Kyiv Seminars for UA Officials
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 or two 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 fully 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 two of the envisioned visits to Ukraine in mid and late 2015. The head of CUSUR”s Washington Bureau, Mykola Hryckowian, was involved in the first excursion; AFPC President Herman Pirchner, leading a prestigious delegation, was involved in the second. 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 the first months of 2016, CUSUR intends to settle on a venue for the stated project; the choice for a venue has already been narrowed to two contending institutions: the (University of) Kyiv Mohyla Academy or the Kyiv Diplomatic Academy. During spring 2016, several dozen senior UA MOD, MVD and NSDC officials will be selected to attend the projected lecture/colloquia series; equally, ten to twelve of the finest students of “the contemporary art of war” hailing from the US, Canada and EU will be asked to participate the process as instructors. By summer 2016, the Kyiv “Security Seminar” effort should be up and running. [Final note: Given CUSUR”s anticipated involvement in a Kyiv-centered project, the issue of opening a Kyiv CUSUR office has been raised again. The Center intends to give the matter very serious consideration; it plans to have a feasibility study done on the matter.