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NEWPORT, R.I. – The U.S. Naval War College (NWC) is well positioned to support a new defense agreement, signed by Brazil and the United States on April 12, as evidenced by a three-day symposium at Brazil’s Naval War College taking place at the same time.
 
The first of its kind since 1977, the defense agreement was developed over the last several years and marks a new era in defense cooperation that includes a formal framework for more military-to-military engagement and exchanges, information-sharing and cooperation in defense-related research and development.
 
“This agreement will lead to a deepening of U.S.-Brazil defense cooperation at all levels and will demonstrate how much more effectively we can confront shared security challenges when we work in partnership,” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said at the signing ceremony at the Pentagon.
 
RIO DE JANEIRO (April 13, 2010) NWC's Professors Derek Reveron and Andrew Wilson discuss ways to share ideas on international security, defense strategy, and force development with Capt. Costas Nunes at Brazil's Naval War College.   An NWC faculty team conducted a three-day symposium in Rio de Janeiro in partnership with Brazil's Naval War College and the U.S. Embassy.  (Photo provided by NSDM)NWC faculty from Newport, Rhode Island, have already been continuously engaging with their counterparts at Brazil's Escola de Guerra Naval (Naval War College), located in Rio de Janeiro.
 
During the week of April 12th, a faculty team composed of Derek Reveron, Andrew "Dex" Wilson, and Larry McCabe conducted a symposium at Brazil’s Naval War College. The discussions were also shared via the Internet to naval and defense commands throughout the country.
 
In partnership with the security assistance office at the U.S. Embassy and Brazil's college, Professor Reveron developed the symposium to share ideas on international security, defense strategy, and force development. After all, professional military education institutions have much in common and meetings like these are essential to improving war college curricula worldwide.
 
For Brazil’s Rudiberto Killian, Professor of Defense Policy and Strategy, the symposium represented a key milestone in the relationship between the two colleges. He told an audience of 60 faculty members that "symposia like these are critical to ensuring that faculty from both colleges share ideas to improve learning."
 
This has been the largest collaboration during the last five years. The exchange will continue in 2011, when officers and faculty will come to Newport to further their learning about the future of maritime forces.
 
Professor McCabe described national security systems that can assist governments in general and navies in particular to respond to change. Discussions included how globalization is changing the international landscape, how new challenges are changing how governments interact with each other, and how government objectives impact navies' missions and roles. Many of the faculty were interested in how the United States balances current operations against future force development.
 
Throughout the symposium, faculty considered the importance of understanding how the security environment is changing. Of note, Professor Reveron presented a discussion of "cyber and national security." Brazilian faculty were intrigued with how the United States defines the cyber challenge and how it is adding cyber to its portfolio of military capabilities through US Cyber Command and Tenth Fleet.
 
Because thinking about the future is critical to force planning, Professor Wilson traced global military trends and the results from the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR).  The QDR process is a newer concept for Brazilians since their Ministry of Defense was established in the late 1990s.
 
"At present they, too, are wrestling with the challenges of systematically planning for a vast range of uncertain contingencies, from inter-state war, humanitarian crises, and environmental degradation," according to Professor Wilson.
 
In addition to the large group discussions, two faculty roundtables considered how to teach force development. In particular, faculty discussed how the NWC National Security Decision Making Department exercise challenges students to think about the future, develop national and defense strategies, and the implications for future forces. The second roundtable centered on capabilities-based planning and how scenarios can inform force development. 
 
2002 Newport graduate Captain Eduardo Hartz thought these "discussions were critical as Brazil integrates its defenses capabilities, develops joint operating concepts, and develops its future capabilities."
 
From National Security Decision Making Department