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TRANSCRIPT: Final Day of U.S. Africa Command Academic Symposium
<i>Thirty-seven academics from Africa, Europe, and the United States came together to U.S. Africa Command&#39;s Academic Symposium to enhance their understanding of the command offer their input on how it can best support peace and stability in
Thirty-seven academics from Africa, Europe, and the United States came together to U.S. Africa Command's Academic Symposium to enhance their understanding of the command offer their input on how it can best support peace and stability in Africa.

Co-hosted by U.S. Africa Command and the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS), the symposium engaged academics with expertise in subject matter areas including history, political science, security studies, civil-military relations, and conflict management.

The following transcript is from the final day of the symposium, August 20, 2009, and includes remarks by General William Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command; Joel Maybury, Charge D' Affaires, U.S. Mission to the African Union; Kassahun Dender, State Minister of Defense, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; and Professor Christopher Kanjo-Kuniganzame. COL. MICHAEL E. GARRISON: Commander -- (inaudible) -- United States Africa Command -- (inaudible). We continue to engage and are engaged with such -- (inaudible). (Inaudible) -- charge d'affaires of the U.S. mission to the African Union and we're very pleased to have state minister for the ministry of defense, His Excellency Minister Kassahun. Gen. Kip Ward is the commander of the United States Africa Command and the first to have been. Prior to his posting, he was the deputy commander of the U.S. European Command, the most -- (inaudible) -- to the African continent. General Ward also served as a deputy commander, commanding general and chief staff, U.S. Army Europe and 7th Army located in -- Germany. While in this capacity, he was selected by then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice served as United States security coordinator to the Israel-Palestinian Authority. He served there from March 2005 through December 2008. (Inaudible) -- tours to Korea, Egypt, Somalia, Bosnia, Israel, of course, Germany and a wide variety of assignments in the United States from Alaska to Hawaii. Military education includes the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Course, U.S. Army Command and Staff College and the U.S Army War College. He holds a master's of arts degree in political science from Pennsylvania State University and a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Morgan State University. It is now my distinct pleasure to invite Gen. Ward to come up to the podium at this point. (Applause.) GEN. WILLIAM E. WARD: I'm not quite as tall as Col. Garrison, so if I need to stand up a little bit just give me a sign and I'll raise up on my tiptoes. Now, I know that for the translators that wasn't in the script so you will have to be light on your feet back there guys and keep up with me now, okay. Give me a high five if that's okay. I'm getting a high five back there. Make sure all of them -- (inaudible) -- what I just said now. (Laughter.) I appreciate that very kind introduction from Mike Garrison, retired colonel, now having been elevated to the esteemed position of being the deputy director for the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, a lofty title, big responsibility and absolutely the right man to have that job in today's environment having come from a background that has prepared him very, very well for that. So, Mike, this is the first time I've seen him since he retired. His facial appearance has changed a bit; he's growing hair on his chin. His hair is a bit longer -- he didn't have a whole lot to begin with, but that what he had is a little bit longer. But it's great to be here -- and indeed I am very honored to speak to such an esteemed audience, and one that has spend the last four days examining the potential areas, roles, mechanisms for engagement between academia and the United States Africa Command. And your presence at this event just adds great value to the importance that we place on relationships and open communications between the Department of Defense, writ large, and academia. Now, I know I'm here to talk to you about U.S. Africa Command but I also want to hear from you and gain some of your insights so I'm happy to know about the session that we will have at the conclusion of our remarks here. I clearly welcome your recommendations and will do my best to address maybe some of them here this morning or this afternoon prior to going into this next session. Now, let me first begin by congratulating the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on its 10th anniversary. ACSS has done exceptional work since 1999 and 10 years of promoting professionalism, advocating regional cooperation and building and maintaining networks and relationships among a diverse group of nations, a dedicated of sustained achievement through academic excellence and community outreach. Absolutely fantastic. This center provides an essential, credible forum for global leaders to address the fundamental defense and security challenges that we are facing here in Africa. Your work is an importance element of the greater global dialogue and although he's not here, Amb. Mark Bellamy and I stay in constant contact and the work that he is doing along with Col. Garrison and the entire ACSS team are important in the efforts that we all undertake. So Mike and to the ACSS team, happy birthday on 10 years and thank you for your superb support in helping the United States Africa Command make this our second annual academic symposium a success. (Applause.) It is important to know that this week's symposium comes on the heels of some very important business to Africa by senior U.S. government leadership. To include Pres. Obama's recent visit to Ghana and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's seven-nation tour here on the continent. During Secretary Clinton's visit, she stated progress in Africa, and I quote "Progress in Africa requires partnerships built on shared responsibility." Security is a shared responsibility and that's why you were invited here today by the United States Africa Command -- and why I appreciate your participation. To begin down my string of ideas, let me first update you on your United States Africa Command. And you heard what I said -- your United States Africa Command. I hope you like being a member of the team because you are. I