Congressman Panetta “wowed” by Presidio visit

Congressman Panetta “wowed” by Presidio visit

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center welcomed U.S. Representative for California’s 20th Congressional District, Jimmy Panetta, to the Presidio of Monterey, California, Feb. 22. Panetta visited a classroom in the Institute’s Persian-Farsi school where he interacted with some of the students who were about 30 weeks into their 48-week intensive foreign language and culture program. “I was honored and humbled to visit with the students personally and hear and see these young kids who are anywhere from 19 to their early 20s – how much they appreciated being able to learn the language and have the teachers and the facilities to do so,” said Panetta, visibly impressed by his classroom experience. Panetta, who grew up in Monterey, also said that DLIFLC students give him hope for the future and the nation’s security, explaining that the world has changed greatly since he was a child when his father, former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and his brothers would eat sandwiches while gazing over the Monterey Bay from the Presidio of Monterey on a Sunday afternoon. “Being here today, in my official capacity, which is my first visit as a congress member, you realize how important DLI is to our country and to our national security,” said Panetta. “Congressman Panetta received a command brief about the entire enterprise, student body, faculty size…types of languages we teach, etc.,” said DLIFLC Commandant Col. Phil Deppert. “I am confident that he has a full understanding of what we do and what we are for.” Later in the day, Panetta met with a consortium...
FAO program guest speaker on U.S. – Israeli policy

FAO program guest speaker on U.S. – Israeli policy

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. Guy Ziv, an associate professor at the American University School of International Service in Washington, D.C., spoke to Foreign Area Officers in language training at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Feb. 15 about current Israeli policy and the role of the U.S. Coincidentally, Ziv’s lecture took place on the same day Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu met with President Donald Trump in Washington, in which they spoke about settlements, the Iran Deal, the relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, and the two state solution – two states for two groups of people. Trump has declared that he is not wedded to the two state solution, a change from U.S. policy, according to Ziv. “U.S. support of Israel is one of the few bipartisan issues in Washington today and the reason is that the two nations are democratic and share common values such as self-determination, social justice, pluralism and multiculturalism,” said Ziv. But the U.S. and Israel also have shared interests. Israel is considered a very dependable ally, from the Cold War to fighting radical regimes of today and in the prevention of proliferation of nuclear weapons, especially in Iran. As the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel receives an annual aid package from the U.S., receiving about $38 billion in 2016. In return, the U.S. receives Israeli technology, which is considered well advanced in areas such as airport security and cyber security,...
FAOs attend first Joint Foreign Area Officer Course of 2017

FAOs attend first Joint Foreign Area Officer Course of 2017

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – The Foreign Area Officer Program at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center hosted the Joint FAO Course Jan. 23-27 at the Weckerling Center on the Presidio of Monterey. FAOs, who come from the four branches of the U.S. military, are regionally focused and are considered experts on political-military issues. FAOs typically begin their careers at the one-week course. Once their FAO training is completed, which includes language training and graduate school in a regionally focused topic, they are expected to serve as defense attachés, security cooperation officers and political-military planners worldwide. Col. Phil Deppert, DLIFLC commandant, welcomed all the new FAOs to the Institute and to their profession during his welcoming remarks Jan. 24. Though Deppert is a military intelligence officer, he spoke about the cooperation and the need for FAOs in the services. The week consisted of training and guest lecturers who are experts in the field of foreign affairs, specializing in regional topics, global plans and operations, and security cooperation. The advice offered ranged cultural faux pas in a foreign country, to how to navigate the diplomatic halls of the Embassies where they will be serving.   Welcome to the community Keynote speaker Rear Adm. Todd Squire, director for international engagement, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., welcomed the young officers to the community of FAOs. “I’ve always wanted to be a FAO, even before I joined the Navy,” said Squire, who is a two-time graduate of DLIFLC in German in 2002 and Turkish in 2010. He offered some...
Human rights lawyer on women in Iraq

