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From the EMC Chair
July 8, 2013

NEWPORT, R.I. -- U.S. Naval War College (NWC) faculty joined U.S. Southern Command personnel in Belmopan, Belize, in June, leading discussions on regional security trends and intelligence sharing principles.

A key component of U.S. national security in the Western Hemisphere is countering transnational organized crime, which the White House sees as “posing a significant and growing threat to national and international security, with dire implications for public safety, public health, democratic institutions, and economic stability across the globe.”

One of the ways the Department of Defense supports the White House strategy to counter transnational organized crime is through Miami-based U.S. Southern Command, which focuses on Latin America and the Caribbean.

Southern Command’s Gen. John Kelly testified in March before the Senate and House Armed Services Committees that “building the capabilities of regional militaries is a cost-effective strategy to help our partners confront internal challenges to security, stability, and sovereignty; increase professionalism; and strengthen defense and security institutions.”

In support of this, NWC professors Derek Reveron and Larry McCabe collaborated with Angel Colls of Southern Command.

Belize recently embarked on developing a joint operations center and an intelligence fusion center. As the EMC Chair at NWC, Reveron specializes in non-state threats and strategies to combat them.

“Assisting U.S. Southern Command and Belize is important for regional security and makes me a better teacher,” Reveron said.  “The dialogue over the last several days has given me good insights of security challenges in Central America that I will share with my colleagues and students during our fall course that is focused on translating national strategy into theater strategy.”

NWC faculty regularly support security cooperation through seminars, war games, and exercise support.

Lt. Col. Darren Thurm, deputy chief of the Intelligence Security Cooperation Division at Southern Command, sees the importance of working with war college faculty as a great way to augment Southern Command’s ability “to foster professionalism, security, and stability throughout the region."  Reveron and McCabe were able to bring their national security expertise to support an interagency process to improve how the security forces and different ministries work to develop the new centers.

McCabe, the NWC Regional Study Group Director for Latin America, notes the importance of Central America to U.S. security and is grateful for the opportunity to further the relationship between the United States and Belize.

“While a small country, Belize continues to send its top officers to study in Newport, and it was good to bring to bear our expertise to support their efforts,” said McCabe. This was echoed by the U.S. embassy and NWC alumni.

During the trip, faculty also met with Rear Adm. John Borland, who graduated from the Naval Command College at NWC in 2012 and fondly remembers his time in Newport.

“NWC was a great experience and gave me the tools to lead the coast guard of Belize,” said Borland, recognizing that his colleagues from across the Belizean government could not attend a war college and was happy to see NWC faculty coming to Belize.

Programs like these support the NWC mission of supporting the warfighter.   Combatant commands and numbered fleets particularly value the NWC faculty's ability to provide our partner nations with not only a strong theoretical foundation for strategic analysis, but also key frameworks and models useful in national security decision making processes.