will talk to you a bit about our approach, some of our objectives, then I will engage those things that I see as highlights of what the United States Africa Command is currently doing as we engage with academia as well as future plans for interaction. Now, as you know, the term "security" is a broad issue, dependent upon where you live in the world. Security takes on vastly different meanings. To some, security means having enough to eat, access to water and the comfort that one's family is safe in their own home. Others feel secure when they have adequate education, employment and health care. Still others view security as not having the fear the impact of environmental disasters -- infections diseases or attacks on their communities or their dignity. Now, as security takes many forms, it requires a multifaceted approach. It is not the United States military's role to lead the United States government's approach to address all these needs. U.S. Africa Command's mission clearly says we do our work in support of other United States agencies and in support of the United States foreign policy goals and objectives. We support a whole of government or some call it a 3D approach -- diplomacy, development and defense to address that diverse security needs in Africa all the while supporting United States foreign policy objectives on the continent and among its island nations. We as the United States Africa Command are but one element to that approach. United States Africa Command's commitment to the three D's is evidenced by our how our deference to U.S. embassies in each country and the programs and activities we develop with them to support U.S. foreign policy efforts in Africa. And we also have 24 representatives from non-Department of Defense agencies embedded or serving on the staff to help us better understand the other elements of that 3D approach and to shore we are as effectively integrative end of that as we can be. Now, I want to emphasize that we support not lead U.S. government efforts in Africa. United States Africa Command headquarters is located in Stuttgart, Germany and for the time being we see it staying there. However we have a highly valued and well-dispersed presence on the continent. Our offices of security cooperation, our defense attachés, bilateral assistance officers from the state and national guards and Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa all their doing our work. We also have liaison officers posted to African regional headquarters such as here in Addis Ababa, the African Union headquarters at the ECOWAS headquarters, the Kofi Annan Peacekeeping Center as well as liaison offices in Southern Sudan. They are there to work with our country teams in the U.S. embassies to serve as representative to our partner militaries to better understand their security requirements and when requested by our partners to turn those into successful programs. In addition to understand how they integrate into the 3D approach and our organizational structure, it's important to understand U.S. Africa Command's goals and objectives which support U.S. foreign policy. Now, our mission statement captures the foundation of our approach. Sustain security engagement. Our primary focus is on building the security capacity of our African partners to promote and improve security and stability in Africa. Not through episodic events but through a consistent and logical pattern of engagement to reinforce the various successes and behaviors that we all see as important that's a matter of consistent with U.S. foreign policy. Now, to achieve this we seek to build partner capacity which encompasses the majority of our efforts. It's what we do most of the time on a day-to-day basis. This is done in all domains -- working to enhance performance of maritime, land and air security forces. To exercises and programs -- we strive to add value to these activities, to make them more effective in helping build the capacity that Africans themselves desire. We see a stronger African security sector as a vital element towards preventing conflict. Not enough in and of by itself, but a vital element. But to be sure there's more requirement. This our reports to the 3D approach that includes development that includes diplomacy. We promote strategic relationships with our friends, allies and partners at the national, regional and theater levels. It includes organizations such as the African Union and the regional economic communities. We believe that strong economic security institutions are key to preventing conflict and help foster conditions under which development can occur. As many threads to piece are transnational in nature, we also encourage regional and pan-African cooperation such as information sharing, combined planning and exercises such as FLINT LOCK which we conducted in the Maghreb where in that case seven African nations, the United States and three European nations came together to work to address a common challenge. It includes other activities along with support through the African standby forces that we are committed to doing as the African Union and its regional economic communities so dictate. We also pursue partnerships with other international actors engaged in Africa. We made contact with many nations who are involved in capacity building activities and other military efforts in African to ensure our efforts are harmonized as best as we can make them. As an example, we have conducted exchange visits with Belgium, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, France and Brazil to gain insights from their indigent activities in various places on the continent to include the Democratic Republic of the Congo where we use those insights to help inform and improve the programs and activities we will undertake with the Congolese military. We continue to explore opportunities for greater cooperation with African and European partners to eliminate duplication and to maximize limited resources in order to improve security and stability in Africa. We also support the goals of our partners from other United States government agencies by way of our civil military activities that foster long term stability. These activities not only provide outstanding training and experience for some our military communities such as doctors, engineers, veterinarians; they also support African humanitarian capacity building for the betterment of the people of this great continent. Now, ultimately these activities support broader United States government efforts to foster development. They support -- not lead. Now, I want to know here that as I said, Africa command is not