CENTCOM’s Inaugural Conference Successfully Builds Middle East Intelligence Relationships, Promoting Intelligence Professionalization and Interoperability

May 13, 2019

Tampa, Fla. – United States Central Command recently hosted a Middle East Directors of Military Intelligence Conference that brought together senior leaders from more than a dozen nations to forge alliances and develop and sustain partnerships.

The conference, held Mar. 31-Apr. 3, “demonstrated USCENTCOM’s commitment to our partners in the Middle East, focusing on strengthening our mutual goals and interests in a constructive manner rather than merely reacting to regional conflicts,” said CENTCOM’s International Programs Branch Chief, U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Jane Stokes.

Participants addressed challenges with media communications, ethics, and professional development, she said. Additionally, discussions covered partnership development, analytical biases and how to overcome intelligence challenges and factors that lead to regional destabilization.

More than 150 representatives from 11 Middle East partner nations, three North Africa countries and the United States attended the inaugural event.

“We all face a similar challenge, to find a way to strengthen our strategic partnerships,” said Anthony Cordesman, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic & International Studies. “When people set broad, general goals that are supposed to apply to everyone—that does more harm than good. Alliances are forged out of practical, working relationships.”