Securing Borders Against Traveling Terrorists: Challenges, Best Practices, and Recommendations

Author: CAPT Tom Welsh, USN  - MC Series: Perspectives, Number 11 - Published: May 2019

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Collaborative Counterterrorism Alumni Community of Interest (COI) Workshop 13-17 May 2019, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

Ten alumni of the Daniel K. Inouye Asia Pacific Center’s (DKI APCSS) Comprehensive Security Responses to Terrorism (CSRT) course and fourteen alumni of the George C. Marshall European Center’s (“Marshall Center”) Program on Terrorism and Security Studies (PTSS) course participated in a first-of-its-kind collaborative CT-COI in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany to discuss and exchange ideas, share best practices, and make recommendations for securing national borders against traveling terrorists.

Participants heard from eleven alumni representing nine countries and FRONTEX on current border security challenges and how these challenges are being addressed. The COI concluded with the following observations and recommendations.

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Executive Summary: Understanding Russian Strategic Behavior

Author: Graeme P. Herd - MC Series: Perspectives, Number 10 - Published: April 2019

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The “Understanding Russian Strategic Behavior” Workshop #3 brought together twenty-five academics and practitioners from the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia, and Belarus to discuss strategic issues concerning Russian behavior and policy. This workshop is one in a series of semi-annual events that is hosted by the Marshall Center, funded by USEUCOM’s Russia Strategic Initiative (RSI) office, and is supported by RAND.

The workshop ran for two days and consisted of short presentations followed by more lengthy discussions. The international research team examined a variety of topics, including Russia’s strategic behavior in the Arctic as well as in the Nordic-Baltic region, Ukraine, and Syria; Russian engagement with Belarus, Turkey, and Afghanistan; sub-institutional cultures; the impact of U.S.-Chinese strategic competition on Russian strategic behavior; sanctions, and Putin’s relationship with Russia’s elite.

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The Great Puzzle: China in Central and Eastern Europe

Author:Małgorzata Jankowska - MC Series: Perspectives, Number 9 - Published: March 2019

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China’s engagement in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) through the 16+1 economic platform addressed investment needs imposed by the global financial crisis. Despite limited outcomes, it was accompanied by a negative EU narrative towards the sponsor of the program. The main argument has been that the platform undermines EU cohesion and unity.

This narrative discouraged bilateral or sub-regional initiatives of CEE states towards China and served to mobilize European Institutions around policies that were primarily shaped by Berlin.

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Terrorism: Two Faces of Women

Author: Lea-Grace B. Salcedo - MC Series: Perspectives, Number 8 - Published: March 2019

perspectives 8 smallSocietal support for both terrorist groups and state-led counter-terrorism efforts is dependent upon the extent to which the populace believes that these organizations reflect the societies in which they operate. The composition of the society as well as the society’s ability to address grievances and meet the expectations of the populace are of key importance when it comes to the integration of women into both types of organizations. In the past, women have primarily played support roles to men but increasingly, especially in recent years, they have also served in non-traditional roles in both terrorist organizations and the security sector.

What factors motivate women to join either a terrorist organization or a counterterrorism-oriented state security sector? Motivation refers to the pull and push factors that drive women to join: pull factors are the organization’s attractive characteristics; push factors are the underlying root causes that account for her personal dissatisfaction with her current situation and so provide personal reasons to affiliate with an organization.

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Securing Our Borders against Traveling Terrorists: Challenges, Best Practices, and Recommendations

Author: CDR Eric Ager, USN - MC Series: Perspectives, Number 7 - Published: January 2019

recommendations agerfinalWhat can countries do to make sure that borders are barriers to terrorists, but bridges to cooperation? Among the many challenges in today’s fight against terrorism are the issues of how to detect, deter and detain terrorists who seek to cross international borders.

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Shared Responsibility and Comprehensive Security in the MENA Region

Author: Dr. Petra Weyland  - MC Series: Perspectives, Number 6 - Published: December 2018

perspectives1Insecurity in the MENA region has been growing significantly over the last two decades. Much has been done to counter this trend through direct military engagement, procurement of weapons, training, humanitarian and development aid, and engagement in security partnerships. In spite of these tremendous efforts, the regional, national, and especially the human security situation has worsened. Violent extremism is evidence of this. U.S. Special Forces executed Osama bin Laden years ago, but al-Qaida is changing its face and (re-)appearing in many different places. The Isis Caliphate was destroyed, but its survivors are gaining a foothold on both shores of the Mediterranean, conceiving new forms of violent radicalism.

