument. (Laughter.) That vision is one that is pretty subtle. That vision is that 10, 20 years from now, there is a continent of Africa that is stable, whose governments perform legitimately, whose security structures help assure its national treasures to be used for the betterment of its people. And by so doing, we contribute to a global environment that is, indeed, more stable. And that, my friends, is in our national-security interest. Thanks very much. (Applause.) MR. : Okay. We are going to take about 15 minutes of questions. Identify yourself, keep your question reasonably brief, and make sure the generall (inaudible). Q: Thank you. My name is Daniel (inaudible) and I enjoyed hearing your strategy. My question is to you as I spent the last four years in either Iraq or Afghanistan. As you well know, based on the time you have spent in Africa, the cultural, the ethnical, the diversities the tribal diversities that are over there. What is the plan within the strategy that you speak of (inaudible) to be able to overcome the with civil-affairs applications, with whatever applications, how will you overcome that? GEN. WARD: Well, that is a great question. I think the easy nothing is easy, but the appropriate answer is, we wonnt overcome them because that is what that continent is. We will seek to better understand those complex activities, the complexity of the environment, and do what we do, first, because we have to listen to our African partners. I use this other term everyone knows what a foxhole is. (Inaudible) over here. You know what a foxhole is. (Chuckles.) He does know. A foxhole you know, you get in a foxhole and you build it and you get it in and it is protection. And you look out from it from a particular point of view. And sometimes you think it will give you a degree of protectionn (inaudible) if I could get outside of it. In fact, you go down-range and look back at that foxhole from someone elsees point of view and you see it in a totally different way. When we understand the environment and we donnt understand it from our foxhole, we have to understand it from the perspective of those who know it better than us. The Africans themselves, if we listen to them and talk to them and develop the program in a way that will make a difference for them. And there are no cookie cutters. They are different in each location. Then we would hope to be able to address the need of that diverse and complex environment in ways that make a difference where it is being applied. Q: I guess my follow-up to you sir, would be would be, will there be (inaudible, laughter). GEN. WARD: Civil affairs are a part of the construct. They are a part of the construct to motivate, perform and helping us to understand, as well as conduct the activities that they conduct in relation to (inaudible) operations. Q: General Ward, you donnt do policy. So who does? (Laughter.) GEN. WARD: Our Department of State is our policy-maker, the president of the United States. Q: So you take direction from the secretary of state? GEN. WARD: I take direction from the president of the United States and the secretary of defense. We work very closely with the Department of State. (Inaudible.) Now, if I am going to go into a country and do what I want to do in a country, wrong answer! (Laughter.) So itts our nation that puts ambassadors in countries, ambassadors are the personal representatives of the president. But our activities are conducted with the support, encouragement and approval (inaudible). Thank you. Q: Thank you. General Ward, I am Kay LeBrosner (ph), House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Anybody with 1300 personnel is going to make policy. So I am looking forward to hearing what you want to do. We have at letter that went out to Secretary Gates, two of our subcommittee chairmen Chairman Don Payne of the Africa subcommittee and Chairman Delahunt of the Human Rights Subcommittee (inaudible) report. And essentially they asked, so letts skip the big shots and you can just answer me directly. I will report to my superiors and tell Mr. Gates. (Laughter.) Essentially, who are our partners? Who are our friends? You talked about African partners, African friends. According to the State Department and Freedom House and others, more than half of the governments with whom you will be dealing are not democratic. They are ethnically based dictatorships essentially. This is according to the State Department. Therefore, how will you limit who are our partners, who are our friends? It is easy to say we will support the armed forces of Senegal or Zambia or Liberia because when they go back from peacekeeping, they are working for democracies and they will keep a democracy in power. But how about Chad? How about Ethiopia? Both of those are ethnically based dictatorships. How about speaking of friends, the government that Secretary of State Rice has called a friend, Equatorial Guinea, which is a kleptocracy, for goodness sake? Youuve trained them in the past few years with your maritime exercises. How will you decide whether to strengthen the armed forces of these non-democratic governments with your military training, which is your main initiative in arming them if they go back to that and put in place non-democratic, repressive rule? GEN. WARD: Well, thank you. Again, we have relations with those nations that our foreign policy has indicated that there will be a relation with. And