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Story and photo by Barbara Wither
Marshall Center Alumni Programs

PRISTINA, Kosovo (Nov. 24, 2014) – Professors James Wither and Steve Monaco, from the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, gave presentations on transnational challenges during the Regional Border Security Conference held Nov. 3 to 6 here.

This conference was sponsored by the U.S. Embassy Pristina Export Control and Related Border Security Program, and Kosovo Police and Customs Services. More than 50 Marshall Center alumni attended an evening alumni event hosted by the Marshall Center Alumni Program.

Wither, professor of National Security Studies and director of the Program in Security Sector Capacity Building at the Marshall Center, talked about countering terrorism threats to the Balkans, and Monaco, program director of the Countering Narcotics and Illicit Trafficking at the Marshall Center, discussed Transnational Challenge: The Threat from Organized Crime and Terrorism in the Balkans

Wither Kosovo

James Wither, professor of National Security Studies and director of the Program in Security Sector Capacity Building at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, gives a presentation ON countering terrorism threats to the Balkans to more than 50 alumni at a regional border security conference Nov. 5 in Pristina, Kosovo. (DOD Photo by Barbara Wither/RELEASED)

Purpose of the conference was to bring together regional experts from the Balkans – Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia and Montenegro – to discuss border security issues and exchange best practice with international experts with a view to enhance regional cooperation.

“The conference was an extremely valuable opportunity to meet with border police and customs from the western Balkans in order to discuss common challenges posed by migrant smuggling, human trafficking and linkages with terrorism,” Monaco said.

This event was in part supported and administered by Marshall Center alumni from Kosovo who are in the Kosovo Police Service. Of note were Col. Shaban Guda, head of the Border Police; Col. Mentor Shabani, regional director, Border Police and Capt. Luljeta Mehmeti-Quigley, from the Kosovo Police Service.

“This event creates a solid foundation for the recognition and sustainability of strengthening regional cooperation through exchange of experiences and best practices,” said Mehmeti-Quigley, who was the moderator of the conference. “Only by working together can we stand firmly against any crime.”

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 throughout the world.

For more information on the Marshall Center, visit

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