responsible for development but rather we support those development efforts. If the U.S. Agency for International Development, USAID, or a country team seeks military assistance to support or enable development activities and we have the means to do so we will provide that assistance. Our activities are done at the request of and with the approval of the U.S. country team to in a particular nation. Simply speaking, if the nation or our foreign policy experts, our country team, says, we ought not do it, we don't do it. Now, finally we do have another mission enrolled as all unified geographic combatant command team that has a role to respond to crises when directed by our President and our Secretary of Defense. And so in that regard, where a crisis would exist and where dealing with that crisis would involve a military role, then it is U.S. Africa Command that would in fact engage in that military activity. Again, our aid, our primary work is designed to help prevent conflict. But we will be ready to take action when we're told to do so. Now, U.S. Africa Command has conducted numerous security activities and engagements over the last 10-plus months since our official activation. Some of them you may have already become familiar with. These include our Africa Partnership Station that's a maritime security program that's being conducted on the west coast of Africa. We're expanding it at the request of the African Union and at the request of nations of southern and eastern Africa around into the east Africa base as well, addressing the Indian Ocean situation as we work with nations there to help them increase their capacity to provide for their maritime security. It includes our efforts that we conduct in the north of Africa as a part of the State Department's trans-Sahara counter-partnership program we call Operation Enduring Freedom -- trans-Sahara, working in partnership with a group of North Africa and Sahel nations in their efforts to counter terrorism. It includes a program where we have with many African nations as they prepare their forces for employment in various United Nations and African Union peacekeeping missions, UNAMID, AMISOM -- providing logistical support, training to increase their effectiveness in the conduct of those missions. We at United States Africa Command recognize the cultural, political and economic diversity of the African continent and the vast array of challenges and opportunities that it possesses. We understand that one size does not fit all and that for security to work, it must work in each location according to that environment. And while I am confident that each of our programs add value to the peace and security efforts of our African partners, as always there is potential for improvement. And we are a listening and learning command. We seek your views as they are crucial to our attempts to better understand the situation and potential avenues to improve our ongoing activities. Now, let me say that again in somewhat different language. Drawing on academia's expertise and perspective is critical to our planning and decision-making and adds value to our command's efforts on the continent and among its island nations. To that I am committed. So what are we doing? U.S. Africa Command's directorate for outreach, headed by Mr. Paul Saxton who you've all gotten to know, is pursuing an academic engagement plan that is based on mutual benefit and respect, encourages an open exchange of information and avoids exclusive relationships. We actively pursue and participate in academic conferences and regularly ask scholars to conduct staff orientations. We intend to build confidence and discourse between academia as a command through symposiums, conferences and personal engagement. To this end, the Africa Center for Strategic Studies and U.S. AFRICOM are partnering to reach out to academia. ACSS is the command's liaison to enhance academic interaction in Africa. Not only does ACSS help define research assistance requirements and areas where academic advice, they also help extend the dialogue by engaging African and European scholars among others and institutes and think tanks. This command relies heavily on the center's expertise and ability to provide for the exchange of useful information and guidance to help define our efforts. Now, we are focusing on developing teammates with more than a passive understanding of Africa. That's why your guidance, your advice, your ideas, your comments are so critically important to AFRICOM. We want to do what we do with perspectives of all of us who are stakeholders in seeking a more stable and secure continent of Africa. And that's why I say to that degree, to that objective, I would seek you all as partners. We encourage U.S. military joint professional education institutions to incorporate Africa-related courses and projects into their curriculum. Why? So that our young men and women who are called to do work on the continent have a clearer and better understanding. We have already conducted an Africa Command symposium at the United States Air War College, are in the planning stages to conduct similar engagements at our other military war colleges. We have also pursued educational and developmental opportunities with the United States military service academies -- West Point, Annapolis, Colorado Springs -- in order to reach our future military leaders while they're in their initial stages of preparing to be officers. Now, similarly, we are exploring opportunities to initiate research through various foundations and institutes as well as utilize existing research programs being conducted by various African study centers. With the assistance of ACSS, we maintain a list of research topics that are priority for AFRICOM. We do provide military education institutions as well as other non-governmental institutions and organizations with a list of topics and look to the results of those expert studies to further our understanding of the continent and improve our programs and activities. In all of this, we are very careful considering how we as a staff can best ensure a coordinated engagement approach. Our plan for academia engagement is framed on three general themes. First, we want to continue to expand our partnership with the Africa center. We want to extend the dialogue through continued civil and military academia engagement efforts. And finally, we want to continue to explore opportunities for research. As you know so well, the purpose of this symposium that you participated in was to discuss ways in which the command can best support peace and stability in Africa. Support peace and stability in