Posted by: Jason Tudor, PAO | 18/05/2012

Exercise focuses on negotiating tactics

By Kent Gainey

Pakistani army Lt. Col Fiaz Khan attempts to negotiate with a warlord role-played by Tamir Sinai during an exercise at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies May 16. The exercise tested the negotiating skills of participants in the Program in Advanced Security Studies at the Marshall Center. (DOD Photo/Army Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Smith/RELEASED)Recently participants in the Program in Advanced Security Studies 12-5 Elective “Negotiations in International Conflict” conducted an exercise focused on grasping the essential elements for successful negotiation.  The elective is focused on the basic skills and elements required in mastering the art of negotiation.  Over the course of the elective, participants explore the essential elements, skills, and considerations involved in negotiations through readings, lectures and case studies.

 One of the highlights of the elective is a role-playing exercise that challenges the participants to work thorough a real-world scenario. Following the seminar the class was given an outlined set of circumstances for a given scenario and was then instructed to apply their newly learned skills in negotiations to come up with an appropriate solution.

 Tamir Sinai, the Exercise Developer for the College of International Security Studies was in charge of developing an exercise that would challenge the students but at the same time make them use the tools they had learned over the course of the seminar.

 “The objective was to show that there’s always a human element; character, individuals, cultural sensibilities, all of these are involved in negotiation so we wanted to develop something that showed these,” Sinai told me, “(It’s) not the aim to give concrete skills but in fact to sharpen their perception of the importance of non-verbal, cultural, individual and other factors in every negotiation.”

 The exercise placed the group in the shoes of an official of a nongovernmental organization involved in distributing food aid during a fictional conflict zone and was based on incidents in Bosnian conflict. The humanitarian aid is then interrupted when a road block is created by a local mercenary and you as the NGO official are dispatched to resolve the issue before it leads to further problems.

 As he elaborated on the goals of the exercise, Sinai explained that he wanted to place emphasis on, “The basic principles of negotiations; how to prepare, trade-offs, the limitations, and of course understanding the interests of the other side.”

 The most important aspect of the exercise however, was what the participants could take away from it.  “An exercise is judged by the amount and depth of the discussion it generates on the subject. In this regard, the exercise went extremely well as participants felt encouraged to share their personal experiences in real incidents that resembled the exercise, but also discussed general principles of humanitarian work and the need for well-known guidelines.”  This exercise gave the participants an opportunity to exchange best practices and gain a deeper understanding of negotiation principles and variables to consider when facing these types of situations in the future.

(Kent Gainey is a blogger for the Marshall Center. Our full news report can be found here:

Posted by: Yvonne | 19/11/2010

Day 2 – LPASS in DC

On our second day of the D.C. field study, we were in our groove and ready for the long day of the trip. It was Tuesday.

We began at the Capitol building, along with a bus full of Freshman Congressmen. The imposing building, made of white rock, stands on a hill and we circled around it to get to the visitor center where we would be in one of the many meeting rooms. The center was relatively new, and filled with statuary. When it was built, each state had been asked for two statues for the halls. It was strong and impressive, but welcoming.

Our first briefer, Air Force Brig. Gen. Darryl Robinson, of the USAF’s legislative liaison office, presented an overview of the job. Basically, the service liaisons are available to Congress to answer questions about their military service agency – budget questions or foreign military sales questions for example – for the Senators and Representatives.

The general was followed by House Armed Services Committee member Roger Zakheim who spoke about how the committee in particular and the Congress in general worked. He spoke about how the mid-term elections changed the political makeup of the Congress, and what might change in Congress’ actions.

He said he didn’t see any dramatic change in trans-Atlantic security and cooperation.

He also answered questions about Afghanistan, the Tea Party presence in government and the focus on chasing Al Qaeda.

Mr. Zakheim was followed by Representative Jim Marshall, a 4-term Congressman who had notably left Princeton as a young man to enlist in the Army and fight in Vietnam.

He spoke of the importance of working cooperatively with our global partners.

Rep. Marshall also talked about the “Blue Dog Democrats” and how the group at one point had encompassed many Congressmen, but that U.S. politics had become so party-polarized that it was difficult to bring people to the center any more.

The afternoon saw us at the State Department, in their relatively new George. C. Marshall auditorium.

