Madeleine Albright and Stephen Hadley: A New Approach for the Middle East

On November 30, 2016, The Atlantic Council released the Middle East Strategy Task Force: Final Report of the Co-Chairs by former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and former National Security Advisor Stephen J. Hadley. The Atlantic Council convened the Middle East Strategy Task Force (MEST) in February 2015 to examine the underlying issues of state failure and political legitimacy that drive extremist violence and threaten fundamental interests broadly shared by the peoples of the region and the rest of the world. The result of almost two years of intensive study, Albright and Hadley’s final report proposes nothing short of a paradigm shift in how the international community and the Middle East interact. Not only does the report present solutions to the region’s most immediate crises in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya, it also puts forward a pragmatic and actionable long-term strategy that emphasizes the efforts of the people of the Middle East themselves, with an eye toward harnessing the region’s enormous human potential. The event was introduced by Mr. Frederick Kempe, President and CEO of the Atlantic Council, and moderated Mr. Ayman Mohyeldin, Foreign Correspondent of NBC News and Anchor of MSNBC.

The Kremlin’s Trojan Horses: Russian Influence in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom

On November 16, 2016, Dr. Marlene Laruelle, Mr. Neil Barnett, and Dr. Alina Polyakova, who were joined by Dr. Andreas Umland, Dr. Mitchell Orenstein, Dr. Péter Krekó, and Mr. Josh Rogin, launched their report The Kremlin’s Trojan Horses: Russian Influence in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, a new report from the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu’s Eurasia Center. Unlike in Central Eastern Europe, Moscow’s tactics in the West are purposely subtler and difficult to trace. This report documents how the Russian government cultivates relationships with ideologically friendly political parties, individuals, and civic groups to build an army of Trojan Horses across European polities. This network of political allies, named in the report, serves the Kremlin’s foreign policy agenda that seeks to infiltrate politics, influence policy, and inculcate an alternative, pro-Russian view of the international order.

The report presents three cases, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, each written by a leading expert: Dr. Marlene Laruelle, director of the Central Asia Program and associate director of the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies at the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University; Mr. Neil Barnett, chief executive officer of Istok Associates; Dr. Stefan Meister, director, Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia, Robert Bosch Center, German Council on Foreign Relations; and Dr. Alina Polyakova, deputy director of the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center and senior fellow with the Future Europe Initiative at the Atlantic Council.

Visit http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/ for more.

Islamophobia: Overcoming Myths and Engaging in a Better Conversation

Islamophobia is on the rise in non-Muslim-majority countries. Following the recent spate of global terrorist attacks, Muslims are increasingly portrayed negatively by the media. Furthermore, some US politicians and their European counterparts have proposed an array of policies – from policing Muslim communities to controlling the flow of refugees and migrants from the Middle East.

On October 20, 2016, our distinguished group of panelists addressed issues including the media’s influence on shaping public perceptions of Islam and Muslims; the role policymakers can and should play in bridging the gap between Muslim and non-Muslim communities; and the role art and cultural institutions can play in shifting the narrative to a more inclusive and productive discussion.

The panel features Karen Armstrong, author and commentator on comparative religion; Dr. Mehmet Aydin, former Turkish Minister of State; Vali Nasr, dean of the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University; and Zainab Salbi, host of Zainab Salbi Project of the HuffPost Originals. Ms. Vuslat Doğan Sabancı, vice president of the Aydın Doğan Foundation and publisher of Hürriyet, delivered welcoming remarks, and Frederick Kempe, President and CEO of the Atlantic Council moderated the discussion.

Global Risks 2035: Search for a New Normal

In the four years since the National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends 2030 was published, the biggest change in the world is the increased risk of major conflict. In 2012, a large-scale US/NATO conflict with Russia or China was close to unthinkable. Now, the post-Cold War security order has broken down, and the consequences are immense, potentially threatening globalization itself.

