By Emma Bareihs, George C. Marshall European Center for Security StudiesJuly 26, 2019
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany -- An official with the U.S. Department of Treasury discussed the new realities of transnational organized crime threats to national and international security during the program on Countering Transnational Organized Crime July 16 at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies here.
A leader of the 2011 U.S. national Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime, Gregory T. Gatjanis spoke to 104 participants from 53 nations on the framework and tools of national power that led to creating the national CTOC strategy. Gatjanis is the associate director for Global Targeting at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Held twice a year, the four-week CTOC resident course focuses on 21st century national security threats as a result of transnational organized crime.
Marshall Center's CTOC Program Director, Joe Vann said his goal was to invite guest speakers of high quality.
"Since the CTOC challenges are different in every country, it is important to attract speakers with proven first-hand experience and knowledge," Vann said.
"We are fortunate because the reputation of the Marshall Center's CTOC program is becoming well-known among U.S. interagency partners," he said. "We are also fortunate because senior executives recognize the importance of interacting with our multinational audience of CTOC professionals and have been eager to offer support."
Vann added, "Our ability to draw quality speakers is a reflection on the course design and purpose. Transnational criminal organizations represent a true national security threat to our countries. The days when transnational organized crime was a so-called 'law enforcement problem' are gone forever. We are in a new era when countering this threat is a whole of society challenge."
Gatjanis said he believes his experience in formulating the U.S, strategy is not unique to the United States and could help class participants develop and apply a similar organizing framework to counter strategic threats facing their own nations.
"I wanted to show them the U.S. experience, the methodology, lessons learned, and the small trust-building measures that made all the difference, and also warn them of the challenges they may face and how to manage them," Gatjanis said.
He added that the Marshall Center program is unlike anything he has seen before and is ideal for professionals at the mid- to upper-level and who are slated for senior management and leadership positions.
"When speaking to the class, I looked out and saw the future leaders of 53 governments who have been or will be entrusted to lead vital national security missions in their countries," Gatjanis said.
Some organizations that participants came from include the Ministry of Interior and International Security, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Parliament and more.
"Today was special because Gatjanis was one of the key authors and the National Security Council director who coordinated the U.S. CTOC strategy," Vann said. "His insights and experience are priceless. His current position as a senior executive with our Department of the Treasury brings a wealth of experience to the course, especially his insight into the threat that transnational crime poses to the global financial system.
Gatjanis previously served in the National Security Council's Counterterrorism Directorate where his portfolio included transnational crime, global drug trafficking, terrorism finance, and terrorism in the Western Hemisphere from 2006 to 2013.
"This course is the best of its kind I've ever seen in terms of structure, content, and value to participants. It has incredible power and sends a powerful message, especially for today's fight against today's transnational criminal organizations," said Gatjanis, who believes that the Marshall Center's Program on Countering Transnational Organized Crime will help in combating this global issue.