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George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies

George C. Marshall Center for European Security Studies
Marshall Center Seal
Agency overview
JurisdictionGovernment of Germany, United States Government
HeadquartersGernackerstrasse 2, 82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen
MottoDemocratia per fidem et concordiam
(Democracy through trust and friendship)
Employees208 (2013)
Agency executive
Parent agencyDepartment of Defense, Defense Security Cooperation Agency, German Defense Ministry
WebsiteMarshall Center [1]

The George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies is a bi-national United States Department of Defense[1] and Federal Ministry of Defence (Germany)[2] security and defense studies institute. When the Marshall Center was founded in 1993, its mission was 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. As of Oct. 1, 2014, the Marshall Center’s regional mission changed to a transnational one based on an Office of the Secretary of Defense directive to change from a European to a global participants base.

The current mission of the Marshall Center is to enable solutions to regional and transnational security challenges through capacity building, access, and a globally connected network. The Marshall Center conducts a variety of unique programs involving to date more than 13,600 security officials from more than 155 countries. All programs are taught in English. Our Seminar on Regional Security and European Security Seminar-East is presented in English and Russian simultaneous interpretation.

The Marshall Center offers graduate-level resident programs, as well as conferences and other outreach programs to military and civilian government officials from around the world.

Its international faculty consists of 36 full-time faculty members from six countries — the United States, and Germany, as well as Albania, Austria, Hungary, Italy, and the United Kingdom, augmented by part-time faculty (reservist in the German Armed Forces Reserve) and adjunct faculty. The Marshall Center’s College of International and Security Studies offers 11 resident courses that examine transnational, regional and international security issues. Each course is held once or twice a year.

The Marshall Center is named after American statesman and soldier Gen. George Catlett Marshall, Jr. After World War II and in his service as Secretary of State, Marshall advocated a significant U.S. economic and political commitment to post-war European recovery, often referred to as the Marshall Plan – a plan that saved millions of Europeans from starvation and Soviet domination.

The Marshall Center is co-located with the Armed Forces Recreation Center's Edelweiss Lodge and Resort, a U.S. Department of Defense owned hotel in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Located in the Bavarian Alps near the Austrian border, the Edelweiss opened in September 2004. Both the Marshall Center and the Edelweiss are supported by the U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria-Military Community Garmisch,[3] which falls under Army Installation Management Command-Europe.[4]


After the failed August 1991 coup attempt in Russia, defense specialists identified the need for an institution such as the Marshall Center. The United States European Command (EUCOM)[5] began to develop proposals to expand defense and security contacts with the emerging democracies of Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia in order to positively influence the development of security structures appropriate for democratic states. In February 1992, a proposal was submitted to then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Colin Powell to use the facilities of the former U.S. Army Russia Institute (USARI) to create a European center for security studies in order to rapidly develop opportunities to work with European and Eurasian defense establishments. He endorsed the plan on March 17, 1992. Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz approved the proposal that summer, and the staffs began developing a charter for the proposed center.

Former Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney signed DOD Directive 5200.34[6] in November 1992, establishing the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies as an element of EUCOM under the authority, direction and control of the EUCOM commander. The Marshall Center became a German-American partnership when a memorandum of agreement was signed on December 2, 1994, between headquarters EUCOM and the German Ministry of Defense.

EUCOM Commander Gen. John M. Shalikashvili hosted the June 5, 1993 ceremony officially dedicating the Marshall Center in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. The center was given the charter of stabilizing and thereby strengthening post-Cold War Europe. Secretary of Defense Les Aspin and German Minister of Defense Volker Rühe were the keynote speakers.

The facilities of the Marshall Center encompass the Sheridan Kaserne and Artillery, formerly the Krafft von Dellmensingen Kaserne. Sheridan Kaserne, originally named Jaeger Kaserne, was built in 1937 to house German military (Wehrmacht) troops. The U.S. Army first used the installation in 1945 as a prisoner-of-war camp for officers. The headquarters of the First Mountain Division of the new German Army was located on the Kasernes from 1960 to 1992.[7] The installation became home to the Garmisch U.S. military community, the headquarters of the Armed Forces Recreation Center and the former U.S. Army Russia Institute (USARI) in May 1964. In June 1992, the facilities transferred to the newly formed George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies.

