March 13 to April 10 & August 7 to September 4, 2019 / Course language: English


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Slide show: Click on image.

The Program on Terrorism and Security Studies is a four-week resident program that supports the Marshall Center's increasing emphasis on transnational threats and challenges. The PTSS provides advanced professional education to those charged with understanding and then reducing the scope and capability of terrorism threats.

PTSS participants were originally from emerging democracies in Europe and Eurasia, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries, and selected countries from within the Alliance's Mediterranean Dialogue. Recognizing the global nature of terrorism and its disdain for international borders, however, today's PTSS also attracts participants from all corners of the globe. The PTSS builds a network of security professionals dedicated to the mission of combating terrorism (CT) by helping their countries to successfully cooperate in the global struggle against terrorism.


The PTSS is a functionally focused program that draws in civilian, law enforcement, and military counterterrorism professionals from around the world and improves their capacity to counter terrorism's regional and transnational implications. It engenders an "intellectual interoperability" transcending national borders and enables national security officials to cooperate at an international level to contain security threats. It aims to combat terrorism in all of its manifestations: nationally, regionally and globally.

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George C Marshall European Center PTSS video.


  1. Select participants to join the emergent transnational network of combating terrorism (CT) experts and practitioners
  2. Develop and strengthen understanding of the ideologies and mechanisms of terrorism and the strategies for countering them
  3. Improve the CT capabilities and capacities of partner nations.
  4. Cultivate an understanding of the potential tensions and trade-offs between enhancing operational effectiveness and respecting civil liberties and the rule of law
  5. Develop "intellectual interoperability" and mutual understanding about the transnational threat of terrorism and its potential evolution

Methodology and Structure

The PTSS course methodology includes presentations by subject matter experts; daily seminars led by both a practitioner and an academic with groups of fourteen to fifteen participants; case studies; and supporting readings. It will promote active learning through small group discussions, case study analysis, and the National CT Strategy writing exercise. Theoretical concepts will be examined to provide practical as well as theoretical insights into combating terrorism.

The PTSS consists of 37 study units. Each unit represents 3–4 hours of class time plus an hour of individual study. Current events will dictate which study units are included in any given course.

Character of Terrorism

  • What is Terrorism
  • History of Terrorism
  • Terrorist Motivations
  • The Strategy of Terrorism
  • How Terrorist Groups End

Contemporary Trends in Terrorism

  • Terrorist Narratives
  • The Transnational Organized Crime-Terror Nexus
  • Lone Actor Terrorism
  • CBRN Terrorism
  • Terrorist Use of the Internet
  • Transnational Cyber Security Threats
  • Global Terrorism Update
  • Terrorism and Innovation
  • Terrorism and the Media


Ideology and Radicalization

  • Ideology and Terrorist Recruitment
  • Religion as a Source of Extremism
  • Individual Pathways into Terrorism


CbT Strategy Making

  • CT Strategy Making: Theory and Practice
  • CT: "The Whole of Government" Approach (in revision)
  • Strategic Communication for CT
  • Conducting Risk Assessments in CT
  • Measures of Effectiveness (MOE) in CT


CbT Legal Measures

  • International Law and Legal Concepts in CT
  • CT and the Rule of Law
  • Targeting Terrorists and the Law


CbT Security Forces

  • Military Force in COIN and CT
  • The Role of Law Enforcement in CT
  • The Role of Intelligence in CT


CbT Financial Measures

  • Methods of Terrorism Finance
  • CT: Financial Measures


CbT Engagement Measures

  • Proxies and State Sponsorship of Terrorism
  • Disengagement and De-radicalization
  • Talking to Terrorists


CbT Internal Homeland Security

  • Managing Terrorist Hostage Incidents
  • Critical Infrastructure Protection
  • Terrorism Crisis Management
  • Building Public Resilience against Terrorism


Throughout the course, participants may increase their language proficiency with optional, additional, training in written and oral presentation skills. Strong candidates for this program who may benefit from an English Language Enhancement Course prior to the PTSS.


PTSS Alumni Community of Interest (COI) Report Series

For application and deadline information, contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., your ministry point of contact, or the U.S. or German Embassy in your capital city.