Marshall Center Training Strengthens Transnational Civil Security Network
By Christine June
Public Affairs Office
George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (July 2, 2015) – The world’s transnational civil security network just grew by 55 participants from 35 countries with the conclusion of the 10th iteration of the Seminar on Transnational Civil Security July 1 at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies.
“The STACS transnational civil security network consists of complete professionals and systems thinkers better able to effectively use national, transnational and international tools available within their national civil security strategy,” said Dr. Graeme P. Herd, STACS course director, who added that STACS has generated 504 civil security professional alumni from 88 countries since this three-week seminar began in 2008.
Building this transnational network as a response mechanism for natural disasters and other catastrophic events such as terrorist attacks that cross borders throughout the world was one of three objectives for this year’s STACS course, Herd said.
He listed the other two as strengthening the mutual understanding of contemporary and future civil security threats and responses, and building intellectual operability with common vocabulary, shared norms and approaches. “A shared culture of preparedness and responsibility is what we are trying to engender through the course.”
The course is offered once a year for military officers and government officials from around the globe who are responsible for civil security policies and programs, as well as representatives from worldwide intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations with civil security responsibilities.
Talking about whatever security issues and then also learning the point of view from someone who actually lives there – like Bangladesh – is totally new for me,” said German navy Cmdr. Alexander Willutzki, subdivision chief of reserve personnel for the Bundeswehr (German military), who attended this year’s STACS. “I know the problems in Bangladesh and what is going on there, but having the point of view from at least one guy from Bangladesh gives me something to think about. I think that is what is the real value (of the Marshall Center) is to look at issues from different perspectives.”
The seminar curriculum, which consists of lectures, seminars, case and field studies, is designed to emphasize and enhance the essential skills of the civil security professional, including communication, collaboration, planning, critical thinking, strategic leadership, and crisis and risk management skills, said Bryan Schulte, who has been the event coordinator for STACS since it became a part of the Marshall Center’s resident program schedule in 2008.
“I think it is very valuable to have people from very different backgrounds and different regions come together to discuss world issues because you enhance the understanding and improve the possibility to work together in crises situations,” said DI (Dr.) Walter Boltz, deputy chairman of the Board of Regulators of the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators in Austria, who gave a presentation on Energy Security June 15. “You also build personal relationships that can become quite handy when some specific problem comes up somewhere and countries need colleagues from other countries to deal with it.”
Besides energy security, seminar lectures and discussions included: Safer Cities and Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism Nexus; Complex, Compound, Cascading Catastrophic Event; Weapons of Mass Destruction; Environmental Security; Biomedical Health Threats – Pandemics; Risk Management – Performing a Threat Analysis; Organizing for Civil Security; Creating a Strategy for Civil Security; Cyber Security; The Role of the Military in Civil Security; The Role of Information Sharing in Civil Security; Protecting Critical Infrastructure; Civil Security and transnational threats and challenges in Europe’s eastern (hybrid warfare) and southern (refugees and migrants) flanks, Crisis and Consequence Management; and, Strategic Communications.
A unique panel discussion on “G7 Summit Transnational Civil Protection” was also held during the seminar. Unique in that the Marshall Center was about 12 miles from the 41st G7 Summit held June 7 and 8. Panel members were Nikolai Bloyd, director of Schloss Elmau, where summit leaders met, and Dr. Christoph Hundertpfund, deputy director criminal investigation department in Innsbruck and the Austrian spokesperson during G 7 Summit and Bilderberg annual conference.
Participants came from 35 countries: Bangladesh; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Colombia; Czech Republic; Djibouti; Dominican Republic; Egypt; Georgia; Germany; Greece; Guatemala; Guyana; India; Indonesia; Jordan; Kenya; Lebanon; Liberia; Macedonia; Moldova; Morocco; Nigeria; Pakistan; Philippines; Romania; Sierra Leone; South Korea; Thailand; Trinidad and Tobago; Uganda; Ukraine; United States; Uruguay; 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.
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] marshallcenter.org.