GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany -- More than 100 law enforcement and government professionals from 53 nations are investigating how to fight a growing threat to national security during the Countering Transnational Organized Crime program at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies here from July 10 to Aug. 1.

"Governments around the world are waking up to the fact that transnational organized crime is a serious threat to national security throughout the globe," said retired U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Dieter Bareihs, Marshall Center's U.S. deputy director, during his opening remarks July 10. "The threat is real and you are the ones that we and your governments are investing to take the fight forward."

Held twice a year, the four-week CTOC resident course focuses on 21st century national security threats as a result of illicit trafficking and other criminal activities.

"The Marshall Center has taken a lead role in educating security professionals in how to use a strategy development process to organize national and international resources to counter transnational organized crime," said Professor Joe Vann, Marshall Center's program director.

Bareihs mentioned to the participants that this CTOC class is the largest one held here. This class has participants from regions around the globe, including Asia, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Central Asia, Europe, Oceania, the Pacific and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Participants are coming from Ministry of Interior and International Security, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Justice and law enforcement agencies, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, military, and international organizations.

This is the 10th iteration of CTOC, the eighth under this name, held at the Marshall Center. The program was previously titled Countering Narcotics and Illicit Trafficking and was created in 2015.
The CTOC program examines the major methods by which transnational criminal and terrorist organizations engage in illegal narcotics trafficking and other criminal activities for profit.

The course is designed for government officials and practitioners aimed at countering illicit narcotics trafficking, terrorist involvement in criminal activity, and the associated elements of transnational crime and corruption.

Lectures, case studies, and seminar discussions will focus on providing in-depth knowledge about the activities of drug cartels, terrorists, and transnational criminal organizations with a goal of understanding the necessary strategic level approaches to combating these threats.

"Every country on every continent is affected by transnational criminal organizations. They offer nothing to humanity but misery. They prey on the weak; they degrade the social fabric of society; they corrupt politicians and others; they capture political processes; and they degrade good governance and the rule of law," Bareihs concluded in his remarks.