Interagency Partnering -- Batter Up!

EUCOM’s Commander, Admiral Stavridis, often points to the importance that he attaches to “partnering,” both military and interagency partnering. In his recent Capitol Hill testimony he said that interagency partnering is “more than a tool or a method, 'interagency partnering' is an expanding paradigm at EUCOM and we are intent on serving as a model of interagency cooperation."

From an interagency partnering perspective it seems appropriate to query, “Partner with whom next?” Or using baseball vernacular, “who’s the next batter?” EUCOM’s J9-Interagency Partnering Directorate (yes, “partnering” is our middle name!) presently hosts partner agency representatives from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of State, the Department of the Treasury, and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency.

This is an impressive assembly of America’s “hard power” in the EUCOM “dugout;” Treasury’s active pursuit of terrorist money laundering trails in Europe and Eurasia and ICE’s law enforcement prowess flexed to identify criminals or terrorists before reaching U.S. shores. But America’s “soft power” is also well represented in J9; the diplomacy (State) and development (USAID) strengths of U.S. foreign policy are also part of the EUCOM “line-up.”

By October 2010, this esteemed team will also be joined by other interagency representatives from: Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Should J9 and EUCOM then be content? Is that all the expanded interagency “partnering” that Admiral Stavridis had in mind when he testified before the U.S. Congress? I think not. EUCOM, a military geographic command, is engaged in a daring experiment to serve as a “platform” to host a variety of civilian instruments of U.S. national power in the common, efficacious pursuit of U.S. foreign policy goals in Europe and Eurasia.

With baseball spring training in full swing, let me borrow another sandlot metaphor; with the interagency batting line-up that EUCOM will field come the time of this year’s fall classic, it will be a strong, switch-hitting one, it can still be strengthened.

Certainly, EUCOM will boast interagency ‘hard power’ as seen in our cooperation with such law enforcement agencies such as ICE, CBP, DEA, and Treasury. It will have that power meshed with ‘soft power’ players epitomized by DOS and USAID and will even host a “designated hitter” in the Department of Energy, helping EUCOM address a specific, nascent energy security issue.

But as we look towards “next season” we may wish to consider other “players;” possibly another “hard power” slugger in the form of the Department of State’s Counter Terrorism (S/CT) office, or recruiting America’s premier paramilitary organization (‘able to go his left or his right’, switching between military or law enforcement roles), the U.S. Coast Guard, or perhaps the already “All Interagency” player, the Department of State’s Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS).

The crack of the bat for the 2010 season has still yet to be heard. For all teams, including the EUCOM team, hope still springs eternal. Who would you next have join team EUCOM and why? What other “interagency players” would you “draft” for your dream team? Who should we have in our “on deck circle?” I’d be interested in your thoughts….

Mike Anderson
Deputy Director, J9-Interagency Partnering Directorate
Stuttgart, Germany

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Comments: 2

by Joshua D. Fowler on May 5, 2010 :

In your article "Batter Up" I agree as a current USAF Security Forces reservist and a full time Customs and Border Protection employee, there is a definite need for interagency team work to address the many missions of the command. In answering your question regarding which agency should be included in the mix I would think "Interpol" would provide benefits in coordination for law enforcement, liaison and cross training functions across the spectrum of countries in EUCOM. I think they, Interpol, bring recognition and historical interaction with multiple countries worldwide. Thank you for the opportunity to provide this feedback. JDF - 5 May 2010

by Michael Wurm on May 29, 2010 :

Well written Mike, surprised to see your name, sure is a small world. I agree with your assessment though, and hope the powers that be hear what you are saying. Things are the same back here in the burg. Wanted to thank you for your service to this country. It's men and women like you that keep this country strong. With Respect and Gratitude, Michael Wurm Laingsburg, Michigan 48848

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