HONOLULU — The Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies is changing the name of the Security, Stability, Transition and Reconstruction (SSTR) course.  The new title, “Comprehensive Crisis Management: Preventing, Preparing, and Responding” (CCM) course, reflects a shift in emphasis toward a more even balance of preventing and preparing for crises with crisis response. 

According to course manager Herman Finley, “The new course focus will deepen attendees’ abilities to understand and deal with the multi-faceted, interdependent nature of both natural and man-made crises.”

Since the 2005 Tsunami in the Indian Ocean, the international community has spent much time and effort thinking about how to respond to catastrophic natural events.  That effort has occurred as military and diplomatic forces were also looking at responses to man-made emergencies.  Both groups evolved towards recognition that prevention and mitigation was the most cost effective approach while continuing to see rapid, effective response as both a human and political imperative.

APCSS’ Security, Stability, Transition and Reconstruction (SSTR) course was developed during the initial thinking about responding to man-made political/military disasters and was heavily influenced by U.S. thinking.  “SSTR” was a U.S. term that was not well understood in other nations and which led to uncertainty about U.S. policy aims as well as what exactly SSTR entailed.

The new course title, CCM, shifts the focus to be more in line with current thinking about how to deal with both man-made and natural crises. 

“Crises are comprehensive in nature; they involve, in interdependent ways, all elements of security including political, social, economic, military, etc. and multiple, interactive players such as domestic, international and non-governmental,” said Finley. 

“The degree to which we can build resilience into our societies will greatly influence the long-term impact of any crisis.  While crises are often thought of as time-bound, having a beginning and an end, in fact they have deep roots in the past and long shadows into the future.  A major skill involved in crisis management is the smooth interplay between routine activities (normally focused on building a better, more efficient society) and the extraordinary requirements of life saving and damage mitigation throughout the life-cycle of a crisis situation.

“By working together, multilaterally, we can better take actions to prevent routine difficulties from collapsing into crisis and to respond to crises that do occur in ways that reduce the near-term impact and set the stage for mid-term return to a sustainable development path,” he added.

The new course name is effective immediately.  For more information check our website at www.apcss.org