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TRANSCRIPT: Rear Admiral Kurta Discusses Mission of CJTF-HOA with Al-Jazeera English
Rear Admiral Anthony Kurta, commander of Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) described the mission and activities of CJTF-HOA, April 27, 2009 to Al-Jazeera English reporter Regeh Omaar, the lead presenter of the network's
Rear Admiral Anthony Kurta, commander of Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) described the mission and activities of CJTF-HOA, April 27, 2009 to Al-Jazeera English reporter Regeh Omaar, the lead presenter of the network's Witness program. CJTF-HOA, a component of U.S. Africa Command, works with African nations to foster security and stability in the Horn of Africa. In addition to interviews with Kurta and General William Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, Omaar and a production team from the independent British production company Outsider Television Production traveled to Rwanda with Ward and a U.S. Africa Command delegation. Al-Jazeera English will air a special Witness documentary on Africa Command sometime this fall. The transcript of Ward's interview is available at The transcript of Kurta's interview is available below: RAGEH OMAAR: There's been a huge amount of change. I mean, not just only physically, but I mean, in a strategic sense in Camp Lemonnier over the last - well, since 2002. Just describe to me how the strategic role of Camp Lemonnier has changed from the outset of 2002 until now. REAR ADMIRAL ANTHONY KURTA: Well, it started out obviously, we built on the remnants of a French base here in Djibouti, and initially, you had a very small staff that came aboard to conduct their mission here. So it's very expeditionary and very temporary at that point, going back in 2003, 2002 time period. Since then, as the Joint Task Force, Horn of Africa has grown somewhat, and as we look at a presence here that is more enduring than we envisioned at the very beginning, it has grown to meet the capability, capacity that we need to support those people that are here and our missions in the rest of the Horn of Africa. So you see it growing as the quality of life is enhanced a little bit for the folks there. MR. OMAAR: And in terms of what the focus was back in 2002, 2003, particularly the time when you - one came ashore, how have things changed? What was - what was the focus back then, and how is that different to the focus today with the - (inaudible) - now? RADM. KURTA: Well, the initial mission of the combined joint task force was varied counter-terrorism-focused, obviously, back in 2002. It was led by the United States Marines, and they were ashore - excuse me. They were afloat. They came ashore here, and they still had that very counter-terrorism-focused mission. We have now transitioned to largely a security capacity-building, fostering regional security cooperation-type missions. So UC went from that very direct approach at countering terrorism to what we have today, to a very indirect approach to countering violent extremism. That's where our efforts are focused today. MR. OMAAR: Talk me through this approach of countering extremism and violence in an indirect way that you are now doing. I mean, how do you do that? RADM. KURTA: Well, it's a total unity of government approach. It's not the military only. It's not kinetic. It's, again, an indirect method. So we work through what we call the 3D process, which is the United States government has diplomacy, development and defense. And so we work very closely with each individual country team here to bring those capacities and capabilities that we have to offer to bear to the U.S. government approach that - in each one of the countries. Again, it's the indirect approach, so what we build - what we do is bring them the capabilities, the visibility, the capacity, the capability to help that individual country bolster their security forces, their security capabilities. So we work with the country team, which is the U.S. Agency for International Development and the embassy team, to find out where our civil affairs teams, where our engineers, where our well-drillers, where our individual military personnel can, in the educational realm, best fit in with the foreign policy of the U.S. government's approach within each country. Now, obviously, we take our cue from the ambassador - the final cue from each country, because everything that we do fits up under his mission plan for the country. And we don't do anything in any country that is not approved by our ambassador. So that maintains the final unity of our government's approach. MR. OMAAR: Well, tell me a bit more in detail of what you are doing in those countries in the - which come under your command here. Because it's - you've said that they're incredibly complicated, dangerous and unstable region of the world, let alone Africa. So if we just go through country by country. In Sudan, what are you doing, and in what kinds of context are you offering? Because Sudan obviously has a difficult history with the United States and its neighbors. RADM. KURTA: Well, in Sudan in particular, we have a very, very low profile and a low - a very, very small "d" for "defense" as far as what the United States government is currently doing in Sudan. So those are largely led - the U.S. government approach there is led by diplomacy and development in this case. So the "d" for "defense" is very, very small. So in the combined joint task force, we'd have a single liaison officer in Sudan that helps with the provision of international military