The several visits of young, fresh minded, reform oriented UA military commanders and national security analysts to various top flight foreign policy think tanks and institutes of higher diplomatic or military learning in DC (prompted in good part by CUSUR invitations to its Occasional Briefings) in the latter part of 2014 prompted the UA MOD to propose a slightly different arrangement for similar discussions/conversations in 2015.
CUSUR was asked to see if key members of its US-UA Working Group might not be interested in spending a week of their time engaged in discussions in Kyiv ‘devoted to the art of strategic & tactical planning in the face of a new form of warfare not yet understood by the most able students of military science’. A number of the Center’s partner organizations were approached as well.
The response by all parties involved was in the affirmative. And a plan was hatched with the understanding that matters needed to be expedited sooner rather than later. CUSUR (and its closest partner, the AFPC) agreed to organize at least three visits to Ukraine (2015, 2016, 2017). The head of CUSUR’s Washington Bureau, Mykola Hryckowian, was involved in the first excursion; AFPC President Herman Pirchner was involved in the second and the third. The last (June 2017) included representatives from a number of the finest think tanks in DC: American Foreign Policy Council; Jamestown Foundation; Hudson Institute; Heritage Foundation and the Potomac Foundation. Their work proved extremely fruitful and confirmed that all parties were ready for a more formal ‘follow-up’ arrangement—a set of ‘lectures/colloquia’ conducted in Kyiv for Ukraine’s top level ‘security’ personnel.
In 2017, CUSUR (after studying several venues) settled on a venue for the stated project: the Kyiv Diplomatic Academy. During 2018, several dozen senior UA MOD, MVD and NSDC officials were be selected to attend the projected lecture series; equally, several of the finest students of ‘the amendment to the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that authorizes $350 million in security assistance to Ukraine. The spring of 2019 will see the ‘colloquia’ commence their work.