Strategic Stability Seminar 2019

On September 19, 2019, the US Army’s Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI) and the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) hosted a one-day strategic seminar to discuss enhancing stability in the Indo-Pacific region by enabling our allies and partners to retain their competitive advantage. In its role as the Army’s lead for execution of joint proponency for Peace and Stability Operations, PKSOI, in co-sponsorship with AUSA, conducts an annual Strategic Stability Seminar bringing together senior military and government officials along with allied partners, non-governmental organizations, and academic institutions to discuss current challenges and best practices in stabilization. The purpose of this year’s seminar was to share ideas, concerns, and recommendations between industry experts, policy planners, and the community of interest, and to dig deeper into issues, probing potential solutions which are otherwise blocked by bureaucratic constructs. AUSA and PKSOI hosted the seminar at the AUSA conference center in Arlington, Virginia. What follows is a short description of key points and themes arising from the conference.

Opening Remarks: COL Scot Storey, Director, PKSOI; GEN(R) Carter Ham, President & CEO, AUSA, former Commanding General, USAFRICOM

Peacekeeping and stability missions remain as critical today as they were 26 years ago when GEN(R) Sullivan created PKSOI. The United States continues to have enduring interests in the Indo-Pacific region. While some U.S. departments and agencies still view the Indo-Pacific as an air- and sea-centric theater, stability in the region requires success in all domains.

Morning Key Note Speaker: Mr. Chad Sbragria, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for China

The United States faces many challenges in the Indo-Pacific region from authoritarian states, non-traditional threats, and rogue actors. China is the focus of U.S. efforts in the region. The United States seeks a free and open Indo-Pacific, governed by a rules-based international order and respect for the rule of law. The United States promotes state sovereignty, free from coercion, and open access to the global commons. China acts to undermine this vision, seeking to reshape the world to align with its authoritarian view. China does this by economically and politically intimidating other countries, contesting freedom of transit and commerce in the air and on the sea, threatening access to resources, exporting surveillance technology, and violating human rights domestically and abroad. Systemic competition is a Chinese concept designed to further its global interests. The Chinese have set specific milestones leading up to the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party. By 2035 they plan to complete military modernization. They plan to possess a “world class military” by 2049, capable of eroding U.S. military advantages and expanding sustained overseas Chinese presence.

China’s seizure of The Spratly Islands in the South China Sea is evidence of its willingness to threaten Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam and to disregard international norms in pursuit of its vision. China continues to oppose cooperative freedom of navigation exercises. China is also funding and constructing overseas ports and seeks to establish military bases in Cambodia. It is expanding the reach of the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) to match its economic interests through the promotion of the One Belt One Road Initiative (BRI). China continues to increase its presence in Africa, often under the guise of fulfilling United Nations missions. The PLA is future-oriented, working to improve its real-time command and control and precision strike capabilities by leveraging Artificial Intelligence technologies.

China actively steals trade secrets and intellectual property in areas such as aviation and anti-submarine warfare to aid Chinese industry. It also conducts numerous cyber campaigns to promote its agenda.

China resources non-violent projects in small states to increase their interdependence on China and facilitate their compliance with Chinese policy. China’s transactional approach encourages corruption and expects acquiescence to Chinese policy in exchange for aid.

China does not protect the privacy rights of its own citizens. It exports its control techniques, such as facial recognition software to other nations, to promote an authoritarian world view.

The United States is no longer in a period of overwhelming dominance and must now compete in the Indo-Pacific region with China to uphold freedom and openness. The fundamental Department of Defense (DOD) approach to the region has shifted. The Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for China specifically deals with China. Partnerships have renewed importance, including recent and ongoing activities with Japan, South Korea, Australia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Mongolia, Singapore, and India.