Africa -- our primary focus. We want to identify appropriate and effective mechanisms for partnership to access existing knowledge and establish relationships that will foster our future efforts. Your discussions I know have been honest and enlightening and I assure you, you will see further consideration and action of those points that you have raised. Now, that brings me to a most important point and that is the criticality of sustaining the momentum of this symposium. We don't want good ideas to echo off of walls or be filed away as minutes to a meeting. One of the major themes that I stress to my staff is that determining the linkages between a better understanding and defining the terms of engagement is difficult but you can help. I'm confident that the relationships that were developed over the last few days with my team, between yourselves will prove useful for future engagement opportunities. At U.S. AFRICOM, we endeavor to be a listening and learning organization. We solicit suggestions and comments on how our command, given that small piece that we plan, can best contribute towards the goal we all share and that is increased peace and stability in Africa. So let me thank you again for being here and let me let you know that joining you is a privilege. You participation is an honor for all of us and I look to the future with hope that together, we can make a difference in causing those who are children and grandchildren on this continent who have a better tomorrow than today because collectively, we are working towards a goal that has their future in mind. And I thank you for your partnership in that endeavor. Thank you very, very much. (Applause.) COL. GARRISON: That's hard to follow. Gen. Ward, thank you very much for presenting the capstone presentation for the seminar. After listening the past few days, the presentations in this morning's final group recommendations -- I don't know if you had a crystal ball or if you had people sending you notes but many of the things you talked about were certainly answered along with the recommendations today. So we certainly look forward from the ACSS with respect to working with your team and working with this group of scholars to continue that dialogue. I think it's very, very important. Thanks again. Our next speaker is Mr. Joel Maybury who is the chargé d'affaires for U.S. mission at the African Union here in Ethiopia. The goal of the United States Mission to the African Union is to partner with the African Union in ways that will strengthen democratic institutions, promote peace, stability, support sustainable economic development through increased trade and investment and approve the lives and health of Africans. Mr. Maybury currently serves the political and economic chief for the USAU. He is also the recipient of several awards from the department of state -- secretary's award of public outreach -- and it's pretty honorable. Please help me welcome Mr. Joel Maybury to the podium. (Applause.) JOEL MAYBURY: Thank you, Mike, for that kind introduction. And thank you, ACSS, for inviting me to this closing ceremony. General, it's an honor to follow in your wake. I hope I can at least meet those expectations. I trust that your deliberations have been fruitful. In the time that I've been allocated, I thought it would be useful to give you a brief overview of the U.S. Mission to the African Union and how we figure into the U.S. government's engagement on the African continent. USAU has been in existence about three years. We were the first country to request and be granted observer status within the African Union. In just about a month from now, we will welcome a new ambassador, Michael Battle, and by the way, parenthetically as a former journalist, I want to correct the record. I was the chargé d'affaires for the USAU at the time the program was put together. I'd like to just briefly introduce Amb. Roger Meese (ph) who is sitting in the audience, who many of you have met in the course of these proceedings, who is now the chargé d'affaires for both the bilateral embassy and the USAU. So just to correct the record. As I said, in about a month we will welcome a new ambassador to the U.S. Mission to the African Union. His name is Michael Battle. As currently envisioned, he will head a team that includes a deputy chief of mission, a political officer who will also have public diplomacy functions, an AFRICOM military liaison officer, a CJTFHOA military liaison officer and a USAID liaison. A number of these colleagues are actually in the room. In addition, the state department has a contractor embedded within the AU's strategic planning and management unit as a security advisor. You can tell from the composition of the USAU team that I just described that we have a definite peace and security focus. On a typical day, USAU is engaged with the AU commission at all levels. We facilitate meetings of visiting U.S. government delegations with commission interlocutors just as we did with Gen. Ward this morning when he was meeting with Chairperson Xiaoping (ph). We actively participate in meetings between the commission and African Union partners and we engage with our various partners including the U.N., the European Union, the Arab League and others on matters related to peace and security but also on matters related to democracy and electoral assistance, trade and economic development. USAU often sees itself as a conduit for information that flows between the U.S. government and the AU, and this is an oversimplification. Our U.S. government customers -- or should I say, our bosses -- are found in various agencies in Washington, at the U.S. U.N. in New York, in our embassies across Africa, and yes, at AFRICOM headquarters in Stuttgart. Simultaneously, our regular engagement with the AU at various levels allows us to provide to U.S. government stakeholders timely and relevant reports and analysis of data and trends in the peace and security arena in Africa. This same engagement permits us, for example, to bring to the attention of the African Union timely U.S. government thinking on issues, such as Somalia and Sudan, in advance of an AU peace and security council meeting. You may be asking yourself, can this USAU mission make a difference? Can it influence the AU in any way? As an observer mission, we are somewhat limited in our ability to influence the AU. As you probably know, the peace and security council deliberates behind closed doors. But by developing contacts within the commission and from among member states, we are able to exchange thoughts and propose ideas for the AU's consideration. Such is the case with our efforts to craft maritime strategy for the AU. Our team also is in full discussions with the AU on an African standby force, on a command, control and communication system, as well as on the development of the AU's continental early warning system. I will close simply by saying that USAU would appreciate your taking this message back to your constituencies. We are still a relatively young mission and we still have considerable in-reach to do to tell our story. