The Defense Reform Advisory Board is comprised of four military experts drawn from NATO member states.

Andriy Zagorodnyuk, the head reform at Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence, told the Kyiv Post that the board will be working with the highest levels of the Ukrainian government and have “direct access” to President Petro Poroshenko, Chief of the General Staff Viktor Muzhenko and Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak.

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The board’s remit is to advise Ukraine on modernising its armed forces as it seeks to reach NATO standards by 2020. Its members are:

General John Abizaid, the commander of US forces in the Middle East, speaks to the media after a meeting with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani in Baghdad 24 August 2006. The main focus of Iraqi President Talabani ‘s agenda is currently national reconciliation and security, aiming to restore peace and stability in the troubled Iraqi capital Baghdad.
AFP PHOTO/POOL/ DANIEL BEREHULAK / AFP PHOTO / AFP POOL / Daniel Berehulak

General (retd.) John Philip Abizaid, United States: Now the head of strategic consulting firm JPA Partners, Abizaid left the U.S. military in 2007 after 34 years of service. He led international coalition forces in the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia.

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Major General Jonas Andriš­kevicius, Lithuania: Currently a member of the academic staff at the Institute of Military Science at General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania, Andriškevicius served from 1993-1999 as Lithuania’s first defense chief after the country gained independence from the Soviet Union.

British General Nick Parker, Commander Land Forces, speaks at the Olympic and Paralympic Security Conference at The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London on January 25, 2012. Almost 100 “organised criminals” have been arrested ahead of the London Olympics and protest camps will be banned from the Games, British Home Secretary Theresa May said at the conference on January 25. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLIS

General (retd.) Sir Nick Parker, United Kingdom: A senior associate fellow at defense and security think tank The Royal United Services Institute, Parker left the British Army in 2013 having served in Iraq, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone during a 40-year career in the armed forces.

Jill Sinclair, Canada: A senior fellow at the University of Ottawa in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, Sinclair previously served as Assistant Deputy Minister at Canada’s Department of National Defense.

Owing to their status as high level military experts, the board members’ opinions will have “a serious impact,” according to Zagorodnyuk. He told the Kyiv Post he is hopeful the Defense Reform Advisory Board will give its support to initiatives put forward by his office.

The establishment of the board comes following last May’s appointment of Anders Fogh-Rasmussen, former NATO Secretary General and former Danish prime minister, as a non-staff adviser to Poroshenko.

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