America’s Strength: Teaching International Military Students

    Jean Dagher

    Security, Americas

    U.S. soldiers take part in the urban fighting drill during the NATO Saber Strike exercise in the Soviet-time former military town near Skrunda, Latvia June 13, 2018. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

    Educating foreign military officers in the fields of values, ethics, morality and virtues involving concepts of right and wrong behavior is a high-value low-cost investment for the United States.

    Interactions between allies and partner nations require a common language, shared understanding and mutual trust. Furthermore, interoperability between militaries has become more important to accomplish unified efforts and achieve the military objectives of collaborating coalitions. The United States invites international military students from various countries to study all aspects of the profession funded through security assistance programs such as the International Military Education and Training program. This whole effort contributes to the United States’ strategic objectives outlined in its latest National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy.

    The critical thinking and decisionmaking these students learn require an understanding of ethical and moral philosophy. This complex reasoning encounters profound contradictions in practice when these military professionals attempt to implement these philosophical values in their home countries. Regardless some devastating consequences to the careers of a few international military students, most outcomes of inviting them to the United States to study are promising and represent an investment with high returns for both parties.

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