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to address you, and for those who are going to be observing Ramadan in the coming days, Ramadan karim. Thank you. (Applause.) COL. GARRISON: Thank you, Joel, for the remarks and correction, Mr. Ambassador. No slight intended. It's now my very distinct pleasure to introduce His Excellency Kassahun Dender, state minister, ministry of national defense, government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Minister Kassam has held this office since 2004. He previously was the senior organization and institutional development specialist at the water resource development's sector organization and held that position for 15 years. He holds a bachelor of arts degree -- correction, a bachelor of business administration from Addis Ababa University and a master's of business administration from South Bank University in London and a master of arts in organizational leadership from Azusa Pacific University in California. Please join me in welcoming his excellency, Minister Kassahun. (Applause.) KASSHUN DENDER: Gen. William Ward, commander of AFRICOM, excellencies, distinguished participants and ladies and gentlemen, it is indeed a privilege for me to have been given this opportunity to make a few closing remarks on what has been a useful and timely symposium, co-hosted by the African Center for Strategic Studies and AFRICOM. At the outset, I would like to express my -- (inaudible) -- and thanks to those excellent partners, panelists, moderators, as well as the organizers of this symposium. The symposium has touched upon important issues such as partnership programs, peace and stability, civil-military relations and security-sector capacity-building, which I believe are of significant importance both to the United States and AFRICOM. I'm confident that this symposium has helped in paving the way to better understanding AFRICOM and its missions and objectives. I have no doubt that the papers and opinions that we discussed at this symposium were critically important both for Africans to better understand AFRICOM and for the United States to better understand African perspectives on these issues. Gen. Ward, excellencies, distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen, it is a source of satisfaction to note that the United States has recently demonstrated increased interest through, again, AFRICOM, in most political, economic and security areas. Although the relations between Africa and the United States go back a long way in time, the current effort of the United States to increase its engagement with Africa is a timely and welcome development. In this regard, the recent visit of Pres. Barack Obama to Africa, as well as the extended visit by the secretary of state and other high-level U.S. officials is an illustration of the deepening partnership between the United States and Africa. We should feel -- (inaudible) -- that such enhances partnership between the United States and Africa will be vital in the search for sustainable peace and security, which is a fundamental precondition for prosperity and progress. Finally, I would like to reiterate my thanks once again to all of the participants for taking part in this important symposium, and for sharing the perspectives of academia. For those of you first-time visitors to Addis Ababa, I hope that the opportunity to explore what our city has to offer -- in this regard, should you visit again as a tourist or to participate in civilian meetings, I can assure you that you will be warmly welcomed in the tradition of -- (inaudible). Thank you for doing this here in Addis Ababa, and I wish you all a safe journey home. I thank you. (Applause.) COL. GARRISON: Your Excellency, thank you very much for the very kind comments closing this out. This is not the first time that the minister has participated in an Africa Center program; two years ago, he opened our senior leader seminar here in Addis. Now you've closed one. We need to fit you in the middle somehow in one of our programs. So please, you're welcome any time and we will make sure that invitation comes through loud and clear. I would now like to welcome Professor Christopher Kanjo-Kuniganzame to come up for the traditional vote of thanks. (Applause.) CHRISTOPHER KANJO-KUNIGANZAME: (In French.) (Applause.) COL. GARRISON: Professor Kuniganzame, thank you very much for the very kind words of thanks. A lot of people put a lot of effort into making this work -- you are correct. And it's had, I think, become a very positive impact on the program. Ladies and gentlemen, we'll take some questions in a few moments, but as it is policy within the Africa Center for Strategic Studies that all of our programs, except for the closing ceremony speeches, are non-attribution, I'd like you to take a rest-in-place, if you will, for a moment, while we ask the press to leave the room. There will be a press conference afterwards, but if everybody could just standby for a moment, we'll have some questions and answers shortly. (Pause.) I think we have -- we're back down to normal participants and diplomatic corps and such. I'd like to open the floor to questions, but I'd also like to ask, since we have about 25 minutes for this, that we keep these questions as short and concise as possible so we can have several questions instead of, maybe, three or four. I would also ask that when you do ask a question, please tell us where you're from. And also, we will take a batch of about three questions for the panel and then we will try to answer those in groups of three. So do I have any questions? Sir. Q: (In French.) COL. GARRISON: Thank you. Another question? Sir, please. Q: Thank you, Gen. Ward, for having -- (inaudible) -- us. It is interesting listening to you. This is not my first time to listen to you. We met and we had discussions when you first visited Addis Ababa. I would like to somehow -- (inaudible) -- to important issues I consider should be taken seriously by our people in terms of this engagement. The first is at a thematic level and, secondly, at the practical level. The thematic level is up. It's broad. We know the development and securities in broad area is to