There, we first heard from Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs Thomas Countryman.

He reiterated Secretary Hillary Clinton’s goals in Europe: continued promotion of European security, cooperation with Russia, addressing global challenges, and to see a Europe whole and free.

He also spoke about how the State Department has worked with the governments of Bosnia and Serbia to help them write laws against corruption.

He addressed questions from the students about NATO intercession in Transnistria, questions about the future of Afghanistan and the Sudan, and NATO/EU security

Andrew Shapiro, assistant secretary, bureau of political-military affairs, spoke next and addressed how the State Department works in the region.

He said under their system, it is the State Department that manages security assistance and encourages civilian authorities to have discussions authority about security.

Participants asked him about cyber attacks – are they a political or military attack? – foreign military sales, and piracy. When asked about the U.S. relationship with China, he stressed that we needed to develop mil-mil cooperation and basic relationships to progress.

After the State Department visit, we made our way to an evening event hosted by the German Embassy.

We were warmly welcomed by the deputy chief of mission who spoke of the strong relationship and friendship between Germany and the U.S., evident both physically with presences in both countries, and economically in the way we employ each others’ citizens.

About nine Marshall Center alumni attended the event, and all participants had the opportunity for discussion and dialog before closing the evening.

Posted by: Yvonne | 18/11/2010

LPASS in DC – Faculty perspective

Dr. James Anderson is a professor of international and security studies at the Marshall Center.

How many American citizens have had the privilege of asking Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia direct questions?  The answer is not many.  But our Marshall Center students of the Program in Advanced Security Studies had exactly this opportunity earlier this week while visiting the Supreme Court — and it proved to be one of the highlights of their Washington field study trip.

The faculty team designed this trip to provide the students with a deeper understanding the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government, as well as their respective roles in national security.

Our week-long itinerary included visits to the Pentagon, the State Department, the FBI, the National Security Council, Congress, the Newseum, and the Supreme Court.  The students learned about the vital role of these organizations play in addressing national security challenges.  Many of the speakers noted the importance of inter-ministerial coordination, emphasizing that agencies and departments must work together if they are to have any hope of countering evolving security threats such as international terrorism and cyber attacks.

Two factors helped make this week a success.  First, we asked our speakers to address the theme of building partnership capacity with our friends and allies in Europe and Eurasia.  This unifying theme provided much-needed focus to our field study, since we visited numerous ministries with different missions and responsibilities.

Second, we structured the program so that the students would have ample time to ask questions.   A number of senior officials complimented our students for asking challenging questions.  This type of give-and-take interaction is essential to active learning and the development of critical thinking skills.

Student feedback on the trip has been very positive thus far. For their part, the students have weathered the challenges of international travel – and Washington DC traffic — with good humor and poise.  Ultimately, of course, it is the students themselves who make the trip a success with all their enthusiasm and intellectual curiosity.  – James H. Anderson

Posted by: Yvonne | 17/11/2010

Day 1 – LPASS in DC

On Saturday, 71 PASS students and a handful of staff set off from Munich International Airport for Washington D.C. for a week or learning about the U.S. government and speaking to officials of various levels.

As with any trip to a new place, our informal first day – Sunday – began with a tour of the city. We visited the war memorials and notable sights in the city – Ford’s Theater where President Lincoln was shot, and the boarding house across the street where he died; the Chinese Friendship arch, and past the Smithsonian museums. Our tour guide, Noelle, was fantastic.  She was well-spoken and knew a tidbit about everything. She gave us a great tour of the city.

Our first stop Monday was the Pentagon Conference Center. We heard first from Jennifer Walsh, Principal Director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. She was a young-looking woman, who spoke intelligently and confidently about her realm of work; before joining the Department of Defense she was a Fulbright Scholar to Sweden and earned her Master’s in Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT, Austin. She was very impressive both in background and presentation.

Our second speaker was Paul Hulley, principal director for the office of partnership strategy and stability operations in the office of the secretary of defense. He spoke a little about what he and his office is responsible for and then turned the floor over to David Cate, who works for him as director of coalition affairs.

Mr. Cate was confident and well-spoken. He addressed institution-building and leadership-building in-country with coalition partners, and stressed how much his office appreciated the work the Marshall Center did to help further their goals.

