On April 1, 2022, DKI APCSS hosted 40 international officers from the U.S Army War College’s International Fellows Program. Ranging from lieutenant colonel to brigadier general, the Fellows were hand-selected from the Chief of Staff of the Army to participate in a 10-month, in-resident course at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

From India, U.S. Army War College International Fellow Amit Talwar talks with Professor Srini Sitaraman

For the last seven months, the Fellows have studied the role of land power, as part of a unified, joint or combined force, in support of the U.S. national military strategy. Their visit to Hawaii provided an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the various Indo-Pacific organizations who are available to partner with their militaries and countries.  In addition to DKI APCSS, the Fellows visited the Indo-Pacific Command, the U.S. Army Pacific Command, and the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management.

“You represent more than just yourselves today,” said Deputy Director Jim Hirai in his address to the Fellows. “You represent the future of your military and your countries. Your predecessors have proven that time and time again.”

The day at the Center allowed the Fellows an opportunity to view the Indo-Pacific region from an academic lens. They received two plenary presentations that provided a regional overview and detailed the region’s specific challenges and opportunities. The Fellows then participated in smaller break-out sessions on Health Security, Strategic Communication, North Korea Nuclear Crisis, and Russia in the Indo-Pacific.

For Colonel Esmad Cicuksic, Armed Forces of Bosnia- Herzegovina, the visit gave him an overall picture of the strategic environment in the region. In his breakout group, Cicuksic engaged in a vigorous discussion on how to achieve rule-based international order.

“Everybody agreed that we should take into consideration the great powers from all regions,” said Cicuksic. “We should have established common points with China’s side to understand their perspective and how they see the overall situation. Without dialogue we cannot move into the future.”

LTC Ismael Diaouari, Army of Burkina Faso (CRST 17-1) receives his golden lanyard.

The visit to Honolulu served as the first excursion for the U.S. Army War College’s International Fellows since the start of the pandemic. Two years from the date, a group of international Fellows had been scheduled to visit Hawaii. That trip was the first cancelled because of the pandemic.

“This is the first big movement of the War College since COVID,” said John Winegardner, Education and Training Specialist at the U.S. Army War College. “We have been shut down for the last two years. Just the simple fact that we were able to pull this off and do this has been special.”

The Fellows are scheduled to graduate in the first week of June.

Amongst the international fellows, three alumnus returned to the Center. Colonel Meleveetil Rajiv Menon, Indian Armed Forces (14th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting), Lt. Colonel Ismael Diaouari, Army of Burkina Faso (CRST 17-1), Colonel Jason Groat, Australian Army (APCSS-ACSC Joint Global Security Seminar).