When CHDS was founded, civilian-military relations were a big issue, Downie said. Some courses were developed to break down barriers to integrate civilian and military personnel. “There are people in our courses who – based at times on their countries’ history and other times on their own personal prejudice – would see a member of the military – or, for that matter, the police – and want to avoid that person,” he explained. “But after a week,” he added, “we see shields drop and people start working together.” Fourteen years after the founding of the center, Downie believes facilitation efforts that bring civilians and military personnel together are still needed. “We provide a unique opportunity for that dynamic to work,” he said. “We help to promote understanding, enhance individual and institutional capacity, and build relationships that allow us to confront the threats we face together.” By Dialogo July 01, 2011 In the early 1990s, Latin American defense officials expressed deep concerns that civilians knew little about the defense and military issues in their countries. William Perry, the U.S. secretary of defense at the time, envisioned an educational institution tailored to the unique requirements of the Western Hemisphere. He proposed the creation of a regional center to address this concern during the second Defense Ministerial meeting held in Bariloche, Argentina, in 1996. From then until September 1997, a team from the U.S. Department of Defense and the National Defense University worked to prepare for what became the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies (CHDS). The team consulted with regional stakeholders, including defense ministries and civilian academics, on how to better integrate security and defense issues in revitalized democracies with a need for strengthened civilian defense and security leadership. THE MISSION OF THE CHDS For more information on the CHDS, visit: www.ndu.edu/chds ADVANCED COURSES: Primarily designed to enhance and continue the education of CHDS Fellows (graduates): • Terrorism and Counterinsurgency (TCI) • Advanced Defense Policy (ADP) • Provide education and conduct outreach, research and knowledge-sharing activities on defense and international security policymaking with military and civilian leaders of the Western Hemisphere. • Advance international security policy and defense decisionmaking processes; foster partnerships and promote effective civil-military relations in democratic societies. • Contribute to a cooperative international security environment and mutual understanding of priority U.S. and regional defense and international security policy issues. The center offers various course levels, from introductory courses to more advanced courses with a deeper focus on particular areas and in a discussion format. These cover topics about external actors and the dynamics of political changes within the region. To ensure that the program remains relevant and deals with the appropriate themes needed in the region, the school constantly reviews its courses, seminars, workshops and other activities. The original role of CHDS has since evolved to a tailored outreach effort to inform perceptions of threats and to help educate civilian as well as military and security personnel. As part of the security and defense policy curricula, which includes effective interagency coordination, the school also conducts outreach efforts for defense ministries and cabinets to help them develop and refine their defense policies and national security strategies. Downie said some of the main topics currently discussed at the center involve Transnational Criminal Organizations, the resulting illicit trafficking, and the interagency coordination necessary to confront it – not only within countries but by collaborating internationally. “We examine the threats and discuss how to better cooperate and coordinate internally, within and among countries, in order to be able to focus on the most effective means to counter them,” explained the director. FOUNDATIONAL COURSES: Designed to give participants a solid foundation concerning the issues confronting the defense and security sectors: • Strategy & Defense Policy • Perspectives on Homeland Security and Defense Course (PHSD) • Caribbean Defense and Security Course (CDSC) • Inter-Agency Coordination and Combating Terrorism (ICCT) Located within the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., CHDS opened its doors September 17, 1997. It soon established itself as a forum for exchanging information and became a reference place for academics from the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, providing courses, seminars and workshops on key defense and security matters. In an interview with Diálogo, Richard Downie, the school’s director, said CHDS is the U.S. Department of Defense’s regional center for the Americas. “We began by focusing on educating primarily civilians in the defense and security community, and our mission was and still is primarily to help in that arena,” said Downie. “Due to the authoritarian regimes that had persisted in Latin America for decades, our role initially was to help educate a core of people – mostly civilians – who knew little about security and defense,” he added. Since many countries in the region faced a new phenomenon of civilian control of the military, the newly created CHDS focused heavily on helping the civilian defense and security community understand how to lead military and security agencies. From the beginning, emphasis was placed on the essentials of defense policy and resource management. “We have a key role in terms of offering quality security and defense policy education for those who otherwise might not have that opportunity,” said Downie. Still, he said, the students at CHDS are interested in many other areas, including the evolving role of the military into nontraditional roles and the influence of China and Iran in the region. “CHDS is fortunate to have on our faculty, for example, some of the region’s leading authorities on the Chinese presence in the region, on information technology and homeland security, and on illicit networks,” said Downie. SÃrvase revisar el texto en espaÃ±ol de los primeros tres pÃ¡rrafos. Hay muchos errores: el uso de la minÃºscula en vez de la mayÃºscula despuÃ©s de un punto final y con los nombres propios. Esta hilera no tiene sentido y no la vi en la versiÃ³n en inglÃ©s: … Departamento de Defensa de EE. UU. y la Universidad de Defensa Saber es Poder el conocimiento es poder nacional… I would like to take a course but I can’t log on to the website. I would like to know where they’re teaching the course.