Leadership: March 15, 2001

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: The US Army has opened the new Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, which replaces the controversial School of the Americas. The School of the Americas trained 60,000 Latin American officers in military and counter-guerrilla tactics. Human rights groups complained that graduates of the School were infamous for human rights abuses, but Latin American nations said that SotA graduates were their most effective combat leaders and that demands to close the school were in fact aimed at weakening their military forces. The new Institute will retain the core curriculum of professional military and leadership training, but will add courses in disaster relief, peacekeeping, and counter-drug operations. The Drug Enforcement Administration will provide teachers and course material. The student body will expand to include not just military officers and senior NCOs, but government officials, police officials, and representatives from non-governmental organizations interested in the new courses.--Stephen V Cole