El Salvador and Chile Sign Academic Cooperation Accord
By Lorena Baires/Diálogo September 09, 2016Thanks to a cooperation agreement signed July 12th in the Salvadoran capital, the Chilean Armed Forces and the National Academy of Political and Strategic Studies (ANEPE per its Spanish acronym) will share its academic advances in the areas of teaching and research on security and defense matters with the Salvadoran Armed Forces' Superior Strategic Studies College (CAEE per its Spanish acronym). For the Salvadoran Minister of Defense, David Munguía Payés, the CAEE has opened the door for its students to acquire new knowledge, skills and ways of working within the modern armed forces. "We are making the desire to collaborate between the two institutions official; it will foster cooperation in areas of common interest. Our mission is to create strategic leaders who can evaluate our present and future challenges with new perspectives on how to address them," expressed Minister Munguía. In the opinion of Chile's Minister of Defense, José Antonio Gómez, the agreement has laid out a new bridge of cooperation that will facilitate the passing on of successful experiences through senior-level instructors and officers at ANEPE. "We have had a working relationship for years. Chile is collaborating with El Salvador, and we intend to continue doing that, now from the academy. Thus, we further strengthen bonds of friendship between the two armed forces," Minister Gómez said. Both, Major General Felipe Arancibia Clavel, director of ANEPE, and Colonel Roberto Artiga Chicas, director of CAEE, believe that this agreement between the two educational institutions will allow for a better, permanent teaching connection in the military sphere. ANEPE is a higher education institution in Chile that develops teaching, research, and outreach activities aimed at increasing knowledge of defense and security matters, both for armed forces and law enforcement personnel, as well as for the private sector; it is, thus, a point of contact between the civilian population and the military. "One of this academy's fundamental objectives is to be a national and international meeting place. We have a select number of internal and external professors, and we have the constant support of the Armed Forces, which has made notable efforts to bring us prestigious academics," highlighted Maj. Gen. Arancibia. His counterpart at the CAEE, Colonel Artiga, took advantage of the opportunity to tell those in attendance that the college has cultivated an environment that fosters individual and collective intellectual thinking, as well as helping to continue modernizing how each of its organizational components constantly learns. "The CAEE's academic and professional goals have allowed us to create expectations among Salvadoran social leaders and officers interested in studying, analyzing and interpreting the political, economic, social and military situation, both nationally and internationally," Col. Artiga expressed. One of the most recent academic exchanges between the two countries was the development of a seminar on "Preparation of White Papers on Defense and Modernization of Defense Systems Structure," in April 2016. According to the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States, white papers are public documents which outline strategic policy frameworks for defense planning. They also outline the appropriate role for the armed forces of a country, within the context of that country's priorities, as well as legal frameworks and resources. Chile had the opportunity to share its experience with 31 Salvadoran officers, who acquired new knowledge and analyzed the security environment of both countries, both domestically and internationally. "These types of activities are important because we assess a different vision on how to design white papers and defense system structures. This allowed us to share our experiences, which is a very enriching dynamic for our officers," said Salvadoran Brigadier General Willy Lara, commander of the Salvadoran Armed Forces (FAES) First Military Zone, and one of the seminar's participants. In the coming weeks, ANEPE and CAEE will create an exchange agenda to develop academic, social and military activities that will allow the knowledge of the members of these entities to be elevated. The FAES has worked alongside Chile's Armed Forces in United Nations Peace Support Operations. Pursuant to resolution 2180 of the UN Security Council, the FAES has been a member of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) since February 2013, with 136 military members in the SALCON contingents, attached to the 24th Chile Battalion.