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The Loisach Group, a partnership with the Munich Security Conference and George C. Marshall Center, met in Washington, D.C.  Nov. 13 to 15.  While there, the members visited the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of State officials. (DOD photo by JoAnne R. Sorrentino/RELEASED)

By U.S. Army Maj. Josh Southworth
George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies

Washington D.C., (Dec. 7, 2018) – The George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies and the Munich Security Conference’s Loisach Group met in Washington, D.C. to discuss transatlantic security challenges. The Group is comprised of U.S. and German security experts. This meeting’s format refrained from making any of the discussions public, thus offering an exclusive group of decision makers and experts a forum for frank discussions and thought provoking debates. This unique venture of the Marshall Center and Munich Security Conference strengthens the German and U.S. partnership by working toward combined solutions to complex security challenges.

“The U.S. relationship with Germany, Europe’s central power, is likely to be the single most important determinant of transatlantic partnership at a time when that partnership is undergoing profound transformation and redefinition,” said Dr. Dan Hamilton, Center for Transatlantic Relations.

Significance of the D.C. Event

The Marshall Center and the Munich Security Conference created a partnership in August 2017 to commit to mutual cooperation in the European security dialogue.  This partnership led to the establishment of the Loisach Group, which seeks to provide U.S. and German defense policymakers with sound recommendations on collaborative policy decisions.

This most recent event enabled participants to speak candidly about the current status of the transatlantic partnership while discussing innovative ideas which policy makers might consider. Since this is the fifth meeting of the group participants were able to build upon previous discussions and personal relationships to have valuable discussions that will help shape U.S. and German defense policy.

“The relationship between Germany and the U.S. is currently dominated by negative emotions, and held hostage by an entirely negative agenda. In the past there have always been quarrels and disagreements. But there was also always a positive agenda as well: what we can achieve together, to the benefit of both sides. This positive agenda is what is currently lacking, and the Loisach Group is well positioned to contribute to such an agenda,” said Dr. Ulrich Speck a senior visiting fellow at the German Marshall Fund.

The Way Forward

The Group will meet as a side event during the Munich Security Conference on Feb 17 in Munich. This event will bring together conference speakers, Marshall Center faculty and other strategic policy experts to summarize what was accomplished during the Munich Security Conference and how to best use those findings in the future. The Loisach Group also regularly publishes key policy findings on its webpage.