tv [untitled] June 12, 2012 3:30am-4:00am EDT
questions about the role of his agency. "washington journal" live on c-span every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. nato's supreme allied commander for europe and special assistant to president obama also spoke at the u.s. aid conference. they discussed nato challenges in libya, somalia, and afghanistan such as the balance of military power and development work, famine, and the rise of social networks and activism. this is a little over an hour.
>> good afternoon, everybody. i'd like to first start by reminding everybody that in your folders you have those crowd hall cards. and we welcome people going online to browse the panels, submit your questions, and vote for your favorites. look for the cards in your folders. great to see everybody here this morning and it is my great pleasure to introduce our next speaker. the first time that i met admiral james steverides at a dinner, his first question is whether i read prous or not. which is how i knew he truly embodied the idea of a soldier-schooler and statesman. he has decades of experience leading both direct combat missions in theaters across the globe. haiti, bosnia, some of the places we heard about in the earlier panel. and also in guiding our military
strategy at the highest levels. he now has what is probably the coolest title on the planet, which is the nato supreme allied commander of europe, as well as the commander of our european command. he has been a leading force in the government and the military and a big thinker on a lot of the topics that we're wrestling with over these three days. we could not think of a more fitting candidate to be here with us today to talk about the importance of collectively tackling these issues of development and security and doing so in a way that really moves us thoughtfully forward. so please join me in welcoming admiral james steverides. admiral, welcome. approximate thank you for that. thank you very much. good morning, everybody. first of all, i want to thank the administrator for letting me
come and take just a couple of minutes to set up what i think will be a terrific panel headed up by ray suarez and with some extraordinarily wide-ranging views to share. i am going to use a couple of slides. i know, generally speaking, people look and see a military guy from the pentagon with a power point presentation and that's created a fair amount of problems around the world. i assure you, this is a very easy presentation to get through and i'll do this in about ten minutes but i do like to use a couple of images. as i was saying to my very good friend, there is no part of the government in which the images frankly are more evocative than in the world of development. and so what i'll do today is just show you some of the challenges of thinking about development in a conflictual situation. then i'll try and talk a little about some of the -- what i hope are relatively creative ways
we're thinking about it at the department of defense. so if i could have the first image. this is libya, which many of the people in this room were involved in. and i would offer this as an example of attempting to do humanitarian work trending toward development in a zone of actual open, well-known conflict. very, very difficult. as many of the practitioners here know, we saw about 1 million refugees in this situation. in camps in tunis and egypt, niger, mali, and going to the north, to italy and to spain, as well as to france and greece. so about one person in seven in libya becomes a refugee, is in need of international assistance, and yet we are in the midst of a very active combat campaign. very difficult.
this, of course, is afghanistan. which is very much a place where i am engaged today, where we have the nato alliance, 28 nations, as well as 22 other nations. with troops on the ground and a total of 70 nations who are engaged in one level or another with development. here we see not only the complexity of the desperate needs of development, but we also see a very virulent insurgency compounded by this image, which of course is poppy. this is narcotics. so we add to this mix of challenges yet another dimension that we saw, for example, as well in colomblom yeah colombia. so i offer these images to set the stage for what we all know is the extraordinary difficulty of doing the strategic mission of development that you are executing with the tactical work
that we're trying to do to create some level of security so you can do your work. and your work is what in the end will determine success or failure in these places, and we get that. we want to support you. and if there's a single message i have for you today, it's the important of defense as trying to support development and diplomacy where we can. next, please. so i also think a lot about these two images. upper left are young boys and girls who are receiving aid. bottom right is a child-soldier. this is a supply chain that we cannot allow to connect. both from a security perspective, from a humanitarian perspective, from a socio
logic-development perspective. make sure those two images don't connect. and we heard a lot from the heads of state and government about the youth and the importance of youth. and i would underline it with this particular image. so -- next, please. what are we trying to do about it? let me give you some ideas that we're working on in the department of defense. the first one may or may not surprise you a bit. it's the idea of studying and learning languages and understanding the culture of these places in which we go to work. we take our example in this regard from a.i.d., from the department of state, from our diplomats and our developers. we're not very good at this in the department of defense. only 8% of the department of defense speaks a second language, for example. i've chosen to put here the rosetta stone. we are working hard on this. we want to increase our ability to understand and to be able to communicate both directly and
also to understand the culture, the history, the literature, all of the salient aspects of the cultures. because if we can do that, then we can far more effectively support you in your work. next, please. we're also doing some fairly creative things as we work with local security forces. now, these are afghan soldiers. and you should look at this photograph and you should say, well, that's an odd photo. because they're all holding books. and if you know anything about afghanistan, you know that, sadly, the literacy rate in this demographic, 20 to 30, is very low. it's only about 15% to 20%. because the taliban withheld education throughout this demographic's opportunity to learn. so you should say, so why are afghan soldiers all holding books? and the answer is, because we are teaching them to read.
we, nato. we, the nato training mission, afghanistan. we've taught 200,000 afghan soldiers and policemen to read. now, they're not going to go write a novel like marcel prous. but they are functionally litera literate. they are hungry for this knowledge. when you are a man or a woman in afghanistan and you can read, you put a pen in your pocket. and when the graduates of the reading course, again, 200,000 so far, about 70,000 in classes now, when they graduate, we give them a pen to put in their pocket. that is an extraordinary moment to watch a young afghan man or 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