A Profile of the Inter-American Defense College

Por Dialogo
diciembre 10, 2010

Hello and good morning, I am a Sergeant of the Dominican National Police and I would like to know Director Moira N. Flanders’ e-email address, in order to send her a communiqué. Thank you in advance. A profile of the Inter American Defense College. Good afternoon, I am Colonel EP (R) Guillermo G. Ortiz H., I have a Masters Degree in Development and National Defense from CAEN Peru, and another one in Military Science from the Army's Higher Education War School. I know a lot about IADC, I know a lot about its importance, the studies and updates of the Security doctrines which are very important nowadays. I would like to know if I can access any of the Courses on Security and Hemispheric Development or another similar one from this prestigious institution and how I can enroll. Thanks in advance. Good afternoon, I am Diana Babativa Paheco - currently working at the General Command of the Military Forces as a psychologist. I have a masters in National Security and Defense, several courses in DDHH, DIH, Analysis and resolution of conflicts and geopolitics. The last course was about Strategy and Politics for Defense at the CHDS. I would like to continue enriching my knowledge in matters of security and defense to contribute to the region on this subject and for it, I would like to know if I can and how can I access any of the courses currently being taught at the Inter American School of Defense. Thanks.
Success. This is the word that best describes the Inter-American Defense College (IADC), says Guatemalan Air Force Brigadier General Roberto Rodriguez Girón, Chief of Studies of the prestigious academic institution located on the campus of Fort McNair in Washington D.C.

Another word is “partnership”, he adds, “where true cooperation is formed among students across the region”, referring to the IADC’s nearly 50 year history of providing post-graduate level courses on security and defense of the Western Hemisphere for an elite group of key leaders.

Founded in 1962, the IADC’s list of students and alumni reads like a who’s who of the Hemisphere’s most influential decision makers. Over 2,300 graduates from 24 countries have attended the college, including two former heads of state — former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and former Ecuador President Lucio Gutierrez —and nearly 600 generals and admirals, in addition to ambassadors and chiefs of mission who occupy senior roles throughout the Western Hemisphere.

The IADC belongs to the Organization of American States (OAS) and provides military officers and civilians from member states advanced academic courses on security challenges centered on six major themes: Ethics and Human Rights, International Relations, International Institutions and Institutional Leadership, Strategic Analysis, Strategic Leadership, Civil-Military Relations, Conflict Resolution and Negotiation.

The 11 month academic program is conducted by visiting professors from partner institutions such as American University, University of Brasilia from Brazil and Catholic University from Chile, among others, and includes seminars and a research program. The curriculum is complemented by academic trips to the region and within the United States.

“The highlights for the students are the courses on conflict resolution, civil-military relations and peace keeping operations”, says Lt. Col. Erich Hernández-Baquero, IADC Academic Program Coordinator. “We also focus on global trends and challenges , such as the rise of China and its implications for the region, illicit trafficking and its nexus with terrorism, and the evolution of the military into non-traditional roles”, adds Lt. Col Hernández-Baquero. “Students leave here with a more comprehensive understanding of the region, having established close relationships with their fellow classmates. This relationship can play a key role when it comes to strengthening regional cooperation in areas ranging from humanitarian assistance to understanding complex military issues.”

For a closer look at the IADC’s unique composition and role, Diálogo spoke with IADC Director, Rear Admiral Moira Flanders:

Diálogo: What is the mission and vision of the IADC?

Rear Admiral Flanders: The Inter American Defense College is the only international, joint, inter-agency academic institution devoted to security and defense issues in the Western Hemisphere, and probably the only one of its kind in the world. The IADC is not owned by one single country. The IADC belongs to the Organization of American States and that means that every country in the Western Hemisphere that is a member of the OAS can call this college their college. We do not speak in only one language. The primary language is Spanish, but English and Portuguese are also spoken to accommodate the students.

Diálogo: What are the most important contributions made by the IADC throughout the course of its history?

Rear Admiral Flanders: Our title is defense, but we deal mostly with security. We do not discuss war and tactics. We stay at the strategic levels and hold seminars for our students but also for ambassadors and defense attachés on areas such as peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance, civil-military relations and human rights. We really focus at a very strategic level, since our students are the Western Hemisphere leaders of the future. We are giving them the foundation for what they will be doing for the rest of their careers. The very best thing about the student population here is their ability and desire to partner with the other students from other nations in the hemisphere to create networks that will help their countries in times of need.

Diálogo: What do you convey through the curriculum as being the most challenging security issues facing the hemisphere?

Rear Admiral Flanders: At the moment we are discussing global economics because that is a concern for everyone, but we ensure that the college aligns with the vision of the OAS, which is to strengthen democracy throughout the hemisphere and to be a global partner.

Diálogo: Are issues that are trans-regional and trans-national in nature, such as illicit trafficking, studied in depth at the IADC?

Rear Admiral Flanders: We have a module on trans-national threats such as gangs and drugs, and human trafficking, which are topics that are very important to us. We have guest speakers in addition to the professors we contract with who are experts in their fields. We also have Ministers of Defense and ambassadors who speak here and our students have a wonderful opportunity to interact with them and question them on issues they feel are significant.

Diálogo: What are the shared issues that interest the students particularly?

Rear Admiral Flanders: The common thread, since the creation of the College, has been the need for partnership. You see in the students the desire to learn from their fellow classmates and the academic institutions that are teaching here. That is the common thread: partnership and the desire to strengthen democracy. Also how to ensure that when they go on to their next jobs they will learn as much as they possibly can to help move our hemisphere forward in a positive way.

For more information: http://www.jid.org



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