Connecting public and private efforts to create security in the 21st century
I'm thinking about how to connect public and private efforts to create security. In this turbulent 21st century, security is not about creating walls. We won't deliver a secure world strictly from the barrel of a gun.
James Dehart, director, office for Afghanistan at the U.S. Department of State, listens to Dr. James MacDougall, deputy director of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, during the "Afghanistan and regional Security: Current Trends and Future Challenges" conference March 13-15. Deharth served as one of two keynote speakers for the event.
2 photos: James Dehart listens to Dr. James MacDougall during the "Afghanistan and regional Security: Current Trends and Future Challenges" conference
Photo 1 of 2: James Dehart, director, office for Afghanistan at the U.S. Department of State, listens to Dr. James MacDougall, deputy director of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, during the "Afghanistan and regional Security: Current Trends and Future Challenges" conference March 13-15. Deharth served as one of two keynote speakers for the event. Download full-resolution version
Soldiers from U.S. Army Europe's 12th Combat Aviation Brigade conduct a resupply mission with the Montenegrin Red Cross to deliver medical supplies to Montenegrins stranded by severe weather in Northern Montenegro Feb. 22. The soldiers are here as part of a U.S. task force to provide humanitarian assistance at request of the government of Montenegro coordinating with the National Emergency Operations Center and the Montenegrin Ministry of Defense to provide relief and to save lives, homes and infrastructure in response to heavy snowfall.
2 photos: USAREUR's 12th Combat Aviation Brigade conduct a resupply mission with the Montenegrin Red Cross to deliver medical supplies.
Photo 2 of 2: Soldiers from U.S. Army Europe's 12th Combat Aviation Brigade conduct a resupply mission with the Montenegrin Red Cross to deliver medical supplies to Montenegrins stranded by severe weather in Northern Montenegro Feb. 22. The soldiers are here as part of a U.S. task force to provide humanitarian assistance at request of the government of Montenegro coordinating with the National Emergency Operations Center and the Montenegrin Ministry of Defense to provide relief and to save lives, homes and infrastructure in response to heavy snowfall. Download full-resolution version
James Dehart, director, office for Afghanistan at the U.S. Department of State, listens to Dr. James MacDougall, deputy director of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, during the "Afghanistan and regional Security: Current Trends and Future Challenges" conference March 13-15. Deharth served as one of two keynote speakers for the event.
Soldiers from U.S. Army Europe's 12th Combat Aviation Brigade conduct a resupply mission with the Montenegrin Red Cross to deliver medical supplies to Montenegrins stranded by severe weather in Northern Montenegro Feb. 22. The soldiers are here as part of a U.S. task force to provide humanitarian assistance at request of the government of Montenegro coordinating with the National Emergency Operations Center and the Montenegrin Ministry of Defense to provide relief and to save lives, homes and infrastructure in response to heavy snowfall.
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James Dehart, Department of State, listens to Dr. James MacDougall, George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies.

I'm thinking about how to connect public and private efforts to create security.

In this turbulent 21st century, security is not about creating walls. We won't deliver a secure world strictly from the barrel of a gun.

Instead, we need systems to connect and integrate. Why? Because the security challenges require teamwork. Think about the threats: trafficking in narcotics, arms, weapons of mass destruction, and humans; cybercrime; ballistic missiles; natural disasters and their aftermath; terrorism. All of these cross borders effortlessly and therefore require connective activity to solve.

I think a good expression for this is "open source security." This means that wherever we can, we should be creating teaming arrangements between nations (international); governmental organizations (interagency); and -- this is what I've been working lately -- private-public.

There are lots of ways private sector efforts can connect with the public domain to help create security. A few we've been pursuing include:

  • EUCOM image

    USAREUR's 12th Combat Aviation Brigade conducts a resupply mission with the Montenegrin Red Cross to deliver medical supplies to Montenegrins stranded by severe weather in Northern Montenegro Feb. 22.

    Humanitarian Assistance: Combining non-governmental organizations with public sector actors like USAID, Department of Defense (we build schools and clinics all over the world), State Department.
  • Disaster Relief: Responding to big events like the Haitian and Pakistani earthquakes, the Indian Ocean Tsunami, and the Japanese nuclear incident requires a mix of everything from the US Navy to Doctors without borders.
  • Medical Diplomacy: Look at the USNS Hospital ships COMFORT and MERCY They have done hundreds of thousands of patient treatments all over the Caribbean, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans. They are crewed by a mix of public and private entities, notably Operation Hope.
  • Maritime Protection: In response to piracy off the coasts of Africa, public actors like NATO, EU, and various global Navies are working with Merchant shipping corporations and the International Maritime Organization to create "best practices" that keep mariners safe.
  • Cyber:  In the turbulent cyber "seas," both public sector actors (in the case of the US, Department of Homeland Security, Justice, Department of Defense, NSA) as well as the big internet providers, server and cloud organizations, and literally billions of users are all stakeholders. This is an area where we must all cooperate and the work between private and public is crucial.

From a NATO and a US European Command perspective, we'll continue to work on this. In NATO, we call it the "comprehensive approach," and on the US side we are enabling a small cell of folks to work actively on private-public partnership. In both cases, we hope to contribute to security in sensible but non-traditional ways.

Best,
Jim

Admiral, USN
Supreme Allied Commander, Europe
Commander, US European Command
"Stronger Together"

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