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HFX Forum President Delivers Keynote To Permanent Joint Board on Defense

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

PRESIDENT OF HALIFAX INTERNATIONAL SECURITY FORUM DELIVERS KEYNOTE ADDRESS TO THE PERMANENT JOINT BOARD ON DEFENSE

  June 26, 2013   WASHINGTON, DC – Peter Van Praagh, the President of Halifax International Security Forum, delivered the keynote address in Washington Monday night to members of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense (PJBD), the highest-level bilateral defense and security forum between the United States and Canada. The unique forum was established in 1940 to discuss and advise on defense policy issues related to continental defense and security. Addressing an audience of prominent senior military officers, government officials and diplomats, Van Praagh spoke about the importance of the PJBD for both countries. “In August 1940, when this Permanent Joint Board on Defense was first established,” Van Praagh said, “Hitler had taken France, and the Battle of Britain was just underway.” “Since that time,” Van Praagh said, “The US and Canadian militaries have trained together, fought together, and died together.  We have celebrated victories together.  There is no alliance on earth that compares with the closeness of the United States and Canada.” Mr. Van Praagh spoke about global issues that affect both countries, including China’s ambitions as a rising power, Iran’s new leadership, the civil war in Syria and reaching long-term stability in Afghanistan. Van Praagh also addressed the threat from domestic, homegrown radicalization.  “Young people from both the United States and Canada travel to conflict zones to fight in the name of religion,” Van Praagh said.  “They often return with glorious stories of battle that then serves to recruit more starry eyed fighters.” Van Praagh concluded that the United States and Canada will, ultimately, address this challenge successfully.  “No other country has the enduring magnetic pull that the United States and Canada enjoy,” Van Praagh said.  “Because of each other, and the constant learning from each other, the United States and Canada are better positioned to integrate disaffected individuals and groups.” The 5th Halifax International Security Forum will be held November 22-24, 2013 in Halifax, Nova Scotia and will again bring together individuals who are on the ground facing consequential local threats, writers who challenge and influence the world’s thinking on security, and decision-makers who make the tough choices. Mr. Van Praagh signaled his appreciation to the PJBD that US Defense Secretary Hagel and Canadian Minister of National Defence MacKay have confirmed their attendance for this year’s Forum. This is the first time Mr. Van Praagh has addressed the Permanent Joint Board on Defense.

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Contact: Joe Hall, Vice President Halifax International Security Forum Telephone: 202-688-2470 Email: joe@halifaxtheforum.org

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