USARCENT strengthens ties through land forces symposium

Photo By Sgt.
Matt Kuzara | Maj. Gen. Terrence McKenrick, deputy commanding general, U.S. Army Central, introduces… read more ALEXANDRIA, Va. – U.S. Army Central’s senior leadership assembled for a four-day conference with six partner nations from Central and South Asia for the USARCENT Land Forces Symposium here June 19-22.
The symposium gave senior leaders, such as Lt. Gen. Michael Garrett, commanding general, USARCENT, as well as military representatives from USARCENT’s partner nations in the region an opportunity to hear from civilian and military experts on issues of importance to global and regional security.
“While some would say that the easy answer is to simply shut-down borders and to live in isolation, the asymmetric threats that we all face in our current operating environment make this option both infeasible and unobtainable.
With that goal, the experts spoke on topics ranging from defeating ISIS, under-standing Iranian malign influence in the region, and what a post-conflict Syria and Iraq will look like.
Dr. Rod Schoonover, Director of Environmental and Natural Resources for the National Intelligence Council who spoke on how changes to global temperature, water scarcity, deforestation, and overfishing can affect the U.S. and our partner nations in the region, adding to the diversity of ideas.
“Countries that are most vulnerable to such stresses are those with weak political institutions, poor economic conditions, and existing political strife.
Addressing instability would require not only understanding and mitigating the environmental stresses directly but also through strengthening the political and social institutions within a given state,” said Schoonover.
“I think what was very useful for all the nations in the Central Asian Region, is that they have to know what is going on in the region and that they have to come together to help each other to fight against terrorists like Al Qaida and ISIS,” said Col. Abdul Hadi Barakzai of the Afghan National Army, “I think there was a pretty good experience and everybody got to speak their view about the region.” USARCENT demonstrates its enduring commitment to its partners by continuing to build on existing relationships and understanding the culture of the region.
The command plans on continuing to help ensure that the countries in the region can work together to meet security challenges.

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