Human rights lawyer on women in Iraq

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Barbara Mulvaney, a human rights lawyer who is currently an international consultant, spoke to students studying the Iraqi dialect of Arabic at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Middle East School II Jan. 23 about women in Iraq. “Put yourself in a woman’s place and what she must do to maintain a household,” said Mulvaney. “When you cannot provide – bombs coming in, no electricity – those are women’s problems.” Mulvaney had worked at the U.S. Embassy Baghdad from August 2009 until July 2011 as deputy director of constitutional and legislative affairs and as the senior adviser for the Iraq Inspector General and Bureau of Supreme Audit Anti-Corruption Coordinating Office. “When we had money coming into our programs I thought it’d be nice to get some of that money to the women,” said Mulvaney. Citing the gender equality and women’s empowerment mandate, derived from the United Nations Charter, which reaffirms equal rights of men and women, Mulvaney was able to secure funding for some women’s initiatives in Iraq. “This is called U.N. gender mainstreaming – how it effects all genders,” said Mulvaney. “Prisons, police training facilities, how is that going to affect the women?” Speaking to the students mostly about her own experiences in Iraq, Mulvaney encourage them to embrace the culture of Iraq along with learning the dialect. To better understand, she offered a few book selections: Lawrence of Arabia and the writings of Gertrude Bell. Reading these books, according to Mulvaney, will help the students gain a better understanding of the forming of Iraq, the culture...
FAO program guest speaker on the U.S. and Latin America

FAO program guest speaker on the U.S. and Latin America

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. Christopher Darnton, an associate professor of national security affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, spoke to Foreign Area Officers in language training at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Jan. 18 about the U.S. role in Latin America. “Latin America has become a zone of peace with an asterisk,” said Darnton, summarizing the geographic region. His asterisk implies that “Latin America has had very few wars, but does not mean the hemisphere is unified.” The U.S. is concerned with instability among other regional problems. “We have not seen the last difficult regime change in Latin America,” said Darnton. Darnton based his lecture on security issues defined in the U.S. Southern Command posture statement, which includes transnational organized crime; foreign terrorist fighters; Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah; regional stability; and Russia and China engagement. The corner stone of U.S. foreign policy in Latin American, according to Darnton, is the Monroe Doctrine of 1823, which in summary states that there will be no new European colonies allowed in the Caribbean and South America. For the U.S., is was all talk for a century, but more than willingly enforced by the British Navy as London and Washington were in agreement. President Theodore Roosevelt later added a corollary to the Monroe Doctrine in 1904. “If a nation shows that it knows how to act with reasonable efficiency and decency in social and political matters, if it keeps order and pays...
Pentagon Heritage Display Honors Foreign Area Officers

Pentagon Heritage Display Honors Foreign Area Officers

DoD News, Defense Media Activity WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2016 — A new display at the Pentagon honors military officers who serve as regionally focused experts in political-military operations with advanced language skills, cultural understanding and the ability to advise senior military and civilian strategic decision-makers in an era of persistent conflict. The Defense Language and National Security Education Office dedicated the Foreign Area Officer heritage display Dec. 12 at the apex between corridors 7 and 8 on the second floor of the Pentagon. Daniel P.C. Feehan, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for readiness, performing the duties of the assistant secretary of defense for readiness, hosted the ceremony. Diana Banks, deputy assistant secretary of defense for force education and training — the Defense Department’s senior language authority, also spoke at the dedication. Ceremony Kicks Off Awards Program The ceremony commenced the annual awards program for foreign area officers to recognize the capabilities and accomplishments of current and former FAOs from all of the services. The display in the Pentagon is the first of its kind to recognize the contributions of FAOs to DoD and its allies and partners, officials said. “As you walk through the FAO heritage wall display, you will see the history of FAOs ensuring readiness within the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard,” Feehan said. “FAOs are prepared to apply their strategic focus and regional expertise to advise senior leaders and develop and coordinate security cooperation.” Almost 2,600 FAOs are on active duty in more than 140 countries, and their history extends to before World War II. No two FAOs fulfill the same...
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