education, perform military financing there. But direct military-to-military training or education is very small there in Sudan. So CJTF-HOA is very, very small, small role there in Sudan. MR. OMAAR: And in terms of information, in terms of intelligence? I mean, you play a role there in Sudan? RADM. KURTA: Not directly to Sudan. There are obviously several United Nations missions there. So we do support indirectly through the State Department the training of some of those international forces that are there for peacekeeping, and we - and through that, we provide some very broad informational support for those forces before they deploy. MR. OMAAR: But nothing that is related specifically to counter-terrorism or combating extremism - (inaudible)? RADM. KURTA: No. In this case, our support in Sudan is very security capacity-building for the individual countries that are deploying there in order to help the United Nations peacekeeping that's ongoing. MR. OMAAR: One of the big focuses must be Somalia. So tell me what is the challenge in Somalia? RADM. KURTA: Well, the primary challenge in Somalia is the lack of a functioning central government. And obviously, that's been a concern for many years. So again, our - with the lack of a central government, we have had - CJTF-Horn of Africa has had no direct military to military relationship, and so there's no forces that we can conduct that security capacity-building with. So again, what we can do is help - again, U.S. government-wise, it's the USAID and U.S. State Department who have the lead in Somalia policy right now. So we just support them wherever we can. But that role currently, since there's no security forces to directly interact with at the moment, is very limited. MR. OMAAR: What is the importance, though, I mean, in the wider jigsaw of Somalia for the United States and its allies? Why does Somalia matter? RADM. KURTA: Well, Somalia matters because it is the primary - one of the primary sources of instability in the Horn of Africa, and with the lack of a central government, again, you don't want Somalia to revert an area where the bad actors can find a home for their activities. MR. OMAAR: And the bad actors being? RADM. KURTA: Al Qaeda, Al Shabaab and anybody that has - does not have the interests of the Somali people at heart. And with the lack of a functional central government there those type of people can enter Somalia. They can, from there, enter the other countries here in the region and do things that are an anathema to the interests of the democratically elected governments elsewhere. MR. OMAAR: And then those kind of patterns are something that you're seeing in terms of militants, al Qaeda-affiliated or not, moving through Somalia and using it as a base, that that's something that you're monitoring fairly well. RADM. KURTA: Yes. Absolutely. MR. OMAAR: And in terms of the role on the ground that your work here in Camp Lemonnier is doing, I want to understand very clearly. You are not playing any active role in terms of counter-terrorism operations on the ground in Somalia or around the region of Somalia. RADM. KURTA: That's correct. Our contribution to the fight against violent extremism is very indirect. It's working with the individual militaries of our partner nations to build their own capacity to confront these problems. MR. OMAAR: I'd like to move, obviously, next door to Somalia into Ethiopia. Ethiopia intervened militarily in Somalia at the end of 2006. Today, it's a very different situation. I mean, obviously, the political leadership that was overthrown is now a part of the transitional government. What is your relationship with Ethiopia and what are you doing there? RADM. KURTA: Well, we have an active relationship with the Ethiopian National Defense Forces. We've had that for a number of years, and obviously, as we are in the rest of the Horn of Africa, we help them in the military-to-military relationship. We have varied ongoing programs with their commander general staff colleges, their non-commissioned officer development, their defense colleges. We also have helped them with - we have some civil affairs teams and some - some Seebees throughout Ethiopia, as well. Again, as directed by our ambassador there, but it's all to help our relationship with the ENDF and to build their capacity and their legitimate - legitimacy with their own population, as well. MR. OMAAR: Has the ambassador or the State Department generally asked you to be involved with anything in Ethiopia related to security regarding Somalia? Or military training with regards to the Ethiopians, building capacity in their military to deal with the situation in Somalia? RADM. KURTA: Well, our training and our focus with our partner countries here never really gets that specific. I mean, if you're doing an indirect approach and building their security capacity, obviously, it enhances their security capacity to deal with whatever security challenge they have. But those security challenges are identified by each individual sovereign nation. (Direction.) MR. OMAAR: Admiral, could you tell me, in terms of your military to military training in Ethiopia, is there anything about it that would be specifically related to Ethiopia's operations in Somalia? RADM. KURTA: The short answer is no. Our training is generically built on security capacity building. So nothing is specific support to Ethiopia for any particular operation. MR. OMAAR: I'd like to move on to Uganda. Tell me what are you doing in Uganda? RADM. KURTA: Uganda is just like the rest of the area. It's security capacity building, and each country