He talked specifically about some of the programs that help our efforts in building partner capacity such as the Warsaw Initiative Fund which supports defense reform and interoperability in conjunction with Partnership for Peace. In answering questions from the participants, he was very open, answering honestly and completely as possible.

The morning closed with Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, speaking to participants briefly about leadership and responsibility, and the importance of the PASS in helping forge relationships. If you have the opportunity, listen to the admiral speak. This was the second time I’d heard him in person. He has a deep voice, and when speaking does not fidget.  He stood among the participants, and gave those with questions his undivided attention. You were assured of his honesty and sincerity when he answered.

One question was, what was the admiral’s secret to success? The admiral said his advice for success would be to not burn bridges, to keep options open, and to give themselves multiple strengths and skills.

He was asked about Afghanistan, Pakistan and India in particular, and stressed that it is important for us to engage in that area and region, to help develop the relationships among leadership of those countries; that the relationships were key to forging a lasting stability in the region.

All of the speakers addressed questions about Afghanistan, India and Pakistan, the START treaty and our commitments in Eastern Europe, and U.S. views and possible actions in Georgia and Russia. All were firmly able to say that te U.S. is committed to its goals of peace and stability in those regions.

Some of the questions were more leading than others, and I could tell the topics were very close and personal – especially to participants living in regions that see or had recently seen conflict – but everyone was respectful of others, and the speakers were candid and honest in their answers.

After lunch, the group went to Arlington National Cemetery for a walking tour. We visited the Kennedy memorial, and saw the changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknowns. Army Lt. Col. Eric Metzger narrated the tour, saying that currently the cemetery is holding about five funerals a week for service-members who have died in Iraq or Afghanistan.

On our way back to the buses, two soldiers driving a team of four dappled-grey horses pulling a cart with a draped coffin passed us, going up the long road of the cemetery entrance.

– Yvonne Levardi, GCMC PAO

Posted by: Jason Tudor, PAO | 16/11/2010

Day 2: EPASS in Berlin

Today was tour bus day. The forecast of rain came true and there was a bit of a bite in the air. The 81 of us climbed onto two buses and were treated to a fantastic tour of the city through raindrop lined windows.

The ride around Berlin include passing many of the embassies and stops at Checkpoint Charlie, Brandenburg Gate and a place where a fairly substantial chunk of the Berlin Wall still stands. The students seemed most excited about Checkpoint Charlie, which is mostly a tourist trap. There’s a picture of an American Army private named Harper on one side and a Soviet conscript on the other over the former Checkpoint. Apparently Jeff Harper was the final American soldier to serve at the checkpoint. Wikipedia has a pretty good entry on the site here.

The Berlin Wall stop also excited the students. many of them climbed on the rebar and pose for pictures. It’s humbling to believe that within a span of a few feet, one country was separated from another country, neither too friendly. It’s something I grew up with as a child and teenager, so it meant a lot to be able to visualize the scene. Actually being able to feel the Berlin Wall made it a stark reality.

The remainder of the bus tour focus on Berlin’s historical value and how it still, as a capital, is divided between there and Bonn, some 600 kilometers away. According to our tour guide, about 70 percent of the government is now in Berlin but a substantial portion of government workers will are in Bonn. That would be like moving the staffs of the Pentagon, White House and Capitol Hill to North Carolina.

The latter portion of the day focused on the students at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Conversation focused on NATO membership, frozen conflicts and other related issues and lasted almost four hours.

Wednesday will take us to the American embassy and a meeting with the U.S. Defense attaché. We posted a new photo gallery of today’s events on our Facebook page as well as a video log from our deputy director for international liaison, Janet Garvey. Please have a look and comment.

Posted by: Jason Tudor, PAO | 15/11/2010

Day 1: EPASS in Berlin

BERLIN — The end of day one of the end comes with two visits, five speakers and four relatively short bus rides. This follows an eight-hour train ride Sunday from Garmisch-Partenkirchen to the center of Germany’s capital. This is a busy week we’ve embarked upon, which will include discussions with heads of thinktanks, German government officials as well as members of NATO. So, the day ends with stories of a great start.