Since its dedication, the Marshall Center has addressed the most important security issues confronting Europe, Eurasia and North America through its resident and outreach programs. In keeping abreast of 21st century security challenges, the Marshall Center has continued to expand its offerings, adding new resident courses and strategic initiatives focusing on the need for international, interagency and interdisciplinary cooperation in addressing those challenges.

MC Resident Courses

The Program on Countering Transnational Organized Crime (CTOC) is a four-week resident program that focuses on the national security threats posed by a wide range of transnational criminal activities. This program examines how transnational criminal organizations impact a country’s national security.

The Program on Countering Transnational Organized Crime-International Forum (CTOC-IF) is a three-day, senior-leader forum. This forum creates and opportunity for law enforcement executives at the principal and deputy level, along with their counterpart policy experts, to examine the most critical challenges in combating transnational organized crime.

The Marshall Center's Partner Language Training Center Europe (PLTCE) offers a five-week English Language Enhancement Course in conjunction with PASS, CTOC, PCSS and PTSS. These courses are designed to improve participants’ English language skills, especially their ability to communicate at a professional level on security topics. Instructors tailor curriculum and vocabulary to each of the individual courses, focusing on relevant vocabulary acquisition, presentation skills, public speaking practice, and discussion strategies.

The European Security Seminars is a series of seminars that include ESS-East, ESS-North, and ESS-South. ESS-East is designed to examine and analyze a major recurrent matter on the European and Euro-Atlantic security agenda. ESS-North primarily looks at the Arctic with the aim of providing an opportunity for mid- to high-level practitioners to discuss emerging challenges in the Arctic region and assess their impact on European and North American security. ESS-South is designed to examine the challenges to Europe emanating from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and to develop appropriate responses to these challenges.

The Program on Advanced Security Studies (PASS) This 10-week course of study for civilian government officials and military officers provides graduate-level education in security policy, defense affairs, international relations and related topics, such as international law and counterterrorism. PASS consists of core studies and electives, which include assigned readings, seminar discussions, panels and role-playing exercises, and includes a one-week field study that allows participants to see how theoretical knowledge is applied in the political arena.

The Program on Cyber Security Studies (PCSS) focuses on ways to address the many challenges in the cyber environment while adhering to the fundamental values of democratic society. The program helps participants appreciate the nature and magnitude of today's threats, and develops a common understanding of the lexicon, best practices, and current initiatives within the public and private cyber sectors.

The Program on Terrorism and Security Studies (PTSS) addresses numerous aspects of a threat that confronts nations around the globe. This five-week course is designed for government officials, police and military officers currently employed in mid- and upperlevel management of counterterrorism organizations throughout the world. The course focuses on methods to help a state effectively combat terrorism but still adhere to the fundamental values of a democratic society. Participants develop a common understanding of the definition of terrorism and establish contacts that help them approach this complex problem in an international environment.

The Senior Executive Seminar (SES) is an intensive five-day program that offers policymakers a forum for exploring a current international security issue in depth. Participants include general officers, senior diplomats, ambassadors, ministers, deputy ministers and parliamentarians. Each SES focuses on a specific issue and includes formal presentations by senior officials and recognized experts, followed by discussions in seminar groups.

The Seminar on Regional Security (SRS) is a three-week course that provides national security professionals with a comprehensive overview on security dynamics and conflict resolution strategies within the European-Eurasian region. It does so by using case studies in which regional crises as a result of violent conflict occurred. In contrast to the traditional global perspective, this seminar shifts the focus to a regional outlook on the analysis of approaches and best practice examples toward peace and security, in the context of comprehensive international missions and a multitude of local, regional and international actors.

Graduate Support

The Marshall Center works to support and expand its network of more than 13,600 alumni from 155 nations through dialogue and information exchange, continuing professional development opportunities, and collaboration with graduates who seek to uphold its ideals and vision. This network is supported through a comprehensive program including in-country events, web-based professional involvement and special opportunities for selected graduates. Many of these activities are conducted in cooperation with Marshall Center alumni associations in numerous countries.

Graduates have access to many resources via the Marshall Center’s alumni portal "GlobalNet." This password-protected website includes access to many commercial databases of periodical and scholarly journal articles. The alumni portal also makes graduate essays and papers available, hosts discussion forums about the key security challenges of the day, and links to other materials of topical interest to alumni. The portal also provides a searchable directory of alumni maintained by the Graduate Support Program as a networking tool for security professionals. In addition, the GlobalNET portal hosts all the Marshall Center resident course programs and content.