that we interact with, they have set by their own national priorities what they consider the challenges that they have. If you look at Uganda, obviously, they have a long-running conflict with the LRA. They have security challenges in the Great Lakes region. So they have several areas that they've asked us to help them with in building their security capacity, both training of - primarily of the army, as well as helping maritime safety and security. MR. OMAAR: Who sets your parameters in terms of your military to military training and relationship with specific countries? Say, for example, in Uganda. Who says what you can or can't do? RADM. KURTA: Well, that's a mutually agreed decision …. Obviously, they (US Africa Command) provide us with the money and the resources and our capability to carry out our mission. And then we work within the country team, who … really sets the parameters for the interaction with each country. The foreign policy of the United States sometimes restricts these militaries and those countries that we can directly (work) with on a military-to-military basis. And obviously, we take our cue from that, but the final say within each country comes from the ambassador. MR. OMAAR: It must be difficult, given the reorganization of Africa, and the way it's being structured, because very clearly, to anyone looking there, any imbalance between the military component of - in that structure and the diplomatic component, it's a bit like sort of the 800-pound gorilla of the Department of Defense and the minnows of the State Department. It must be - it must be difficult. RADM. KURTA: Well, resource-wise, there's no doubt that the Defense Department is larger than both USAID and the State Department. However, when it comes to authorities within each country, I would say that we're not the gorilla, and in fact, it's the ambassador that has the veto within each country as far as policy and what type of activities go on in each country. So while the resources may be not balanced around the table, the voices, in the end, are very much so balanced. MR. OMAAR: But it's obviously not a situation where someone waves a magic wand and that imbalance is somehow ironed out. How does it work on the ground? So there must be a difficult way to find out a working relationship between all three sides in - (inaudible). RADM. KURTA: Well, there's no doubt, because each one of the three Ds, the defense, diplomacy and development, brings its own culture, resources, way of doing business to the table. And within that, obviously you have personalities as well. So within each of those countries, it's a different balancing act. It's a different approach. It's a different way of doing business to get to the knowing of all the resources that each one of the three D's brings to the table. It's sometimes like law-making. Sometimes it's very messy, that sausage-making. It's not always pretty. It's not always easy, but in the end, we're all professionals. We're all working toward the same goal. We all are working under the American flag. And we all realize that it's the ambassador and the State Department that sets the policy, and that we are there to ensure that what we bring to the table is used to the best advantage for U.S. foreign policy. MR. OMAAR: Do you have enough resources to meet the challenges in this part of Africa, the Horn of Africa? Is it almost like starting from a blank slate for the United States when you're talking about countries like Sudan, Somalia? Do you have enough resources to even monitor or realize what the challenges there are? RADM. KURTA: Well, I guess it really depends on what you mean by, do we have enough resources? If you're talking the U.S. government as a whole, and you look at the challenges across the Horn of Africa, I mean, just take Somalia, for example. If the goal of the international community is … there is to help build Somalia, help them build a functioning central government and a society that functions and can provide some economic benefits to their people, the answer is I don't think the United States can or should do that alone. It is a question. It is a problem for the international community, and we work very hard with all of our international partners and other African partners, as well, to help address those problems. MR. OMAAR: But I'm talking in terms more of given the role of CJTF here in dealing with the Horn of Africa, you're dealing in a part of the world that the United States just hasn't, by dint of what's happened there, had a lot of presence. I mean, there is no embassy in Mogadishu or USAID team or (civil) affairs team. You're starting, in some sense, with a blank slate in a part of the world that is now acknowledged by influence to be of vital interest for the United States, its allies and the rest of the world. So I guess what I'm asking, given the challenges that the Horn of Africa presents, do you feel you have enough resources? Because it's a very challenging part of Africa. RADM. KURTA: Well, the basic answer is yes. I have resources enough to do the missions that I'm expected to carry out. But we compete resource-wise with the other components of the United States Africa Command, and Africa Command competes with the rest of the regions of the world with the United States government. So it's really being able to articulate both the security challenges that are faced here and how well we can contribute to a solution there. And the power of those ideas has to compete in the marketplace, if you will, of the United States government's resources. MR. OMAAR: But you think - RADM. KURTA: