FAO program guest speaker on current China topics

FAO program guest speaker on current China topics

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   Editor’s note: This article is a feature from the Foreign Area Officer program’s monthly officer professional development series at DLIFLC. MONTEREY, Calif. – Kathleen Walsh, associate professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College China Maritime Studies Institute, presented lectures on China at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center July 21. Walsh spoke about two current topics of interest in international affairs in her presentation titled “21st Century China: U.S. partner, rival or adversary?” to students studying Mandarin Chinese and to Foreign Area Officers in language training at the institute. “Western scholars don’t truly understand China. They try to predict where China might fail, but they are not doing a very good job of explaining why China has succeeded despite all the challenges and obstacles,” said Walsh. The first topic covered the South China Sea and a recent ruling from the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague, Netherlands. On July 12, the court ruled in favor of the Philippines in the 2013 case Republic of Philippines v. People’s Republic of China in the Spratly Islands dispute. The Spratly Islands are a cluster of more than 100 reefs, sandbanks and islets in the South China Sea. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, China and Taiwan all lay claim to some or all of the islands. The court’s ruling states that China’s claim of having historic rights to the islands is invalid under international law because China has artificially built up islands of interest, while technically no feature in the Spratly Islands meats the definition of the United Nations Convention...
FAO program guest speaker on North Korea nuclear weapons

FAO program guest speaker on North Korea nuclear weapons

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   Editor’s note: This article is a feature from the Foreign Area Officer program’s monthly officer professional development series at DLIFLC. MONTEREY, Calif. – Dr. Wade Huntley, academic director of the Regional Security Education Program at the Naval Postgraduate School, also in Monterey, spoke to Foreign Area Officers in language training at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center June 21 about North Korea and its nuclear weapons program. Huntley’s teaching interests include nuclear, biological and chemical weapons proliferation and non-proliferation, and Northeast Asian security. He gave FAOs a detailed lecture on North Korea’s quest to obtain the bomb. “Why does North Korea do anything it does?” asked Huntley, who explained that motives of the world’s most secretive and isolated regime are sometimes baffling. Huntley began by discussing the 1970 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which commits states with nuclear weapons to pursue disarmament, while states without nuclear weapons agree to forgo developing or acquiring weapons of their own. In the 1980s, Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, pushed North Korea to sign the treaty. Then, the world began to change dramatically. The Berlin Wall fell and the Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing both took place in 1989, followed by the downfall and 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, North Korea’s main benefactor. “The Soviet Union left North Korea out in the cold (after the collapse),” said Huntley. “In the early to mid-1990s North Korea was imploding. We didn’t realize it then because the problem was chronic rather than acute.” North Korea’s nuclear ambitions may have begun as a way to ensure...
Record attendance at JFAOC on the Presidio

Record attendance at JFAOC on the Presidio

By Natela Cutter DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – More than 200 officers attended the Joint Foreign Area Officer Course held at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center June 6-10 at the Weckerling Center on the Presidio of Monterey. “I have come all the way from Romania to attend this course,” said Lt. Cmdr. John Amiral, who currently works as the director of the Joint Visitor Bureau at the U.S. Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System Romania. “This is a great opportunity to learn about our profession, but also to meet people and network.” The five-day course that includes spouses, is held biannually at the Presidio of Monterey and is meant to prepare newly minted FAOs for their careers where they are expected to serve as defense attachés, security cooperation officers and political-military planners worldwide. As a part of this training, many FAOs attend a language course at the Presidio and or attend the neighboring Naval Postgraduate School to obtain highly specialized Master degrees. “Some day you will get a call from a four star (general or admiral) who will ask you for your opinion,” regarding a political situation,” said key note speaker Rear Adm. David Manero who is going to be the next defense attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Sharing his experiences as a seasoned FAO, Manero told the audience to “Get out there and mingle with people who are not necessarily part of the military,” referring to living abroad on assignment. “Use ‘direct osmosis’ and move about the society…don’t put the (foreign) language away but read and know the current events and history.” Brig....
FAO program guest speaker on Boko Haram

