Thursday, April 1, 2010

Big Island hosts USPACOM International Military Lawyer Conference

Today, Pacific Command's 23rd annual Military Operations and Law Conference (MILOPS) wraps up on the Big Island, Hawaii. MILOPS is a yearly meeting of legal professionals from countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region. With 26 nations represented, this year's conference covered a broad spectrum of complex issues facing the Asia-Pacific region from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to counter proliferation to Information Operations and cyber warfare.

While not a legal professional, my leadership gave me the opportunity to attend this year's conference to get a different perspective on the challenges facing our area of responsibility. As a Public Affairs Officer, I routinely work closely with our legal staff to ensure our desire to disseminate accurate and timely information is just that, accurate. The complexity of some of the issues we face in this region are extraordinary. What this "outsider" took great comfort in was the diverse group of committed men and women in attendance. Their passion for their profession and for the region as a whole was palpable.

Admiral Robert Willard, Commander of U.S. Pacific Command, opened the conference on Monday lauding the participants' dedication to the rule of law and their willingness to come together to discuss difficult legal and policy issues confronting the region. He credited exchanges such as the MILOPS conference for directly affecting the region's readiness to conduct successful operations.

More than 200 attended the conference from Australia, Thailand, India, Loas, Malaysia, Canada, Japan, the UK, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Bangladesh, Nepal, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, South Korea, Vietnam, Tonga, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Mongolia, Maldives, and of course the United States.

If asked for the most significant take away from this conference, remembering I'm an outsider, it would simply be the resounding theme throughout the week of a need for collaboration between all nations to address myriad complex issues facing the region. There was tacit agreement in all the discussions and panel presentations that to continue to maintain the security and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region, nations must work together.

Capt. Matt Hasson


Anonymous said...

Wish I would have known about this earlier!

Gary said...

The occasion of the USPACOM International Military Lawyer Conference certainly raises the issue of whether countries ostensibly friendly to the US are meeting their obligations under international humanitarian law to cooperate to the fullest with the US in our efforts to recover our war dead from their territory. A case in point is India, which only permits a single JPAC crashsite recovery operation per year, despite the fact that DoD estimates that the remains of over 400 USAAF aviators are still to be recovered from the mountains of Northeast India. Moreover, the Indian Government, without explanation, canceled the only crashsite recovery operation scheduled for India for this year. Whether India is meeting its Geneva Convention obligations, which are explicit in this area, is open to serious doubt.

Anonymous said...

Dear sir,
As it was Int.Military Lawyer Conference and I am extremely interested in because I'm a naval JAG officer of the Royal Thai Navy. It would benefit us if we can participate. So, if such conference was set up, please fell free to let me know at or the Office of the Judge Advocate General, Royal Thai Navy. Many thanks.

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