On Friday, October 2, the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies hosted the fifth and final day of its annual Washington Security and Defense Seminar (WSDS). The starting session covered the US budget process. Panelists Dr. Thomas Mahnken, Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, and Mr. Mark Cancian, Senior Advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, skillfully guided participants through the mechanics and politics of creating, approving, and managing defense budgets and military spending.
The second panel focused on foreign aid and security assistance and featured Lieutenant General (ret.) David Barno, Senior Fellow at the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies, and Dr. Andrew Bacevich, President of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, who addressed US alliances, the changing nature of foreign training and assistance missions, and America’s future role in the global landscape.
Perry Center Director LTG (ret.) Frederick Rudesheim closed out the week by highlighting the Center’s mission to empower security and defense practitioners, facilitate connectivity among alumni and with the Perry Center, and foster intergovernmental relations in support of a safe and secure hemisphere for our citizens. He also extended his appreciation to the nearly 200 diplomats, civil servants, and military and security officials – representing 23 countries in Latin America and Caribbean – for their participation this week and in the ongoing dialogue that will make WSDS 2020 a success.
WSDS is a weeklong forum to provide advanced orientation of USG structure, policy, and processes to the local Latin America and Caribbean diplomatic community. Participants have the unique opportunity to hear perspectives from high-level policy experts from the US Government, academic community, and private sector in an academic non-attribution environment facilitated by the Perry Center. WSDS is directed by Professor Patrick Paterson and facilitated by Dr. Fabiana Perera, Dr. Bill Godnick, Dr. Luis Bitencourt, Dr. Boris Saavedra, Dr. David Spencer, Professor Celina Realuyo, and Mr. Walter Earle.