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TRANSCRIPT: Ward Speaks to Students of Botswana Defence Staff College on Intelligence Support to Operations
<i>During a trip to Gaborone, General William E. Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, spoke to students of the Defence Staff College on intelligence support to operations, April 28, 2010. <br /> <br />Ward talked about opportunities for Africa
During a trip to Gaborone, General William E. Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, spoke to students of the Defence Staff College on intelligence support to operations, April 28, 2010.

Ward talked about opportunities for Africa as relates to intelligence support and how vital it is to security.

"Helping you to focus, helping you to ensure that your forces are employed in the appropriate way, with the proper logistics, with the proper support, with also the proper formations that will lead to the greatest chance of success," said Ward. "You don't get that, you don't achieve that, if your understanding of the environment is not as precise as you can make it."

The complete transcript is provided below: (Applause.) GEN. WILLIAM E. WARD: Okay, I'm going to get kind of comfortable here, if that's okay with you. Hoo-ah? The thing about speaking is you kind of work up a sweat. You get warm. So I'm going to get a little comfortable, spend a little bit of time with you. How are you doing? (Chorus of, "Good.") Well, let me first of all acknowledge everyone who is here because, be you a member of the BDF staff at Echelon, be you -- (inaudible) -- here, it signals a great, great achievement as well as a great sign of professionalism that the Botswana Defense Force has. So I am honored; I am privileged and it is an absolute pleasure to be able to speak with you today. General Masire, my good friend, sir, thank you for allowing me to have this time with the men and women of your armed forces, professionals that they are. And it's great to see you again, sir, as is always the case. It's been a while since my last visit here, but as I was telling the chief of defense staff, it seems like only yesterday that I was here because when you're a friend, even though there may be some space between the last time that you have seen one another, the feelings immediately come back. And it is as if it was only yesterday that I was here. Within that time, things have continued to occur in a great way. As Lieutenant Colonel Wyatt pointed out, the United States Africa Command is moving ahead. It is doing things that are making a difference, we think, and it's a privilege to be here to meet and spend some time with you, to talk to you about what we have been doing and also, probably most important, listen to you. So I'm sure that once I've finished my comments, there'll be the opportunity for a good, good discussion. I extend congratulations to you for your achievements, as I've said. Now where do I begin? Where do I begin to address a group of students, leaders, staff who know so much about your part of this continent, but also because of your studies, are involved in many different things as you gain greater appreciation and understanding of how militaries act, the role that they perform in society as protectors of their people and not oppressors of their people. Where do I start when I address a group such as this, who because of your education and background have a good understanding of political events as well that go on in your region, in your neighborhood, but also on your continent and even globally. So where do I start when I am asked to address a group such as yourselves, who come here having already undergone substantial preparation, substantial training, with substantial experiences? So I guess I'll just start by talking about what my president has said, President Obama, who, when he was in Ghana last July, defined the United States' national priorities for engaging with Africa. And these priorities included preventing conflict and helping resolve past conflicts, assuring public health, fostering economic growth and development and protecting innocent people from harm and violence. Now, these priorities are strategic. They're the big picture. But let me cast those in a different light, one that is concrete and relevant today. Now, as you know, about 40 nations, now -- just a few more -- just to your south, a very significant world-class sporting event is about to take place: the FIFA World Cup being hosted there in South Africa, the first time an event of this magnitude is being hosted on the continent. And what we in the United States would certainly be happy to see, as would all of our world's citizens, is that the African continent as a whole enjoys sufficient and self-sustained stability that sets the conditions under which Africa can continue to host more of such world-class events. President Obama's priorities for U.S. engagement are intended to contribute to that goal. The "how" demonstration that we will be conducting our activities here in Botswana is to assist our African partners, building the capacity to provide for their own security. And that is where a bit of today's discussion is about, the role that intelligence plays in helping to guide those things that are done as the nations of Africa attempt to provide for their own security. The capabilities will be aligned with the security challenges that you face and transnational challenges that affect your region