FAO program guest speaker on Boko Haram

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   Editor’s note: This article is a feature from the Foreign Area Officer program’s monthly officer professional development series at DLIFLC. MONTEREY, Calif. – Daniel Eizenga, a doctoral candidate at the University of Florida and a researcher with Sahel Research Group, shared his understanding of Boko Haram with Foreign Area Officers in language training at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center May 19. “The point I want to drive home is that some will argue this is a Nigeria specific problem, but Boko Haram is a regional phenomenon,” said Eizenga. Eizenga began with the history and geography of the ethnically, religiously and linguistically diverse region where Boko Haram has gained influence. The Francophone Sahel, as it is referred to in the academic community, is the crossroads between North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa and was previously colonized by the French. According to Boko Haram, colonization brought Western systems to Africa and thus these things brought corruption, said Eizenga. Boko Haram emerged in the 1990s as an extension of Al Qaeda to overthrow Western influence. It operates in northeastern Nigeria and parts of Niger, Chad and Cameroon. The U.S. State Department classifies Boko Haram as a terrorist organization and Nigeria sees it as an insurgency and Jihadi organization. More recently, Boko Haram has pledged its allegiance to and adopted the black flag of ISIL, which has plagued parts of Iraq, Syria and even Libya. Approximately 2.5 million people have been displaced by Boko Haram, which creates a huge humanitarian crisis. It has destroyed entire villages and massacred populations, said Eizenga. “Despite all of this,...
FAO program guest speaker on National Security Strategy

FAO program guest speaker on National Security Strategy

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   Editor’s note: This article is a feature from the Foreign Area Officer program’s monthly officer professional development series at DLIFLC. MONTEREY, Calif. – Dr. Craig Whiteside, a professor at the Naval War College Monterey located on the campus of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, spoke about the most recent National Security Strategy with Foreign Area Officers in language training at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center April 21. The National Security Strategy is a document prepared by the executive branch of the U.S. Government for the Congress, which outlines the major national security concerns of the U.S. and how to deal with them. The Goldwater–Nichols Act of 1986 required that the President issue a National Security Strategy annually. However, according to Whiteside, though the strategy is “supposed to be done every year, it is not a strategy if you change it every year.” “What is a strategy?” Whiteside asked as he began his discussion. “It’s really big picture stuff. How do we achieve our end state, what are the ways, and what are the means?” Whiteside focused most of his discussion on the differences between the 2010 and 2015 National Security Strategy. The 2010 strategy was called a dramatic departure from its predecessor as it advocated increased engagement with Russia, China and India, and introduced the U.S. rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region. However, since then, the world has seen dramatic events occur such as the Arab Spring, the Syrian Civil War and the rise of the Islamic State, as well as a renewed fear in Europe of a resurgent Russia....
FAO program guest speaker on US-Korea Alliance

FAO program guest speaker on US-Korea Alliance

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   Editor’s note: This article is a feature from the Foreign Area Officer program’s monthly officer professional development series at DLIFLC. MONTEREY, Calif. – Retired Korean Maj. Gen. Lee Seo-young, now a professor at the Korea National Defense University, spoke about the alliance between the U.S. and Korea to students at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Feb. 10. Lee gave his presentation, titled the Republic of Korea – U.S. Alliance: Past, Present and Future, to students at the institute’s Asian School II in Korean and then again later in English to the Foreign Area Officers. Speaking to the FAOs, “You are the experts between the U.S. and the country in which you serve,” said Lee, who served as a Defense Attaché for Korea in Washington, D.C., where he often worked on issues related to the alliance. Korea and the U.S. have maintained a bilateral Alliance for more than 60 years. Born out of the Korean War, the alliance grew stronger, both during and after the Cold War. Today, both nations “go together,” as their slogan suggests, to meet the security challenges of Northeast Asia. Beginning his presentation, Lee spoke about what he learned while researching alliances. “Most alliances last no more than 10 years,” said Lee. “The Republic of Korea – U.S. Alliance has lasted for 60.” In the first stage of the alliance during the 1950-1953 Korean War under the United Nations Command, Gen. Douglas MacArthur commanded all U.N. forces fighting in Korea. Afterwards, Seoul and Washington signed a mutual defense treaty authorizing further stationing of U.S. troops in Korea....
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