Our first bus ride took us to Bayerische Vertretung, where we met with representatives from the Bavarian government. They talked mostly about how Bavarian plays in German and world affairs, as well as how Bavaria influences government proceedings. It included the low down on the inner dealings of German government, how state votes are decided and more. Our next two speakers were from a German thinktank, the Center for International Peace Operations. Jens R. Behrendt and Dr. Almust Wieland-Karimi spoke for the better part of two hours.

The students, however, asked some challenging questions of each speaker, including questions about Afghanistan, German government, the United States and more. Dr. Wieland-Karimi stayed a bit longer fielded three extra questions from the EPASS students and many were buzzing after the session broke up and we headed for lunch.

During the afternoon session, students visited the German Ministry of the Interior and heard from two speakers there. That’s the fantastic part of the Program in Advanced Security Study immersions; the ability to connect with government leaders and ask the tough questions in a nonattribution environment.

This is my first trip to Berlin. Tomorrow is our city tour. I’m excited to see the Brandenburg Gate as well as other landmarks I heard about as a child and teenager growing up in the United States.

Finally, a plug for our Facebook fan page and Twitter account. I’ll be posting photos and video there all week. The address? For the fan page, it is Our Twitter account is @GCMCOnline.

Posted by: Jason Tudor, PAO | 05/08/2010

Dialogförderung und mehr

(Editor’s Note: This blog is written by German army 2nd Lt. André Schroeder, who is interning with the Marshall Center’s Public Affairs Office.)

Wenn es eine Lehrgangspause im Marshall Center gibt, dann ist das ein Hinweis darauf, dass die Urlaubszeit bevorsteht. Am Freitag, den 29.07.2010 begingen die letzten beiden Kurse vor der Sommerpause ihren Schlussakt. In einer würdevollen Zeremonie fanden die Zeugnisübergaben an die Lehrgangsteilnehmer des „Forums – Terrorismus und Sicherheit“ (PTSS) und des „Forums für Stabilität und Wiederaufbau“ (SSTAR) statt.

Eigens für die Veranstaltung reiste Garry Reid, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Combating Terrorism aus dem Pentagon in Washington an. Sein Besuch unterstrich die Bedeutung der beiden Lehrgänge im heutigen weltweit veränderten sicherheitspolitischen Umfeld.

Der Lehrgang PTSS  befasst sich dabei mit zahlreichen Aspekten von Bedrohungen, denen sich Staaten auf der ganzen Welt konfrontiert sehen. Im Zentrum steht die effektive Bekämpfung von Gefahren, wie der des Terrorismus bei gleichzeitiger Wahrung von Grundwerten einer demokratischen Gesellschaft. „Wie stark auch immer der Zwang, die Unterdrückung und die Dominanz der Kräfte des gewaltbereiten Extremismus erscheinen mögen, letztlich ist es der Wille freier Menschen, welcher immer wieder die Stärke besaß, solche Systeme zu überwinden. Dieser Wille wird durch demokratische Werte, wie Freiheit, Selbstbestimmung und dem Glauben an universelle Menschenrechte inspiriert. Die Kräfte, von denen hier die Rede ist haben sich selbst in der Geschichte bewiesen – sofern vernünftig eingesetzt – dass sie jede Art der Unterdrückung bekämpfen können,“ führte Garry Reid anlässlich der Bedeutung demokratischer Werte an.

Der fünfwöchige Lehrgang PTSS versetzte die Lehrgangsteilnehmer in die Lage, theoretische Aspekte des Phänomens Terrorismus zu vertiefen, um diese während einer Übung an einem ausgewählten Staat in die Praxis umzusetzen.

Der SSTAR-Kurs, ein ebenfalls fünfwöchiger Lehrgang geht auf die Komplexität von Stabilisierung und Staatsaufbau ein. Das wesentliche Ziel des Kurses liegt in der Schaffung eines gemeinsamen Verständnisses hinsichtlich dieser Herausforderungen und daraus folgend, die Gewinnung realistischer Optionen von Unterstützung und Entwicklung der Grundlagen für eine effektivere internationale und institutionsübergreifende Kooperation.

Während diese beiden Lehrgänge endeten, bereitet man sich am Marshall Center schon auf die neuen Lehrgänge und Veranstaltungen der folgenden Monate vor – jedoch nicht, ohne sich vorher im verdienten Urlaub zu erholen.

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