Officials from the George C. Marshall European Center and the Munich Security Conference signed a memorandum of understanding today in Garmisch-Partenkirchen to commit to mutual cooperation in European security dialogue.

The Marshall Center Director, U.S. Army retired Lt. Gen Keith Dayton, and the chairman of the Munich Security Conference, Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, signed the document agreeing to work together to strengthen the understanding of national security challenges in Eurasia and across the world, while promoting strategies to improve coordination among partner nations. Areas of cooperation include research, program coordination and the exchange of subject matter experts.

"The Marshall Center is a unique security studies organization that receives support and policy guidance from both the U.S. Department of Defense and German Ministry of Defense. This arrangement allows us to contribute to strengthen security cooperation throughout Eurasia and the world with a broad agenda of resident and non-resident programs. Headquartered just an hour north of us, the Munich Security Conference has become the major global forum for the discussion of security policy. Their high-profile events are closely aligned with ours. It only makes sense we should explore areas of mutual cooperation that will benefit both our organizations, better deploy resources and have a stronger impact in our areas of interest" said Dayton.

Ischinger also stressed the value of this relationship for the Munich Security Conference.

"The Marshall Center is a deservedly renowned institution and has an excellent network throughout the entire Euro-Atlantic area. I am convinced that we will further strengthen our own work through this cooperation -- especially the transatlantic dialogue and the dialogue between the West and Russia."

The George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies is one of five DOD regional centers for security studies and the only one that has a bilateral commitment between the United States and another nation. Since the first security studies event took place in 1993, more than 200 resident programs have been held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen with more than 12,000 government and military graduates from 153 nations.

Over the past five decades the Munich Security Conference (MSC) has become a key annual gathering for the international "strategic community." Since its foundation in 1963 as "Internationale Wehrkunde-Begegnung," the MSC has been an independent forum dedicated to promoting peaceful conflict resolution and international cooperation and dialogue in dealing with today's and future security challenges. It has especially focused on the transatlantic partnership. In addition to the traditional annual conference in Munich in early February, the MSC has developed smaller formats, including MSC Core Group Meetings and Cyber Security Summits, to discuss key challenges in international security policy in different capitals around the world.