American military legal experts pose with Djiboutian military and civilian police officials following a week-long mobile training team to the African nation. Capt. Kevin Brew (second row, fifth from right) was the team leader. This mobile training team visit was sponsored by the Defense Institute of International Legal Studies (DIILS) in cooperation with Commander, U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Embassy Djibouti. (Contributed photo).
NEWPORT, R.I. – Capt. Kevin Brew, a professor in the U.S. Naval War College’s (NWC) Joint Military Operations Department, returned last week from a mission to Djibouti where he led a joint interagency team to train Djiboutian security forces on various legal issues in counterterrorism.
The training team was sponsored by the Defense Institute of International Legal Studies (DIILS), which provides mobile training seminars on law and leadership to international military law partners worldwide.
Other members of the team were Bill Narus, a legal specialist in terrorism prosecution from the Department of Justice’s national security division; Army Col. Ed Bowen, chief of operational law at Commander, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM); Marine Corps Capt. Chris Bridger, an operational lawyer at Commander, Joint Task Force Horn of Africa; and Marine Corps Capt. Dave Lee of DIILS, who coordinated the training mission with the U.S. Embassy in Djibouti and AFRICOM.
“We had Djiboutian line officers and senior noncommissioned officers from their army, navy, air force, coast guard, as well as their new, elite Republican Guard, and the Gendermarie, which is their national police who provide internal security,” said Brew. “The Djiboutians bring unique counterterrorism skills to the table. In fact, many of the participants had deployed to Somalia for operations against the terrorist group al-Shabab.”
The U.S. instructors used a combination of presentations and seminars to promote two-way dialogue with the students.
“I lectured on domestic and international counterterrorism laws and the law of armed conflict, especially on how it applies in counterterrorism military operations,” he said. “But a highlight of the week-long training was Col. Bowen’s interactive presentation on terrorist laws and combat lessons learned from a Haditha, Iraq, case study.”
A presentation regarding recent U.S. investigations and prosecutions against al-Qaida and al-Shabab given by Narus also piqued the interest of the students.
According to Brew, the lines between instructors and students often blurred. He said the students were extremely engaged in the seminar sessions and sparked an excellent dialogue with the U.S. team.
“They provided us a very impressive brief about their counterterrorism structure and ongoing counterterrorism operations,” said Brew. “Both sides learned something new from each other so the seminar was clearly successful. The Djiboutians were eager for us to return again in the near future for more training.”
NWC is a partner of the Newport, R.I.-based DIILS and often sends faculty members overseas to support important training seminars on law and leadership to international military law partners worldwide.
“I’m glad to be part of a great partnership between NWC and DIILS to provide this critical legal training with partner countries,” he said. “Djibouti is a focal-point keystone partner in the region and I’m glad to work with DIILS and the country team in developing Djiboutian counterterrorism capability in accordance with the rule of law.”
Edited and posted by Dan Marciniak