tv [untitled] June 11, 2012 10:00pm-10:30pm EDT
woman take that pen as a symbol of literacy. now, we are also teaching them to fight. that's our job. but we have to take a broader, more comprehensive approach to try and create security, and this is an example of it. next, please. another way in which our security sector is trying to be helpful to diplomacy and development is the use of hospital ships. i could talk quite a long time about this. this was from my three years as the commander of southern command. i was stationed in miami and i was focused on military to military relations throughout latin america and the caribbean. "comfort" sails around the caribbean and pacific. she does patient treatments. about 400,000 every time she goes on a voyage. we coordinate all this. we work very hard to support the a.i.d. programs. we work very hard to support state department programs.
this young boy was photographed in nicaragua in quarinto. anybody remember that from the 1980s? now it's an american hospital ship there. daniel ortega said, the americans come now with ships of peace. now, that's an extraordinary statement from a latin american leader, particularly in nicaragua. this young boy came with his mother, they walked three days to come to an eye clinic. he was very near-sighted. they put the vision goggles on him, and for the first time, he looked around and he said, "mom, i see the world." that delivers security. now, that's a terrific story about a real human moment. but in the end, it has a pragmatic effect, which is to help deliver security by
demonstrating compassion and competence along with the capability to conduct more traditional military operations. next, please. and this is a view of the world according to twitter. if you look closely, you will see purple lines which are tweets, the density, the darker the purple. you'll see green lines, which are geolocations of twitter users. the white is the synthesis of those two. it is, in effect, the points of intersection between the social network and the physical world. i show it to you first of all, it's an interesting way to look at the world and regions that are developed in this sense and less developed. and i would make the point that, from a military perspective in areas that are less developed, we can help.
we can support through infrastructure, logistics, information. we have the ability to reach into those spaces. and secondly, all of us as we work together on development, diplomacy, defense, we need to be in these social networks. it's terrific to publish articles in the journal of nobody actually reads it, and i've published a few of those. but to exist, to move a message in the world today, you have to be in these social networks. largest nations in the world. china, india, facebook, the united states, twitter, indonesia. so we need to move better and connect in this world as well, and we're trying to do that in partnership with all of you. next, please. so this is a busy slide and i'm not going to dwell on it. but it wraps up this approach that i'm discussing, which is if
you look on the outside, of course this slide is geared to afghanistan. if you look on the outside you see the flags of the nations that are represented there today doing development, defense and diplomacy in afghanistan. inside that, you see the logos of international organizations that are engaged. appropriately at the top, the united nations. european union, you see nato over there. you see then the interagencies, the cabinet-level organizations like a.i.d. and others that are doing such extraordinary work there. and you see the private sector. i would argue that we've kind of got it on international. we understand interagency. the big thing we have to be working, and again, we heard a lot of it from the heads of state and government here. i see it all the time with the way r ochog is moving a.i.d.
it's private/public. it's making that connection. we're working on our approach to that in ways we hope will be supportive of what is done by you in the lead in the development community. we have a name for this. we call this the comprehensive approach. it's a doctrinal determine today in nato. it simply means international, interagency, private/public, bringing it together. next, please. so that's the idea. i mean, this is the image we want to create. we don't always succeed. we fail, we cause civilian casualties. we are reducing those radically today in afghanistan. and yet we just had a terrible incident last week. but civilian casualties in the first four months of this year are down almost 50%. those caused by the coalition. 85% of the civilian casualties are caused by the insurgency. only 15%. one is too many. this again is the picture we strive for.
we don't always achieve it. but in the end, we can achieve this if we lend our support to the efforts of the development community. we really believe that and understand it. next, please. so, last image. you know, life is not an on and off switch, i think we all know this. you know this in your own lives. you kind of have to dial it in a little bit. and i would argue that your military, your defense establishment, is not an on and off switch. what i mean by that is, we don't simply go into barracks or go off and do all-out combat. we have a lot of capability that's in the middle in logistics, in information, in medical, in all the things i've talked about. we can talk about on the panel. so i think the idea is not hard power or just soft power. it's finding that dial and setting it right so that we can
support the development community as you do in the end what will cause the strategic success that will move us forward as a planet. and that i think is your charge and our job is to try and support you where we can in these theaters of conflict. and i hope we have a chance to talk about that on the panel. with that, thank you very much. it's a pleasure to be with you today. thank you. thanks a lot.
