A Crimson & Red Army?

Russian Officers Attend K-School Program

A program presently underway at the Kennedy School blends two colors might once have clashed: Harvard's crimson and the red of Russia's Red Army.

High-ranking Russian military officers are now attending a two-week program on democracy and national security at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, school officials said last week.

The program, similar to those given at the Kennedy School for U.S. national security professionals, began last Monday and will last until September 25.

The executive education program includes classes on the free market economy, arms control, decision making and national security, and the press in a democratic setting, said Kennedy School Dean Albert Carnesale.

This past Saturday, the group, made up of 28 senior members of the Army general staff and Ministry of Defense, supplemented its study of American society with a visit to the town of Wakefield, located just north of Boston.


The officers' visit to Wakefield, and a special celebration held for them there, were sponsored by Wakefield resident General John Galvin (ret.), former Supreme Commander of NATO forces in Europe.

While in Wakefield, the officers had a pancake breakfast, paid a visit to the hardware store, and received cowboy hats, Levi jeans and denim shirts from town officials.

"The spirit of Russians and Americans is the same. Same sense of humor, everything," said Air Force General Alexander Ionov during the Wakefield visit.

The group, made up of members of the Russian general staff and Ministry of Defense, will be addressed by U.S. Defense Department officials later this week.

"Our experience with this extraordinary programhas been especially satisfying," said Carnesale.

"We are fortunate to have these opportunitiesto share our American democratic principles andtraditions, and to learn from our Russiancolleagues," he said.

This story was compiled with wiredispatches.

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