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News Release


Release No: 700-94
December 16, 1994


Seventy-six military officers and civilian officials from the NATO alliance and North Atlantic Cooperation Council countries graduated yesterday, December 14, 1994, from the first class of the College of Strategic Studies and Defense Economics at the George C. Marshall Center in Garmisch, Germany. Senator Richard Lugar was the graduation speaker.

"You will be ambassadors of cooperative engagement and cooperative threat reduction in Europe," Senator Lugar told the graduates, the bulk of whom are from countries of the former Warsaw Pact. "The challenges of transition to democracy are evident and formidable, but the yearnings of the peoples we serve for freedom, for peace that allows normal and constructive living, and for responsible farsighted leadership, is much more powerful," Lugar said.

Senator Lugar along with Senator Sam Nunn, sponsored legislation that provides funds to assist in the disarmament and dismantlement of post cold war nuclear stockpiles in the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union. Senator Lugar said the Marshall Center is part of the U.S. attempt to protect its security and strengthen European security through "cooperative engagement."

During the five-month course which began in August, students studied how democratic nations organize, control and provide for their armed forces under civilian leadership. Classes are taught in English, German and Russian. The second class is scheduled to begin February 2, 1995, with 86 students.

This first class was made up of 53 military officers from Defense ministries and 23 civilian officials from Foreign and Defense ministries. Students came from the countries of Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, as well as Germany and the U.S.

The George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies assists countries of central and eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union in the development of military institutions compatible with democratic processes and civilian control of the military. The Center, part of many defense and military relations programs between the U.S. and Europe, focuses on the new opportunities and challenges of European security today. By providing defense education for eastern and central Europe's senior policy makers, and sponsoring activities that promote defense cooperation, the Center helps lay the groundwork for closer ties and greater openness between the armed forces of NATO and its Cooperation partners.

The Marshall Center was inaugurated on June 5, 1993, 46 years after its namesake, George C. Marshall, gave the historic speech at Harvard which later became known as the Marshall Plan. The Center is operated by the U.S.European Command and the German government.

For further information, contact the George C. Marshall Center public affairs officer, Mr. Mike Lopez, at 011-49-8821-750882/750469.

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