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RFK Address Graduating Class of International Police Academy

Feb. 28, 1964 - Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy said today that sabotage, banditry, and terrorism had replaced the small war as a means of toppling governments and seizing control of free societies. He told the first graduating class of the International Police Academy in Washington that this was “the age of hit-and-run terrorist activities coordinated on a global scale.” In this situation, he said, civil police forces are “a very real first line of defense, and the fate of governments and nations hangs in the balance.”

Mr. Kennedy never referred to international Communism as the instigator of tactics short of war for taking control of free nations. His meaning, however, was clear to the 31 high-ranking police officials from 16 nations of Latin America, Asia, and Africa who had just completed a 13-week course in modern police administration that included “Insurgency in Communist Theory.” The new academy is operated by the Office of Public Safety of the Agency for International Development (AID), which directs the foreign aid program. Its first class was for senior police officials only. This year, an estimated total of 450 senior and intermediate officials will go through the academy.

Only English is spoken in the classes, lectures, and seminars of the academy, the first of its kind in the world. In a companion academy in Panama, also operated by AID, only Spanish is spoken. Underlying both academies is the concept that economic and social progress require internal political security as well as freedom from external aggression.


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