The U.S. whole-of-government approach to the Indo-Pacific region is well coordinated, to include close communication between the National Security Council, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for Russia, and the Department of Homeland Security. There are no discrete, measurable “red lines” in competing with China. Rather, an aggregate, holistic understanding of Chinese aspirations and operations is necessary to compete successfully. This includes bringing U.S. European allies into the conversation. Further, strengthening Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) connections must continue to dis-incentivize Chinese adventurism. Deepening interactions with partners is key, not just bilaterally, but multilaterally, emphasizing understanding, compatibility, and even interoperability. The approach must be holistic, including not just military, but diplomatic and economic efforts as well. The United States continues to present a resilient, consistent message to partners regarding the value of openness and a rules-based order to counter the transactional, manipulative approach of authoritarian China.

Panel Session 1: Free & Open Indo-Pacific

Moderator: COL Paul TurnbullSenior Defense Official, Defense Attaché, and Chief of Joint United States Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG), Thailand

Panel Members: LTG Pasquarette, Deputy Chief of US Army Staff, G8; Ms. Gloria Steele, Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator, United States Agency for International Development (USAID); Mr. Kanapathy, National Security Council Director: China, Taiwan, and Mongolia; Dr. Patrick M. Cronin, Chair, Hudson Institute’s Asia-Pacific Security

Key Points:

  • The United States used to believe that through constructive engagement, China would become more like the West. That approach has failed. China has recovered from the setbacks of the 20th century and now wants to change the status quo. China is an ancient nation that takes a long view of history. Time is on its side, and an autocratic approach allows a long-term focus.
  • There are other challenges in the Indo-Pacific region besides China. Islamic extremism has spread there. The recent fighting in the Philippines was significant. North Korea continues to grow its global nuclear capability. Despite recent U.S. efforts, there has been no denuclearization progress. Russian aggressive activity in the vicinity of the Kirill Islands continues to grow. The Russian willingness to engage in military-to-military relations with China is disconcerting. Russia is a waning power, susceptible to rash action.
  • The recent U.S. shift to the Indo-Pacific region is a recognition that future prosperity lies in the region. It was mostly a military pivot. The United States must now integrate a whole-of-government approach to be successful. The United States disappointed Japan by not following through on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. U.S. diplomatic efforts in the region are still not as focused as they should be. The U.S. government is unwieldy in regard to interagency cooperation. The United States does not take a long-term strategic view of the challenges. Democracy inherently has a short-term view, especially when compared to autocracies. China is an existential threat to the American way of life and requires a clearly resourced and supported grand strategy. The good news is the world is big enough for the both nations, but the United States must develop a long-term view to compete successfully.
  • The U.S. footprint in the region is based on wars fought seventy years ago. It is not optimized for the problem set it faces today. Further, China would not be doing what it is doing today in the South China Sea if the United States had not abandoned its Philippine bases in 1991. The U.S. military must posture itself better in the region, especially in light of the Chinese focus on developing standoff technologies.
  • The United States must be clear with allies what is expected. The United States cannot force nations to choose between it and China. Nations will act in their own best interests, and geographic proximity will force them to choose China. The United States must cultivate partners as a counterbalance to China.
  • The U.S. interagency partnership experience in Mindanao, Philippines demonstrates that while each U.S. government agency has different goals, each is united by the National Security Strategy. For example, USAID and DOD’s Joint Special Operations Task Force (JSOTF) worked well together in 2015. The military presence provided USAID with a stable and secure environment for program implementation. And in turn, the implemented development programs addressed challenges that previously created a permissive environment for terrorist activities.
  • China’s lack of transparency and corruption really undermine the U.S. strategy of maintaining a region that is free, open, and secure. The Philippines is a good example of this malign influence at work. Misinformation and lack of transparency helped President Rodrigo Duterte get elected. And because of the corruption in the Philippines, the private sector’s ability to compete has been challenged.
  • The United States must impose costs on China for its malign activity. Information warfare is key to doing this. It is important to remember there are no “red lines;” The United States is already at war with China. The competition strategy acknowledges this. Further, judging by its actions rather than its words, China is not a partner in counterterrorism. The Uighur repatriation is the most recent example.
  • The Chinese state-controlled economy is inefficient and will never be as value-added as the U.S. way of business. “Trade is dating, and investment is marriage.” U.S. and Japanese investment across the Indo-Pacific region is orders-of-magnitude greater than China’s. It is a demonstration of long-term commitment to U.S. partners.
  • China pursues a political warfare strategy with gray zone campaigns, using all instruments short of war. China seeks to win without fighting through its technology-driven Belt and Road economic initiative, military and paramilitary influence, state propaganda, and legal and paralegal instruments. For example, China is coopting Duterte by saying, “Don’t listen to international agreements; let’s do this bilaterally and drop the rule of law approach.”
  • The essence of Chinese competition is economic, especially until 2035, when it plans to shift to a military focus. It is centered on information dominance and a psychological warfare approach. China emphasizes that the United States is the destabilizing force in the region; the United States is in decline, and China is ascendant.
  • The South China Sea is critical; it has abundant resources and is easiest for China to influence. The Chinese are waging political warfare now and are seeking to accelerate a U.S. withdrawal from the region.
  • The United States must better understand Chinese actions and aspirations, and it must push back immediately with political warfare actions to prevent an intensification of hybrid war in Asia. Strategic dialogue with China is key to avoid inadvertent escalation. Further, the United States needs to do now what it should have done a decade ago: compete with China, not help it. Understanding that economic security is national security is important. The pivot to Indo-China is not just a shift from counterterrorism, but also a complete change in how the United States conducts conventional warfare. The United States’ current platform-centric power projection military will not enable this new approach. This current opportunity is exploitable because China is focused on conventional sea and air platforms. The United States can go in a different direction.