and your neighbors and the whole continent to include its island nations and its maritime nations. Now, I'm not going to dwell on those, now, because those already get plenty of attention. I'd like to address the opportunities for Africa. Overall, the economy has continued to grow. There's a growing political will among most African nations to confront the transnational challenges that they face on their own terms. I've seen states that have been previously in conflict cooperating against common threats -- as an example, what's going on up in the north of this area, in the central part of the continent, where you have the activities going on and the Uganda Defense Force working with the Congolese, working with the Rwandans, going after the Lord's Resistance Army, Joseph Kony, trying to stop the terror that he has brought on thousands and thousands of people for over 20 years. A great, great achievement. How will that go about? What sorts of things occur that allow success? Well, to be sure, healthy doses of intelligence are required. How does the battlefield, how does the commander on the ground, how does the operational, tactical commander rely on information, rely on intelligence? To guide those actions that will lead to mission success. Critical, critical. Helping you to focus, helping you to ensure that your forces are employed in the appropriate way, with the proper logistics, with the proper support, with also the proper formations that will lead to the greatest chance of success. You don't get that, you don't achieve that, if your understanding of the environment is not as precise as you can make it. And who does that? Well, the ones who are charged with doing that, quite frankly, are each of us. And in having that work focused and analyzed by our very, very excellent intelligence community -- those analysts who can, based on an understanding of the environment, then provide recommendations that will help guide operations that will be conducted to reduce the threat, to reduce the threat. As we move ahead in the work that we do, Africa Command is very much concerned with this notion of sustained security engagement. Sustained security engagement such that the work that we do in cooperation with our partners is work that helps to elevate, on a continual basis, the level of professionalism that our partner militaries seek for themselves. And one critical area is this issue of military intelligence -- again, those activities that serve to guide, serve to provide insights for the type of operations that will be conducted as you pursue tactical objectives. This sustained security engagement is done to ensure that our activities meet our partners' needs, that they are consistent with U.S. foreign policy, that they also maintain deep relationships that foster opportunities to reinforce success. You have here a state partner. The State Partnership Program through our U.S. National Guard is with the state of North Carolina. Now, here in Botswana, this represents one of eight state partner programs that we've established in Africa thus far. And yours has been terrifically successful. Yours is thoroughly among the most African. And in addition to providing the individual relationships that foster regular and reinforcing training, as well as other activities, it provides the means to encourage other activities as well, ones in which there very may well be the business of intelligence operations in support of achieving tactical as well as operational objectives. We have an opportunity as we develop our forces, as we develop our formations, to incorporate into that the entirety of defined armed activities that help us achieve that success. And as I mentioned, these are most often guided by an intelligence multiplier. When we talk about stability, we talk about trying to affect conditions where African people are generally free of violence, of threats against good governance. Those threats include terrorists, violent extremists. They include illegal traffickers. They include areas of unresolved conflict. Each of these threats are cancerous with the potential to spread elsewhere. So how do we know what we know about these threats? Truly the work of our intelligence community, truly the work of the intelligence formations, the intelligence staff that will be a part of your formations -- working together to better understand these challenges and threats. I just want to talk about it so that we can develop and then carry out an assortment of activities and plans that will address and effectively reduce the threats. I mentioned the coalition of partners in the Great Lakes region, to eradicate a very dangerous Lord's Resistance Army, as a good example of this. But others, Somalia, are big in conflicts and challenges. We currently need additional information. We current need the ability of the host governments to address these threats as well, while they're early. As many of you have also experienced in the peacekeeping missions that you're undertaken, peacekeeping is hard, but it's necessary work. It is an investment in preventing a return to violence and in facilitating the needed diplomatic and developmental efforts to address the root causes of conflict. But I also see the need to conduct peacekeeping operations with the best information possible. And in order to do that, you need to invest in those systems that help to provide that needed, that necessary information. If it's done right, if our