Daily reading for foreign affairs afficionados with an emphasis on the culture and literature of Africa and poetry in general. Also, a repository of musings from life in the PGON (Pentagon) and as a post-grad student. Most of my book reviews are now over at www.kruzoo.blogspot.com
"But being right, even morally right, isn't everything. It is also important to be competent, to be consistent, and to be knowledgeable. It's important for your soldiers and diplomats to speak the language of the people you want to influence. It's important to understand the ethnic and tribal divisions of the place you hope to assist." -Anne Applebaum
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
FAOA Elections till 28 August--Vote Early, Vote Often
If you are a member of the Foreign Area Officer Association then you can vote in this year's Board of Governors elections. If you are not a member of FAOA, consider joining. $30 gets you a year long subscription to the magazine, as well as access to exclusive job postings and discounts at FAOA events.
Membership isn't limited to military FAOs either; the Association is a great networking tool.
If you do vote, please consider using all one of your votes on me (this is the first year that I am putting my hat in the ring).
The elections message pasted from the excellent FAO Association Website (you can vote there):
VOTING IS NOW OPEN FOR THEFOREIGN AREA OFFICER ASSOCIATION ELECTION
NAME AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH FOR EACH PERSON NOMINATEDFOR A POSITION ON THE FOREIGN AREA OFFICERS ASSOCIATIONBOARD OF GOVERNORS:
The following Foreign Area Officers Association (FAOA) members, in alphabetical order, have been nominated for a position on the Board of Governors. Biographic sketches have been lightly edited to make them roughly the same in length and emphasize FAO assignments and experience. Current elected Board of Governors members running for re-election are indicated with an asterisk (*). Those elected will serve a three-year term beginning 1 October 2012. Voting will be on line at the FAOA website from time of this posting until 28 August 2012. That date – 28 August 2012 – is the official date of the election and no vote will be accepted after 1700 hrs Eastern Daylight Time.
You may vote for up to six members.
1. Michael (“Mike”) Dugan, CAPT USN (Retired)
Captain Dugan’s military and civilian work experience carried him all over the world. As a reservist on active duty he served in the Philippines, Japan, Thailand, Somalia, and Oman. When recalled to active duty in 2003 he was Navy Central Command Liaison Officer to CJTF-5 in Baghdad. While assigned to Pacific Command he was deeply involved in planning for three iterations of Exercise Cobra Gold in Thailand; he also worked on many joint exercises with Japan while stationed at Barbers Point, HI. During Operation Deny Flight (Kosovo) he was chief planner of NATO and Italian air forces. In civilian life, working for Lockheed Martin he was leader of over 200 contractor pilots, sensor operators, and mechanics in Afghanistan. Mike is near-fluent in the Italian language. If elected to the Board of Governors, Mike is particularly interested in using his experience to serve as Editor-in-Chief of the FAO Journal of International Affairs. Mike lives in the National Capital Area.
2. Jonathan Dunn, MAJ US Army, Russia/Eurasia FAO.
Major Dunn is a policy analyst and international affairs specialist in conventional arms control at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). He previously served as assistant professor at the United States Military Academy, where he taught courses on Russian and European politics, international relations, and comparative politics. Major Dunn has also served in many command and staff assignments as a cavalry officer in the U.S. Army, including a six-month deployment to Bosnia-Herzegovina and a fifteen-month deployment to Iraq as a troop commander. He holds a M.A. in International Relations & International Economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He has volunteered to become editor-in-chief of the FAO Association Journal of International Affairs if elected. He resides in the National Capital Area.
3. Michael R. Ercolano, LTC USMC, Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia FAO.
Lieutenant Colonel Ercolano currently serves as Marine Attaché, USDAO Manila, the Philippines. He began his military service as an enlisted Marine and has more than 21 years of active military service. He is a graduate of the Joint and Combined Warfighting School and is a Distance Learning student at the Air War College. Michael’s other FAO assignments include duty as a research fellow, Osaka University School of Public Policy; as Defense Logistics Agency Liaison Officer to US Forces Japan; and Chief of Staff, Ministry of Interior Transition Team, Baghdad. Mike has held a number of senior leadership positions in civilian organizations and has served as a fiscal/budget officer during several military assignments. He resides in Manila, The Philippines.
* 4. Michael Ferguson, COL USA (Retired), Africa FAO. FAO Assn Board of Governors Member, currently President Emeritus and Sponsorship Committee Chairman.