Extreme climate change events also affect U.S.-China competition. For example, the United States and China only really get along currently in extreme events response and peacekeeping opportunities. Further, China causes environmental harm through investment in ports and natural resource exploitation infrastructure. China also seeks to compete with the United States in how much it contributes to disaster relief. China’s participation in the illegal trafficking of wildlife is also problematic.

Afternoon Keynote Speaker: Mr. Thomas Vajda, DAS for India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and Maldives; Bureau of South and Central Asia Affairs

Dynamism in Indo-Pacific results from the popularity of American values and principles with many nations in the region, including India. These values are threatened by malign actors. The United States must broaden the prism it views relations with India through, from just “India-Pakistan” to India’s total role in the Indo-Pacific region, especially as a counter to China. The United States should operationalize India’s rise by helping it close security and defense capability gaps with China. The United States should pull India from a strategic autonomy posture towards habits of cooperation, especially with Japan and Australia. The United States should continue to move to a long-term partnership with India by building on patterns of cooperation, by conducting strategic conversations about India’s doctrine and strategy, and by operationalizing Indian counterterrorism capabilities. Further, the United States should co-fund and coordinate infrastructure projects in areas, such as cyber and maritime security, so as to counter Chinas’ Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Challenges to this strategic vision of cooperation with India include:

  • India’s non-aligned movement heritage. It does not want to be dependent on any one country, including Iran, Russia, or China. It is unlikely it will ever be a U.S. treaty ally, like the United States has with Australia.
  • Trade. The United States has a large trade deficit with India. Further, India is dependent on Russian military equipment. It is diversifying with U.S. equipment, but still wants Russian S400 missiles and nuclear submarines. The United States compelled India to stop Iranian oil imports in May, 2019, which also complicates U.S.-India relations.
  • Kashmir. A heavy-handed Indian effort to crack down on Kashmiris calls into question India’s commitment to human rights.

Factors facilitating closer U.S.-Indian relations include:

  • India’s self-perception as a civilizational power with deep roots in history that needs U.S. assistance to achieve its current aspirations.
  • Strong U.S.-India human-to-human relations. Four million Indians currently reside in the United States.

