On March 27, the Perry Center received 32 students for the first day of the two-week resident phase of the Defense Policy and Complex Threats (DPCT) course. DPCT students represent 13 different countries from throughout the Western Hemisphere and a range of backgrounds in the armed forces and civilian-led government ministries. During Monday’s opening session, Perry Center Director Mark Wilkins and Maj Gen Frederick Padilla, USMC, President of the National Defense University, welcomed students to campus.
Under the instruction of Perry Center professor Dr. Luis Bitencourt, students have spent five weeks working together online to analyze and develop risk-forecasting tools to respond to the evolving security and defense challenges of the Americas. The next two weeks will feature a rigorous examination of the same, as students have the opportunity to engage with experts from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Organization of American States, various partner nations, and the National Defense University. During the resident phase, students will learn about methodologies such as SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely), SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats), the Delphi method, and CAPA (conflict assessment and policy analysis), and examine their applicability in different regional and national contexts. By graduation, they will be better able to apply these methodologies to real world planning in their respective ministries and armed services.