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Emerging Challenges in Arctic Security and Recommendations for the Future: Perspectives from the European Security Seminar - North

Author(s): Rachael Gosnell, CDR Andreas Hildenbrand, and Elizabete Aunina - MC Series: Perspectives, Number 5 - Published: November 2018

perspectives1The George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies hosted mid-level and senior security practitioners, policymakers, and academics from Europe and North America in the first iteration of a new program: the European Security Seminar-North. This seminar, which ran from 9-13 July 2018, provided an opportunity for participants to discuss emerging challenges in the Arctic region and to assess their impact on European and North American security. In addition, participants developed strategic recommendations to address contemporary and future security challenges of the Arctic region.

The Arctic is a fast evolving region that is the focus of renewed global interest spurred by an increasingly accessible High North. International scientific research indicates that the Arctic is unquestionably experiencing a warming trend. The globally recognized Arctic Report Card notes that Arctic air temperatures are warming at double the rate of global average increases.

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Balkans 360: Southeast Europe Alumni Perspectives on U.S. and German Policy in the Region

Author: Drew Beck - MC Series: Perspectives, Number 4 - Published: October 2018

perspectivesA Southeast Europe Regional Alumni Outreach Networking Event (SEE ONE) was held in Garmisch on June 18-22, 2018. Thirty-nine Marshall Center alumni, including senior officials from a variety of professional backgrounds from Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia, attended the three-day event, focusing on internal and external actors and factors for regional security. The GCMC College of International and Security Studies used this gathering to examine the region’s security challenges through the eyes of its regional alumni network within the broader context of U.S. and German engagement in Southeast Europe. This paper summarizes the views of this select group of Marshall Center alumni as well as major takeaways from recent informal and formal talks between GCMC staff and regional actors from teaching trips throughout Southeast Europe.

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Transatlantic Relations: Prospects and New Directions

Author: Dr. Matthew Rhodes - MC Series: Perspectives, Number 3 - Published: March 2018

perspectives4The George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies (GCMC) and the German Federal Academy for Security Policy / Bundesakademie für Sicherheitspolitik, (BAKS) conducted a seminar, “Transatlantic Relations: Prospects and New Directions amidst Political Change,” in Berlin from 18-19 January 2018. More than seventy-five experts and officials from Germany, the United States, and across Europe participated. The following is a brief summary of conclusions.

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The Prison Terrorism Nexus: Recommendations for Policymakers

Author: James Howcroft - MC Series: Perspectives, Number 2 - Published: September 2017

perspectives2The Marshall Center hosted a Global Counter-Terrorism Alumni Community of Interest (COI) workshop in August, 2017 to discuss the challenges related to terrorists in prison systems. Cross-pollination of terrorist and criminal networks and, in particular, the radicalization and recruitment of ordinary criminal offenders present significant and growing threats to security.

What can countries do to manage and reduce these threats? Participants in this COI explored these issues, shared their countries’ national experiences, exchanged best practices, and came up with recommendations for policymakers. This paper presents the consensus view of experts and practitioners from the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the United States.

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Global Priorities in Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism: Practitioner Perspectives

Authors: Sam Mullins & James Howcroft - MC Series: Perspectives, Number 1 - Published: September 2017

perspectives1This research note reports the results of a pilot questionnaire on priorities in terrorism and counter-terrorism, which was completed by seventy-five security-sector professionals from more than fifty countries who attended the Program on Terrorism and Security Studies (PTSS) at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies (GCMC) in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, from July to August, 2017.

The results reveal that these practitioners consider terrorism to be one of the most serious threats to stability in their countries. Participants were especially concerned with jihadist terrorism and were more or less equally concerned with lone actors versus foreign fighters. The majority identified online versus offline methods as most important to terrorist recruitment, however this difference of opinion was not large. Looking to the future, they viewed hacking/cyber attacks by terrorists as particularly likely. In terms of counter-terrorism (CT), intelligence agencies were seen as playing the lead role, while cooperation between domestic CT agencies was seen as the biggest challenge. In contrast to this, terrorist use of encrypted communications was seen as least challenging.

Participants were evenly split in their views on political negotiations with terrorists, but displayed a comparatively high degree of optimism about the prospects of deradicalization. Nevertheless, they also appeared to hold a government-centric view of CT, seeing relatively little role for civil society and non-governmental organizations. Border control was viewed as the capability most in need of further development.

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