approach it in a comprehensive way. So good to narrow the focus and solidify, you know, the comparative advantages in terms of the contribution. So I think, in terms of the thematic area, I don't want AFRICOM to be everywhere and to be nowhere, you know? So the focus should be reassessed on the practical level when it comes to basic security mainly civil-military relations missions and sector reform in Africa. Also in Africa, state is relevant; it's central to any kind of security domain and security fight. The process in Africa has been led by the civil society, so I think it's good to keep that in mind and really focus on that aspect. Thank you. COL. GARRISON: Thank you. We looked for three questions. We got two and one, so that makes three. Sir, I think you have the floor. GEN. WARD: If it's okay, I'll come here and speak, because one thing that I learned from my father is to be respectful of your superiors. So when you talk to them, you stand up. So I consider each of you my superiors, so I'm standing as I talk to you. I appreciate both questions, and I'll try to be brief in my remarks, but many of you know me, and being brief is not one of my strengths. That is a character flaw that I have -- I know it -- so I apologize upfront to you. But I'll do my best. First of all, with respect to the question from our friend from Morocco, clearly -- with the new administration, the visit by the president, the visit by the secretary of state, who are -- when it comes to our policy, those are our primary national spokespersons. It's not Ward. So my envision is whatever it is that I am told to do by the president of the United States, that is reflected in our national policy as espoused by the secretary of state, formulated and supported by our Congress and as defined by the secretary of defense, who is my boss. So I have no ambition. My mission is to do my very best and carry out those military activities that are part of our foreign policy objectives. Now, to that end, I think what has been stated by our current administration are reflective of those things that I said a while ago. And that is how we can be of assistance in helping the nations of Africa increase their capacity to provide for their own security. We have no designs for coming to the continent of Africa and establishing bases and garrisons and taking things over. And I would also say, as far as Kip Ward knows, absolutely no designs for causing this great continent to be an environment whereby powers of the world -- and I won't define "lesser" or "greater" but just "other world actors" -- use the continent for their own purposes. The intent, as I best understand, is an intent that says the continent of Africa and its people are important and what happens on the continent affects us all in today's global environment. So therefore, where we can be of assistance in helping Africans increase their capacity for stability that then promotes other things, such as development, that is in all of our best interests. And so that's, I think, how we have defined our role as reflective of the policy that the current administration also states. And I believe the comments made by President Obama when he was in Ghana, as well as on several occasions by Sec. Clinton, spoke to that as our intent and as our overarching promise. With respect to the role of my command specifically, as opposed to our focus, our priorities, again, those are a reflection of where our nation has established its priorities for moving ahead, or clearly how we look at various conflict scenarios on the continent, from Somalia to Sudan to Guinea-Bissau, to what has gone on in the Central Africa region, where progress can be made -- and I might add, progress hopefully led by Africans to address those challenges -- then we, within my command, take a role of enhancing those military activities that support progress being made. In the cases of most governments where rule of law, transition of government by a constitutional means as opposed to not, are important -- we support that. And our activities where we are engaged with the militaries of the continent are activities that promote that type of a direction. So when a nation says, we are transforming our security sector and we want our security sector to be reflective of these sorts of activities, it is not I who decides what that army or navy or security structure will be. That is the sovereign prerogative of a country. But where we get involved and our sailors, our soldiers, our airmen, our Marines, are working side by side, it is those qualities of how militaries perform legitimately in societies, as reflective of how we perform, that we attempt to portray. It's those qualities of how militaries perform as protectors of their people as opposed to oppressors of their people that we attempt to convey. It's those qualities of how militaries in today's environment, and moving towards the future, work in cooperative and collaborative ways to help promote regional security, because you're correct. As we look to the future, what happens with our neighbors, what happens with our global partners around the world has an effect on us wherever we may be. And so our work is not to define what a particular army in the future would look like or not, that's for every sovereign nation to define. We don't control that. Kip Ward doesn't set that. You wouldn't want me to do it, sovereign nations wouldn't let me do it and it's not my business. What is my business is where our policy determination has been made that working with a partner nation is in our national interest to do so to assist them in becoming more professional, more disciplined, more efficient in carrying out the work of a constitutionally empowered government, where its laws are adhered to. And if we can be a factor in helping that military achieve those constitutionally correct ways of doing business and behavioral patterns and methods, then that's what we do. And when I talked about sustained security engagement; when I talked about not being episodic; when I talked about doing it so that we are in a persistent way aligned and in contact, it is that relationship that we think has a good chance of causing behaviors to reflect what the peoples of a country would hope their militaries would reflect, as those militaries work on behalf of their security and their best interests. And that's how we approach that particular situation. So I hope I've addressed the points that both of you gentlemen raised, and thank you for the opportunity to make those comments. Okay, I'll stay here just in case the next one is for me, too. (Chuckles.) COL. GARRISON: Not to