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  • Writer's picturejrothkop

Resources & Conflicts: Understand the Causes and Finding Solutions

The Last Kilometer was invited by The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) to train officers from Central and South American countries on how to understand the causes of and find solutions to resource conflicts. The training focused on the historical causes of resource conflicts, early detection, and provided tools for assessing the causes and finding solutions.

Key to understanding the causes of resource conflicts is the knowledge that environmental drivers alone rarely lead to conflict. People and cultures are resilient and adaptable to changes in resource availability or demands. The causes of conflict are largely structural and brought on by poor governance, unequal distribution of resources or pre-existing animosity between groups. The officers engaged in the training and workshop will benefit from being able to correctly identify the root causes and from understanding the role defense forces can play in keeping peace.

The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) is a United States Department of Defense Institute created to provide professional education and training to eligible personnel of countries of the Western Hemisphere within the context of the democratic principles set forth in the Charter of the Organization of American States, while fostering mutual knowledge, transparency, confidence, and cooperation among the participating countries and promoting democratic values, respect for human rights, and knowledge and understanding of United States customs and traditions. Since its opening in 2001, WHINSEC has trained more than 19,000 students from 36 countries of the Western Hemisphere.

The WHINSEC training follows a separate engagement in which The Last Kilometer assisted US Southern Command in developing an analysis of energy and environmental threats in the Caribbean, Central and South America. In the coming decades, climate change will have a profound affect on agriculture in these regions. Equipping emerging leaders in these countries civil and military forces with the capacity to anticipate and solve conflicts over resources is a valuable contribution to the stability of their countries, and we are grateful for the opportunity to contribute.

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