Deputy Secretary of State Jack Lew is leading an interagency delegation to the U.S. government civilian-military training for Afghanistan, Camp Atterbury-Muscatatuck Center for Complex Operations (CA-MCCO), in south-central Indiana, today, November 19th
. Civilian assistance is a critical component of President Obama’s overall strategy for Afghanistan, especially as we open a new chapter in our relationship with today’s presidential inauguration.
U.S. civilians, working in partnership with the Afghan government and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the U.S. military and other international organizations are advancing our counterinsurgency efforts every day, in districts and provinces. They are working to improving Afghan governance (including justice capacity building), reconstruction, agriculture, and provision of basic services (health and education). Since January, we have committed to almost tripling the number of civilians on the ground, from 320 in January 2009 to almost 1000 in early 2010.
The one-week civ-mil course at CA-MCCO is the result of collaboration between the State Department, USAID, and DOD to leverage existing civilian-military training programs and tailor them to meet the increased need for civilian training. The training, which is attended by personnel from Department of State, USAID, and Department of Agriculture as well as several other agencies, focuses on direct partnership with provincial and local Afghan authorities. Part of the agenda for the Deputy Secretary’s visit includes role playing vignettes focused on local economic issues with local tribal leaders in a village setting, a town hall meeting with students and trainers and a briefing by CA-MCCO staff.