Thursday, February 19, 2009

Asia-Pacific Intelligence Leaders Gather in Singapore

Military intelligence professionals from the armed forces of 25 Asia-Pacific nations and beyond gathered together in Singapore this week to explore ways to increase information sharing in an age where multinational approaches to addressing regional challenges is becoming the norm.

The Asia-Pacific Intelligence Chiefs Conference (APICC), Feb. 17-20, was co-hosted by the Singapore Armed Forces Military Intelligence Organisation and U.S. Pacific Command’s (USPACOM) Directorate for Intelligence.

During the conference, which included the presence of 17 intelligence chiefs, plus 8 representatives, the attendees took part in a number of organized presentations and discussions, as well as social events that play such an important role in fostering personal relationships and building trust.

Speaking during the conference’s opening ceremony, Singapore’s Minister for Defense Mr. Teo Chee Hean said that in order for appropriate coordinated responses by nations to security challenges, “…our armed forces and intelligence professionals need to cooperate in the sharing of information, knowledge and expertise.”

As reported in the Singapore Straits Times, Rear Adm. Mike Rogers, USPACOM Director for Intelligence, noted, "No country is so large that it can do everything on its own. Neither can one country be so small that it can never contribute to the rest."

The first APICC took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in September 2007. Eighteen countries took part in that inaugural conference, marking relative growth in the size and scope of APICC from the first to the second gathering.

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