It is autumn, harvest time here in southern Germany. People are celebrating what has been planted in the spring with fests in Munich, Stuttgart and even in smaller towns like Garmisch-Partenkirchen where I have been for the last three days.
Our EUCOM Interagency Group has also this week “harvested” something we “planted” in the spring. Then we conceived of an international, interagency partnering conference to be held at the George C Marshall Center in beautiful Garmisch. We wanted the conference to focus on the “3Ds” (Defense, Diplomacy and Development) collaborating and cooperating better together. You can see from the photo below that that idea bore fruit.
George C. Marshall Center for European Studies, Garmisch, Germany –EUCOM’s International Interagency Symposium participants from 18 nations, EU and NATO.
We had the chance to listen to how select “example” nations do “whole of government” efforts, namely, Switzerland, Germany and the US. Their examples and offers of continued assistance were helpful in building “whole of government” capacity among participating nations from the Black Sea region (Turkey, Ukraine, Armenia, Moldova, Georgia, Bulgaria, Romania, Azerbaijan) and the western Balkans (Albania, Montenegro, Macedonia, Croatia, Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina).
“There is no Development without Security. There is no Security without Development”. This phrase captured the complexity of ensuring coordination among all “3Ds” in a crisis area. I found the benefit of the symposium, as one participant noted, was that we were “talking to the other D’s, not about them”.
What were some of the key best practices that were “harvested”?
1. Conduct Joint civil-military training and exercising
2. Push for personnel exchanges between Departments
3. Create civilian stand –by expeditionary capacity
4. Strive for common strategies and shared goals
I think this partnering event produced a most important additional “D” – necessary “Dialogue”. Balkan and Black Sea states, the focus of the conference, admitted that they had a ways to go in terms of building up civilian capacities. They acknowledged that their focus for the past decade has been their militaries. They now want to answer NATO’s call for implementing a “Comprehensive Approach” and we may be able to help them with a civilian-oriented IMET–type program.
Harvest time in southern Germany gave us a chance this week to reap fruit for further collaboration and dialogue. Considering our security and stability challenges our conference participants believe there is no viable alternative to a “Comprehensive Approach”. We agreed that whole of government solutions are essential. As VADM Gallagher noted, by using them we are all “stronger together”.
Mr. Mike Anderson
GS-15, Deputy Director
Commander’s Interagency Engagement Group