>> morning, i'm ray suarez from the pbs "news hour." i'm joined of course from admiral steverides who you've just heard from. these are spatial designations and nothing more. to my left, gail smith, special assistant to the president and senior director at nsc. and nawua al dasari, director of partners for democratic change in yemen. to my right, admiral steverides and johanna mendelssohn, former senior associate at the center for strategic and international studies. admiral steverides, i loved that picture of the hospital ship in quarinto. in the 1980s we were mining, now
we're sending hospital ships there. it was a lovely distillation of change that we've asked our military to make in the post-cold war generation. have you had to take on skills as a fighting force that really you weren't taught much about in academy? >> exactly right, ray. and i think the force has adapted fairly well to this. we are always working hard to try and improve our ability to work across the spectrum of activity from, as we talked about in that last slide, from the hospital ship, which is sort of a pure example of soft power, to our occasional and significant role in combat. the key is to move across the spectrum and take on intelligence information, security, logistics, the medical
piece we talked about. another thing militaries can do and can be very helpful is communications. is setting up in these forward areas. as we looked at the twitter map of the world, in some of the spaces where the c-2 doesn't exist, we're fairly good at moving in and providing that early on. yes, we have worked on these skills. as we move along of course we continue to hone our combat skills. but we find in today's world we're not going to deliver security exclusively from the barrel of a gun. >> gail smith, you spent 20 years traveling and reporting from africa and elsewhere around the world and from conflicts -- complex conflicts. because the world has become a naughtier and more complicated place only in the last 20 years. how does your field experience inform what you're doing now inside the white house? how have you seen the state of
the art in bringing help to the most complicated places on earth change? >> it's changed a lot, and i think very much in a positive way. i think the biggest difference between the field and headquarters, in the field you get a sense of both how long these transitions take or how complex it is to pursue development objectives in a conflict or post-conflict setting. but also how rich and diverse it is. i think obviously, when you're in washington, the pressure is on to find faster solutions. and so there's always that kind of tension. i think that changes we've seen are understanding while development is an aspiration, it's also a discipline. and i find across the administration -- i think we've seen enormous changes in a.i.d., for example. working with all agencies in the case of haiti, i think we found
across the board that we were all driven by compassion and a need and an interest in responding to a disaster so close to our shores. but it was again driven by a discipline. and somalia, if i can provide just one more example, which i think points to the change, it's even getting to the point i think of bringing the development discipline to relief. in that case, there was a premium put on making sure that markets didn't completely collapse. even in a situation of famine. and it's that kind of expertise being deployed across the spectrum that i see as the biggest change. that, and this is a much bigger field than it was when i started. >> nadwa, yemen is a place still struggling to form a coherent and working civil society. is it tough, not only to stand that up, but also to speak to
your own people in a way that gets you where you need to go but also is not weighted down with who's helping now? there's a high degree of suspicion in yemen about the outside world. help is not seen as an unambivalent good, like help is good and no help is bad. but who you work for, who's helping you, who your contacts are in the outside world, is also pretty complicated. >> yeah, i mean, it's challenging to do development in yemen. particularly in conflict areas. but surprisingly, i have been working in tribal areas for the past eight years. and surprisingly, people have no issues of who helped them. usaid has done a lot of great
work in these areas. one of the things that was repeatedly mentioned by the locals that we worked with that was found very, very helpful is that usaid funded and helped the training of midwives. so in that sense we don't really face a lot of problems. we have been branding usaid in our projects in those areas. sometimes we have to keep low profile. but it hasn't really been a major issue for us. >> really? because i'm told, and recently there was a fascinating "front line" special on television here, about a network of invisible lines drawn across the map of yemen where if you crossed them, suddenly who's in charge, what they want, what they want to happen locally, is very, very different. >> yeah, i mean, absolutely. we work across a lot of
sensitivities. tribal sensitivities, political sensitivities, cultural sensitivities. you have as an organization, we spend a lot of time building relation, understanding the context, mapping actors, building relationships at the beginning. and after we build the relationships, we also continue to maintain these rips. even after we finish our projects. we work in almost 40 districts in the most complex areas in yemen. tribal areas. and so, i mean, you connect with the people. you create that relationship. i will come back to what the president of malawi said earlier. you have to create that kind of love relationship with the locals. and i personally have been in a love affair with the tribes for the past 80 years. and it's been a great experience
for me. and my lesson learned is that you have to spend -- you have to spend time to get to know the local context, to know the people, to know the actors, to sort of navigate your way around. and you have to be also transparent with these people. >> love is probably a four-letter word that maybe doesn't come up in many of your trainings that often. but maybe one that we should be thinking about. johanna, there is a widespread perception that billions of dollars gets spent in bringing relief to conflict zones with very little to show for it at the end, with very little in return. can you give us examples where the international community has successfully intervened in a way that leaves everybody better off at the end of the process? >> well, if only we had the billions of dollars that we really needed to do this.