those programs that we carry out are programs that have been approved by our foreign-policy apparatus. The persons who perform in those military-to-military activities are persons that are vetted for various purposes as we do our best to ensure that those with whom we do train in fact have been in partnering processes, so that we can do our part in the professionalization of these forces in ways that get at the points that you make. Q: Hi, General Ward. Joe Maden (sp), current chair of IPOA. I was hoping youud (inaudible) having the private sector on how we could be a good partner to AFRICOM in the next 24 months in some of the areas that we could begin to preposition assets and capabilities and if you have any highlights on what we could accomplish in the next 24 months. GEN. WARD: Thanks, Joe. Probably premature to point out specific locations of places. Again, as I have mentioned, one of the things that we want to do is do that in a very informed way. And so as we continue to work with the nations, with organizations from the African Union to (inaudible) community, where we can cause support to programs that help them, we would look to do things in a way that can, in fact, lead us to where those locations are, we would not unilaterally determine. We would do that in consultation with the nations of the continent, take into account the various factors that would inform our activity as we would, again, adhere to our vast security and our foreign-policy objectives. So that is something that we will continue to look at over time and develop more for the coming years. Thank you. Q: Hi, General. I am August Cole (ph), a reporter from the Wall Street Journal. I was wondering if you could talk about the role you see the defense industry playing in supporting (inaudible). As a follow up to that, I will just ask, given the pitfalls we have seen with contracting in Iraq, what steps will you talk specifically to avoid repeats on this? GEN. WARD: Well, I think that again, our program is not a program in any way resembling what needs to be going on in Iraq and Afghanistan. We are a traditional security assistance program in a handful of the nations on the continent. I think we have about 11 or 12 security assistance offices on the continent, various programs from our IMET, the international military education and training. There are foreign military financial programs. Both of them are logistics in nature. (Inaudible) vehicles, mobility, communications equipment, and so where we have the military, the armed forces of nations of Africa who seek to improve their professionalism is where there are products that can help do that (inaudible) security assistance officers, who are, indeed, our front line in certain areas in the countries, as well as our (inaudible), as IIve mentioned, the ambassador and the country team, to help us understand better what the need is and then do those mechanisms for our defense treaty cooperation agency where there are products available that will meet those needs, very helpful products with the need in the nation right now. Q: Good evening, General. I am (inaudible) from Senegal. First of all, I would like to wish you good luck for what you are doing, sir, because if you succeed IIm an African I would like you to succeed for the betterment of all Africa. (Applause.) My question seeing Africa, as you know it, has suffered very deeply about the competition which was going on between the former Soviet Union and the United States during the Cold War. We have paid a very high price for this competition because of national interest. U.S. is being interested again to Africa, in Africa. At the time, China is also being interested in Africa. If we donnt pay attention, the same competition will lead to the very high price for African population. What do you think should be done as a political strategy to make sure that you can (inaudible) and America would be a partner for the benefit of Africa instead of being competitive at the detriment of Africa? Thank you. (Applause.) GEN. WARD: That is a great question (inaudible) and thank you for bringing that up because thatts another one that I get asked quite frequently. The well, first and foremost, you know, that is another one of these policy questions. And again, as I mentioned, I donnt determine our policy with nations. But I will say this. Being respectful of your point with respect to the Cold War era and what went on, on the continent, it is clearly not my intention as the commander of U.S. Africa Command to engage in those sorts of activities that put the nations of Africa in between anyone. I am also very aware that nations of Africa are engaging with other nations than just the United States in their interest as well. And I think that the in being respectful of that causes me to say that where there are common interests that are seen, that are present, then it would be certainly fine with me to engage with whoever would have those same expressed interests that are in keeping with our national interests and the interests of the nations that we would deal with in Africa regardless of who that might be. And as we move forward with policy direction that would allow that, then we would clearly look to do our part in cooperatively working with others in pursuit of those common objectives and not to create the condition that you described that existed during the Cold War. Thank you, sir. Q: Good