Perspectives #4: Balkans 360: Southeast Europe Alumni Perspectives on U.S. and German Policy in the Region

Author: Drew Beck - MC Series: Perspectives, Number 4 - Published: October 2018

perspectivesA Southeast Europe Regional Alumni Outreach Networking Event (SEE ONE) was held in Garmisch on June 18-22, 2018. Thirty-nine Marshall Center alumni, including senior officials from a variety of professional backgrounds from Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia, attended the three-day event, focusing on internal and external actors and factors for regional security. The GCMC College of International and Security Studies used this gathering to examine the region’s security challenges through the eyes of its regional alumni network within the broader context of U.S. and German engagement in Southeast Europe. This paper summarizes the views of this select group of Marshall Center alumni as well as major takeaways from recent informal and formal talks between GCMC staff and regional actors from teaching trips throughout Southeast Europe.

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Transatlantic Relations: Prospects and New Directions

Author: Dr. Matthew Rhodes - MC Series: Perspectives, Number 3 - Published: March 2018

perspectives4The George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies (GCMC) and the German Federal Academy for Security Policy / Bundesakademie für Sicherheitspolitik, (BAKS) conducted a seminar, “Transatlantic Relations: Prospects and New Directions amidst Political Change,” in Berlin from 18-19 January 2018. More than seventy-five experts and officials from Germany, the United States, and across Europe participated. The following is a brief summary of conclusions.

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The Prison Terrorism Nexus: Recommendations for Policymakers

Author: James Howcroft - MC Series: Perspectives, Number 2 - Published: September 2017

perspectives2The Marshall Center hosted a Global Counter-Terrorism Alumni Community of Interest (COI) workshop in August, 2017 to discuss the challenges related to terrorists in prison systems. Cross-pollination of terrorist and criminal networks and, in particular, the radicalization and recruitment of ordinary criminal offenders present significant and growing threats to security.

What can countries do to manage and reduce these threats? Participants in this COI explored these issues, shared their countries’ national experiences, exchanged best practices, and came up with recommendations for policymakers. This paper presents the consensus view of experts and practitioners from the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the United States.

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Global Priorities in Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism: Practitioner Perspectives

Authors: Sam Mullins & James Howcroft - MC Series: Perspectives, Number 1 - Published: September 2017

perspectives1This research note reports the results of a pilot questionnaire on priorities in terrorism and counter-terrorism, which was completed by seventy-five security-sector professionals from more than fifty countries who attended the Program on Terrorism and Security Studies (PTSS) at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies (GCMC) in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, from July to August, 2017.

The results reveal that these practitioners consider terrorism to be one of the most serious threats to stability in their countries. Participants were especially concerned with jihadist terrorism and were more or less equally concerned with lone actors versus foreign fighters. The majority identified online versus offline methods as most important to terrorist recruitment, however this difference of opinion was not large. Looking to the future, they viewed hacking/cyber attacks by terrorists as particularly likely. In terms of counter-terrorism (CT), intelligence agencies were seen as playing the lead role, while cooperation between domestic CT agencies was seen as the biggest challenge. In contrast to this, terrorist use of encrypted communications was seen as least challenging.

Participants were evenly split in their views on political negotiations with terrorists, but displayed a comparatively high degree of optimism about the prospects of deradicalization. Nevertheless, they also appeared to hold a government-centric view of CT, seeing relatively little role for civil society and non-governmental organizations. Border control was viewed as the capability most in need of further development.

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