NATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH UNIVERSITY AS AN ACADEMIC-EDUCATIONAL BASIS FOR CRAFTING LEADERS-STRATEGISTS OF THE “NATION-ARMY” SYSTEM
Presentation of the Head of the National Defense Research University (NDRU), MoD, RA, Doctor of Political Science, Professor, Lieutenant-General Hayk S. Kotanjian at the “Nation‒Army‒2017” Forum. Yerevan, 20.04.2017.

Dear Colleagues,

The analysis of the balance between the current military threats to the Republic of Armenia (RA) and the resources for overcoming them shows that the further development of the defense system should be based on innovative conceptual ideas with the use of the most modern means of national defense that would be consistent with the developments in the defense security thought and technologies of Armenia’s allies and partners. The “Nation Army” concept is such an idea of strategic caliber, the introduction of which implies shaping cooperation of new level and depth between the society and the Armed Forces.

In this context, the importance of the recent monographic development of the “Nation-Army” concept in our University instructed by the Defense Minister should be noted – with the modernization of the traditional Armenian home guard phenomenon under the current digital technological revolution. It is clear that for effective launching of such innovative cooperation, the continuous education and training of senior officials with relevant knowledge and skills becomes a priority. It is no coincidence that since the first years of the Republic of Armenia’s independence, the formation and development of the military education system has always been and is at the center of attention of the country’s military-political leadership.

Under this policy, the RA Minister of Defense, the incumbent President of the RA Serzh Sargsyan instructed to learn the principles of activity of the US National Defense University (NDU) that nourishes the top US military-political leadership with the products of its academic research and provides the top leadership with interagency security education, and to develop the project of establishing its sister organization by localizing NDU’s model in Armenia – through the academic fellowships in this research-educational institution. The Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) of the Ministry of Defense of Armenia was founded through this multi-phase project.

During its activities, the INSS, as an academic basis of the future National Defense Research University, has taken steps towards creating a quality professional environment necessary for defense-security studies in Armenia. The research of this academic institution is aimed at becoming the innovative basis for the security education of future leaders, with the research staff being the intellectual core of the teaching faculty.

For this, the tools have been established in recent years for producing, publishing and systemizing the strategic knowledge to be taught in the future research university – “Working Notebooks” academic-applied journal of strategic studies, that includes the collective monographs of regional and functional studies with the coordination of the INSS experts and the involvement of leading domestic and foreign experts, as well as the first Postgraduate School within the Ministry of Defense of Armenia and the first Specialized Council conferring PhD degrees (candidate and doctoral) in Political Science.

The establishment of the Groups of Strategic Gaming and Cybersecurity in our INSS in cooperation with the US NDU is aimed at the gradual development of the research component. One of the main objectives of establishing the Strategic Gaming Group is to increase the level of precision of the results of the research carried out in the defense system through the use of innovative analytical methods under the high level of uncertainty in the predictions of the turbulent regional security dynamics. At the same time, the establishment of this group is aimed at introducing innovative teaching methods in the future educational activities, in particular, strategic games and scenario analysis of hard-to-predict dynamics of security processes.

One of the most significant results of the Cybersecurity Group’s activities is the drafting of the National Cybersecurity Strategy (NCS) within the framework of updating the National Security Strategy. This document has already undergone successful academic review in the College of Information and Cyberspace of the US NDU.

As for the educational component of the University’s activities, intensive work has been underway since September 2017 to organize pilot training courses at interagency and departmental levels. Taking into account the results of the Strategic Defense Review (SDR) conducted with the consultants of NATO, the CSTO, the United States and Russia, the basis for these courses is the product of the research (aimed at reforming the defense system) of the leading experts from the Ministry of Defense, the RA Armed Forces General Staff and of those we collaborate with in the defense security field. Later, Master Programs in the defense security field are planned to be developed on the basis of these courses to prepare the future generation of strategic leaders of the Republic of Armenia.

Through the organization of strategic defense security education in our University the military education reforms underway in Armenia will be completed resulting in the formation of a military education system that prepares personnel capable of effectively resisting current security challenges, and comprises all – from tactical to strategic levels.  
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