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  • Interview with Lieutenant General Guy Thibault, Chair of the Inter-American Defense Board

    first_imgBy Dialogo February 10, 2012 In December 2011, Lieutenant General Guy Thibault, head of the oldest defense and security cooperation organization in the world, spoke with Diálogo during the Caribbean Nations Security Conference (CANSEC 2012) in St. Kitts and Nevis. Founded during World War II, the Inter-American Defense Board has since evolved and adapted to address the security challenges impacting the Western Hemisphere today. Diálogo: What is the Inter-American Defense Board? Lieutenant General Guy Thibault: The IADB is a unique hemispheric body created in 1942 with a focus on defense cooperation since World War II. It is actually the oldest defense security cooperation mechanism in the world, for multilateral organizations. So it focuses largely on issues of military affairs, defense affairs, and has representation from most of the nations within the Organization of American States (OAS), so truly, is a hemispheric body with representation from Canada, the United States, South America, the Caribbean and Central America. We have 27 member-nations. Diálogo: How is the IADB related to the OAS? Lt. Gen. Thibault: In 2006 there was a change in the institutional relations with the OAS. The IADB was created as an entity of the OAS which is our hemispheric political body. This set of changes came from the recognition that we needed to evolve the way that the defense and the Armed Forces were being integrated into the political system that we have in the hemisphere. So this board, which was created in 1942 by the Armed Forces, by Defense Ministries to take care of defense cooperation had not evolved and adapted with the changes in our security situation. Today, unlike in 1942, we don’t see the typical defense threats that we had seen during World War II, and the threats today are largely what we characterize as multidimensional security threats. In 2003, there was a special conference that was held in Mexico, Conferencia Especial sobre la Seguridad en las Américas [Special Conference on Security in the Americas], and that conference, just brought a new set of challenges to our countries, challenges of transnational crime, illicit drugs, proliferation of small arms, irregular migration, the natural disasters that this region sees regularly. So making the IADB part of the organization of the OAS was with the intention of making sure that defense and Armed Forces issues are better integrated within the overall hemispheric political decision making bodies that we have, that are dealing with multidimensional security threats. Diálogo: What you just said explains in some way why the word “defense” is part of the Inter-American Defense Board’s name, when there is not a real defense problem in our hemisphere… Lt. Gen. Thibault: We recognize that the Armed Forces or Armed Services in each one of our countries serve multiple roles today. In a country like Canada, we have our Canadian Forces deployed in missions around the world, in United Nations peacekeeping missions as observers. We also have a major operation that has been ongoing for many years now in Afghanistan… When you look at what the Armed Forces are doing, they have multiple roles using the capabilities that are unique to the Armed Forces in terms of equipment, their training, their organization, their ability to do complex tasks. That exact same multipurpose use of the Canadian Armed Forces is true in all of our Armed Forces. We can see examples today where the Armed Forces which were created effectively to protect the state, to protect the interest of the state, need to be involved in all aspects of the threats to our societies. In Brazil we have the Brazilian Army involved in operations in the favelas; in Central America, in Colombia, we see operations which are truly important to protect the states against the transnational crime and narcotrafficking activities. So while we might not have traditional defense threats in terms of external state on state, the utility of the Armed Forces is essential for the countries to be able to confront the challenges we face. At the hemispheric level, a board such as the IADB, where we can share information, experiences, where we can consider how to take the lessons from humanitarian assistance/disaster relief in Haiti, in Chile, and get ready for the next major disaster that strikes is what the IADB is all about. So while defense is in the name, we are part of a larger security architecture. Diálogo: Where do you see the IADB biggest contribution in the Western Hemisphere? Lt. Gen. Thibault: With a hemisphere as diverse as what we see in the Americas, with the United States on one side and the Caribbean on the other, it is true that the issues are very different and the challenges in each region are very different. So I think that the area where the IADB can truly add value is in ensuring that we are sharing information between all countries, that we are learning effectively from each other. That’s where we are going to see the greatest contribution. Right now, sharing information across the hemisphere is very different. Why is it different? In some cases because is very complex. There are so many organizations involved in this issue that it is difficult to share. Given the network we have with our 27 member countries, we have a role to play in terms of doing a better job of information sharing. The second area where I think we can really add value is when a disaster strikes, a natural disaster, a man-made disaster… we need to act. And in order for us to act we have to ensure that the political decision makers at the highest level in the hemisphere are supported by good information. So, I as the chairman of the IADB have a role to serve as an advisor to the Secretary General, to the OAS as a body. I think that I can, on behalf of the member states, help to add value and make sure that the decision makers are being informed by good military advice. So the answer is information sharing and military advice. Diálogo: In your presentation during Cansec 2012, you said that you were tasked with improving information sharing. How do you plan to accomplish this? Lt. Gen. Thibault: The task that we have is more complex than just information sharing. The task that I have comes from the General Assembly of the OAS, which includes bringing forward a plan to enhance our ability to respond. So information sharing is really just one part. There are many aspects to enhancing our ability to respond. One is to know where we have gaps in certain capabilities. Another is to know where the most probable crisis will occur and then focus on it by working with regional mechanisms to really see what they would need in terms of programs to support and build capacity, if it is an issue of a lack of equipment or capabilities… We have a role to play in terms of the assessment of the gaps in the most compelling problems, based on the regions, based on the specifics of those regions. It is true that in certain parts of the hemisphere we don’t have a problem with capacity, we have loads of capacities. I think that is quite important that we focus on gaps and assessments of the needs and that information sharing is going to be an important part of enhancing our ability to respond. So clearly information sharing means that you have to have a means to share information. Given today’s increasingly open information systems, it is incumbent on us to look at the Internet as a mechanism to create community that will allow us to effectively share information. In this case, in humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, so we are exploring a system such as APAN (All-Partners Access Network) which we know has many significant advantages for us. It is Internet based, it is open access, it is proven… so I think a system like APAN is a very good choice for us. There are other ways, but right now we are focused on exploiting the potential of APAN as an information sharing mechanism for the countries in the hemisphere. Diálogo: Tell us a little bit about the Inter-American Defense College, part of IADB. Lt. Gen. Thibault: The Inter-American Defense College is also an old institution. For countries who don’t know very much about it, I would encourage them to consider sending students to participate in these programs, focused on military and civilian officials, and designed to be an advanced study in terms of hemispheric defense and security cooperation. Today we have a year-long program with over 60 students representing 16 countries representing all of the languages of the OAS: French, English, Portuguese and Spanish. We also have a student from China. The experience that these students will get is unique and an important part of their understanding of the Inter-American system. If one of the functions of the Chairman of the IDB is to predict where the next crisis will happen, then we should define what we understand by crisis and what size of crisis we are referring to, that is, its magnitude. My country, Guatemala, with nearly 1 thousand kilometers of border with Mexico is too vulnerable to interest groups that exploit that vulnerability, the absence of State, precisely. And so, in the Naval sector in the Pacific and Atlantic our weaknesses are obvious, not only to the State, but to the multilateral agencieslast_img read more

