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How Defense Security Management College Supports the National Security Strategy of Engagement.

"Our strategy is founded on continued U.S. engagement and leadership abroad. The United States must lead abroad if we are to be secure at home."

A National Security Strategy for a New Century, The White House, December 1999.

What do Defense Security Management College's (DSMC) educational activities have to do with this?

In December 1999, the White House issued the latest version of A National Security Strategy for a New Century. The strategy stated that "International cooperation will be vital for building security in the next century because many of the challenges we face cannot be addressed by a single nation. ... durable relationships with allies and friendly nations are critical to our security." The strategy goes on to note the crucial role of the U.S. military in protecting and promoting U.S. interests, but that it is not a substitute for other forms of engagement. Other forms of engagement are diplomatic, economic, scientific, technological, cultural, and educational activities. DSMC's engagement activities consist mostly of educating those in the DoD acquisition workforce that will engage the allies as a part of their official activities, along with some educating of the allies directly.

How does DSMC support the policy of engagement?


Our primary educational engagement activity is our family of international acquisition courses. DSMC offers three one-week international courses, which are for the most part for those in the DoD acquisition workforce that will engage the allies directly.

* Multinational Program Management Course (PMT 202): The introduction to international cooperative acquisition programs, concentrating mostly on program management in the international environment.

* International Security and Technology Transfer/Control Course (PMT 203): As the course title conveys, this is about the transfer and control of information and technology in international projects.

Advanced International Management Workshop (PMT 304): This is a workshop in international project agreements, often referred to as Memoranda of Understanding or Agreement.

Seminars, Forums, Symposiums and Special Offerings

Secondary in importance only to our international acquisition courses are the various seminars, forums, symposiums, and special offerings that DSMC conducts regularly or occasionally. DSMC has formed strategic arrangements with Atlantic and Pacific partners. With Atlantic partners, we have been conducting an annual international acquisition/procurement seminar with defense acquisition educational institutions in the United Kingdom, Germany and France for twelve years on a rotational basis. The thirteenth Atlantic Seminar is scheduled for June 2001 in Berlin, Germany. In the Pacific we have a similar arrangement with defense institutions and Ministries in Australia, South Korea, Singapore and New Zealand. The third annual seminar was held in Singapore.

Another engagement activity in the Pacific Theater is the Defense Cooperation in Acquisition Course that we conduct biennially for Pacific Command in Singapore or Canberra, Australia. At DSMC we host a biannual International Acquisition Forum for Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and the services to present and exchange views on contemporary, and sometimes contentious, international acquisition topics. DSMC has hosted all eight of these forums since 1996, which are chaired by the OSD Director, International Cooperation.

Over the years DSMC has partnered with other organizations for some one-time engagement activities, such as the "European and Transatlantic Armaments Cooperation Symposium" in 1996 sponsored by the French, German, Italian and British Embassies, and endorsed by the Under Secretary of Defense Acquisition and Technology. Another example would be the U.S.-Japan Project Management Seminar conducted in 1998 at the request of the Director, Pacific Armaments Cooperation in the Office of the Director for International Cooperation. The University City Science Center, a consortium of educational institutions, and the Strategic Management Group, a private contractor, conducted the Seminar with educational oversight by DSMC international faculty.


The Defense Security Management College has produced many research products to support international engagement activities, some of which are unique resources for the acquisition community. International studies were completed in the following areas:

* Comparative acquisition practices (Atlantic and Pacific).

* Cooperative acquisition projects--factors for success (Atlantic and Pacific).

* National cultures and practices in international projects

* Ethics in international projects

* International negotiation case study

* Role of Congress in international agreements

* Military Research Fellows studies

* Case studies of international projects (Rolling Airframe Missile and The Multifunctional Information Distribution System).

The Military Research Fellows have chosen an international topic three times over the years. The most recent report of the Military Research Fellows, Transatlantic Armaments Cooperation, was published in August 2000. DSMC has pursued research in comparative acquisition practices for nearly eight years. Recently DSMC published Comparison of the Defense Acquisition Systems of France, Great Britain, Germany and the United States, September 1999. A similar effort is underway with the Pacific nations of Australia, Japan, South Korea and Singapore. A separate, but similar effort was completed on the comparative Test and Evaluation Policy of the United States, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Additional research publications include a three-volume U.S.-German comparison, Effects of a Scale-Down in Defense Budgets, as well as Standards and Trade in the 1990s, and Workforce Education Privatization The U.K. Experience.


