Gates Cites Importance of Transparency, Civilian Expertise

SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia, Nov. 22, 2010 — Trans­paren­cy in defense spend­ing breeds trust among nations, and civil­ian exper­tise is vital to any nation’s defense estab­lish­ment, Defense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates said here today.
Gates spoke dur­ing a ple­nary ses­sion of the Con­fer­ence of the Defense Min­is­ters of the Amer­i­c­as, and not­ed that “con­sol­i­da­tion of peace, trust secu­ri­ty and coop­er­a­tion in the Amer­i­c­as” is one of the conference’s major themes.

“Being more open about our nations’ inten­tions and capa­bil­i­ties can gen­er­ate mutu­al trust through­out the hemi­sphere, which the U.S. con­sid­ers to be an impor­tant nation­al inter­est,” the sec­re­tary said.

Not­ing that the U.S. pres­i­dent dis­sem­i­nates a nation­al secu­ri­ty strat­e­gy and the Defense Depart­ment con­ducts and pub­lish­es a thor­ough review every four years, Gates said the Unit­ed States takes the same approach to defense spend­ing.

“For exam­ple,” he said, “in addi­tion to sub­mit­ting defense bud­gets annu­al­ly and pub­licly to our Con­gress, each year the Unit­ed States takes part in the Unit­ed Nations instru­ment for report­ing mil­i­tary expen­di­tures.” This report, he explained, cov­ers mil­i­tary-relat­ed expen­di­tures on costs for train­ing and oper­a­tions, per­son­nel, main­te­nance, pro­cure­ment, con­struc­tion, and research and devel­op­ment.

“It is a com­pre­hen­sive account­ing of U.S. defense spend­ing,” the sec­re­tary said, “and we are proud to be a par­tic­i­pant.”

Gates added that he has direct­ed his staff to work with State Depart­ment offi­cials to re-eval­u­ate the Inter-Amer­i­can Con­ven­tion on Trans­paren­cy in Con­ven­tion­al Weapons Acqui­si­tions and to deter­mine the prospects for sub­mit­ting it to the Sen­ate for rat­i­fi­ca­tion. The con­ven­tion requires nations that sign and rat­i­fy it to report annu­al­ly on weapons exports and imports and to make time­ly noti­fi­ca­tions of weapons acqui­si­tions, whether import­ed or pro­duced domes­ti­cal­ly.

Anoth­er theme of the con­fer­ence here -– “Democ­ra­cy, Armed Forces, Secu­ri­ty and Soci­ety” –- gives West­ern Hemi­sphere nations a chance to exam­ine how to strength­en civil­ian capac­i­ties in their defense min­istries, Gates said.

“Civil­ian exper­tise in defense mat­ters is cru­cial,” he said. “In fact, it is a crit­i­cal pre­req­ui­site for civil­ian con­trol of the mil­i­tary, itself a key com­po­nent of true democ­ra­cy.”

To help West­ern Hemi­sphere part­ners strength­en the civil­ian exper­tise in their defense struc­tures, Gates said, The Cen­ter for Hemi­spher­ic Defense Stud­ies has offered to host work­shops and has com­mit­ted to pro­vide two schol­ar­ships to its cours­es for each of the nations rep­re­sent­ed at the con­fer­ence. Such exchanges, he added, fos­ter mutu­al under­stand­ing.

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twit­ter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →