Southeast Asia Subject Matter Expert Exchange

  • August 31, 2004
  • LTC Curtis W Turner, Prof Bert B Tussing, Dr Richard L Winslow

The Subject Matter Expert Exchange program is viewed by USARPAC to be an important element in PACOM's Theater Security Cooperation program with both Malaysia and Indonesia. In Indonesia, in fact, it served as part of a "new beginning" in relations between our militaries, following a temporary cessation of International Military Education and Training (IMET) and associated programs. Perhaps as a function of the same, the questions raised in the Joint War College and the National Resilience Center in Indonesia were occasionally "pointed," revealing a perspective that sometimes casts the United States as a hegemonic giant beyond constraints. However, over time the CSL/NDU training team was able to promote a free and open dialogue with both our Indonesian and Malaysian audiences. In the end, the Commandants and Directors of all of the institutions visited by the briefing team had made it clear that they wanted to keep that dialogue open, and have already begun inquiries towards having the program continued in their countries. As such, both the American presenters and their hosts have reemphasized the importance of shared perspectives and discourse in broadening and strengthening our strategic partnership in South East Asia.