By Rebecca Seawell
GCMC Public Affairs
(Ms. Seawell was an intern during the month of July. The GCMC Public Affairs Office extends its sincere thanks for her support and best wishes for her future as she returns to school in th fall.)
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany – Seventy-three students from 50 countries graduated from the Marshall Center’s Program on Terrorism and Security Studies July 30.
The course teaches students to combat terrorist behavior through the study of history and theory, vulnerabilities, financing, security cooperation and the role of law. Students also participated in a week-long field study, which took place in D.C.
Military officers, government officials and police administrators currently working in mid- to upper-level management positions of law enforcement, police and counterterrorism organizations around the globe attend the course.
“We can do one thing better than the enemy can; we can collaborate and harness our forces together to overcome these very difficult challenges,” said graduation speaker Garry Reid, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for special operations and combating terrorism.
Throughout the course, students develop common grounds of knowledge and understanding among participants, encouraging future international cooperation among the counterterrorist community.
“There are several states in the world that continue to think that the export of violence through terrorist groups is a viable way to conduct foreign policy,” said Dr. Christopher C. Harmon, the director of studies for the program.
Students learn how to tackle this threat through lectures, seminars and group exercises. Lectures feature distinguished speakers, such as Ambassador David Satterfield, the director general, multinational force and observers, Rome; and Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere, the high representative of the European Union to the U.S. on financing terrorism.
“These are people that are well-versed in the area,” said one participant, who wished not to be identified. “They give us good experience and insight – not only into the theoretical parts, but also the practical parts.”
“What we’re saying is, ‘this is terrorism today, in module one – and by the way, this is how you defeat terrorism’,” said Nick Pratt, the program’s designer and a professor at the college.
The program arms students with the tools to effectively combat ongoing terrorism and terrorist activity, Pratt said.
“Your toolbox has to have a lot of tools in it, not just a hammer.”