On July 12, CHDS hosted a group of students from the Colegio de Altos Estudios Estratégicos (College of Advanced Strategic Studies – CAEE), who are visiting Washington DC, one week before their graduation. CAEE is a highly influential organization in the region, and its mission is to educate civilian and military leaders. The great success of this educational organization is due to its ability to bring together officials of all ideologies in an environment that fosters their communication and ultimately the development of a more effective national security strategy. For this reason, in 2009, the CHDS awarded CAEE with the William J. Perry Award for Excellence in Defense.
On this occasion, CAEE students were welcomed by CHDS Director Dr. Richard Downie, and Major General (ret.) John Thompson, just 24 hours after their arrival in the United States. During their visit, Vice Dean and Professor Manuel Lora, spoke to them about CHDS’ history and mission, touching on important points such as its educational mission and the central role that civilian officials have as leaders in the creation of defense policies. He also highlighted important issues such as CHDS’ (and National Defense University in general) non-attribution policy, which allows all academics to chat and present their ideas freely.
Afterwards a group of professors, which included Dr. Jaime Garcia, Prof. Guillermo Pacheco and Dr. Luis Kun presented various topics such as: leadership, current and future threats to national security, as well as the need for broad knowledge and education in order to be prepared to face the challenges caused by the interconnectedness of today’s world. For these students who will soon assume leadership positions in El Salvador, it was interesting to learn what Dr. Jaime Garcia believes characterizes a good leader, who highlighted aspects such as strategic communication, cooperation, clear direction and a deep understanding of the threats facing the country. Professors Pacheco and Kun corroborated this view with a new analysis of the new forms of threats facing the region, and how leaders in defense policy making can prepare to deal with them.