The EXBS quarterly newsletter is published by the Office of Export Control Cooperation in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation at the U.S. Department of State.
The newsletter provides an overview of activities implemented in the past quarter, discussion of upcoming events, introduction of new advisors, and highlights from EXBS posts in the field.
The Office of Export Control Cooperation (ECC) held its annual training for Locally Employed Staff (LES) of the EXBS Program on November 17-19 in Frankfurt, Germany. LES from over 20 countries discussed current program policies and budgetary procedures with ECC staff and participated in training exercises at the Frankfurt Regional Support Center in ethics and “managing up”.
On the final day of the workshop, Tony Harris, President of CSECO, a principal manufacturer of basic interdiction equipment, provided hands-on equipment training to all participants on CT-30 buster kits. With this newly acquired knowledge, LES will be able to advance core program objectives by facilitating future equipment donations and training to donor countries.
The knowledge of local customs and native language fluency of EXBS LES provide for program continuity in support of EXBS Advisors and are key sources of the Department of State’s ability to ensure other U.S. Government programs working in security assistance pursue their goals in ways that complement EXBS programs.
This workshop was also a great opportunity to gather candid feedback on the impact of EXBS programs and how to better tailor training and equipment donations to meet partner country needs. LES were not shy and shared comments and areas for improvement, ranging from how contractors are used for support services to the need to update some of our program offerings.
ECC Director Justin Friedman attended the first day of the workshop and awarded Maya Abralava of Georgia the firstever LES of the Year award.
During 2009, EXBS worked with providers of strategic trade control assistance to increase coordination in a number of fora that have produced promising results. At the 10th International Export Control Conference in Istanbul in June 2009, Australia, the EU, Japan and EXBS launched a shared calendar of international export and border control outreach activities and agreed they could attend each other’s events. EXBS also participated in international donors meetings in Washington, D.C. in July, Frankfurt in October, and Tokyo in December. At theTokyo meeting, EXBS, Japan and Australia committed to planning a joint outreach event in Thailand in 2010.
The United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs conducted a UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1540 Implementation Workshop in Cairo, Egypt on December 7-10, 2009 with financial support from the EXBS Program, the European Union and Norway. Egypt, Ghana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and the Republic of Congo were in attendance. The workshop was well received by participating countries and included presentations on existing export control legislation, border security mechanisms, and best practices.
The African States in attendance pointed out that most countries in the region are coming out of many years of conflict and war and it is important to look at the region collectively when providing any type of assistance. Regional cooperation and capacity building is key for Africa to move towards implementation of UNSCR 1540.
Under EXBS auspices, 10 Bosnian Customs anti-smuggling team officers traveled to Zagreb, Croatia in November 2009 to meet with counterparts in Croatian Customs and share best practices on how to conduct mobile interdiction operations. After receiving headquarters level briefings, Bosnian officers joined Croatian mobile teams in traveling to the Slovenian, Serbian and Bosnian borders and visiting key border crossing points. This low-cost activity provided a valuable opportunity for Customs officers from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia to share good ideas and establish working level relationships that will pay major dividends in increased operational effectiveness and expanded cross-border cooperation to interdict illicit trafficking of items of proliferation concern.
(Narrative and images provided by Frederick Fetty.)
Afghanistan - A coalition of cooperation and hospitality. The EXBS Program in Afghanistan began in 2006. The current Advisor is Frederick Fetty and the Program Coordinator is Roohullah Shekaib.
The EXBS mission and objectives in Afghanistan are the same as in other countries; however, the difficulties of implementing the program are greatly increased by the war on terrorism fought daily on city streets and in the country side. The borders of Afghanistan are shared by Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, China and Pakistan. While all the cities and border areas are considered high risk, the border area and border crossing points with Pakistan are the most dangerous.
Over the past year there has been an increase in incidents of improvised explosive devices (IED), vehicle borne IEDs, and suicide bombers. Travel between cities and border locations is restricted to aircraft or heavily armed convoys. Delivery of EXBS and Coalition donated equipment is dependent on secure transportation from bordering countries to border crossing points on the borders or inland customs depots near the cities. Training outside of Kabul requires support from transportation and security providers and the Interagency Provincial Affairs Office. The way ahead is only possible through active liaison between the multiple donors for the best possible coordination of activities.
EXBS has provided basic inspection tools, Rapiscan baggage x-rays, radiation pagers, 45 ton cranes, hand and walk-through metal detectors, generators, CT-30 kits, computers, Motorola Radios, and a Toyota Corolla to the Afghan Border Police and Customs. In 2009-10 EXBS will deliver additional basic inspection tools, Rapiscan x-ray units, 13.5 ton and 3.5 ton forklifts, fire fighting and first responder equipment, SABRE 4000 explosive, chemical, narcotic detectors, McCurdy’s Armor modular security structures and modular compounds on the border with Pakistan, and a $1 million information technology hardware and software Import/Export Licensing System for the Afghan Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
EXBS is currently working with the Afghanistan Government to develop its Strategic Trade Law. EXBS has funded five workshops in Kabul and a two-week training program on export controls at the University of Georgia for four Afghan Government officials. The draft law will be presented to the Afghan Parliament in February 2010.
The people of Afghanistan have suffered numerous hostilities for many generations. Their culture is diverse and filled with traditions that are hundreds of years old. The Afghan people are some of the poorest in the world, but they are also extremely hospitable and generous. When you enter a poor family’s home you are given the best of what they have. Program Coordinator Roohullah Shekaib provides the following quote: “Afghans say ‘Naan Peeaz Peshani Baz’”. Translated this means, “Even though I have but a small piece of bread and onion, which is not enough to serve my guest, I will willingly and joyfully give this to my guest to welcome him/her to my home”.
Fred Carter joined the EXBS Program as the Advisor to Armenia in October 2009. Mr. Carter is a retired U.S. Navy Captain who has served as a Naval Attache, U.S. Navy P-3 Orion Patrol Squadron commander, and Senior Program and Budget Officer in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counterdrug Operations. He also worked for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration.
Kirk Bradham joined the EXBS Program as the Advisor to the Kyrgyz Republic in October 2009. Mr. Bradham has worked for the Raytheon Technical Services Company in Russia on a Nuclear Weapons Safety and Security Sustainment Program and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency in Ukraine on the Strategic Nuclear Arms Elimination Program and Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation Prevention Initiative. He has worked in the Former Soviet Union for the past twelve years.
Tyler Hoffman joined the EXBS Program as the Advisor to Jordan, Oman, UAE and Yemen in November 2009. He is posted in Muscat, Oman. Previously, Mr. Hoffman served as an International Trade Specialist at the U.S. Department of Commerce covering Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, Oman, and Yemen. He participated in Free Trade Agreement, Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, and Bilateral Investment Treaty discussions with counterpart states of the region.
The Export Control and Related Border Security Assistance (or "EXBS") program is the United States Government's premier initiative to help other countries improve their export control systems. The EXBS program takes a regional and multilateral approach, promoting harmonization of national export control systems with international standards and facilitating information-sharing agreements among nations. The program also organizes a number of regional and international fora to bring national policymakers and technical experts together to share information and best practices.
For more information about EXBS Activities, please contact Ms. Valerie Reed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Office of Export Control Cooperation
Harry S. Truman Building, Room 3317
2201 C. St., N.W.
Washington, DC 20520