India’s shared border with Afghanistan, Pakistan, and China also heavily influences its policy in the Indo-Pacific region. India currently provides much economic assistance to Afghanistan, but it is wary of the Taliban gaining a large government role and promoting groups that want to attack Indians. The United States has moved more to viewing India and Pakistan as regional actors in their own right, cultivating Indian relations in a more independent manner. Recent concerns between India and China over the Doklam Plateau have motivated both sides to seek a de-escalation of friction. Both sides are being careful, scheduling informal summit meetings and a Xi visit to India next month. India’s goal is to close vulnerability gaps in Doklam that may invite Chinese adventurism.

Panel Session 2: Actors & Threats

Moderator: Dr. Rich Love, Assistant Director, and Professor of Stabilization and Peace Operations, Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute

Panel Members: BG ‘JB’ Vowell, Deputy Director Strategic Planning and Policy, USINDO-PACOM; Ms. Kristen Gunness, Chief Executive Officer of Vantage Point Asia; Mr. Harry Nahatis, Vice President and General Manager, Turboshaft Engines and Military Systems, GE Aviation

Key Points:

  • Competition with China is not “Cold War 2.0.” For example, the U.S. and Chinese economies are much intertwined. The Soviet and U.S. economies were not. However, China is challenging the current international system by attempting to reshape norms to be more beneficial to Beijing. The United States has many allies in preventing this, while China has few.
  • China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) seeks to build global influence and create a more secure environment for China by diversifying energy and transportation routes. It strives to increase regional reliance on China through political and economic means, particularly in the technology and space sectors through the BRI Space Information Corridor. This features applications related to navigation and positioning, remote sensing, weather, and communications satellites, and the BRI Digital Silk Road, which focuses on the development of communications networks, smart cities, and e-commerce activities. BRI will expand China’s military footprint worldwide, as the PLA develops increased expeditionary capabilities to protect BRI investments and People’s Republic of China (PRC) citizens living overseas. Inter-regional competition will also increase, as the PLA expands its presence to places, like the Indian Ocean, through dual civilian-military use port agreements.
  • The United States should not compete with the BRI symmetrically, but rather leverage the access provided by Western open-market and rule-of-law values. Opportunities also exist to increase U.S. influence in areas where a growing PLA footprint to secure the BRI is not welcomed by the local population.
  • The Indo-Pacific’s vast distances and widely varying levels of technology and political stability dictate that industry develop products that are reliable, can operate across long ranges, and leverage modular designs that can be fixed forward in austere environments. 3-D printing is a game-changing technology that particularly facilitates industry success in the region.
  • The Chinese-North Korean relationship is very complex. China views North Korea as a buffer state. China does not want instability in North Korea that could bleed into China, and it is concerned about North Korean refugees flooding across the border should instability arise. It is more difficult than most people think to leverage North Korea through China. For example, Chinese provinces have quotas and economic authority to raise money that the central government does not control.
  • Recent cooperation between Russia and China is not about interoperability, but a strategic messaging opportunity designed to disrupt U.S. influence in the Indo-Pacific region. Sino-Russian relations have a long history of mistrust, and this mistrust could create tensions between the two countries in the future. For example, what happens when China becomes more involved in former USSR Central Asian states that Putin sees as within Russia’s sphere of influence? That said, Sino-Russian cooperation is a cause for concern, and the United States should not do anything to accelerate the relationship.
  • Hong Kong is currently a flashpoint in the Indo-Pacific region and a bell weather for China’s stated goal of reunification with Taiwan through the “One Country, Two Systems” rubric. The recent protests effectively mark the death of the “One Country, Two Systems” relationship between China and Hong Kong. China will not let this kind of unrest happen again and will likely increase surveillance and restrictions in the future, especially on foreign nationals and businesses, an important consideration given the 103,000 U.S. citizens living in Hong Kong.
  • Internally, China continues to face challenges. The One Child policy has resulted in demographic weaknesses, as the aging population has not been sufficiently replaced by a large enough younger generation. However, the Chinese government has long been aware of this issue and has countered it with automation and urbanization. A growing middle class has supplanted the peasant class, and this has raised personal livelihoods, which helps counter the effects of an aging population. China is also considering immigration as a strategy to avoid a slowdown in growth from an aging population.

