The Caribbean economies have long acknowledged the importance of partnership and cooperation. Improving regional integration—for example, through increased intra-regional trade and policy coordination—can assist the region’s small-size economies in developing greater resilience and scale, as well as increasing bargaining strength on the world arena. They are now attempting to extend this link of unity beyond economic integration and into other sectors such as military. This could be a watershed moment in the Caribbean integration process.
According to recent reports, the defence and security forces across the Caribbean will now be centres of excellence for various aspects of tactical response and training.
Areas of excellence of different nations
Barbados will now act as the centre of excellence for the faculty of medicine to train soldiers and officers and work with regional and international security partners to improve and enhance responses from all participants in the short, medium and long-term.
Moreover, “Barbados will maintain responsibility for medical response. We will also maintain responsibility for non-commissioned officer developmental training and also for drill and ceremonial,” disclosed the Chief of Staff of the Barbados Defence Force Commodore Errington Shurland.
Trinidad & Tobago will continue to be in charge of creating maritime-type training. Guyana and Belize will be in charge of jungle training and special operations, recognising the need for some flexibility. Nations such as Jamaica, which already has the Caribbean Military Academy, would be a crucial catalyst in making this dream of military unification a reality.
Speaking to the media at the field medical camp located at the Garrison Savannah across from St Ann’s Fort, as the conference culminated, United Armed Forces (UK) Admiral Sir Tony Radakin agreed that the centres are one of the key takeaways as each territory will have its own niche responsibility to make the region stronger and more secure.
“So we have had a conversation around, The Bahamas is a centre for excellence for drones and so that we all learn from Bahamas with Bahamas leading the way. We’ve had a conversation about Trinidad and Tobago. Does Trinidad and Tobago lead in terms of the training of maritime junior officers? And do we the UK support that. That to me is very, very special. The communion of interest, trust and confidence in this group is so strong and it enables that to happen,” the Admiral said.
You see, a Caribbean collective security agreement represents a pivotal event in the islands’ history. Security in the Caribbean region has been observed as being intrinsically related to the United States, owing to its geographic location, and is thus heavily affected and sponsored by the United States. As a result, any regional security structure for the Caribbean aids in its escape from America’s grip.
As the international community grapples with the ramifications of massive shifts in the security environment, it is experiencing an identity crisis. This environment is defined by complexities and changes as new security issues and challenges emerge. The challenge in this complicated and challenging international security context is that the military in the Caribbean cannot continue to operate as usual. The military cannot exist in the absence of a Caribbean identity, a Caribbean mandate, a Caribbean philosophy, and a Caribbean doctrine. As a result, the recent incident provides a light of hope for the Caribbean states in achieving a common security aim. A Caribbean NATO may be in the works.
Leave a Reply