Delivering on the Promise: the 2023 Security Cooperation Conference

From left to right Dr. Alyssa Ayres, Dean, Elliott School of International Affairs; Ms. Madeline Mortelmans, Performing the Duties of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Capabilities; and Dr. Celeste W. Gventer, President, Defense Security Cooperation University gather at the 2023 Security Cooperation Conference.

Posted on: 10/18/2023

The Defense Security Cooperation University (DSCU) and The George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs co-hosted the second annual Security Cooperation Conference, “Delivering on the Promise of Security Cooperation” October 12-13, 2023, in Washington, D.C. The Conference examined the practice of Security Cooperation to inform U.S. policymakers, planners, and implementers responsible for advancing the National Defense Strategy (NDS) through global partnerships and international cooperation.

Approximately 250 Security Cooperation policymakers, scholars, and practitioners gathered for 1.5 days to foster dialogue and analysis of key issues facing the Security Cooperation community, promote exchange on knowledge, and grow and maintain the network that serves as a resource for developing and progressing Security Cooperation as a discipline.

Security Cooperation activities advance U.S. national security and foreign policy interests by enabling and encouraging foreign partners to address shared security challenges. Those efforts involve, among other things, developing military capabilities, combined training efforts, military-to-military engagement, foreign military sales, and various forms of engagement by the U.S. Security Cooperation workforce across the globe.

The Conference recognized that Security Cooperation is the center of gravity for the NDS. The focus on the practice of Security Cooperation asked:

  • What does success look like?
  • What strategies work best?
  • How do we do it (Security Cooperation)?
  • Who does it?

In the past few years, there has been a tectonic shift in Security Cooperation and an increased global demand. Legislation and the NDS require a Security Cooperation workforce that has the knowledge, skills, and abilities to develop and sustain key relationships, assist partners in determining how to address capability and capacity gaps, and translate partner requirements into actionable and effective Security Cooperation initiatives.

DSCU holds itself accountable to a higher standard of Security Cooperation education and practice by building and using evidence-based knowledge to inform curriculum and professionalize Security Cooperation through in-depth analysis, research, scholarship and lessons learned. Through events like the annual Security Cooperation Conference, DSCU partners with U.S. government agencies, international partners, and academic institutions to help expand the intellectual foundations and critical inquiry of Security Cooperation.

The 2023 Conference results will form the basis for continued collaboration across communities of interest on how to apply knowledge, improve practice, and ultimately deliver on the promise of Security Cooperation.

DSCU’s President, Dr. Celeste Gventer, would like to especially thank Dr. Alyssa Ayres, Dean, Elliott School of International Affairs, and her team for co-hosting this Conference at The George Washington University. U.S. Government speakers included: Ms. Madeline Mortelmans, Performing the Duties of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Capabilities; Mr. James Hursch, Director, Defense Security Cooperation Agency; Mr. Stanley L. Brown, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, U.S. Department of State; Mr. Matan Chorev, Principal Deputy Director of the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff; Major General Donn Hill, USA, Security Force Assistance Command; and Major General Darrin E. Slaten, USA National Guard Bureau.

DSCU greatly appreciates the contributions by all the esteemed participants that took the time out of their busy schedules to advance the field of Security Cooperation during the 2023 Security Cooperation Conference.

News item #70205