  • Do you have enough education?

    first_img 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » Time to hit the books again? According to a CareerBuilder survey, nearly a third (32 percent) of employers have increased their educational requirements over the past five years. More than a quarter (27 percent) are hiring employees with master’s degrees for positions primarily held by those with four-year degrees in the past, and 37 percent are hiring employees with college degrees for positions that had been primarily held by those with high school degrees.More than 2,300 hiring and human resource managers in the private sector participated in the nationwide survey, conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from Nov. 4 and Dec. 1, 2015.What Employers Are Looking For According to the survey, of the employers that have increased their education requirements in the past five years, most have done so for middle-skill jobs:entry-level or low-skill: 46 percentmiddle-skill: 61 percenthigh-skill: 43 percentlast_img read more

  • Lady Pirates Drop Game To Lady Tigers

    first_imgThe Greensburg Lady Pirates traveled to state ranked Lawrenceburg Saturday Morning and kept the host squad out of the net for the first 18-minutes of the match, but the Lady Tigers opened the scoring with two goals at the 22 and 20 minute mark en route to 4 first half goals and an 8-0 victory.The loss drops the Lady Pirates to 2-12 and 1-5 in EIAC play. Keirsten Lynette made 13 saves on the day while Emily Lowe recorded 3 saves in net. The Lady Pirates were not able to record a shot on goal for the match. The defense did force 5 offside traps and many players showed improvement throughout the match.The team will play their final EIAC match on Thursday when they travel to Connersville and conclude the regular season next Saturday at Triton Central.Courtesy of Pirates Coach Mike Myers.last_img read more