Colonel Ferguson is a member of the DIA Attaché System Hall of Fame, the Infantry OCS Hall of Fame, and is a member of the Board of Directors, National Military Intelligence Association. He has been an enlisted Medical Platoon Sergeant (Viet Nam and Korea) an Infantry Officer (Germany and Turkey) and has extensive executive and hands-on experience in intelligence collection, operations, planning, and training. He is a recognized expert on African affairs, with broad inter-agency experience as an African analyst, including five tours in Africa as a Defense Attaché (Ethiopia, South Africa, Tunisia and Cameroon). Mike also served two years as the first Chief of HUMINT Training and Professional Development as well as the Dean of the Defense Attaché School with additional responsibility for the STC program and the Defense Debriefing School. Colonel Ferguson is a life member of the FAO Association, was a charter member of the FAOA Board of Governors, and served as the second President of the Association. He is currently an independent consultant. Mike resides in the National Capital Area.
*5. John Haseman, COL USA (Retired), Southeast Asia FAO. FAO Assn Board of Governors Member, currently Assistant Editor of the FAO Journal International Affairs, and Chairman of the FAOA Elections Committee.
Colonel Haseman is a member of the DIA Attaché System Hall of Fame. He entered the Army FAO program in 1974, shortly after it was established, and from 1974 through his retirement in January 1995 he “single tracked” as a FAO. His FAO assignments included Commander Udorn Field Office, Udornthani, Thailand; Army Division Chief, US Defense Liaison Group Jakarta, Indonesia; Assistant Army Attaché to Indonesia; Senior Analyst for Southeast Asia, ACSI, Army HQ; Defense and Army Attaché, Rangoon, Burma; and Defense and Army Attaché, Jakarta, Indonesia. He served 2 ½ years in combat in Vietnam, with the 9th Infantry Division (1967-68) and as a district-level advisor (1971-73). He is author or co-author of four books and numerous book chapters dealing with Thailand and Indonesia; more than 250 of his news and analytical articles on Southeast Asia political-military subjects have been published in journals in the US, Europe, Asia, and Australia. He is fluent in the Indonesian language and also speaks Thai and Burmese. Colonel Haseman has been a member of the FAOA Board of Governors since 2009, and has volunteered to be Copy Editor for the FAO Journal. He resides in Colorado.
6. Brian Hobbs, LTC USAF (Retired), Northeast Asia/China RAS (FAO). FAO AssnBoard of Governors ex officio (non-voting) Member.
LTC Hobbs has provided significant contributions to FAO Assn events and is now seeking expanded responsibilities as an elected full Board member. He served as manager for the 2010 FAO Assn Black Tie Dinner, and served on the committee for the 2011 and 2012 Black Tie Dinners. Brian also serves on the FAOA Membership Committee. Brian began service in the Intelligence career field, and retired from the Air Force as a fully qualified Foreign Area Officer/Regional Affairs Strategist (FAO/RAS) for China and Northeast Asia (Japan & Korea). He has proficiency in the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean languages. He taught Chinese and Japanese at the U.S. Air Force Academy, and taught Northeast Asian international relations and U.S. foreign policy as an exchange officer to the Korea Air Force Academy. His final assignment was to Air Force HQ, International Affairs (SAF/IA) where he conducted Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and political-military relations with Northeast Asian countries, and also established the new Air Force FAO career field, Regional Affairs Strategists. He recently returned to his FAO background, joining the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF F-35) Program Office as a Japan FMS Analyst. Brian resides in the National Capital Area.
7. John (“Jack”) Kruse, LCDR USN, Africa FAO.
Lieutenant Commander Kruse is currently pursuing a Master's degree in National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School. As the child of a Marine FAO, he lived in Morocco for a portion on his youth and fondly recalls playing soccer with the children of the diplomatic Maghreb elite. In previous military assignments, LCDR Kruse deployed to the Persian Gulf aboard USS Nimitz and subsequently served three years as the Safety Officer for Commander Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Pacific, where he developed a safety instruction program recognized as best practice Navy-wide. LCDR Kruse's following tour was in the Pentagon on the CNO N3N5 Staff as the Africa Desk Officer, during which the Navy Foreign Area Officer community selected him for accession. Notably, Jack created a week-long DC inter-agency indoctrination course for all Navy FAOs headed to Africa Security Cooperation assignments. He has written about African culture and literature, and life in the Pentagon and as a grad student, since 2010 at his blog "For Unofficial Use Only" (www.fuuo.blogspot.com). Jack currently resides in Monterey, CA.
Colonel Marisa retired from active duty in July 2012. His final assignment was as a Deputy Director in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence. Colonel Marisa was a career intelligence officer who became an Air Force European FAO and Regional Affairs Strategist (RAS) in 1998. He served as Military Attaché to Saudi Arabia, Air Attaché to the Kingdom of Denmark and Greenland, and Defense Attaché to Suriname. He has also had military assignments in Germany and Korea and deployments to Saudi Arabia and South America. Colonel Marisa has an M.S. in International Studies from the Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague, Netherlands, and an M.S. in Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University (formerly JMIC). He is a graduate of the Air War College, from which he wrote and published his course paper on the integration of Attaché and Security Assistance programs, contributing at the SECDEF level to the current DoD Senior Defense Officer (SDO)/DATT program. Colonel Marisa has served on the FAOA Board of Governors since 2004, as Vice President from October 2009 to May 2011, and as President from May 2011 to the present. Kurt resides in the National Capital Area.
9. Jason (“Brad”) Nicholson, MAJ (P), US Army, Sub-Saharan Africa FAO.
Major Nicholson currently serves as Chief, Office of Security Cooperation, US Embassy Kampala, Uganda. His previous FAO assignments include a tour as the Foreign Area Officer at US Embassy Tanzania; the Lebanon, Syria, Israel desk officer for J5, JCS; and as the Deputy Branch Chief, Middle East and Africa (G-3/5/7), the Army Staff. Major Nicholson is fluent in both French and German. In addition to his various international affairs positions Major Nicholson is a frequent contributor to the FAO Journal, the DISAM Journal, and other publications. Major Nicholson is a member of the Editorial Review Board for the FAO Journal. Brad has long been involved with administering extracurricular organizations and is currently serving as Vice-President for Memberships, Team Army Cycling (a USA Cycling sanctioned club), and as a member of the Alumni Advisory Board for the Georgetown University Public Policy Review. Major Nicholson resides in Kampala, Uganda.
*10. Graham Plaster, LT USN, EUCOM FAO. FAO Assn Board of Governors Member, currently Secretary and Webmaster.
Lieutenant Plaster is a Liaison Officer supporting US military deployed to UN Peacekeeping missions in Israel, Egypt and Iraq. He previously served as a Surface Warfare Officer aboard the USS Reuben James (FFG 57) out of Pearl Harbor, deploying in support of OIF and OEF to the Persian Gulf. Subsequently he joined the staff of Destroyer Squadron One in San Diego and deployed in support of Counter Drug Operations in South America. He also served as Assistant Dean of Students at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. While there, Lieutenant Plaster completed a Masters degree in Humanities at Salve Regina University with a thesis on electronic democracy in Iran. He built an internal wiki for student collaboration and knowledge management. After selected as a Naval Foreign Area Officer, he studied Arabic at DLI. While in Monterey, he became webmaster for the Foreign Area Officer Association of Monterey. He now serves as webmaster for the FAO Assn. He is currently writing a book on social media influences on democratization in Iran. Graham resides in the National Capital Area.
11. James (“JB”) Shelton, COL USAF (Retired), European FAO.
Colonel Shelton began service in the US Marine Corps, including a combat assignment in Vietnam. A former C-130 and C-5A pilot, JB’s air force career included assignment as Assistant Air Attaché to Italy; Commander of the USAF 696th Intelligence Group (Humint) and principal liaison for Humint exchanges with Germany, Korea, and Japan; Chief of the Middle East, Africa, and Strategic Counterterrorism Operations, DIA; Dean of the Joint Military Attaché School; and Deputy Executive Director of the Defense Humint Service. Since retirement, JB has worked as a consultant on defense and intelligence matters. He was Program Manager for the design, development, and implementation of the Near East/South Asia Center for Strategic Studies. He currently serves as Director of Operations for JTG Inc., providing language and cultural services, analysis, and operations support across the Intelligence Community and commercial sector. He supports the FAO Association as co-chairman of the FAO Assn Pentagon FAOA Heritage Display initiative. JB resides in the National Capital Area.
12. Michael Trahan, COL US Army (Retired), Africa/Middle East/Western Europe FAO.
Colonel Trahan had a varied career in policy and security assistance assignments and filled command billets up to the brigade level. His most recent assignments included Deputy Director for Middle East and Africa, DIA; Deputy Director for Near East and South Asia, OSD-ISA; Senior Military Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs; J3 Plans Officer at CENTCOM; and as Political and Military Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Near Eastern Affairs. Mike holds a BA in History from Texas A&M University and a Masters in National Security Affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School. He is also a graduate of the State Department Senior Seminar. He is a linguist in Arabic and Hebrew and also speaks French and German. Colonel Trahan retired in 2005 and worked at senior executive levels of several international defense and aerospace corporations. He is now President of Alternate Axis, his own consulting company to the defense and aerospace industries. Mike lives in the National Capital Area.