information is accurate, if the application of our techniques, tactics and procedures in response to what we know about the threat is accurate, then peacekeeping works. Here in Africa, we see United Nations peacekeeping efforts. Some are drawing down. Some are continuing on. All ought to be guided by the appropriate level of intelligence that helps define the actions that ought to be taken -- and not just out there, moving around, doing things for the sake of doing them. We have to be focused in what we do and that focus is provided by a good understanding of the operational environment. And key to that understanding is our intelligence staff, absolutely key. And how we as leaders, how we as commanders, take that information, apply it to our decision-making, such that we make the most appropriate decision for getting the job done, is the true essence of applying that intelligence to our operational arm. We do this in a holistic way. We do this as a part of a total program, not just something that we see in a very narrow, narrowly defined point of view. So as we look to develop capabilities, as we look to develop capacities that lead us to success, keep in mind the criticality of our intelligence staff in our mission accomplishment. There are a couple things I'd like to talk to you about as we continue this discussion on the role of intelligence and tactical intelligence that guides what we do. I mentioned this notion of a holistic approach. At a recent address by the United States Secretary of Defense, Secretary Gates, he talked about the importance of building operational capacity, institutional capacity and human capital -- that's leadership skills and attributes -- and doing these things at the same pace over time. You know, together, by developing these issues of operational capacity, institutional capacity, as well as human capital, we have a self-sustaining system in place. Let me tell you what I mean about each of these three. Now, building operational capacity is the easiest to grasp and its efforts seem easiest to measure -- that's the number of troops that we have trained and equipped, or number of planes or ships that we've put into service -- but we've got to be careful. Those numbers don't tell the entire story. They show the short-term benefits of specific activities. They may be okay. But they may not necessarily give us the whole picture of the capacity that's being gained. A few things that we ought to consider when we develop programs for operational capacity: How could the new capabilities we're providing help over time? Plans to conduct operations independently? And I know from your chief of defense staff, Lieutenant General Masire, that he is concerned about this, as he looks to build this intelligence part of your systems. How do we use it to become more agile and versatile? Again, the more we know about the environment, the more we understand, we can be better prepared. The intelligence staff are critical to helping us understand the environment, to help guide our actions and activities. Intelligence is something that's, as I've said, no surprise to you, so important to be. In my experience, having the ability to see and understand those operations and to share information rapidly across the force is vital to being successful. This is doubly true in a peacekeeping environment, when the force is distributed, very often times, over a wide, wide area and the enemy is equally dispersed, maybe mixed with the population, hard to discern, but also coordinating his activities. The U.S. military in their --inaudible-- of many places, including Bosnia and our current conflicts, and the capabilities that we've developed in response to that environment ought to be -- (inaudible) -- that improves our ability to conduct operations. Intelligence, like all that we use as aids, enables and allows us to do our jobs, just like logistics, just like engineers. Intelligence is an enabler that helped us to get that job done. They are vital elements in leading to mission success -- operational capacity in intelligence, as is needed. Building institutional capacity -- this involves helping a host nation exercise civil control over its military and -- (inaudible) -- for the force. Defense sector reform is one type of institution building effort that the U.S. works with a host nation to reform, to transform its defense ministry in total, in total. Our activities enhance what already goes on, but it also involves the development of doctrine that governs how your forces operate, how your processes interact and relate. So as you continue to build your intelligence service, have that instituted in your doctrine, so that when your successors attend courses such as this and other courses on construction, there's clear understanding of the role that intelligence plays in your tactical mission and operations. Critical, critical. There are a couple of things that I want to mention before I conclude, but one more that I want to talk about and that is human capital, enhancing human capital -- very important. This is about professionalism, the attributes and the values that complement your other capacity-building activities, your institutional things that you're doing right here in this institution, increasing your own understanding. The operational part -- I talked about it -- where you have systems in place: your enablers, your logistics, your engineers, your intelligence, to help your organization. But