CDA Daschbach at the Center for Civil-Military Relations

His Excellency the Director General of Strategic Affairs and Military Cooperation,

The Representative of the Congolese Armed Forces and National Gendarmerie,

The Representative of the Minister of Foreign Affairs,

The Political Officer of the Defense Ministry,

Ladies and gentlemen of the Center on Civil-Military Relations,

Distinguished guests in your ranks, grades, and functions,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I speak today with satisfaction concerning the bilateral military relations between my country, the United States of America, and the Congo. It is at this moment that I would like to thank the government of the Republic of the Congo, for their constant interest and engagement in our bilateral cooperation.

Thanks to all the successful initiatives in our security framework, the United States considers the Congo an important partner in our joined efforts to ensure regional security. These successful initiatives are important for a better life for people of the Republic of the Congo and those of neighboring countries. We are convinced that leadership development is essential for armed forces in service to the population and in the work to advance the respect for human rights within communities.Thus it is today that we launch the second annual training program in civil-military relations.

Just like last year, the emphasis will be on military leaders of junior ranks. Essentially, the course will teach the key role that junior officers, sub-officers, and their subordinates have to play in the establishment and the maintenance of trust with the people they serve, civilians. The objective is to assure that participants have a more profound understanding and respect for the role that they play in assuring that soldiers are competent, disciplined, and apolitical.

The second seminar from April 18th to the 21st will highlight the international defense of the homeland. The course is designed for soldiers and civilians at the intermediate or higher levels, involved in decisions relating to national and international security. Some of the principal objectives of this course are to supply instruction and technical assistance for: defining national defense with regards to national security, identifying and prioritizing transnational security risks, putting to work effective strategies for planning and cooperation between institutions, understanding the mutually dependent roles of civil authority, military interventions, and law enforcement, integrating these strategies in the struggle against terrorism, evaluating the effectiveness of citizen defense and infrastructure, examining the demands of education of politics and successful defense strategies.

The civil-military seminars over the course of the next two weeks will rely on the solid partnership between our two countries to reinforce bilateral security cooperation. Indeed, each year, the United States invests in training for the Congolese army. We can cite examples, among others, such as: sending FAC officers for training in American professional military schools, organizing the recent training on the fundamentals of aircraft maintenance with the Air Force and the America Air Force, and the annual ACOTA program that trains the Congolese Armed Forces before deployment in the Central African Republic to support the peace-keeping operation MINUSCA.

This training helps the Congolese military to protect civilian populations, and to apply human rights, civil-military relations, and basic military skills. We collaborate with the Navy in maritime exercises in the Gulf of Guinea through the Obangame Express program in the struggle against maritime trafficking, reinforcing security and the security of Congolese citizens. In summary, the Republic of the Congo and the United States have a fruitful relationship of security cooperation, which helps to improve regional stability, peace, and the friendship between our two countries.

Beyond all this, this workshop crowns our efforts to view civilians and soldiers as a team, each bringing their contribution to the construction of durable peace in the Congo and in the sub-region. Long live the friendship between the United States of America and the Republic of the Congo!

Thank you. Matondi mingi.