exclude anybody else on the panel, but I've just got this funny feeling that it's going to go primarily to General Ward. Next question, please. Yes, sir. Q: Would I be out of line if I asked a question to the last speaker? COL. GARRISON: I think it would be great. I think it would be great. Q: McGill University, I wanted to actually ask about the Sudan. I wanted to kind of inquire as to your evaluation of the situation in Darfur and whether AFRICOM has any kind of future role with respect to assisting the African Union there. And for the last speaker, I was wondering if you would also give us your insights in terms of the situation in South Sudan in terms of what is being done to preserve the complex peace agreement, and if there are any discussions in terms of any role to prepare for elections in the country coming up. MR. DENDER: Thank you. In my view, the situation in Darfur, or Sudan, should be, first, the responsibility of the actors dealing with the situations. From our point of view, we have to give, unfortunately, for all of them, to present their views and their ideas and come up with possible solutions. Beside this, what the U.N. is doing currently in Darfur -- being part of it, our government will start sending some peacekeeping forces there. So we are dealing with the U.N. umbrella in -- (inaudible). GEN. WARD: What His Excellency just said. (Laughter.) I say that because, you know, the role that we played in Sudan is a role defined by our policymakers. And I think you know that I am not a policymaker. Where there have been decisions that say, we as a government, the United States, support the provisions of the comprehensive peace agreement and those provisions being implemented, we clearly are in line with that. The current situation had such that we have been asked to work with the governor of south Sudan and helping them to increase their professionalism. I currently have there a liaison officer helping with their professionalization of military forces, non-commissioned officers. There are also various seminars being conducted as the work of the southern Sudanese is occurring in their continued professionalization. Obviously, you are aware of the special envoy that has been appointed by the current administration to help bring together the various aspects of that situation -- North Sudan, South Sudan, bringing forward the comprehensive peace accord and its provisions and how all of that impacts what's going on in Darfur. And as his Excellency pointed out, that resolution in toto is best determined by those who are there, as well as its neighbors here in the region. And the type of support that it provides and encouragement it demonstrates to making progress and moving ahead there in Sudan to address the issues of north-south, the issues that go on in the Darfur region and putting it in a context that causes them to work or -- correction -- to be resolved in ways that lend themselves to no return to the past, but in fact progress being made. So we do have at this time, limited military-to-military programs in southern Sudan. But those programs are well defined in line with those provisions of the comprehensive peace accord as it was laid out. And we are in support of those provisions as I've indicated. I have had no instructions to be involved in the election process, to this point. I don't expect any. But again, I don't make that determination. But at this point in time, I have had none at all. COL. GARRISON: Thank you, sir. Next, please? There and then we'll go back. Q: My name is -- (inaudible) -- from Nigeria. (Inaudible) -- sir, I have two questions to ask. One, what do you think ACOTA have not achieved that you think AFRICOM will achieve? Number two, can you please put this in perspective for us? Is professionalization of the military through AFRICOM not a process of (militarization ?) in Africa? GEN. WARD: I feel like I'm back in college there as I prepare for my -- receive my degree. I had to go before my professors and answer these questions. You get very, very tough questions here. This is great. (Laughter.) I'm very happy to address all of these obviously. And I'll leave it to you to judge if I pass or not. But first, with respect to the ACOTA achievements. ACOTA -- the Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance program that is a Department of State program whereby nations who say we are ready and prepared to participate in peacekeeping missions, we will move forward but can we receive training and equipment assistance as we prepare to undertake that peacekeeping mission. I think the achievements of ACOTA have been quite substantial in that regard, because as I travel around the continent and visit various United Nations and African peacekeeping missions and activities, it may not be completely, but clearly, the vast majority of those nations currently participating in peacekeeping missions. And I'll take the United Nations mission in Darfur; I'll take the African Union mission in Somalia -- are ACOTA-trained peacekeepers and ACOTA-equipped peacekeepers. So I think those achievements have been important. Have they been perfect? The answer is no. But they are much better with the training that they have received than had they not received the training. And that, I am sure, when it comes to AFRICOM as a contributor to that process, this is what I also firmly believe, because while the ACOTA program is a State Department -- United States State Department-sponsored activity, the Department of Defense -- its sailors, its soldiers, its Marines, its airmen -- provide substantial assistance to the ACOTA trainers in the training of these African peacekeeping forces. And the sorts of things that are done when it comes to the role that you play in a peacekeeping environment, from conduct to behavior to being respectful of individual human beings. And again, I know it's not perfect. But I am convinced that the vast majority of those who conduct these missions are better prepared, conduct themselves a bit more professionally, with a greater degree of discipline because of the role that has been taken by the United States military, working side-by-side with our State Department ACOTA trainers in helping to prepare a peacekeeping force to be as professional, as competent as they can be in these peacekeeping missions. Thank you for that, sir. Q: Separate question -- as to the professionalization of the African military, militarization of the African society? GEN. WARD: I probably got it indirectly, but let me come at it now very directly. Professionalization of any military, in my mind's eye, is a good thing. Having a disciplined