  • SWAN renews call to immortalise Rashidi Yekini

    first_imgRelatedPosts Sustain Ihedioha’s blueprint on sports development, administrator urges Imo governor Why Heartland FC crisis lingers — Chairman Super Eagles soar on FIFA ranking The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, Kwara State Chapter has renewed call on the state government to immortalise late Super Eagles of Nigeria striker, Rashidi Yekini.This was contained in a statement on Wednesday in Ilorin by the state Secretary of the association, Olayinka Owolewa. The body, while commending the state Governor, Malam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, for his interventions in the sports sector since he assumed office, appealed to him to either name a stand at the Main Bowl of the Kwara Stadium Complex or name a competition to be sponsored by the state government after him.Owolewa, who reminded that Yekini was a native of Ira in Oyun Local Government Area of the state, recalled that he shone like a million stars during his playing days with the Super Eagles and in Portugal with Vitoria Setubal.He died eight years ago in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, after retiring from football.The statement said: “We are appealing to His Excellency, to please consider naming a part of the stadium stand, if not the stadium after the late Goal King.“No doubt, Yekini put the name of the state on the world map during his playing days. “He played 58 times and scored 37 goals for the Super Eagles and no one has beaten this record till date.”The statement also appealed to the State Government to assist his mother, Alhaja Sikiratu Yekini, who needs every care or attention any aged person would need at the moment.The body also appealed to well to do Nigerians to also extend their hands of fellowship to the aged woman in Ijagbo, near Offa in Kwara State.Tags: ImmortalisationRashidi YekiniSports Writers Association of NigeriaSuper EaglesSWANlast_img read more

  • Poor shooting continues to ail Badgers

    first_imgStruggling to get even their high percentage shots to fall Friday night, the Wisconsin women’s basketball team’s poor shooting performance left them with another home loss, as they fell 69-51 to the Washington State Cougars.Finishing the game with a 33 percent field goal percentage, as the Cougars (2-1) took control early in the second half, Wisconsin’s inability to drain their shots limited any opportunity for a serious comeback. The Badgers (1-3) failed to score in the first seven minutes of the second half, as seemingly every ball they tossed up rolled off the rim or bounced off the backboard.With a roster full of young players on a team that returned just two starters, many of whom are still developing into their role as genuine scorers, head coach Bobbie Kelsey credited some of the shooting woes to less experienced players’ lack of confidence on the floor.“It’s a learning process because a lot of these folks have not been able to shoot or allowed to shoot,” Kelsey said. “So you see a lot of hesitation out there, and some folks are open that should be shooting and others I tell them don’t shoot too early because we don’t want everybody just jacking up shots. But it’s about getting it into your people that can really put it in the basket, or whoever’s hot that game.”Aside from turnovers, poor shooting (36.5 percent on the year) has been one of the primary concerns for head coach Bobbie Kelsey’s squad this year, an issue that perhaps hurt them more than ever against the Pac-12 opponent.Despite starting the game strong and picking up an early 12-2 lead, thanks to the hot hands of guards Morgan Paige and Taylor Wurtz, Wisconsin was unable to keep the short streak going, keeping them from picking up their first home win of the year at the Kohl Center. But with layups coasting off the rim, the low percentage wasn’t simply the result of poor shot selection.“I think tonight, I didn’t see anybody take horrible shots, it was just we couldn’t finish,” Kelsey said. “When you have post players that go two-for-11 and two-for-12, they’re getting shots, just not finishing them.”As Kelsey noted, the Badgers’ two main post threats in forwards Anya Covington (two-for-12) and Ashley Thomas (two-for-11) struggled all night, allowing the Washington State defense to focus on the outside shooters. Picking up just 20 points in the paint, the inability to get anything going inside certainly hampered Wisconsin’s shooting percentage from the wing.Kelsey pointed out that the team constantly works on shooting – and that she encourages them to practice as much as possible outside of practice – but players recognize that if they plan to soon get back on track, they have to start sinking their shots.“Making the mistakes that we’re making, trying to see those, not make those same mistakes again in the next game,” sophomore guard Morgan Paige said. “We’re starting to see a little bit of repetition in the mistakes with the offense and execution, so if we can minimize those a little bit … we should be able to come out of this positively.”Wurtz growing into role as top scoring threatAlthough the Badgers struggled with their shooting as a team against the Cougars, junior guard Taylor Wurtz had another impressive performance and solidified her role as Wisconsin’s top offensive threat.Nearly posting a double-double with 17 points and nine rebounds, Wurtz did not have her best shooting night but still found a way to score. The junior helped lead a late second half attack from UW and, for the third time in four games, she led the team in scoring.In typical fashion, the selfless Wurtz gave much of the credit for her impressive performance Friday night to her teammates, but it’s clear she will be the player keeping opposing defenses awake at night for the rest of the year.“I know that I need to step up and make plays and make good decisions, but it’s easy when I have teammates that can get me the ball and also take away a lot of the pressure,” Wurtz said. “I have a lot of faith in my posts and that they’re going to finish those shots, so the inside presence makes it easier for them to do an in-and-out game.”last_img read more