On January 28, the RA President, Commander-in-Chief of the RA Armed Forces Serzh Sargsyan participated in the Grand Opening of the National Defense Research University, MOD, RA, which was also attended by the Defense Ministers of the RA and NKR, senior executives of the RA Armed Forces, department heads, as well as Ambassadors accredited in Armenia, foreign dignitaries, and men of science and education.
The RA Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan and Major General Hayk Kotanjian, Head of Drastamat Kanayan Institute for National Strategic Studies, MOD, RA, Doctor of Political Science, Professor, presented to the President Serzh Sargsyan the facilities of the University’s new building, the lecture halls equipped with modern computer technology and workrooms serving for research and educational purposes.
At the beginning of the Opening Ceremony, Major General Hayk Kotanjian made a presentation introducing in detail the history of founding the National Defense Research University established on the basis of Drastamat Kanayan Institute for National Strategic Studies, the objectives and goals set before this educational institution, the organizational structure and development perspectives.
The establishment of the University was an eleven-year-long complex, multistage process. The constant support and patronage of the RA President Serzh Sargsyan and the RA Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan were the key to its success. According to the idea the University has been established in two main stages: the establishment of the research component – the Institute for National Strategic Studies, and then – on the basis of its development by forming the educational component and bridging of the research and educational activities – the creation of the united academic educational institution – the Research University.
In 2004-2015, the University’s establishment project was developed and reviewed in the leading academic-educational and state institutions of the RA and US, namely at the Institute for National Strategic Studies of the US National Defense University (NDU), the Center for Technology and National Security Policy of the same Institute, NDU Center for Applied Strategic Learning, NDU College for International Security Affairs, Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, the State Committee of Education of the RA Ministry of Education and Science, the RA National Center for Professional Education Quality Assurance.
The goal of the University – unique in the entire region- is to conduct defense security studies for the political-military leadership of the State and, by means of teaching the products of these studies, to craft a new generation of leaders through Executive Education, Master, Graduate and Doctoral Courses.
The Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan welcoming the participants pointed out that the University would consolidate the defense security interagency intellectual and expert potential around the defense axis. He underlined that the University project had been elaborated via studying the best practices of the US National Defense University, Harvard University, as well as the Chair of National Security of the Russian Academy of State Service at the President of the Russian Federation, and their adaptation in Armenia. Minister Ohanyan thanked the US and Russian partners for their valuable contribution to the establishment of the University. He expressed the confidence that the National Defense Research University could become a “smart power”-based important international platform for the dialogue about defense security issues in academic format for the Republic of Armenia’s ally and partner states, thereby promoting regional stability and security.
Welcoming remarks were made by the academic consultants of the University’s establishment project – Dr. James Keagle, Professor of the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, US National Defense University, Lt. Gen. Tad Oelstrom, Professor, Director of the National Security Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University, and Prof. Alexander Nikitin, Doctor of Political Science, Director of the Center for Euro-Atlantic Security, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO).
At the end of the Opening Ceremony President Serzh Sargsyan awarded the RA state award –the Medal of Gratitude to James Keagle, Tad Oelstrom, Alexander Nikitin and Col. Gen. Nikolay Bordyuzha – Secretary General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Chairman of the CSTO Academic-Expert Council for their contribution to the establishment of the National Defense Research University.