and i won't comment on that. but i do think there are many success stories. let me bring up the case of colombia, which was a partnership, and i know that jim was very active when he was the commander at south com, because we learned many lessons which we applied in that case. we understood local partnerships, in security and development, extremely important. we understood the concept of local ownership and we used it. we helped on the military side building up the security forces in a way which made them professional and responsible. but on the development side we also listened to what local needs were. we listened to those people who were the victims of the insurgency, who were the victims of the cocoa growers, and we began to understand the nexus of security and development that brought the u.s. agency for international development close to both the defense and the diplomacy needs that were needed to end that conflict. and the other point which i think is a big success -- and
yes, we spent a lot of money until the wars in iraq and afghanistan, colombia, was the third largest recipient of u.s. foreign assistance -- but we had another great success on another level. we also had the involvement of the government of colombia itself and a commitment by the citizens, recognizing this was a shared need. and that combination basically has set a template for working in other areas of the world. so yes, i think we can talk very highly about this interrelationship that created doctrine, that created partnerships, and is now being used in other areas. >> if i could just add a point to that. in 1991, a book was written about colombia called "the saddest country" by a canadian diplomat. and you could look at the metrics in colombia 10 to 15 years ago and then look at the metrics today and really the improvement's extraordinary. if i could, i would add another i think international success,
although still a work in progress, ray. and that's the balkans. if you think about the balkans 10 to 15 years ago, they were on fire. 8,000 men and boys killed in two days. 100,000 people killed, 1 million people pushed across borders. chaos really spreading across the region. extraordinarily difficult situation. it's not perfect today. but slovenia, croatia, are members of nato. albania is a member of nato. montenegro, macedonia, are in membership action plans to move forward. we see a tense but stable situation in kosovo. bosnia's complex with a tripartied government structure. people are not resorting to violence to sort out problems, that's the big change in the balkans. i would argue that's probably another area of the world where
we see development successfully moving us forward. >> but you know the need for these kinds of interventions is often accompanied by conflict on the ground. conflict creates the humanitarian disasters, rather than the other way around. and maybe you could contrast, gayle, doing this kind of work in countries where, as johanna points out, the colombian government was on-site and trying to help, and other places in the world where people who are in control of the territory, people who control the water works, people who control the electric grid, don't want the people coming with the help to succeed. >> i think we've got a lot of those situations and a lot of cases where, as a result, they're very dangerous operating environments. but i think what we've seen, and it goes back to the point about yemen, and i like your point on love. because i think it factors in there as well. i think we found that even in those most complex environments
there are ways for skilled people who listen and who talk to people where they are and not where they think they should be, to identify those leaders who may not be the warlord, may not even be the head of state, but may be the community leader, the doctor, the midwife, through whom you can work. i think the challenge we face is in those cases where that is a chronic situation ongoing. i mean, we're dealing with a long-standing humanitarian crisis in south sudan. even with independence, we're very, very far from being out of the woods. somalia, obviously, is a case where, with no government, and the circumstances we face there, there's an overreliance on humanitarian assistance. but even there, the international community was able to assist somalis such that it went from conditions of famine to conditions still of food insecurity but not the acute famine that we saw.
