GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (May 16, 2018) - The George C. Marshall Center for Security Studies' outreach program for Central and Southeastern Europe hosted a first of its kind seminar for 38 war-college level Romanian security professionals here from May 14 to 18.

This special seminar in security studies was requested by Romanian Navy Capt. Ioan Craciun, director of security and leadership studies at the National Defense University Carol I of Romania. Craciun is a Marshall Center alumnus, having attended the Program for Security, Stability, Transition and Reconstruction in 2009 and the Program on Applied Security Studies in 2012.

"I requested this seminar here because the Marshall Center is the best institution," Craciun said. "It has professors who have the best expertise in the field of international security."

This week-long seminar is part of Craciun's curriculum for his six-month course at the National Defense University that focuses on current national and international security issues.

"I know that the Marshall Center is very much interested in what is going on in the Black Sea Region," Craciun said. "We are also interested in what is going on in that region, and we are trying to find solutions on how to deal with those security issues.

"And, that is why we are here for a week," he said.

His class is comprised of one-third military and two-thirds government civilians, who work in the ministries of internal affairs, justice, development and transportation. The rest of the class are civilians working in different non-government agencies. Craciun said that all the students are working daily with security issues.

The course Craciun teaches has three modules. The first module is where the students discuss topics and concepts related to international security. In the second module, they learn about national and international security risks and threats. The third module focuses on strategy and response to the security risks and threats identified in module two.

This special seminar on security studies falls into module three. While here, the students attended presentations from subject matter experts as part of the Marshall Center's European Security Seminar-East. The ESS-East focused on "The Age of Post-Truth: State Influence and Strategic Communication: Developing Strategies to Address Contemporary Security Challenges on Europe's Eastern Flank."

After these sessions, the Romanian students held discussions on topics covered in ESS-East. Topics included: NATO's strategic adaptation; U.S. and Germany security cooperation; building resilience in international frameworks; influencing election processes; and media influence and, its impact. Near the end of the special seminar, the Romanian students conducted a war-room exercise.

They also conducted research using the Marshall Center Research Library's databases. To compete their course at NDU, each student has to write a research paper before they graduate in the first week of July.

Dr. Matt Rhodes, director of the Marshall Center's outreach program in Central and Southeastern Europe, facilitated this special seminar in security studies for the Romanian NDU students.

"We hope these security professionals go back to Romania with an even stronger ability to do their jobs and to deal with the very complex security challenges that we are all facing on a day-to-day basis," Rhodes said. "We also hope they will have a sense that the Marshall Center will remain as a resource for them in the future."