In Global Risks 2035: Search for a New Normal, Mathew Burrows, director of the Atlantic Council’s Strategic Foresight Initiative and author of Global Trends 2030, analyzes geopolitical and technological trends to present five alternative futures based on how well global actors may respond, react, and adapt to growing uncertainty and change. A panel, consisting of report author Mathew Burrows, Millennium Leadership Fellow Samantha Vinograd, Former US Ambassador to Mexico and Argentina Earl Anthony Wayne, and Director of Communications for 1776 Erin McPike, discussed the highlights of Burrows’ report and then responded to questions from the audience on September 22, 2016. The original report can be found here.

The Future of the Army: Today, Tomorrow, and the Day after Tomorrow

In light of a shrinking force structure and limited resources despite increasing global commitments, our panelists David Barno and Nora Bensahel, senior fellows at the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security; Brad Carson, former Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness at US Department of Defense provide a range of recommendations in three distinct time horizons to help Army leaders build the next Army successfully. From the Army Today, 2016-20, the Army of Tomorrow, 2020-25, and the Army of the Day After Tomorrow, 2025-40+, Barno and Bensahel offer fresh ideas that spark debate, challenge hoary assumptions, and animate the need for change. The event took place on September 21. 2016, moderated by Missy Ryan of the Washington Post. The original report by Barno and Bensahel is available here.

Iran Sanctions Update: Political and Investment Environment

On September 9, 2016, our panelists Chris Bakemeyer, deputy assistant secretary for Iran at the US Department of State; David Mortlock, nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center; and Barbara Slavin, acting director of the Atlantic Council’s Future of Iran Initiative discussed the outlook for investment in Iran, the ongoing status of existing sanctions, and the broader context of US policy towards Iran. We delved into the implications of these trends both for policymakers and private sector leaders considering investment opportunities in Iran. Richard Morningstar, Founding Director and Chairman of the Global Energy Center, delivered welcoming remarks, and Yeganeh Torbati of Reuters moderated the discussion.

1. How We Got to Today

The first episode in a three-part series on the Atlantic Council’s landmark report, Global Risks 2035: Search for a New Normal, by Mathew Burrows. Alex Ward, associate director at the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, Tyler Sweatt, an expert from Toffler Associates, and Jasmine El-Gamal, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council take you on a tour of how we arrived at this point in global history, and how the trends that define this age may lead to tomorrow’s risks.

For more information on the Atlantic Council’s Strategy Initiative, check out ACstrategy.net, and engage with us on social media using hashtag #Lifein2035. If you have any videos or ideas about the world in 2035 that you want to submit to us, please do so at Lifein2035@atlanticcouncil.org.

 

Leading the Attack: Analyzing the Anti-ISIS Coalition’s Progress

On the heels of recent tragic and perhaps paradigm-shifting events such as the Nice attack and Turkish coup attempt, Atlantic Council’s Senior Fellow Michael Weiss and Jasmine El-Gamal analyzed the Anti-ISIS Coalition’s progress in a special members and press call. The call was convened on July 19, moderated by Bilal Saab, director of the Atlantic Council’s Middle East Peace and Security Initiative.

The Atlantic Council’s Members Conference Call series provides members from around the world an exclusive opportunity to speak directly with the work of the Atlantic Council.

Ambassador of France to the United States Gérard Araud on French Leadership in a Post-Brexit Europe

Gérard Araud, Ambassador of France to the United States, joins the Atlantic Council’s Future Europe Initiative for a discussion on French leadership in a Post-Brexit Europe.

Following the Ambassador’s remarks, Atlantic Council Senior Fellow Jeremie Gallon engages Ambassador Frederic Hof, Director of the Council’s Rafik Hariri Center on the Middle East; Ms. Laure Mandeville, Atlantic Council Senior Fellow; and Ambassador John Herbst, Director of the Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center to debate France’s role in navigating Europe’s identity and electoral politics, developing and implementing a more coherent strategy to the south, and ensuring strength and unity in the face of a revisionist Russia. The event took place on July 28, 2016.