the notion of human capital is so important. Those things that are done that are to individuals who are part of formations, to know that they are, in fact, a part of a professional, high-performing organization that others would want to be attracted to. It's not just about the privilege of serving. It's also about the responsibilities of serving. Those responsibilities rest in the things that we do, those of us who wear the uniform of our nation, for the people whom we are there to protect. Note that we are indeed their protectors and not their oppressors. Absolutely important. You are doing that and in so doing, you'll be taking that same notion of professionalism, those attributes, to a peacekeeping environment. Those people see the same attributes -- knowing how a professional organization, a professional military, conducts itself on behalf of protecting fellow human beings. Now, I'll take a few minutes here and finish up so we can get to your questions. There are a couple examples of building operational capacity that I'd like to talk about -- the capable and accountable forces that the Africans, that you desire. We have a program which is called Operation Enduring Freedom- Trans-Sahara, which is the military portion of our Department of State's Trans-Sahara Counter-Terror Program. Inside that program, it was determined that in order to be more effective in conducting counterterror operations in the Sahel, we needed to also have better trained intelligence officers that can collaborate and communicate information about the threat -- (inaudible), so that all nations that were participating had a better understanding. To accomplish that, we set up a program that we call the Military Intelligence Basic Officer Course - Africa. Again, emphasize the importance of intelligence in carrying out that military activity. That's in place. It's working. It is the type of the thing that is enhancing the operations that are being done not by the United States of America, but by those 10 Sahelian nations who are involved in a common, common set of operations to address al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb -- the point being, if you want to enter that, you have to have a common basis of information. It's through the intelligence that that common basis is better understood. And that's happening. You have all sorts of -- (inaudible), an operations center. You have the ability to command and control from various nodes to communicate with one another. And those are initial steps in helping to achieve the desired goals of that Operation Enduring Freedom mission. So we talked about operational systems. We talked about institutional processes. We talked about human capital -- all important factors in having organizations that are more likely than not to accomplish their mission. And one critical system is the intelligence system, as an enabler that helps provide common information, helps provide a type of understanding that a tactical commander can take -- more correctly, can use -- as a tactical commander takes actions to address the threat and have better understanding of the environment in which he or she is operating. As you continue your work with this intelligence business, know that it is a very important, important factor in what you do. Now, I was asked, you know, maybe if you have any examples of how you use some of that information. And I've got two that I'm going to share with you. One comes from a peacekeeping role that I performed in Bosnia. As I was in Bosnia, commanding the NATO state relations force, and this area had many different, complex parts to it -- three religions, many ethnic groups, all living together -- what sort of action do you take that might help one but not inflame or anger the other? If you don't understand that, you will take an action, on the one hand, think that you're doing something that's positive, but on the other hand, it's creating something negative by another group that might be -- (inaudible). And so you have to understand as best you can. When I was in Bosnia, I asked my intelligence director. I wanted to conduct a project in this particular area. Now, I'm not sure if we do it this way it's going to create a good or bad effect for the long term with a neighbor that's not too far away. I need to have better clarity and understanding of the reactions that might be out there. If we do this in this one area, we're not creating a bad reaction from someone else that came out of this area. It had to do with salvaging a -- it was not just a road but passageway, a -- mobility corridor to our fault. Well, as it turned out, this mobility corridor that would have been very helpful for one group was violating some of the religious issues associated with another group. But I would only know that if I had gotten information from my intelligence analyst. So I sent the intelligence staff up, go do a survey, get understandings so that I know the reaction that might be there from these various actions that we're making. But had I not done that, had we allowed that mobility corridor to be in a certain location, we would have created such ill will that it would have totally reduced any goodness that we hoped to achieve. If you don't take time to allow your intelligence staff to provide you an assessment of the environment, you will wind up taking actions that in the long run set your program back. So take the time to provide to your intelligence staff such