evening, General. (Inaudible.) IIve been trying to understand why the military mission for AFRICOM (inaudible) Defense Department that had all of the other (inaudible). In an article in the current newsletter handed out tonight, there was three goals (inaudible) wanting to make sure that (inaudible). Two, it says quote, to make sure no other interested third parties, as in China, India, Japan or Russia, have gained monopolies over the resources of Africa,, and three is to fight HIV/AIDS. Again, what is the (inaudible) Defense Department, who is the enemy and what is the military mission? GEN. WARD: Well, the threats to Africa are what the Africans have said themselves. There is the terror threat. There is a trafficking threat trafficking of illegal drugs, weapons, people, illegal fishing, things that are robbing Africans of their (inaudible) that would be used for the betterment of their people. The state (inaudible) has to do with the ability of a nation to govern its sovereign territories. And so, as we work with the security structures of the continent to increase their capacity to govern their territories, that is the situation there. The issue of HIV/AIDS is an important one because of what it does to take away from the development that can go on in society, HIV/AIDS being one of the health problems that you might confront on the continent. Another one that is also there obviously is the problem to deal with malaria, as an example. As you know, that as a nation would seek to participate in peacekeeping, its force must be HIV/AIDS-free. So as the nations of Africa look to provide for their own security for its force security, having an HIV-free force is important. That work that we do in HIV/AIDS prevention/treatment is only a subset of the greater work being done with respect to HIV/AIDS and as it applies to the military. We understand the unique situation with many African nations that the role that their military has as an influence on society. If that behavior can be modified and be adjusted, it does present an opportunity for it to be also applied across the greater society. And so those are complementary programs for greater programs being done in the realm of HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness. MR.: Two more questions. We can take two, three questions. Then we will wrap it up. Q: General Ward, Melvis Oxley (ph) on behalf of SkyLink USA air logistics procedure. As a member of the Buckeye Nation, I bow to you in deference. (Laughter.) Perhaps, you could give us some insight on how the Big 10 may fare better this year against the SEC. (Laughter, applause.) GEN. WARD: Thank you very much. That is a great question. (Inaudible, laughter.) Q: General, I am Rob Rugent (ph) from Cyber Strategies. Thank you very much for coming. We all heard you say that the partners that we have in Africa there are 53 nations in Africa. Essentially, you have got 53 U.S. ambassadors posted in Africa. GEN. WARD: Forty-six. Q: Okay, 46. GEN. WARD: (Inaudible.) Q: Okay. That is still a lot of folks. You have five regions within Africa based on their own decisions to group. Does that mean that you have 53, 46, five different sets of priorities? You have limited resources. You are just starting out in a big effort. What are the priorities that you use and how do you determine them? GEN. WARD: Well, again, you know, what we do is there are priorities that are established by our government. There are priorities established by the Department of Defense with respect to our engagement. And we follow those priorities, as well. Where we go and what we do your point about resources is exactly correct. There is a limit to those resources and so our efforts are prioritized. There are countries that within our engagement strategy receive varying levels of priority. It changes, it varies. But again, those are not set by the command. Those are set by the Department of State, the Department of Defense working together here as a part of that (inaudible). And we then take those priorities and we implement the program that have been authorized and those are the priorities with our military equities. That is the work that we do. Q: Good evening. My name is (inaudible). I am with African Development Center. I am Nigerian. Post-colonial Africa left the continent too fragmented for (inaudible) development. The infrastructure issue in Africa will not let the continent join the rest of the global economy. Is there anything in the works that will allow the Army Corps of Engineers to help the infrastructure development in Africa? GEN. WARD: I am going to find out, sir. (Laughter, applause.) I will tell you that there are programs going on right now that have addressed that very need. I concur. The infrastructure situation is one that is there. But we know that there are things that we might be able to do. There are things that others could do. Our developmental agencies, private enterprise (inaudible) in some of those other activities that through a military program or support could be complementary, and we will find that out and speak to the authorities for the permission to do so, again, where those are keeping with our established priorities and our foreign-policy objectives. Thank you very much. (Applause.) MR.: General, you probably have a impossibly full day, but just in case (inaudible) this will be the first one that (inaudible). Thank you very much. (Applause.) (END)