I think we do - I think we do pretty well on that. (Direction.) MR. OMAAR: Could you explain to me in terms of your work here in CJTF how much of it is to do with direct combat operations, counter-terrorism operations, and how much of it is to do with capacity building of the militaries and security - (inaudible) - nations here through the different programs that you have? RADM. KURTA: It's basically none of the former and all of the latter. I mean, our direct role in counter-terrorism here is we don't have that mission, or we don't have those forces here. You know, our mission is an entirely indirect approach to countering violent extremism. That's the people and the assets that we have here that we bring to the problem, and that's where our mission and focus are. MR. OMAAR: And in terms of information and intelligence, because you do have some kind of role in that region, how is that focused? I mean, is it on a sort of - is it a tactical sort of basis, or is it broader than that? RADM. KURTA: It's both a tactical and broader to that as well. Obviously, one of the advantages to having a presence on the ground here is being able to work with the partner nation militaries, working with our country teams, developing our situational awareness of what's going on in each country, and obviously, we feed that and try to work both in - with the country teams and with the Africa Command to build the government's - the United States government's situational awareness in each one of the countries. So obviously, we have an informational role there to help build the situation awareness of the Horn of Africa. MR. OMAAR: So if I understand you right, for example, I mean, if you are aware that there a group of suspected militants traveling from A to B in Somalia or wherever it may be, you will act on that information in terms of providing it to the necessary regional governments. RADM. KURTA: Yes. You're absolutely right. Absolutely right. MR. OMAAR: And how much -? (Direction.) MR. OMAAR: So let me understand you. If you have information that a group of suspected militants are moving in a convoy - in a part of this region, you will act on that information and give it to whoever needs it government-wise in the region. RADM. KURTA: Well, in some cases, we do provide tactical intelligence, particularly when we can in support of, like, the aid mission in Somalia. However, the information sharing that we do with most of the governments here is on a broader strategic level. MR. OMAAR: How much of that information and intelligence flow is benefiting you as well, in terms of the information that is coming to you that is of value to the United States? RADM. KURTA: Well, from our partner nations, obviously, the fact that we interact with their militaries and their people on a daily basis, and then with people out on the field, obviously, we gain a lot of situational awareness from that and knowledge of the culture and the people and the security challenges that they face. So obviously, we try to feed that into United States government's whole understanding of what's going on in each country. And obviously, we believe that that leaves the greater the understanding we have of what's going on, on the ground, the better that information can be used to set the right policy. MR. OMAAR: Sudan plays an important role in this relationship between the United States and - (inaudible). I mean, Sudan is an important nation in that regard, because obviously, going back to the early to mid-'90s, it was, in many senses, for an American audience and for a European audience, a place where al Qaeda came into prominence. Is that important now in terms of the information coming from Sudan? RADM. KURTA: It's always important. And again, with our mission to counter violent extremism, we're obviously looking out for where the violent extremists are and where in this area of the world the trends are not in the right direction. So we're obviously always on the lookout for that type of information and what we can do to help counter that - the spread of extremist ideas and the people associated with that. MR. OMAAR: So in this struggle, in this war, I mean, against violent extremism, where do you think the balance lies at this moment in time? In terms of countering through indirect - I mean, just in a broad picture, with regard to militancy, extremism in the Horn of Africa, where do you think - where do you think you are? RADM. KURTA: Well, the United States, I think, is in the beginning stages of countering violent extremism by the indirect method, and we know that that is not a quick approach, because it deals with building up the individual national capacities to deal with the problems. It deals with helping them on a bilateral-multilateral basis. So I'm not sure that a snapshot of a time necessarily gives you the right answer to if it's the right approach and how is it working. You have to look at it through the lens of many, many years, and I don't think we're far enough along yet to declare either victory or failure in the long term. But we're convinced that it's the right approach, and we've developed the intellectual framework to counter violent extremism, and we've devoted the resources to do it, and we're in it for a persistent engagement there in Africa to go after and deal with this problem in the long term. And that's where we're at. But we're in the beginning stages. MR. OMAAR: It's an important shift in some ways to look really in a concerted effort at the question of militancy and extremism in this part of the world. The focus has been elsewhere in recent