force as opposed to a force that does not take instructions, does not follow legitimate authority is where we would, I think, want to have most militaries perform. I'll be very candid with you -- as a very proud wearer of the uniform of my army for now over 38 years, I pride myself on being a professional. Having said that, a professional military is also only a part of an orderly society. And for that to occur, other things likewise need to be worked. And that's why our commitment to support issues of development, issues of effective governance are also important. It's not my job to do that part. But it is my responsibility to be as supportive of those initiatives as I can be. And so, while a professional military is, I think, important in any civil society, it is clearly not the totality of having an orderly functional society that is doing its best to protect, take care of, and provide for the well being of its citizens. Those other things likewise have to be occurring, ought to be occurring. COL. GARRISON: Next question. Thank you. Q: Thank you very much. I am called -- (inaudible). I have a question, an informatic (sp) question. One of the weaknesses or threat of African security is the weak control of African waters or oceans. For example, if I apply my question to the East African Coast, where a few miles from the coast, you reach completely a no man's water where you are safe in the respective country's waters. My second question is applied to -- (inaudible) -- AFRICOM has, say, let's say a mid-term perspective, a plan of -- and given also the current threat of violence, et cetera -- a plan of substantially increasing the capacity of the military that is there, the East African Brigade, to substantially increase the subregion capacity, East African Community, and probably the Horn of Africa, their capacity to control and increase security in those oceans. Specifically, is there any plan, for example, to have a Marine detachment in the East African brigade that is going to be -- (inaudible) -- in five, 10, 15 years to come. (Inaudible) -- support to make sure that to impose order in those eastern -- in the Indian Ocean of African coasts? GEN. WARD: I appreciate that question as well. There is a plan. It is a -- and let me be very, very clear here -- it is a supporting plan, because the responsibility for doing what you just said is the responsibility of those nations who those waters are their territorial waters. To that degree, along with the African Union who is currently working on a plan for maritime security, we are providing support to the conduct of that training effort for the continent at large. In eastern Africa as a specific example, we have established -- we call it the East Africa Maritime Academy, where members of the East African nations send their officers for training in matters of maritime security, maritime safety. And as we work with the individual nations -- and as you pointed out, not just in East Africa but also the littoral nations of the continent and the island nations. Where there are opportunities to provide training assistance, where there are opportunities to provide equipping assistance so that the nations who have territorial waters that are impacted by illegal activities from illegal fishing to piracy to the transport of illegal goods from weapons to drugs to people, to increase their capacity to do two things. First, monitor their territorial waters. And then two, have an ability to do something about it if in fact something is going on that is not sanctioned, not authorized. We have programs in place today addressing each of those points. As in many instances, do we wish there were more that could be done? Yes, because again, these -- even for my country -- there are not unlimited resources that can be made available. My command, as many of you already know, we have no standing forces. So we have no navies and armies, battalions that I can call upon to go and do something. That's not how the command was established. So when I have a requirement for some capacity to work with a partner nation, I go back to the Pentagon and submit what we call a request for forces. That competes with other global activities for resources. So it's not an automatic that those additional capabilities would be available. But with the creation of U.S. Africa Command, we now can go back and when we make a case for it, we can rationalize it. We can say that it supports our national policy. But as importantly, it supports the desires, the intent of the nations of the continent, the island nations. It supports the work that the African Union is attempting to do. It supports the work that the regional economic communities and their standby brigades are attempting to do. And with that, we hope for the best. Thank you, sir. COL. GARRISON: We have time for one more question, please. Q: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Steven Ellis (sp) from the Free University in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Over the last few days, during a very enjoyable and interesting meeting, I've heard from several of your colleagues in AFRICOM in conversations. And they refer to, say, you know, in Iraq, it took us so many years to kind of really learn what's going on and the name of the game and how to deal with it. And I think I'm speaking not just for myself but probably for at least some other people here if I say, our great concern is that that process in the case of Africa is as short as possible, that it doesn't take six years or 10 years or 20 years, but much shorter. I know I'm not allowed to give professorial lessons or even worse, sermons, because I'm not a preacher. But let me just say a couple of things. Number one, I'll make some predictions. AFRICOM will get involved much more completely than it thinks in situations, which it finds messy. It's going to get much more involved than it thinks because of the nature, as I understand it, of the missions given itself. It will find itself being outmaneuvered by politicians and even warlords who it regards as essentially weak. Remember Gen. Aideed in Somalia. In situations where you sincerely believe you've done nothing but good, AFRICOM will find that the name of America is feared and even hated. These are predictions that I'm making. You will find bizarre rumors or, as your public relations people call them, misperceptions circulating about yourselves. I'm pretty sure all these things will happen in short order. Now, since I'm not allowed to give sermons, I have to ask a question. My question is, will you genuinely -- (END)
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