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by Derek Reveron


Naval War College (NWC) faculty from the National Security Decision Making (NSDM) Department recently traveled to Jamaica to support a U.S. Southern Command initiative aimed at promoting interagency cooperation.


NWC Professors Roger Ducey, Nikolas Gvosdev, Laurence McCabe, and Derek Reveron designed and ran a Conference on Caribbean Security and Strategy that included 35 participants from four countries.


Using Jamaica’s strategic review document as a guide, the conference participants examined the development of security strategy documents and the implementation process from a regional perspective. The conference emphasized government solutions to security challenges. Participants came from 16 different agencies, including the Ministry of National Security, Ministry of Finance, Military, Police, Fire Brigade, and Customs.


The conference was an example of NWC support of a combatant command initiative, and working with the Jamaica Defense Force.  "I think we have exceeded the objectives,” said Col. Rocky Meade of the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF). “I would have been happy if all that we achieved was to allow persons from different organizations, different countries, to get together and create some common basis for operating. I think we have exceeded that, because we looked at the actual National Security Strategies that were implemented, and the participants came up with excellent ideas as to how we could make a few modifications to them, and also some ideas in moving forward.”


 The NWC has been working with the JDF since 2004, supporting its command and staff college through faculty roundtables, lectures, and curriculum discussions. The conference is the fourth annual event and has paralleled Jamaica's development and implementation of national-level strategic documents.


NSDM Chairwoman Joan Johnson-Freese said multi-national conferences facilitate academic discussion of military matters.


“International conferences like these provide fertile ground for faculty to test new ideas, support security cooperation activities, and facilitate the Navy’s efforts at building partnerships,” said Johnson-Freese. NSDM has designed and run similar conferences like these in Djibouti, Madagascar, Iraq, and Uruguay. Similar events are in the planning stages with AFRICOM and CENTCOM.


“These conferences are an important extension for what we teach in NSDM,” McCabe said. “I find that teaching in other countries enables me to bring ideas back to my Newport classroom.”