Posted by: Jason Tudor, PAO | 04/09/2009

PTSS Fosters Connections, More

(Editor’s Note: This entry is provided by Dr. Christopher Harmon, director of GCMC’s Program on Terrorism and Security Studies)

Greetings from Garmisch. 

Our latest counterterrorism course (PTSS 09-7) finished up a few weeks ago, and the 75 participants are all safely back home…in 47 countries.

 The Program on Terrorism and Security Studies has been “going global” lately.  In this past course there were no less than eight participants from Latin America with us, as well as a crowd of Europeans and Central Asians, and individuals from as far away as the Seychelles and Australia. 

Another remarkable feature of the out-going class was its education levels—including two PhDs.  It was routine to talk with seminar members who were comfortable in 3 or 4 languages—just the type of skill that really helps our graduates network internationally. 

PTSS fosters these connections and urges seminar mates to “stay in touch” after graduation.  When trouble arises, having even one solid personal connection in a country of concern can be the perfect starting point for getting some bilateral work done.  Director Rose talks of this often, and in CT it makes all the sense in the world. 

We’re seeing some changes here.  Professional rotations are always a fact of life.  We “lose” our general of French Marines, Jean-Paul Raffenne, who has done fine work in both our Senior Executive Seminar and in PTSS.  He set up our top-level visits to Paris in 2006, 2008, and 2009, which were all highly regarded.  Another gentleman moving on is John Kane, the PTSS Deputy and U.S. Marine who taught and helped so many participants here over recent years.  John has returned to the States and a new Marine Corps post in Quantico Virginia.  In PTSS, we are eager to meet the incoming replacements for these splendid faculty. 

A Press Note:  You’ll be interested to know of a good article written by one of our graduates from 2008.  Student Joe Airey, who works in the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the US, has done a long piece about his educational experience in our counterterrorism program.  The author may be coming back here to teach one day, we hope.  You can find his feature article now on the FBI’s website under their “Publications” in the August Law Enforcement Bulletin. 

All for now, and do let us hear from you!

                                    Christopher C. Harmon, Executive Director, PTSS



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