Most consulting on international topics is conducted by the two DSMC international faculty. While clients are too numerous to list, significant efforts in the recent past have included Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, Armaments Cooperation, Director, International Security Programs in the Office of Secretary of Defense (Policy), the Joint Strike Fighter International Program Office, PM Arrow, HARM PMO, the Defense Microelectronics Activity, the DoD Inspector General, and the Partnership for Peace Information Management System. The Defense Security Management College international faculty has provided lectures to allied customers overseas in Australia, Japan, Spain, and the United Kingdom. They have consulted often on acquisition training and education possibilities with many nations. They maintain contact with defense industry through associate committee membership in the National Defense Industrial Association. Often there are consulting opportunities for other DSMC faculty for allied nations on U.S. specific topics, such as software management for Australia, and acquisition practices for Israel and South Korea, project management for Estonia (with DoE), contracting and acquisition reform with Japan, and a long-term security assistance assignment in the Czech Republic.

Information Dissemination

Defense Security Management College maintains an international website containing information about international acquisition courses, annual Atlantic and Pacific seminars, information dissemination, consulting, and overseas travel. Numerous articles related to international acquisition have been published in Program Manager and Acquisition Review Quarterly. Over fifteen of these articles published in the last five year are posted on the DSMC website. From the five years prior, another fifteen articles were published in Program Manager and The DISAM Journal of International Security Assistance Management. DSMC publishes two international guidebooks: Guidebook for Preparation and Negotiation of International Armaments Cooperation Memoranda of Understanding, Volumes 1 and 2. In addition, over twenty-five formal presentations on international topics were delivered in a variety of forums upon request. The DSMC Library maintains a contemporary collection of international periodicals and books relating to internat ional programs; the learning resource center maintains a collection of video and audiotapes on international subjects.

Foreign Visits and Students

During the past decade, DSMC has hosted over eighty formal foreign visits from twenty-eight nations. These have been from the following nations, listed in alphabetical order: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Israel, Japan, NATO Working Group, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, and United Kingdom.

Foreign nationals attend many DSMC courses, including the fourteen-week Advanced Program Management Course. While twenty-one nations have sent students to DSMC in the last four years, Japan sends far and away the most students. South Korea and Turkey provided the second greatest number of students.

Defense Security Management College also has an International Chair, complementing the DoD, services and industry chairs of the executive institute. South Korea provided the first chair in 1998. France recently filled the international chair.

How are we doing?

A detailed, internal DSMC analysis indicates that there are strengths and weaknesses in our international engagement program. We are very strong in courses and forums, and reasonably strong in international research and consulting activities. Our engagement program begins to weaken with special offerings and continuous learning. Our support to the commanders-in-chief could be improved, and we are weakest in our industry partnerships and supporting allied educational activities. The DSMC will pursue a philosophy of taking advantage of our strengths to correct our weaknesses.

What should we be doing?

To expand the College's engagement program will require meeting with the commanders-in-chief's representatives, industrial associations, selected defense companies, our allied partnering educational institutions, and other U.S. government organizations with active international engagement programs. We are thinking about hosting a joint European and Pacific Command conference on defense cooperation in acquisition. Special offerings conducted biennially for Pacific Command should be expanded to the European Command. A joint seminar with defense industry would be another engagement activity worthy of consideration. Better supporting our allies acquisition education programs is also under consideration. While DSMC is in the planning stage of expanding our international engagement program, we would appreciate hearing the views of the readers. Please contact the author with any suggestions that you might have.

Richard Kwatnoski is currently the Director of International Acquisition courses for the Defense Systems Management College (DSMC), Fort Belvoir, Virginia, USA. He is a member of the Defense Acquisition Corps and certified level III in the program management career field. Richard Kwatnoski holds a masters degree in engineering sciences from the Pennsylvania State University, and a bachelor degree in mathematics from St. Francis College, Loretto, Pennsylvania. He has published thirteen technical reports for the Department of Defense. Since coming to DSMC, he has published nearly thirty articles on international acquisition in national journals and magazines, including Acquisition Review Quarterly, Program Manager The DISAM Journal of International Security Assistance Management, and National Defense Magazine. Richard Kwatnoski's e-mail address is
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Author:Kwatnoski, Richard
Publication:DISAM Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 2000
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