Panel Session 3: Partnerships for Resiliency

Moderator: Professor Charles E. Bennett, DOS, USAWC Professor, and Former Consul General

Panel Members: Ms. Cara Abercrombie, Principal Director, Defense Security Cooperation Agency; BG Tan Boon Kim, Defense Attaché at the Embassy of Singapore in Washington, DC; BG Zachary F. Doser, Commander, Land Component Command, Nevada Army National Guard; Dr. Elizabeth Kunce-Wagner, Associate Professor, Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance; MG Yoshiki Adachi Defense Attaché at the Embassy of Japan in Washington, DC

Key Points:

  • The U.S. comparative strength in the region is alliances and partnerships. The United States supports partner militaries with arms and equipment, and it promotes access through cooperative exercises. The U.S. approach is not as transactional as other nations, and it places a long-term emphasis on transparency and human rights. The United States increasingly focuses on interoperability, based on training, doctrine, planning and institutional capacity development. The United States is building new relationships with Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Malaysia, and it continues a strong partnership work with Japan, India, and South Korea. The United States is now emphasizing multilateral relationships and networking partners together. Close allies are now cooperating together without the United States in pursuit of common goals. U.S. allies and partners are increasing empowered to work together across the Indo-Pacific region.
  • The Indo-Pacific region perceives the U.S. post-World War Two presence as a “breadth of spirit and generosity.” The United States can leverage this perception to enhance regional resiliency by:
    • Capitalizing on the perception of the United States as a benign power. The United States enabled non-communist countries to resist communism. Cooperation with the United States is based on a fundamental alignment of interests and values, not transactional principles. The United States underwrites an open, rules-based order that benefits the entire Indo-Pacific region.
    • Continuing to strengthen bilateral relationships to promote the multilateral success of ASEAN.
    • Being consistent.  The United States should continue to maintain the rules-based order in the region and demonstrate it is a reliable partner over the long run and across administrations.
    • Going beyond defense. Trade and commerce links must spread along with an INDOPACOM presence. Economic leadership is also key. The United States should increase emphasis on people-to-people links to enhance soft power.
  • The DOD State Partnership Program (SPP) is a Whole of Government approach to strengthening access and resiliency with important partners in the Indo-Pacific region. The SPP leverages National Guard strengths in areas, such as Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), combatting trans-national narcotic trafficking, emergency management, combatting gang violence and water management to provide no-strings-attached assistance to help partner nations help themselves.
  • Japan’s vision for the Indo-Pacific region is to promote the rule of law and free trade, the pursuit of economic prosperity, and the commitment to peace and stability through an interconnected Africa, Asia, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. Japan currently supports capacity building through these interconnected spheres by funding United Nations projects in Kenya, Vietnam, and Uganda.

Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration: A Primer for Military Practitioners

Disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) programs represent a major challenge for practitioners because they require meticulous planning, extensive resources, and an extended period of time. While the US military theoretically possesses the organization, planning capacity, resources, and funding to implement DDR, assuming this responsibility unassisted would be an inferior strategy. To read more or download the document please click on links below.

“Reflecting and Reshaping Protection of Civilians in Nato”

From L to R: Ms. Sine Vorland Holen, NODEFIC Researcher and Senior Advisor; Mr. Stian Kjeksrud, NODEFIC Senior Lecturer United Nations (UN) Peace Operations; LtCol (NO) John Otto Pederson, NODEFIC Director; Mr. George McDonnell, PKSOI Analyst; and Ms. Sarah Petrin, PKSOI Analyst.

