Marshall Center Professor Presents ‘Talking to Terrorist’ at PTSS 15-7, Kosovo MFA Members

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Marshall Center Professor Presents ‘Talking to Terrorist’ at PTSS 15-7, Kosovo MFA Members

By Christine June
Public Affairs Office
George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (July 31, 2015) – James Wither, professor of National Security Studies, discussed what to talk about in his presentation Talking to Terrorist to 75 Program on Terrorism and Security Studies participants from 51 countries and six members of the Kosovo Ministry of Foreign Affairs July 31 at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies.

The Program on Terrorism and Security Studies started July 9 and ends Aug. 6. The PTSS course addresses numerous aspects of a threat that confronts nations around the globe. The four-week course is designed for government officials, military officers and police administrators currently working in mid- and upper- level management positions of counterterrorism organizations throughout the world.

The members of the Kosovo Ministry of Foreign Affairs are here attending the first Language for Diplomacy workshop, which started July 28 and will end Aug. 13 at the Marshall Center’s Partner Language Training Center, Europe. This three-week workshop is to assist members of the Kosovo diplomatic corps to develop highly-polished, executive-level professional writing and communication skills that are directly related to their jobs as embassy and consular officials, said Peggy Garza, chair of the English Language Programs Department at the Marshall Center’s PLTCE.

In his presentation, Wither identified circumstances when governments might decide to establish a dialogue with a terrorist group and the potential advantages and risks of doing so, and explained the opportunities and limitations of negotiated approaches to resolving hostage incidents.

Wither has been a faculty member at the Marshall Center since 2000. He is the director of Senior and International Fellows Programs. He is also a member of the teaching faculty for PTSS.

Wither is a retired British Army officer and former researcher in 20th century warfare at the Imperial War Museum in London. Professor Wither has also taught counterterrorism at the FBI Academy as an adjunct professor of the University of Virginia.

This afternoon, PTSS 15-7 participants will hear the presentation on Evidence and Prosecution from Special Agent Thomas F. O’Connor, from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, and his wife, Special Agent Jean K O’Connor, FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force /National Capital Response Squad and senior team leader for the Evidence Response Team.

The PTSS 15-7 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.

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.