Analysis on Attempted Coup in Turkey

As news continued to flow in in regarding the attempted coup in Turkey on July 15, analysts Sir Peter Westmacott, Aaron Stein, and Matthew Bryza joined in on a Members Conference Call to provide analysis for the future of Turkish politics, and the implications for the fight against ISIS. The conference call took place on July 18, 2016.

This call is part of the members’ conference call series which provides members from around the world an exclusive opportunity to speak directly with the work of the Atlantic Council. For more information, visit http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/support/members-program.

Talking TTIP with European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, is one of the most important trade agreements in history. In the following program, European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom discusses the future of TTIP and transatlantic trade relations. The event took place on June 29, 2016.

NATO After Brexit: Restoring the Power and Purpose of the Alliance

On June 27, 2016, in light of Britain’s historic vote to leave the European Union, the Atlantic Council discussed what the US, UK, and crucial European Allies must do to bolster NATO’s strength and solidarity, especially in a post-Brexit Europe. We also launched a report on “Restoring the Power and Purpose of the NATO Alliance”, authored by Ambassador R. Nicholas Burns and General James L. Jones, who presented their final conclusions. The event was moderated by Evelyn Farkas.

Gen. Philip M. Breedlove on Securing NATO’s New Frontiers

General Philip M. Breedlove, former Commander of US European Command and former Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO, spoke at the Atlantic Council’s public conference: The Future of NATO Enlargement and New Frontiers in European Security. Frederick Kempe, President and CEO of Atlantic Council, moderated the discussion. The conference was held on June 8, 2016.

The Changing Face of Kremlin Propaganda: Recent Developments and Strategies for 2016

What’s the nature of modern Russian propaganda? Our panel of four journalists from Russia and Ukraine discuss the changing face of Kremlin propaganda. The panelists were Masha Gessen, journalist and author of The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin; Vasily Gatov, visiting fellow at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism; Daria Dieguts, foreign correspondent of TV Channel “Ukraine”; and Natalka Pisnya, special reporter and head of bureau in the United States for 1+1 Media Group. The discussion focused on the challenges facing independent Russian-language journalism, and was moderated by Karina Orlova, a journalist with Echo of Moscow. The event took place on May 23, 2016.

2016 Global Strategy Forum: Ending Keynote – Art, Narrative, and the Third Offset

Robert Work, Deputy Secretary at the US Department of Defense, discussed art, narrative, and the third offset in the ending keynote of 2016 Global Strategy Forum on May 2, 2016. The discussion was moderated by August Cole, Director of the Atlantic Council’s Art of the future Project, and introduced by Frederick Kempe, President and CEO of the Atlantic Council.

2016 Global Strategy Forum – Debate with Kori Schake and David Rothkopf

On May 2nd 2016, the Atlantic Council hosted its second annual Global Strategy Forum. In this episode, you will hear our debate on America’s role in the world between David Rothkopf, CEO and editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy Magazine, and Kori Schake, research fellow at the Hoover Institution. The panel debated the resolution: We must “Make America Great” again. The debate was moderated by Daniel Chiu, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy and force development in the US Department of Defense

2016 Global Strategy Forum – How a changing world affects America

On May 2, 2016, the Atlantic Council hosted its second annual Global Strategy Forum. This year’s theme was “America’s Role in the World,” and featured TED-style talks, a formal, moderated debate on America’s Role in a Changing World, as well a final keynote address by Deputy Secretary Robert Work on how fiction and art can help the Third Offset Strategy succeed.

This podcast highlights the first panel, “Strategic Foresight: How a Changing World Affects America”, with panelists Arati Prabhakar, director of DARPA at the US Department of Defense; Jennifer Sciubba, senior fellow at the Strategic Foresight Initiative of the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security; Amy Zalman, founder and principal of Strategic Narrative Institute; and moderator Deborah Westphal, CEO of Toffler Associates.

