On April 7, the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies celebrated the graduation of students enrolled in the 2017 Defense Policy and Complex Threats (DPCT) course. Attended by 31 civilian and military students from 13 countries across the Western Hemisphere, the course included lectures by Perry Center governance experts, interactive exercises facilitated by Perry Center faculty, and distinguished guest speakers from academia and the interagency. DPCT, directed by Dr. Luis Bitencourt and Adjunct Professor Guillermo Pacheco, is designed to assist students in analyzing and developing risk-forecasting tools to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of defense institutions in the Americas.
Brigadier General Joseph E. Whitlock spoke at the graduation ceremony. Currently serving as Deputy Director for Politico-Military Affairs (Western Hemisphere) Strategic Planning and Policy Directorate (J5) on the Joint Staff, BG Whitlock spoke of the shared threats faced by countries of the Americas and the imperative to shift our perspectives from a regional to global view. Transnational organized criminal networks and other asymmetric threats have evolved and now threaten institutional stability. BG Whitlock believes that “regional communication and cooperation are essential to understanding and developing enduring solutions to the security challenges the region faces.”
The ceremony concluded with a reception, during which Perry Center Director Mark Wilkins and BG Whitlock engaged in discussions with individual students about their time and experiences at the Perry Center.