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News | July 3, 2014

NIU: Collaborating with International Partners on Multiple Fronts

By Sarah Schneider, NIU

In the past month, the National Intelligence University ran two very successful programs: the 20th iteration of the International Intelligence Fellows Program, and the second FVEY Certificate in Intelligence Studies – China.  

The IIFP brought 21 senior military and intelligence officials from 18 nations to Washington, D.C., for two and a half weeks to discuss intelligence support to combating terrorism. This program certainly achieved its purpose: to facilitate regional military and security cooperation by providing the participants with a forum to express concerns, discuss ideas and find solutions to regional counterterrorism problems.

The fellows received a strategic overview of how the U.S. intelligence community manages CT issues by combining NIU faculty-led academic seminars and discussions with site visits to the State Department, the National Counterterrorism Center, the Defense Combating Terrorism Center, and the Pentagon to meet with senior intelligence leaders. NIU also arranged a trip to Norfolk, Va., for the fellows to visit the Maritime Intelligence Fusion Center, Naval Station Norfolk, and the Tidewater Joint Terrorism Task Force.

The IIFP concluded with an executive session during which the fellows not only identified a need to cooperate in a manner that takes into account current international CT shortcomings, but also devised opportunities for expanding cooperation. They worked out very specific approaches to these issues: creating multinational training opportunities, conducting more joint exercises and building analytical expertise through exchange programs.

The China certificate was an intensive one-month course designed to familiarize students from “Five Eyes” nations – Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States –  with China’s foreign policy, strategic culture, and defense and military policy.

Both programs directly supported DIA’s strategic objective to strengthen existing relationships, and to build new, mutually beneficial ones with knowledgeable foreign partners in order to enhance perspectives, leverage resources and limit intelligence shortfalls. They also served as an academic catalyst for national and international intelligence community engagement. NIU hailed this particular certificate course as contributing significantly to DIA’s new efforts to expand Five Eyes cooperation.

The IIFP students concluded that establishing genuine trust amongst international partners is the key to improved cooperation – this will pave the way for a unified, global initiative which will take into account important cultural differences, and will encourage governments to adopt a proactive, rather than reactive, attitude towards terrorism. The IIFP and FVEY certificate program successfully supported continued engagement between partner nations and NIU, which the university considers crucial to strengthening and expanding international partnerships.