Special opportunities for selected graduates include the opportunity for practitioners or experts in specific security fields to return to Garmisch as part of a one-week Community of Interest event, to focus and collaborate with other graduates in their specific areas of expertise. Additionally, graduates with exceptional scholarly and writing skills can return for up to five weeks as a Marshall Center Scholar to conduct research under the sponsorship of Marshall Center faculty.

Non-Resident Programs

Through its outreach and nonresident programs, the Marshall Center is able to extend programs on critical security and defense issues to the widest possible audiences within partner nations, including those who may not be able to attend resident courses in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and respond to requests for special focused events. The Marshall Center plans, develops and conducts more than 75 outreach activities a year.

Conferences and Workshops: The Marshall Center organizes approximately 30 conferences and workshops per year. These events, typically three to four working days in length, allow for focused sharing of information and viewpoints among experts and policymakers, leading to a summary report with concrete policy recommendations. Conferences and workshops are conducted in single nation or multinational regional formats either in Germany or at a location in a participating country.

Regional Education Team Seminars: Marshall Center faculty routinely conduct customized Regional Education Team Seminars (RETS) throughout the world, bringing Marshall Center expertise directly to partner nations in tailored, compressed form. RETS typically are 2-to-3-day packages of detailed, interactive events for audiences of 20 to 50 officials on requested topics of interest. Currently available packages include Counterterrorism/Countering Violent Extremism; Countering Corruption; Counternarcotics/Illicit Trafficking; Cyber Security; Policy and Strategy Development; Interagency Cooperation; Regional Cooperation; Civil-Military Relations; Peace Support Operations; NATO; Euro-Atlantic Security; Energy Security; Border Security; Civil Security and Emergency Response; Security Sector Capacity Building.

Speakers Bureau: Marshall Center faculty are available to speak on a wide range of contemporary security issues, such as regional security, peace and stability operations, terrorism, border security, combating organized crime and corruption, intelligence, international law, and defense transformation.

Other Programs

Also located at the Marshall Center are the Eurasian Foreign Area Officer Program (FAO) and the Partner Language Training Center Europe (PLTCE.)

The FAO program prepares U.S. military officers and officers of allied nations to be leading regional experts and to serve in key political-military assignments throughout Eurasia. While each FAO executes a unique, tailored, individual training program, most FAOs can expect to spend 12–18 months living, working, and traveling in Eurasia, as well as participating in Marshall Center activities. After completing the program, FAOs will go on to serve in U.S. embassies in the region, on NATO and major U.S. theater command staffs, and on numerous operational missions throughout the world.

The PLTCE conducts classroom language instruction in more than ten languages and dialects to U.S., NATO and Partnership for Peace military and civilian linguists. English and German classes are also offered to the international participants in the College’s resident programs.

Additionally, the operations staff of the Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes[8] is located at the Marshall Center. This international organization is dedicated to strengthening defense and military education and research through enhanced institutional and national cooperation.

In cooperation with Bundeswehr University of Munich the Marshall Center has introduced a master's degree program (International Strategic Studies) for senior leaders.

Notable alumni

As part of its continuing engagement with alumni, the Marshall Center offers support for alumni-led activities, such as outreach networking events in capital cities across the region, which provide an opportunity for alumni to discuss important security issues in an inter-ministerial forum. As of January 2015, 255 graduates of Marshall Center resident programs are serving in the following positions: President - 1 (Atifete Jahjaga); Speakers of Parliament - 1; Minister - 8; Deputy Minister - 24; Chief of Defense - 8; Ambassador - 151; Member of Parliament - 62.

The Research Library

The Research Library supports the educational, informational and research programs of the Marshall Center with a collection of graduate-level research materials spanning the spectrum of political, economic, social, and military issues in Europe and Eurasia with in-depth holdings on crisis and conflict management, national and regional security, democracy, terrorism, and disarmament. This important and unique collection includes over 65,000 books in Russian, English, and German, 300 current periodical subscriptions, 1200 periodical titles in paper and microform formats and holdings of specialized documents and reports. In addition, the library provides access to a variety of online services and electronic resources, such as databases, journals, and e-books via the online catalog, Marshall Center intranet and GlobalNet.

