On Thursday, November 21st and Friday, November 22nd, 2019 The William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies hosted the ad-hoc working group on the Evolving Role of the Armed Forces in Defense and Security as a part of the XIV Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas (CDMA). The Conference is a biennial multilateral political meeting on the Defense Ministers of the Americas, sanctioned by the governments on the participating countries. CDMA is the foremost meeting of the defense sector in the hemisphere, with the goal of promoting mutual understanding, analysis, debate, and the exchange of ideas and experiences in the defense and security sectors.
The working group was attended by representatives from twenty-four countries in the Western Hemisphere, as well as several observer organizations and discussed a range of topics and shared perspectives on the evolving role of the Armed Forces across a number of domains. Topics covered included the importance of defense and security forces’ support to civilian organizations in humanitarian assistance and disaster response, the threat of narcotics trafficking and organized crime, and the importance of critical infrastructure in government functioning. Participating countries also reaffirmed their support for promoting a new generation of confidence-building measures in cyberspace and encouraged cooperation and exchange of best practices in cybersecurity and cyberspace.