Ms. Claire Hutchinson, NATO Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) for Women, Peace and Security hosted a conference attended by over 70 academics and practitioners from the Protection of Civilians (PoC) community of interest. PoC within NATO includes all efforts taken to avoid, minimize and mitigate the negative effects that might arise from NATO and NATO-led military operations. It also includes efforts to prevent conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence. Panel members from NATO Allied Command Operations, Norwegian Defence College, NATO Office of Legal Affairs, Geneva Centre for Security Policy, Center for Civilians in Conflict, and Humanity and Inclusion assessed past PoC efforts and identified potential future initiatives. PKSOI’s Sarah Petrin presented ideas on the way ahead to include NATO HQ, with a critical role to play in setting the future direction of the POC policy, sustaining robust engagement with the international community and civilian actors, including non-governmental and international organizations on the front lines of protecting civilians. Similarly, NATO should continue raising public awareness of PoC in countries where NATO is actively engaged. Both recommendations support the NATO Policy and Action Plan 2017-2020 that contains several objectives for a coherent, consistent, and integrated approach to PoC. The conference served as a start point for the incorporation of changes to PoC policy currently under consideration. The role and prioritization of associated cross-cutting topics (CCT), such as Cultural Property Protection (CPP) and human trafficking, are being examined.

 From L to R: Ms. Virpi Levomaa, The Finnish Defence Forces International Centre; Ms. Sarah Petrin, PKSOI; Ms. Beatrice Godefroy, Center for Civilians in Conflict; Mr. Dominik Horn, Advisor – NATO HQ, Ms. Clare Hutchinson, NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security; and Mr. George McDonnell, PKSOI. 

 In conjunction with the PoC conference, PKSOI Analysts Sarah Petrin and George McDonnell met with members of the Norwegian Defence International Centre (NODEFIC) on September 17, 2009 in Oslo, Norway.  With LtCol (NO) John Otto Pederson – NODEFIC Director, Stian Kjeksrud – Senior Lecturer United Nations (UN) Peace Operations, and Sine Vorland Holen, Researcher and Senior Advisor, the group discussed mutual capabilities, priorities, and concerns.  In addition, areas of potential collaboration for Human Security training and leader development were identified.  NODEFIC is a knowledge and training center offering expertise and individual training on UN and NATO operations.  NODEFIC is a component of the Norwegian Staff College and is shifting its focus to state-centric threats to national security.

PKSOI host Army Security Cooperation Planners Course

Stability Operations Institute, in coordination with Headquarters Department of Army G-3/5/7 conducted the 28th offering of the Army Security Cooperation Planners Course (ASCPC) from 23-27 September in the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center at Carlisle Barracks.

The ASCPC is offered three times a year at Carlisle Barracks and is designed to familiarize Army security cooperation staff officers with necessary planning, resourcing, execution, and evaluation programs and authorities in accordance with current Army regulations and public law. The target audience for the class is Army Service Component Command Security Cooperation Planners and associated staff but has robust participation from other Army Commands as well as Joint and Interagency staffs working in the Security Cooperation field of practice.

The course employs up to 30 different instructors. Leveraging its proximity to the National Capital Region, the course brings subject matter experts from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Headquarters Department of Army, State Department political-military bureau, U.S. Agency for International Development, Non-Governmental Organizations, partner nation Defense Attachés, among others, to teach the 39 blocks of instruction.

The ASCPC has taken on increased importance since the mandated reforms in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act that include a requirement to professionalize the security cooperation workforce. To that end, the ASCPC is an Army Training Requirements & Resources System (ATRRS) recognized course and will fulfill the newly commissioned Defense Security Cooperation University’s workforce professionalization basic skills training requirement.