that as you look, to plan to conduct some activity, you are as sure as you can be that action will, in fact, lead to the outcome that's wanted to lead to and not produce a second or third order effect that's negative. The second one that I'll give you is one that I closely experienced along that same line. And to offer you the one that's probably most familiar to you, was the stand up of my command. The stand up of my command -- and as Lieutenant Colonel Wyatt pointed out, I am U.S. Africa Command's first commander but I've been a deputy commander in EUCOM prior to that. The same thing general -- doing some of the same sorts of things. But overnight, I went from, hmm, doing pretty good this year to next everything being suspect. And some of that had to do with the fact that there wasn't a good understanding, quite frankly, amongst many of your neighbors about the command. Now, we have overcome that over time but we got started in a position that we may not have been required to get started from had we had a clearer understanding of the environment and the things that were being said. So those are two examples -- one, pretty high level, another one, more tactical -- but both underscoring the role, the importance of having a good understanding of the environment as you are taking action, as you are conducting your activities. And time you can allot to that is time well spent in every case. There will be times when you can provide more time to do it. There will be times when your time is very limited. In any case, the role of the intelligence staff helping the commander to better understand the environment is a critical, critical role. And when you take whatever time you have to do that the outcome will more likely than not be the outcome that you desire to achieve having taken the action there. So I'll stop there and hopefully leave some time for some discussions, questions. But I appreciate the opportunity to come and see you. Congratulations again on what you're doing, your being here. I applaud you for your success. I applaud you for your professionalism. But mostly, I applaud you for what you do in every day to cause the Botswana Defense Force to be the model, professional force that it is for your people here in Botswana. But also for your partners and those on the continent that recognize you for the professionals that you are. Thank you very, very much. (Applause.) (Off-side conversation.) BDF SOLDIER: (Inaudible) -- and just making a reference to that. The U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, looking at -- (inaudible)? GEN. WARD: Yeah, that's a great question. Our activities in Iraq and Afghanistan, the role of intelligence and we -- what we consider to be a center of gravity. I think in most cases now as you look at Iraq and Afghanistan, we have come to realization that the center of gravity has been shifted over time. And we have turned now to a much better understanding of the environment -- an understanding that was provided, in many regards, by our intelligence staff -- that the center of gravity, people, the population has caused the population to know two things: first, that those who are -- I call these enemies of peace -- those who would look to do harm to innocent civilians aren't their friends. And then, two, to understand that the government ought to be doing things that are promoting and protecting them, i.e. the people. And it's been our intelligence community that has largely led us to understand that in a more effective way than before because it wasn't always that way. We were focused on an enemy and the population didn't get the focus that it needed. That's changed. Again, because a more clear understanding of the environment and so that center of gravity now I think, in most regards, is seen as the population, the people; protecting them from those who would seek to harm them and then doing things that would promote their well-being as citizens in those, their countries. BDF SOLDIER: (Inaudible.) I am Major -- (inaudible) -- student of the first commander sub-coalition. Sir, Africa has been experiencing military coups, especially in West Africa. Mostly -- (inaudible) -- poor governance or leaders trying to extend their stay in power. What my question is, what solutions does the Africa Command offer to African states who can't avoid these military coups? Thank you, sir. GEN. WARD: Yeah, that's a great question. Unfortunately, I don't control coups. (Laughter.) Nor should we, I guess, should be our job to do that. I think it is the role that the people play in doing those sorts of things. I tell you one thing that we do get involved in and that is just as here in Botswana, the recognition of your defense force that extra-constitutional means of transferring power are inappropriate in legitimate civilian societies. And so we encourage militaries to perform appropriately. We encourage that through our contact -- military leaders to act in accordance with their constitutions and not to take extra-constitutional authorities and powers. And finally, when those things do occur, we talk to the fact that though they are inappropriate ways of transitioning power, to use the military as a means for taking those extra-constitutional steps for transitioning power, I think, are inappropriate. And that's what we say and that's what we do. And we react and interact others on the continent in our role as the command. Directly, we handle -- it's not our job, it's