Counterterrorism Stresses ‘Global Team Against a Global Threat’

Counterterrorism stresses ‘global team against a global threat’

Counterterrorism Stresses ‘Global Team Against a Global Threat’

By Christine June
Public Affairs Office

George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (July 13, 2015) – “Global” is the best way to describe the 23rd iteration of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies’ premier counterterrorism course that started here July 9.

“One thing I am particularly proud of this time is how global the course is,” said retired U.S. Marine Corps Col. James Howcroft, course director of the Marshall Center’s Program on Terrorism and Security Studies. “We have 75 participants from 51 countries, faculty from six countries and lecturers coming in from 20 countries.

“It’s a global team against a global threat,” said Howcroft, who added that the class of

PTSS 15-7 will add to the Marshall Center’s network of more than 1,500 PTSS alumni from 131 countries. In total, the Marshall Center has 10,537 alumni from 146 countries from all of its resident programs.

Participants hail from: Afghanistan; Albania; Armenia; Bangladesh; Belize; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Botswana; Cameroon; Costa Rica; Croatia; Czech Republic; Dominican Republic; Egypt; Estonia; Georgia; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Ireland; Italy; Kenya; Kosovo; Kyrgyzstan;  Latvia; Macedonia; Malaysia; Mali; Malta; Mauritania; Mauritius; Moldova; Morocco; Nigeria; Pakistan; Peru; Philippines; Poland; Romania; Rwanda; Senegal; Serbia; Sierra Leone; South Africa; South Korea; Tanzania; Thailand; Togo; Tunisia; Uganda; United States; and, Uzbekistan.

Another element of this PTSS course Howcroft is proud of is that there are faculty from the Marshall Center’s sister regional centers – Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies and Africa Center for Strategic Studies.

“PTSS is a global course, said Ben Reed, the Marshall Center’s U.S. deputy director, in his welcoming remarks on the first day of class. “Unlike national or regional studies of terrorism and what to do about it, the Marshall Center takes participants to a higher level of global cooperation.    An increasing globalized problem like terrorism requires a global response – a response that uses the best practices but also uses local knowledge, experience and culture to form strategies.”

Started in 2004, PTSS is offered twice a year and brings together military and civilian counterterrorism practitioners from around the world to share their experiences and best practices to help countries develop a practical and obtainable strategy to deal with terrorism in their countries.

The four-week course curriculum consists of lectures, seminars, case studies and a Munich field study trip. It is designed to highlight four objectives: Understand the Threat; Build Capacity; Build Network; and, Enable Transnational Cooperation.

During the field trip, participants will visit the Bayerisches Landeskriminalamt (Bavarian state police), Munich swat team and the 1972 Olympic Village.

Close to the end of the 1972 Olympic Games, a group of eight members of the Black September Palestinian terrorist organization broke into the Olympic Village and took 11 Israeli Olympic team members hostage and eventually killed, along with a German police officer. The subsequent standoff in the Olympic Village lasted for almost 18 hours.

The 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich were largely overshadowed by what has come to be known as the "Munich massacre,” and what Howcroft calls “a defining moment in the study of terrorism.”

The mission of the Marshall Center, as a vital instrument of German-American cooperation, is to create a more stable security environment by advancing democratic institutions and relationships; promoting active, peaceful, whole-of-government approaches to address transnational and regional security challenges; and creating and enhancing enduring partnerships worldwide.

The Marshall Center offers eight resident programs that examine complex transnational, regional and international security issues: Program on Terrorism and Security Studies; Program on Applied Security Studies; Program on Security Sector Capacity Building; Seminar on Regional Security; Seminar on Transnational Civil Security; Countering Narcotics and Illicit Trafficking; Program on Cyber Security Studies; and, Senior Executive Seminar.

For those who are interested in attending a Marshall Center resident program, call the Registrar's Office at +49 (0)8821-750- 2656/2530/2327 or 314-4402-656/530/327, or email registrar [at]