Research Library staff provide professional research and reference assistance to faculty, staff, and course participants in Russian, German, and English. They also produce current awareness tools, such as Information Alerts, Info Dienst, and Инфосервис, provide library orientation tours, and offer in-depth instruction in research techniques and library databases.

The library was named Federal Library/Information Center of the Year for 2006, small library category, by the Library of Congress, in recognition of the staff's effectiveness, versatility and dedication to its customers.

When the Marshall Center was established in 1993, resources from the former United States Army Russian Institute (USARI), which was founded in 1947 to support advanced research in Soviet and East European studies, formed the basis of the Research Library, becoming its "legacy" collection. These unique Cold War materials included some rare books, items very difficult to find outside the former Soviet Union, and a collection of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty documents.

Some of the more unusual holdings include bound volumes of prominent Russian newspapers such as Izvestia, Red Star and Pravda from 1948-1985, as well as Russian encyclopedias from the early 20th century.

Collections in the Marshall Center Digital Library are selected to reflect the diverse aspects of the Marshall Center organization, history and programs.

The Research Library is part of the Military Education Research Library Network (MERLN), which is based at the National Defense University in Washington D.C. MERLN was developed to provide researchers and scholars gateway access to the combined resources of many of the largest and most comprehensive collections of military information in the world.


The Marshall Center Occasional Papers[9] series provides a publication forum for research topics in the wide scope of political-military affairs. It offers up-to-date research information and analysis on the issues being discussed by scholars and security experts. Occasional Papers are written by Marshall Center faculty and research staff, Marshall Center alumni and invited contributors.

The Marshall Center Security Insights[10] series provides short articles that identify, explain, and put into context significant current defense and security issues. The series is aimed at the needs of political decision makers, their aides and others who are looking for concise summaries and analyses of current security topics. The Marshall Center Security Insights are generally authored by Marshall Center faculty and staff.

The Marshall Center's original publications series, The Marshall Center Papers,[11] focused on comparative and interdisciplinary topics.

The Research Program has also published four book-length research studies.[12]

DSCA Regional Centers

The Marshall Center is one of five regionally-focused security studies organizations, all of which are managed by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. The other four are:

The Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS) [] supports the development of U.S. strategic policy towards Africa by providing a variety of programs, fostering awareness of and dialogue on U.S. strategic priorities and African security issues, building trusting long-term relationships with African military and civilian leaders, assisting U.S. policy-makers in formulating effective African policy, and articulating African perspectives to U.S. policymakers

The Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS) [] officially opened September 4, 1995, in Honolulu, Hawaii. The APCSS is a regional study, conference and research center with a non-warfighting mission to enhance Asia-Pacific security cooperation through programs of executive education, professional exchange and policy relevant research. The Center provides a focal point where national officials, decision makers and policy makers can gather to exchange ideas, explore pressing issues and achieve a greater understanding of the challenges that shape the security environment of the Asia-Pacific region.

The William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies (WJPC) [] is a U.S. Department of Defense institution for defense and security studies in the Western Hemisphere. Through courses, seminars, outreach, strategic dialogue, and focused research in support of policy objectives, the Perry Center works with senior civilian and military officials from the Americas to build strong, sustainable networks of security and defense leaders and institutions. In so doing, the Perry Center promotes greater understanding of U.S. policy, mutually supportive approaches to security challenges, and improved, sustainable institutional capacity.

The mission of the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies (NESA) [] is to enhance stability in the Near East and in South Asia by providing an academic environment where strategic issues can be addressed, understanding deepened, partnerships fostered, defense-related decision-making improved, and cooperation strengthened among military and civilian leaders from the region and the United States.

See also


  1. ^ US DoD []
  2. ^ German MOD [] Archived 2009-03-18 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Bavarian Military Community Garmisch [] Archived 2009-05-16 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ U.S. Army Installation Management Command - Europe "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-04-17. Retrieved 2009-03-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ U.S. European Command [] Archived 2011-02-11 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ DoD Directive 5200.34 []
  7. ^ See de:1. Gebirgsdivision (Bundeswehr)
  8. ^ Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes []
  9. ^ []
  10. ^ MC Security Insights "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-03-12. Retrieved 2009-03-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ The Marshall Center Papers "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-03-12. Retrieved 2009-03-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ Research Studies "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-03-09. Retrieved 2009-03-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links