not our responsibility, nor is it appropriate that we get involved in those internal affairs of nations. But again, as we work with militaries, as we encourage proper action to be taken in accordance with the constitutions, we reinforce those sorts of practices as opposed to the extra-constitutional ways of transitioning power. BDF SOLDIER: (Inaudible) -- sir, you mentioned Somalia just in passing. I don't know how to describe the situation there, whether it's conflict or what. But there's a problem with it. And I think Somalia that -- the fact that the same government -- (inaudible) -- piracy leadership -- (inaudible) -- of the people. They asked an official inside the justice mission -- that the developed countries -- (inaudible) -- Somalia. Then after the -- (inaudible, laughter). (Inaudible) -- he was not important, decided to catch on the -- (inaudible). Now, I don't know what is still in place to assess the situation in Somalia. Thank you, sir. GEN. WARD: Thanks. I guess that you could talk an entire day about Somalia. And I would think most about understanding from listening to you about it. Somalia's a complex environment, as you've indicated. Somalia is clearly a place whereby the entirety of the world -- the international community, Africans -- I don't know enough about why someone becomes a pirate to say that. But what I do know is that because something wrong may have gone on doesn't say that you do something wrong to counter that. The illegal fishing, the dumping that you have talked to -- how much of that went on, goes on today, I don't know. But would I would say the fact that because of that you go and hijack or pirate, conduct piracy, is not the proper reaction. To the degree that the situation in Somalia has been what it is for so many years -- lack of governance, lack of any government, certainly has contributed to all that goes on. And until that situation is dealt with in a more effective way, it's going to continue. The Somali people have a role to play in that. And then where they can be assisted by the international community to include their African partners and friends to the degree that they can be assisted by the international community -- and not doing those things that are used as excuses for doing illegal acts and conducting illegal activities. Not that they are reasons for the -- (inaudible) -- they're used as excuses. I think those are appropriate interventions that the international community would take. But the Somali people, first and foremost, will be the ones that will bring law and order back to their country. MR. : We will take two more questions based on the time. Last two questions, please? GEN. WARD: Someone tell -- (inaudible, background noise). Yeah. BDF SOLDIER: (Inaudible) -- my question is more of a general question. Most of us here, when it comes to -- (inaudible). I appreciate that -- (inaudible) -- when you introduce the lectures. You mentioned that in 10 years, it's more of -- (inaudible) -- actions and activities. Now, I wanted to know what kind of information, just in general, it takes -- (inaudible) -- in 10 years in the future, how are -- (inaudible) -- actions and activities of -- (inaudible). And also being just, shed some light on how we can -- I mean, holistic applications to the -- (inaudible). Thank you very much. GEN. WARD: Yeah, great question. Intelligence is not spying. (Laughter.) And obviously, you get the notion that intelligence people are spy agents. (Laughter.) Or I'm gathering because I'm going to use it to do something against you. Unfortunately, in many societies, the intelligence function is a function that has been there to protect the regime so that if there's a dissident out there, I know that I can go out and silent that dissident from threatening the power structures. It's not what we're talking about here at all -- not at all what we're talking about. What we're talking about is how intelligence, understanding -- substitute for intelligence the word understanding. How do we better understand what's going on? The reactions between people -- the consequence of a particular action and how it would be received by another part of the environment. How do we understand the environment? How do we understand the consequences of our action? How do you analyze the situation so as that when you take the action, you have a better understanding of what its outcome will produce or not. That's what I'm talking about, that kind of intelligence. Information -- that we know about the area, the people, the geography, the terrain, the weather -- all of those things that impact what we're doing and its likely outcome. That's important for many here. If you're about to outfit your battalion -- (inaudible) -- well, what do you know about the climate? Is it the rainy season? Is it the dry season? Are there rivers to cross? Are there vast deserts to cross? If you cross a river, what's in the river? Can my guys go through that river or will we need some bridging equipment to cross the river? That's intelligence. That's information. That's understanding your environment. To be sure, there are different aspects of it as well. Who are the people? Who are the leaders? Who are the ones that if we're to have peace, must come together to then work out the peace? Who are the ones that have the legitimate authority in an area? Is it the -- (inaudible) -- or is it the more traditional person that the people more readily will follow and listen