years. RADM. KURTA: Uh-huh. MR. OMAAR: Why the shift? Why is it important now to focus on this in this part of the world? RADM. KURTA: Well, I would say for a number of reasons that are - and I think every day, you see a different nation of the world publicly state why Africa is important, and I think there's a growing - there had been a growing realization for a number of years that Africa is important to the world. And we only have to go back to the late '80s, early '90s and see that al Qaeda started here in Sudan, and it went to other areas of the world, and it led to international military engagement in other parts of the world. So it's important that you try to deal with that at the source and prevent something like Afghanistan from happening in another area of the world. So the reason it's important is because violent extremism is certainly on the rise. It's present here in the Horn of Africa. As we combat it more directly, both in Iraq and Afghanistan you want to make sure that those bad actors don't leave those areas of the world and come back to the Horn of Africa. So obviously, we have that question to deal with. MR. OMAAR: Some skeptics might say if we look at Camp Lemonnier and its size and its - I mean, the base has grown. They'll say, "Well, hang on. You know, you've got an incredibly important strategic part of the world where there are clear threats and dangers, not just to the United States, but to neighboring countries, and in fact around the world. And I just find it hard to believe that there's no combat or direct counterterrorism operations being conducted from here." RADM. KURTA: Yeah. That's true. MR. OMAAR: But it does seem odd, doesn't it? I mean, if you do have a physical base of this size and this importance. I mean, tell me why you aren't conducting it from here, given that AFRICOM is now a unified command of Africa. RADM. KURTA: Well, simply because the Combined Joint Task Force doesn't have that mission. And so the forces that we've been given to do the mission, the assets and the resources we've been given to do the mission, again, are the mission for the indirect approach. And while Djibouti certainly is strategically located - there's no doubt about that - the mission that the Africa Command has given to us is to counter that extremism through the indirect method. So that's what we do now. MR. OMAAR: What keeps you awake at night? When you deal with all of the things that you have to be focusing on. I mean, what is it that keeps you awake at night? RADM. KURTA: Well, what keeps me awake at night is the fact that I have many hundreds of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines and some civilians throughout the Horn of Africa. They're down there in some very, very remote parts of Africa conducting civil affairs, conducting medical capability, clinics, veterinary clinics. They're building schools, working with our partner nations in some very, very remote areas of the world, and they're also in areas very close to where the violent extremists are. So you know, looking out for their welfare, both just on a logistics basis and the force protection-wise is definitely what keeps me up at night. MR. OMAAR: Somalia is going through a very critical phase at the moment. You have a new transitional government that has relations with a lot of western countries. It has contacts with the United States. There has been just recently an effort in Brussels by the European Union and its allies to raise money to train the Somali security forces there. Are you taking part in that? Is that a focus for you in dealing with this new transitional government of Sheikh Sharif? RADM. KURTA: Well, the experts to define what the international community or how the international community will help him build his security capacity of his forces is certainly all being led right now on the diplomatic front. And until we get a clear signal of how we're going to engage and how we're going to train the TFG security forces, I don't yet have a clear picture of what CJTF-HOA's role may or may not be in that training. MR. OMAAR: But if you look at it in a wider context - and this is an ongoing and critical political and diplomatic process - there is, you wouldn't deny, I mean, a clear role that CJTF could play if asked to do so in something like that with Sheikh Sharif. RADM. KURTA: Yes. I mean, that is certainly well within the mission that CJTF-HOA has. Sheikh Sharif and his government need some international help in building the capacity of their security forces. That is a mission that CJTF-HOA has and is exercising in other parts of the Horn of Africa. So if the policy of the United States government is that we will provide that directly - assistance and the resources given here as perfectly within the mission area of CJTF-HOA. MR. OMAAR: But have you held any discussions, direct or indirect, with the transitional government of Somalia on this or any other sort of subject to do with security? RADM. KURTA: CJTF-Horn of Africa has not. However, our State Department and our country team out of Nairobi certainly has. Yes. MR. OMAAR: It's a broad question, but it's very important. You know, there are people watching in Djibouti and the Horn of Africa and, in fact, the whole of the continent at AFRICOM and how it projects itself to ordinary people, the benefits that there is in it for Africa. But what is at stake for the United States and its allies in this region? RADM. KURTA: Well, I think it's our credibility as sound international partners. We espouse the same beliefs, the rule of law, democratically elected governments, military