that's because really smart people, including a lot of local people -- this isn't all the experts and the relief workers that come from outside -- find ways to get through the cracks. >> nadwa talked about building local trust. admiral, some of the organizations whose logos you showed in your slide have talked to me about how difficult it is to have a historic or actual corporate identification with one side or another in a conflict. >> yep. >> all they want to do is help people. >> right. >> but they are perceived by people in the middle of the conflict as having roots in a certain country, in a certain history. they can perhaps build down that identity. the united states navy, not so easily. you can build down the american identification of the military, yet you're the guys with the
machines and the stuff to make some of this happen right away. how do you walk that line? >> well, it's a wonderful question. and the first thing i would say is that we in the military need to go into activity like this with a real sense of, how can we help? how can we support? and we need to listen to our development experts who say, you know, probably not a good idea to have that particular type of equipment here. better you come in light and do this. take the advice of the development experts. secondly, i mentioned in my presentation, we're working very hard to -- as a military to learn more about culture and language. in afghanistan, as an example, we've created a program called the afghan/pakistan hands program, which is simply to say, people who will study the langua languages, study the history, study the culture, therefore have a better chance of functioning more capability in that milieu. thirdly, we need to be sensitive
to the development agencies when they absolutely don't want to work with us, for one reason or another, and we need to be accepting of that. if it's a point of real division. there are some international organizations, i'm sure represented here, who simply say, nope, we will not get anywhere near a military unit. we have to be respectful of that. and yet try and provide security, and if they get in trouble, go and rescue them, which we do. so we have to listen, be respectful, and try and be as helpful as we can, recognizing we are not the ones in the lead in this area. we are the ones in support. and in the end, i think we're capable of learning those lessons and doing that. we're working very hard to do so. >> johanna, in some of the countries that have come up in this conversation so far, you've got people in charge who hope to be in charge for a long time. and they are taking a view of their country as it is and as it
may be that involves getting people help. so that it -- they may be associated with it down the road. but a frightening and i think quite disturbing aspect of the current state of play is that there are people in charge of places that are ready to see widespread civilian death. it's not in their interests to make sure things are turned around quickly. and we see that in the histo horrifying level of civilian death in somalia, there's aspects of that in afghanistan where people who want to be in charge are ready to see people they want to be in charge of die in large numbers. and don't see it in their interests to turn it around. it must be just maddening to try to create alliances on the ground that deliver aid, that deliver development, when there's a sort of nihilism in work in some of these local leaders that it's hard to get around. >> well, i always get the tough
questions, ray. >> i was saving that one for you. >> i know, it's always good to have a friend on the panel. but i think what you're referring to is, i like to think about how we approach the entire area of this post-cold war period in three generations. what you're describing this is third generation where the global leadership is really in a state of flux. we certainly have the leadership of the united states in terms of our strength, our strategy, and our vision. but we also have many new actors. and that makes it much more difficult to try and resolve these conflicts in the multi-lateral forum, which our president endorses and which we work in, to get a resolution. but i think our colleague from yemen is a good example of the civil society role which is increasingly getting a voice through the twitter map. the expansion and the ability to express dissent is so much greater than when we started in this field. the ability to reach out
technologically with other people creates something that i don't think even these individuals who want to stay in power can relate to. and i think that is the hope in many of these things. we also have come full circle. we started in this field thinking conflict prevention was just a nice idea. but in fact, we've now developed tools which really work. and the development agencies, the usaid, the millennial challenge, are all working in ways which prevent conflict to deal not only with wars but these kinds of dramatic constitutional crises we face that are not armed conflicts but are really political conflicts of which we have less ability to move but where we need to deal with people. >> can i just add something there? i hate to be old enough to be able to look over a period of many years, but i can. and i think, ray, you're absolutely right. and those situations exist all over the world.
but i think there have been some unbelievable changes. one is, as was just suggested, these crises don't exist in the dark anymore. i mean, i cut my teeth to a large extent during the '84-'85 famine in ethiopia where no one would talk about the famine behind the lines. they would talk about the famine on the government-held side. i used to break into u.n. meetings and be very disruptive and say, there's another famine behind the lines. because there wasn't twitter, there wasn't e-mail, there wasn't internet. so that's a huge change. i think the second is again, we're not where we need to be but these issues are discussed and out there in the international affairs forum in the way they didn't used to be. it used to be lonely work to try to get people to pay attention to these. now a combination of the internet, i think a huge factor has been activism and the interest of young people in
advocacy in this whole set of issues. the third is i think for as many people as there are who want to suppress and oppress and deny people even their survival, we're seeing a huge uptick in the people that want to push in the other direction. whether it's in yemen or else where you've got government speaking up about this, that 20 years ago would have just casually let it happen on their borders. now, none of that is enough, but i think the triple digit tree is one that over time, it will be more and more difficult to be able to perpetrate the kind of abuse that we've seen. again, i don't want to overstate it. i think we're not out of the woods. but i think the trajectory is quite exciting, potentially. >> nadwa, can you do everything right and still end up not making the kind of progress you hoped for? when i look at yemen, it's one