The Cooperative Education Partnership supporting the United States Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) and the International Humanitarian Community evolved from informal discussions regarding the need to increase the interface between military planers and international relief organizations. As a result of that meeting, CGSC and Partners International Foundation initiated work on cooperative partnership, the goal of which was to fully integrate humanitarian agencies and programs into the CGSC curriculum. As a result of this partnership and based on support from the international community, the a program was developed to bring together partners whose shared expertise was mutually supporting and established a benchmark for further cooperative programs. Overall, the program comprised over 1/3 of the total Military Operations Other Than War (MOOTW) portion of the course.
Starting with the first program in 1997 program, World Food Program, the Government of Rwanda, and others provided subject matter experts to participate in the various portions of the program. In particular, Mr. David Kaatrud (Great Lakes Regional Director for World Food Program) participated as subject matter experts as well as worked with numerous 15-person "small groups" at CGSC during their humanitarian assistance practical exercise.
Even more notable was the visit by Dr. Theogene Rudasingwa (Rwandan Ambassador to the United States). Dr. Rudasingwa’s visit marked the first time we know of that anyone of his stature participated in instruction at the small group level. He spent three days at CGSC, providing one-on-one interaction with CGSC students. The effect on both the students and the relationship between the government of Rwanda and the United States cannot be over-estimated. Dr. Rudasingwa’s participation speaks volumes of his country’s commitment and support to the United States.The program is being expanded to incorporate humanitarian deliberate planning and increase civil-military interface and joint planning/coordination.