Regional Centre For Strategic Studies


Near East and South Asia Centre for Strategic Studies (NESA)

RCSS is a networking partner of the Near East and South Asia Centre for Strategic Studies (NESA), of the US National Defence University in Washington D.C.

Established in 2000, NESA is considered a preeminent US government institution for building relationships and understanding in the Near East and South Asia region. The mission of NESA is to enhance security in the Near East and South Asia by building sustained, mutually beneficial relationships; fostering regional cooperation on security issues; and promoting effective communications and strategic capacity through free and frank interaction in an academic environment.

The Regional Network of Strategic Studies Centres (RNSSC) of NESA envisages creating more space for interactive dialogue and increased practical cooperation among premiere institutions dealing with security in the respective countries, namely, Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Maldives, Mauritania, Morocco, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

Through RNSSC, NESA organizes activities enabling participants from the region to meet several times a year to expand the strategic dialogue, in response to regional suggestions for more avenues of dialogue and cooperation in meeting security challenges. It promotes strategic thinking at the regional level by disseminating collaboratively developed research, thinking and publications throughout the region.

RCSS has been an active participant in the meetings of RNSSC organized at frequent intervals, related to the subjects of, Counterterrorism; Weapons of Mass Destruction(WMD); Non Traditional Security Issues (NTSI); and Democracy and Governance. Members of RCSS are constituents of the four respective Working Groups focusing on each of the subjects. The working groups meet on a regular basis, several times in a year, to share their views and eventually, contribute towards policy formulation.

RCSS plays an active role in the Network and has been participating in the working group meetings, from their inception. Additionally, RCSS has co-hosted two RNSSC Meetings in Colombo in October last year, of the Working Groups on WMD and NTSI. RCSS was pleased to host in July 2009 meetings of the same Working Groups, that is, WMD and NTSI.


RNSSC - NESA Meeting in Istanbul




Regional Network of Strategic Studies Centers

In response to regional suggestions for more avenues of dialogue and cooperation in meeting security challenges, several times a year the Regional Network of Strategic Studies Centers (RSS) brings together government-affiliated institutes from countries in the Near East and South Asia region to expand strategic dialogue. It promotes strategic thinking at the regional level by disseminating collaboratively-developed research, thinking and publications throughout the region.

These published analyses are intended to assist policymakers and defense educators in their professional endeavors. The Network Initiative, intended as a partnership with the countries of the NESA region, currently enjoys co-sponsorship from the Institute for Strategic Studies, Research, and Analysis, National Defense College, Pakistan; the Center for Strategic Research (SAM) in Ankara and the National Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense College, Jordan. Other Centers from around the region have taken a leading role in chairing the standing working groups and other projects of the network.

The network conducts business through both traditional face-to-face meetings and working group activities and virtual activities, including information sharing, online publications/periodicals, online curricula, discussion/chat features, and a content/resource library

The NESA Center offers access to research tools and other resources on strategic issues, technical assistance (including hardware and networking requirements) and publications support. It can also serve as a hub for coordinating activities and meetings, and web site management.

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Near East South Asia

July Highlights

NESA Concludes Combating Terrorism Seminar

From June 16 to July 2, the NESA Center hosted 39 participants for a multi-week Combating Terrorism seminar titled “Conflict Without Borders: Confronting Violent Non-State Actors in Today’s Security Environment.” Keynote speaker AMB (ret.) Dell Dailey, who spoke on the topic of “The New Security Environment: Transnational Threats in Context,” was one of many notable speakers. The seminar was designed to explore terrorism from a strategic perspective, including how to deal effectively with it and other illicit acts challenging governments. The Course Director for this event was Dr. Roger Kangas; Professors William Olson, Michael Lemmon and Larry Velte facilitated.

NESA Hosts Lebanese Armed Forces Visit

From June 21-30, NESA hosted 39 Lebanese Armed Forces Staff and Command College students on a two-week-long visit to the United States. The purpose of this visit was to broaden the visitors’ professional horizons, increase their understanding of U.S. polices in the region, familiarize them with U.S. War College, Staff College and Academy-level instructional and research programs, and provide an opportunity for long-term contact with U.S. counterparts. Professor Lawrence Velte was Course Director; Professor Sami Hajjar facilitated.

NESA Moderates Defense Conference

NESA Deputy Director, RADM (ret.) John Sigler moderated the Gulf States Chiefs of Defense Conference, which took place from June 21-23. The theme of the three-day conference, hosted by CENTCOM Commander, General David Petraeus, was “Regional Strength through Cooperation”. The conference featured presentations on security issues by the Chiefs of Staff from 11 countries in the Gulf region. In addition, the delegations also had bi-lateral talks and met some of the top U.S. defense officials. Guest speakers included Ambassador Dennis Ross; Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Puneet Talwar, Senior Director for Iran, Iraq and the Gulf Region on the National Security Council; and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. The conference as a whole was a great success, embodying NESA’s commitment to building relationships at all levels of government to enhance security.

NESA Hosts U.S.-Pakistan Dialogue

From May 18-29, Professor Robert Boggs worked with the Pakistan Armed Forces as Course Director for NESA’s first “Strategic Dialogue” program, which 28 Pakistani military officers attended. The program was the first in a series of recurring events exclusively involving Pakistani military officers. The pilot event split two week-long seminars between two venues: the NESA Center in Washington, D.C., and CENTCOM and SOCOM in Tampa, Florida. In Tampa, faculty from the University of South Florida also participated. NESA faculty included Dean John Ballard and Professors Jack Gill and Dan Curfiss.

NESA Welcomes Foreign Area Officer

LTC David Alley is the first FAO (Foreign Area Officer) assigned to the NESA Center. Initially, LTC David Alley will focus on the new CENTCOM Commanders’ International Military Fellows program (CCIMF). He also will explore the prospects for future FAO In-Country Training at the NESA forward office in Bahrain. LTC Alley’s bio is online


For the June 2009 issue of CHOICE magazine, Professor Fred Mokhtari reviewed Iran’s long reach: Iran as a pivotal state in the Muslim world, by Suzanne Maloney (United States Institute of Peace, 2008)

Professor Richard Russell published a review of a book on Saudi King Faysal at the invitation of the summer issue of the journal Middle East Policy.

Also this month:

Minister Ali Jalali, NESA Director David Barno, and Chief of Staff David Lamm met with the Australian High Envoy to Afghanistan.

Professor Robert Boggs met with Jasmeet Ahuja, the South Asia Advisor on the professional staff of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs to discuss the politics and prospects of pending legislation that would increase U.S. assistance to Pakistan.

Professors Murhaf Jouejati and Larry Velte were keynote speakers at a National Geospatial Intelligence Agency conference on the Levant. The audience consisted of officials from the US intelligence community.

Professor Richard Russell: