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The guest speaker, Peter Verga, who is the chief of staff and senior career official for the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, said “our challenge is to suppress terrorist acts” in his speech at the graduation ceremony July 25 held in the center’s large plenary hall. (DOD Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Amanda Moncada/RELEASED)

Christine June
GCMC Public Affairs

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (July 28, 2014) – The 64 graduates from 45 countries who graduated from the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies’ premier counterterrorism course July 25 were the first class to benefit from a joint-teaching venture with the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies.

Professor Shyam Tekwani, course director of the APCSS Comprehensive Security Response to Terrorism, was a seminar lead and gave two lectures at this Program on Terrorism and Security Studies course.

“This is a defining moment for a more effective partnership between the two (GCMC and APCSS), Tekwani said. “I’m going back with my experiences in this course curriculum, exchange of ideas and networking opportunities to strongly voice in favor of continuing this new course in our partnership with the Marshall Center.”

Helmed by the Department of Defense and the German Ministry of Defense, PTSS gathers counterterrorism and security professionals from across the globe. The four-week course is designed for military officers, government officials and police administrators currently working in mid- and upper-level management positions of counterterrorism organizations throughout the world.

“Throughout this course, these graduates studied the nature and magnitude of today’s transnational threat of terrorism, discussed solutions to combat terrorism and established contacts within the counterterrorism community,” said U.S. Army Col. Joseph King, PTSS course director.

The guest speaker, Peter Verga, who is the chief of staff and senior career official for the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, said “our challenge is to suppress terrorist acts” in his speech at the graduation ceremony held in the center’s large plenary hall. 

“Combating terrorism means you have to do what works for your country, either military or civilian law enforcement efforts.” Verga said. “It depends on your history, laws, and values – your way of life…what works in the United States may or may not work for your country, but it’s important for all of us to build networks, learn from each other and work as a team to suppress terrorist acts.”

Addressing the graduates, Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Keith W. Dayton, the Marshall Center director, said “You are now part of a living network of more than 10,500 Marshall Center alumni across the globe. We are all in this together, and there are often times that we do get it right…you are there now to help us get it right.”

The graduates hailed from Albania, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cameroon, Czech Republic, Djibouti, Egypt, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Guyana, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Palestinian Authority, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Tajikistan, Thailand, The Gambia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda and the United States.

The mission of the Marshall Center is to create a more stable security environment by advancing democratic institutions and relationships, especially in the field of defense; promoting active, peaceful security cooperation; and enhancing enduring partnerships among the nations of North America, Europe and Eurasia.