For more information on the Army Security Cooperation Planners Course contact:

Peacekeeping & Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI)
Upton Hall, Bldg 22
22 Ashburn Drive
Carlisle, PA 17013

Phone: 717.245.3722

DSN: 242.7322


Sea Service Leadership Association (SSLA) 32nd Annual Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium (JWLS)

The Annual Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium is the largest gathering of military uniformed women. The Symposium focuses on mentorship and networking at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C., in Washington, D.C., Aug 22, 2019. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt James Harvey).

The Sea Service Leadership Association (SSLA), 32nd Annual Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium (JWLS) and Department of the Army Leadership Academia Day Forum commenced 21-23 August 2019 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC.

The Symposium is a “professional development and networking event for military women that provides military members and civilian employees of the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Army, and Coast Guard with access to mentorship and professional development assets. The conference aims to enhance diversity, recruitment and retention through presentation, discussions and training on leadership and professional growth within the Department of Defense (DoD).”[i]

The symposium theme was “Building Bridges, Changing Cultures” and highlighted “Diversity is the Force, Equality is the Goal, and Inclusion is the Way.” Day One offered education on programs and tools available to women veterans and those preparing career transition into the civilian sector. Day Two hosted Joint and International participants. Day Three events were separated by each service. Each day included presentations, panel discussions and Q&A. Vendors and women authors supported the event.    

COL Veronica G. Oswald-Hrutkay, PKSOI’s Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Army Lead

COL Veronica G. Oswald-Hrutkay, PKSOI’s Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Army Lead attended along with over 1000 other participants from across the services that included international military women from South Korea, Sweden, Australia and Denmark. Her attendance was timely following the publication of the U.S. Strategy on WPS in June of 2019 in which the Department of Defense is working to complete a WPS Strategy and Implementation Plan. This new Strategy aims to “emphasize the need for DoD to look both inward at our talent management and force capacity building to increase joint readiness and outward as we work with partner nations to promote women and girl’s safety, equality, and meaningful participation around the world.”[ii] Doing so further supports the Department in building a more lethal force, strengthening alliances and attracting new partners, and reforming the department for greater performance and affordability.[iii]

The Symposium sought to create an atmosphere to inspire, motivate, mentor and educate military women in attendance. Joint service General Officers, senior enlisted, and junior grades spoke during individual leader presentations and within panel discussion activities. Centered within this were three broad agendas related to Policies, Programs and Processes of increasing integration of women in the military. Topics such as the existing maternity and paternity leave policies, promotion of leadership and development programs, and the need for improved institutional measurement and follow-up mechanisms were highlighted.

The importance of gender equality and identifying how to keep talent by first recognizing talent was stressed. The symposium provided tones, challenges and potentials women experience integrating across the U.S. military. Providing these valuable insights (perspectives) encourages women to seek out how they can make the difference within the military by leveraging the talents within them. As a way forward in preparation for the proposed June 2020 women’s symposium planned in the National Capital Region, Women, Peace, and Security looks to be a potential topic for discussion.

[i] Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium participant syllabus (August 2019)

[ii] United States Department of Defense Women, Peace, and Security Strategy and Implementation Plan (Shared Draft/Pre-decisional as of 15 August 2019).

[iii] Ibid.

Exercise Justified Accord

PKSOI participated in the U.S. Army Africa’s Justified Accord exercise at the Ethiopia Peacekeeping Training Center from 12-30 July. This exercise highlighted the important contributions the U.S. and African Countries, such as Ethiopia, are making to enhance the capability of international peacekeeping forces, particularly to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). More than 1,000 military, civilian and government personnel from Brazil, Burundi, Canada, Djibouti, Ethiopia, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Senegal, Somalia, Uganda, the United Kingdom and the United States participated in the exercise this year.