to? So if you're dealing with someone there, are you dealing with someone that the locals will say, he's just dealing with another crook? And your legitimacy is automatically reduced. Or have we determined who is for -- who the appropriate and legitimate leaders are in the area? It's all of that. It's all of that. That's intelligence. That's understanding the environment. That's what I'm talking about. Not the -- (laughter) -- which is what gives intelligence its bad name, so to speak. Now, does some of that go on? Yeah, it does. But that's not what we're talking about here when it comes to how intelligence supports the command. It's those exact things we're talking about and how you take that into account to build your operation. MR. : We're going to take the last question. Soon after the gentleman has answered this question, let me -- (inaudible). BDF SOLDIER: Thank you, sir. My name is -- (inaudible) -- wonderful to meet you. Sir, you mentioned something about Rwanda genocide. In terms of loss of life, it was second only to the Holocaust and it -- (inaudible) -- of course -- (inaudible). And subsequently the U.S. has been accused of not doing anything -- (inaudible) -- resources. What's your take on that? GEN. WARD: Okay, thanks, great. Well, first, I didn't talk about the Rwandan genocide; I talked about Rwanda being, cooperating with the regional partners now and helping to deal with the common threat there. But that's still a good question. You look at how you respond to any condition and you look at the appropriate role to play or not play. Sometimes you don't make the right decision. And sometimes that's the fault of not having the proper information. Or you lack a proper understanding of the environment. So I'm not here to justify previous actions or to criticize the action but I will say we learn, we continue to do our best to understand the environment and then, based on all that, nations take decisions. As you would certainly well know that any actions that are taken by my country, in particular, is a result of a policy decision made by our policymakers to pursue a particular foreign policy objective in an area. And to the degree that that foreign policy objective has a military or defense-related aspect, then that's where the Department of Defense gets the ball. The Department of Defense doesn't, in and of itself, decide what it's going to do around the world. And so I take your point there. The good news is, we're beyond that and I think we've all learned from that. And hopefully, something like that will never happen again. BDF SOLDIER: Thank you very much, sir. GEN. WARD: Thank you. BDF SOLDIER: (Inaudible) -- and the role of AFRICOM -- (inaudible)? GEN. WARD: Yeah. Thank you. The U.S. Africa Command -- and I think it's a question of -- that there are no designs to put the headquarters anyplace on the continent of Africa. And that there's no plan to do and we're not seeking any place in Africa -- to include not here in Southern Africa. We are headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. It's working pretty well there and I think that's where we'll stay for the foreseeable future to be sure. The South Africa World Cup coming up, as you know, and whatever assistance that we can be -- if we're asked to provide that to this -- but we have no active role there in South Africa because we've not been asked by the South Africans to come there. Again, we only go where we're invited. So that's the current situation. Thank you very much. BDF SOLDIER: Yes, sir. (Applause.) MR. : The commander of the United States of America Africa Command, General William E. Ward said on behalf of the commander Botswana Defense Force, Lieutenant General Tebogo Masire; on behalf of all officers, general officers here present, senior officers; the Botswana Defense Force and indeed on my own behalf, I wish to most sincerely thank you, sir, for having taken time to come and give us a lecture on the most thought-provoking presentation on intelligence in operations. The presentation was well thought of and it tried to educate us on the role of intelligence in populations. Particularly sir, you drew our attention to the role of intelligence in PSO and the need to invest well -- (inaudible) -- peace support operations. I think again you were talking about the imperatives of operational systems. You also talked about the need to look into our institutional capacity and our human capital as a way of reinforcing our operational capabilities. General, sir, it would be remiss of me if I did not mention your emphasis on the role of militaries as protectors of our peoples and not as oppressors of the same people whom we purport to protect. May I assure you, sir, once again, that all the forces here present -- myself included -- would internalize the lecture that you have just then given us and we promise you that we will put the information we got to good use. We wish you a safe journey, sir, when you go back home and hope that when next you go to Botswana, you will give a visit to our commander, General Masire and others in our -- (inaudible) -- and indeed the general officers of the Botswana Defense Force. With those few words, sir, I thank you and God bless you. (Applause.) MR. : Sir, Gen. Ward, our commander, General Masire, has hosted a lunch on your behalf and the invitation has been extended to senior officers, colonels and generals, you and your delegation, sir. (Inaudible.) (Applause.) (END)