August 2010

Fifteen U.S. soldiers represented the Illinois National Guard and United States Army Europe in the annual Multinational Soldiers March from Warsaw to Czestochowa on August 3-14 2010.  The 300-kilometer march is an annual event sponsored by the Polish Land Forces, which celebrates the Polish victory over Sweden in the 17th century.  According to local belief, the icon of the Black Madonna at Czestochowa is credited with turning back the Swedes.

The Illinois National Guard is comprised of approximately 10,000 Army National Guard members and approximately 3200 Air National Guard members.  Since 1993, the Illinois National Guard and Polish Armed Forces have participated in a partnership program that provides for the sharing of ideas between two nations.
Poland utilizes U.S. support to help transform and modernize the Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland.  It receives the most U.S. Foreign Military Financing (FMF) assistance in the region, and is the sixth largest FMF recipient in the world. To date, this includes over $285 million in direct FMF grants and more than $3.9 billion in FMF loans.  Additionally, Poland has received more than $31 million dollars under the Combined Education Training Program (CETP), which includes the International Military Education Training (IMET) Program, Military to Military (M2M) Program, the State Partnership Program (SPP) and Combating Terrorism Fellowship Program (CTFP).

U.S. television and cinema promote images of Americans that are … well … wrong! Pop Culture versus Real America will contrast those pop culture images with profiles of real Americans in every walk of life.  Think American lawyers live like those we watch on Boston Legal? Or police chiefs all live like those we watch on CSI?  Read on…

The U.S. Embassy in Warsaw is pleased to invite candidate nominations for the Winter 2011 Study of the United States Institutes (SUSI) for University U.S. National Security Policymaking. The institute is a rigorous post-graduate-level academic seminar with integrated study tours which will provide a group of 18 scholars and professionals an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the foundations of U.S. national security policy and current threats facing the United States. The institute focuses on the formulation of U.S. foreign and national security policy and the role of the federal government, think-tanks, media, and public opinion in shaping that policy. The program will examine specific security issues such as energy policy, economic stability, cyber-security, chemical and biological weapons, nuclear weapons, and infectious diseases. The program will also focus on regional security concerns in Africa, Europe, South Asia, the Western Hemisphere, East Asia, and the Middle East. Finally, the program will cover the fight against terrorism, the impact of globalization, and U.S. global leadership. The program will be supplemented by a simulation exercise, a group project, and a study tour. Click here for more details about the program. Please note that space in the institute is very limited. To be competitive, candidates must have excellent proficiency in English and outstanding qualifications.

Application Deadline: September 15, 2010.

How to apply:

1. Complete the application form. NOTE: Your personal statement should not exceed one page.

2. Send your application form and your CV to:

3. Wait patiently to hear whether you have been chosen for an interview. Interviews will be conducted in Warsaw the week of September 20, 2010.

On Friday, Afghan police officers discovered the bodies of 10 medical aid workers who were killed in the northern Badakhshan Province.  Six were American.  The Taliban has proudly claimed responsibility for this despicable act of wanton violence.
These men and women were in the region to deliver free medical care to impoverished Afghan villagers, according to the NGO they were working with.  They were doctors, nurses, and medical technicians, and their mission was humanitarian and wholly independent from that of any government.  Before their deaths, they had spent several days treating cataracts and other eye conditions in the Nuristan Province.  At their next stop, they planned to run a dental clinic and offer maternal and infant health care.  They were unarmed.  They were not being paid for their services.  They had traveled to this distant part of the world because they wanted to help people in need.  They were guests of the Afghan people. 
The Taliban stopped them on a remote road on their journey from Nuristan, led them into a forest, robbed them, and killed them.
We are heartbroken by the loss of these heroic, generous people.  We condemn in the strongest possible terms this senseless act.   We also condemn the Taliban’s transparent attempt to justify the unjustifiable by making false accusations about their activities in Afghanistan.
Terror has no religion, and these acts are rejected by people all over the world, including by Muslims here in the United States.  The Taliban’s cruelty is well-documented.  Its members have assassinated tribal elders and thrown acid in the face of young girls.  Earlier this summer, they accused a 7-year-old boy of spying and hung him.  With these killings, they have shown us yet another example of the lengths to which they will go to advance their twisted ideology. 
The murdered medical aid workers, as well as the volunteers from many nations and the international coalition working to establish stability in Afghanistan, represent exactly what the Taliban stands against:  a future of peace, freedom, opportunity, and openness, where all Afghans can live and work together in harmony, free from terror.
That is what we are working to achieve in Afghanistan, in partnership with the Afghan people.  As we mourn the loss of these aid workers, we will continue with our own efforts, inspired by their example.