From left to right. Captain Auma Janet Kismat from Ugandan Defense Forces (UDF), Ms. Sarah Petrin from PKSOI, Mrs. Rebecca Mugume from the Uganda Ministry of Defense, COL Veronica Oswald from PKSOI, and LtCol Shewaynesh Tesfay from the Ethiopian Defense Forces (EDF) worked together to advance Women, Peace and Security
within exercise Justified Accord 2019.

Colonel Veronica Oswald-Hrutkay, the PKSOI’s lead for Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) and Ms. Sarah Petrin, Peace Operations Analyst provided valuable contributions integrating the role of women in the conflict and security environment thus creating the conditions for peacebuilding, and addressing specific threats to the protection of civilians including child recruitment, human trafficking, and sexual violence. PKSOI supported the academic and Command Post Exercise phases by operationalizing Gender and Protection by working through the Joint Exercise Control Group as an Observer Coach/Trainer team and even participating as role players alongside a team of multinational training experts. The control group developed scenarios depicting challenging circumstances facing AMISOM forces including civil-military coordination on humanitarian assistance, mitigating improvised explosive devices, mitigating incidences of Conflict Related Sexual Violence and investigating allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse.

At the close of the exercise, PKSOI and the Ethiopian Defense Forces (EDF) planted a tree in honor of women peacekeepers.

Ms. Sarah Petrin from PKSOI and LtCol Shewaynesh Tesfay from the Ethiopian Defense Forces (EDF)

ADP 3-07 Stability

July 2019

Army Doctrine Publication (ADP) 3-07 is the Army’s doctrine for stability tasks. ADP 3-07 presents overarching doctrinal guidance and direction for conducting these operations, setting the foundation for developing other fundamentals and tactics, techniques, and procedures detailed in subordinate doctrinal publications. To view and download ADP 3-07 Stability please click on the link or the download button below.

United States Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security

June 2019

The United States is unapologetic in championing the principles upon which our country was founded:  individual liberty, free enterprise, equal justice under the law, and the dignity of every human life.  The President’s National Security Strategy (NSS) highlighted that these principles form the foundation of our most enduring alliances, since governments that respect citizens’ rights “remain the best vehicle for prosperity, human happiness, and peace.”  Further, the NSS also noted that “governments that fail to treat women equally do not allow their societies to reach their potential [while] societies that empower women to participate fully in civic and economic life are more prosperous and peaceful.” The Trump Administration is committed to advancing women’s equality, seeking to protect the rights of women and girls, and promoting women and youth empowerment programs.  The United States Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS Strategy) responds to the Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017, which President Donald J. Trump signed into law on October 6, 2017. To read more please click on the link below to view in browser or download the PDF.

JP 3-29 Foreign Humanitarian Assistance

Foreign Humanitarian Assistance (FHA) consists of DOD activities conducted outside the US and its territories to directly relieve or reduce human suffering, disease, hunger, or privation. These operations are different from other DOD HA operations or activities primarily because they may occur on short notice as a contingency operation to provide aid in specific crises or similar events and also because they are exclusively performed by US military forces. FHA is intended to supplement or complement efforts of host nation (HN) civil authorities or agencies with the primary responsibility for providing assistance. FHA includes foreign disaster relief (FDR) operations and other activities that directly address a humanitarian need and may also be conducted concurrently with other DOD support missions and activities such as dislocated civilian support; security operations; and international chemical, biological, radiological, and unclear (CBRN) response. Click link below to view JP3-29.

To read JP 3-29 Foreign Humanitarian Assistance on JDEIS (CAC required) Click Here

2019 PSOTEW Executive Summary

From April 3-5, 2019, the Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI) hosted its 14th annual Peace and Stability Operations Training and Education Workshop (PSOTEW) at the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. This year’s workshop provided a forum for trainers, educators, planners and practitioners from U.S. and international governmental and non-governmental organizations, military organizations, military and civilian peace and stability training centers, and academic institutions to share current challenges and best practices toward improving civilian and military teaming efforts in the realm of stability and peace operations training, education and planning.

To read the Executive Summary please click on the link below.