forces that answer to civilian rule. And we also want the economic life of the people here to be on an upward trend, and we do that through our entire approach of the United States government, and the Department of Defense has a role in that, as well. So I think we should be judged by our deeds on the ground here. And I think if you went around the Horn of Africa and asked our partners if the Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa is a good ally, is a good friend, is a good partner of the African nations, I think by and large, you'd get a very, very (inaudible) response. And again we're here to enhance the legitimacy and the success of the United States foreign policy in the region. MR. OMAAR: There are, as you know, a lot of people who fear that part of what AFRICOM is about is the militarization of the United States' relationships with key African countries. What would you say to those people on the continent that worry about closer military-to-military ties between their countries and the United States? RADM. KURTA: I would say two things. First and foremost is the foreign policy of the United States has not changed because of the advent and the extent of the United States Africa Command. The United States foreign policy is made by Washington, D.C., and by the State Department and by our ambassadors, and the rest of us that work for the government carry out that foreign policy. On the specific question of military to military ties, I would say that closer military to military relationships in most every country here in the Horn of Africa is a good thing, because what we - the values that we bring are, again, in a professional organization of the military, adherence to the civilian rule of law, security capacity building that helps individually elected governments maintain civil order and rule of law, and those are all good things for functioning societies. And as we work with the individual countries and help build that capacity, I think those increased military to military relationships are actually a good thing. (Direction.) MR. OMAAR: It's a very different situation in Somalia now with the government of Sheikh Sharif. Yet barely a year and a half, two years ago, the United States and Ethiopia was trying to get him to overthrow his government. Today, he could be a professional ally. RADM. KURTA: Yes. Well, again when I talked about the three Ds, the role of the Defense Department within those is to follow the foreign policy of the United States. Obviously, that has evolved. I think it's still evolving, currently undergoing a review back in Washington, and the Department of Defense, obviously, while involved in that the antics are removed from the rest of the government. And so our role, if we are tasked with helping the PFG and Sheikh Sharif increase the security capacity of his forces, then we're resourced and ready to do that. MR. OMAAR: But it's an incredible sort of turnaround - the turnaround of events. I mean, do you think that it was a mistake to have pursued that previous policy with regard to him? RADM. KURTA: Well, I wouldn't comment on prior foreign policy as to my personal opinion of whether it was a mistake or not. I would just say that the current policy is that we support - we have a one-Somalia policy. We support the TFG. And again, if we're directed to help build the security capacity of its forces, then we would do that. MR. OMAAR: It's been commented on with regard to Sudan that the United States is leading a pretty active role in peacekeeping operations in Darfur. You've made that claim. Yet on the other hand, it has a close relationship with Sudan on the basis of intelligence relating to al Qaeda, and some people say that that's a very hard circle to square. RADM. KURTA: Well, there are intelligence relationships between Sudan and the United States. However, those are not conducted through CJTF-HOA. So I can't comment on those, because I don't really have the ability on those. MR. OMAAR: And going back to Uganda and the situation in the north of the country relating to the Lord's Resistance Army, some people allege the United States gave operational support in the operations against the allies by the Ugandan forces and the (inaudible), and that led to a catastrophic situation. Joseph Kony was not found, and a lot of the people were displaced; a lot of people were killed. What do you say to that? RADM. KURTA: Well, I would just say that we need to be cognizant of the fact that what is the source of the instability there? What is the source of the killing? And obviously, you have that insurgency and years and years of killing and raping by the LRA and Joseph Kony. We do have an ongoing relationship with the UPDF. We do help them logistically and help them to build their security capacity, and they are trying to enhance the stability of the government and reduce the insurgency and the killing and the raping of the LRA. There's no doubt about that. MR. OMAAR: I was going to ask you for one another concern that people have suggested, which is are you confident that the State Department has enough resources to make those decisions that affect all the three D's, as you put it, of AFRICOM? RADM. KURTA: Well, I would rely on the public statements that we've seen back in Washington, both by the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense. Again, I think it's within our interests that the State Department receive some more resources so they can kind of balance out those three Ds, and certainly supportive of that. MR. OMAAR: Okay. Well, great. Good. Thank you very much indeed. (END)