HONOLULU - Adm. Scott H. Swift, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, spoke to participants of the Advanced Security Cooperation course at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS) in Waikiki Oct. 16.
Swift spoke about the relationship between security, prosperity and the rules-based international system.
“I want to increase understanding and ultimately that’s what supports regional prosperity,” said Swift. “Collaboration within the international system allows that to happen through organizations like APCSS that bring people together to have relationship-building dialogues.”
One hundred and twelve mid-career government employees from more than 40 countries are taking part in the 5-week-long course that includes plenary lectures, group interaction seminars and assessment exercises.
“Admiral Swift was the perfect military keynote speaker for ASC,” said Lt. Cmdr. Daniel Bradshaw, ASC course coordinator. “He is the leader of a large organization that, through its various security cooperation activities, directly touches the lives of the citizens in each of the 42 countries from which our participants came.”
The course is an executive education program that allows the participants to broaden their knowledge of security issues within political, socio-economic, defense and environmental contexts. It is one of six formal courses held at the APCSS, which is one of the Department of Defense’s five regional security studies centers.
Swift spoke about cooperation in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, security initiatives, exercise Rim of the Pacific and trust.
“The most important element of building a relationship is trust,” said Swift. “That’s the product you want to get from building a relationship. It’s also the most perishable. Trust is something that if you’re not doing it, it will decay on its own. You have to constantly reinforce it.”
“The most important takeaway for me from Admiral Swift's talk was the reiteration of the commitment that the US has to the Asia-Pacific region,” said Nitin Gokhale, a national security analyst from India and a course participant. “Not only to secure its own national interest but also to ensure peace and stability in the region.”