Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Tod D. Wolters, Visits Marshall Center
By College of International and Security Studies
George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (August 3, 2021) – On July 27, U.S. Air Force Gen. Tod D. Wolters, commander of U.S. European Command and NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, visited the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies and met with the leadership team and faculty.
Marshall Center Director retired U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Barre Seguin welcomed Wolters on his first visit to the Marshall Center since taking command. In attendance was Marshall Center U.S. Deputy Director retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Dieter Bareihs, German Deputy Director retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Helmut Dotzler, and Dr. Andrew Michta, dean of Marshall Center’s College of International Security Studies
Wolters later met with Marshall Center faculty members where he described security challenges throughout the region. Wolters cited the importance of the men and women working to support peace across the Euro-Atlantic region and the significance of remaining vigilant as we assess the evolving geopolitical aspects of strategic competition.
Michta led a round table session where Wolters engaged with faculty members on a variety of security related topics of interest to Marshall Center programs and initiatives in the European region. The topics ranged from strategic competition, maligned influence, and hybrid warfare, and included geopolitical issues as diverse as energy security, the Arctic, Ukraine, and the Balkans.
Dr. Valbona Zeneli, chair of the Marshall Center Strategic Initiatives Department, highlighted the support the Marshall Center provided to the U.S.-led Defender Europe 21 exercise in Albania and the Marshall Center’s work with the U.S. Embassy and Office of Defense Cooperation in Tirana. Wolters acknowledged the importance of Defender Europe 21 and the importance of partner nation support in ensuring the exercise’s success.
Professor Joseph Vann, director of the Marshall Center’s Program on Countering Transnational Organized Crime, spoke about the importance of bringing together experts from around the world to focus on strategy and policy solutions in fighting transnational challenges. Vann also highlighted the Marshall Center’s emphasis on studying China’s role in the realm of strategic competition in Europe and its long-term consequences for the transatlantic alliance.
Professor Phil Lark, director of the Marshall Center’s Program on Cyber Security, highlighted the success the Marshall Center is realizing in assisting partner nations develop better strategies and policies pertaining to cybersecurity. Wolters spoke to the importance of cybersecurity and recognized this discipline as an essential challenge deserving unwavering attention.
Dr. Matthew Rhodes, chair of the Marshall Center Area Studies, briefed Wolters on the forthcoming NATO issue of the Marshall Center’s per Concordiam publication and continued on the importance of the Marshall Center’s Alumni Program citing the more than 15,000 Marshall Center alumni that make up the backbone of the Marshall Center’s network in the region.
Dr. Graeme Herd, chair of the Research and Policy Analysis Department briefed on academic research the Marshall Center is conducting on Russia and provided his assessment of Russian risk calculus and red lines in the strategic decision realm. Professor James Wither spoke about the Marshall Center’s current efforts focused on developing an Irregular Warfare program to address new challenges in the region.
Seguin concluded by thanking Wolters for visiting and stressed his commitment to ensure that Marshall Center programs and efforts provide maximum support to U.S. EUCOM.