Beyond Riyadh: Breaking Down the US-GCC Summit

President Obama met with Gulf Cooperation Council leaders at a summit meeting in Riyadh on April 21 amid recent tense exchanges in the press over the United States’ relationship with the Gulf states. The meeting agenda was wide-ranging in scope and subject matter, and included the state of progress on the deliverable items from last year’s summit at Camp David and the most pressing regional security issues.

On Tuesday, April 19, at 8:30 a.m. EDT, a special members and press call was convened to discuss the challenges facing the US and its GCC partners, priorities for the summit, and prospects for the future of the US-GCC relationship with Zalmay Khalilzad, President of Gryphon Partners; Barry Pavel, Vice President, Arnold Kanter Chair, and Director of the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security; and Ali Tulbah, Managing Director at McLarty Associates.

An Address by Susan E. Rice on Administration’s Approach to Western Hemisphere

On March 17, just days before the President’s trip to Cuba and Argentina, National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice discussed President Obama’s vision for the Western Hemisphere and how, during his visit to Latin America, he aimed to solidify and advance this strategic partnership.

Alliance at Risk: Strengthening European Defense

This podcast covers our launch event for the report: Alliance at Risk: Strengthening European Defense in an Age of Turbulence and Competition. The event took place at the Atlantic Council’s headquarters on February 26. It featured a discussion of the report with a panel of leading experts, moderated by Barry Pavel, Vice President, Arnold Kanter Chair, and Director of the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security.

Despite Russian aggression in Ukraine and growing threats along NATO’s southern flank, many European allies find it difficult to increase their defense capabilities and meet the commitments they made at the Wales Summit. To address this important challenge, the Atlantic Council produced its Alliance at Risk report, which draws together noted experts and former senior officials to examine the vulnerabilities in European defense and provides recommendations on the way forward. The project highlights six leading nations from NATO’s north, south, east, and west, illuminating the many perspectives and diverse defense priorities that exist within the Alliance today.

The Impact of Falling Oil Prices on Middle East Security

Crude oil prices have hit a twelve-year low owing to a combination of resurgent Iraqi exports, the United States’ shale revolution, and Saudi Arabia’s refusal to cut production in an effort to protect its market share. Additionally, post-sanctions Iran’s re-entrance into the global marketplace has contributed to this global glut, which will only pose further challenges to the region’s energy producers. Dr. Salam Fayyad, Former Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority; The Hon. Sherri Goodman, Board Director at the Atlantic Council; Karen Elliott House, Former Publisher at the Wall Street Journal; and Raad Alkadiri, Managing Director for Petroleum Sector Risk at IHS Energy discuss the security and economic implications of falling oil prices on the Middle East.

ADM Michael S. Rogers, Commander of US Cyber Command and Director of the NSA

Admiral Michael S. Rogers, the Commander of US Cyber Command and Director of the National Security Agency, talks about his strategic priorities for 2016. The event took place on January 21, 2016, at the Atlantic Council headquarters.

Reflections of Former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel

The Atlantic Council recently held a special event, “Reflections of a Former Secretary of Defense,” a conversation with the 24th Secretary of Defense and former US Senator from Nebraska, Chuck Hagel. Listen as he discusses his unparalleled experience across branches of government, in academia, and in the private sector. He spoke to a packed audience at the Atlantic Council headquarters on January 13, 2016.

Hillary Clinton on Politics, Government, and Women In Latin America

At a time when women’s participation in government is increasing throughout Latin America, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton joined the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center and fellow influencers in the region for the launch of the Women’s Leadership in Latin America Initiative. Led by Ambassador-in-Residence Capricia Penavic Marshall, the event featured a panel of female leaders from Mexico, Costa Rica, and Colombia.

How to Defeat Corruption in Ukraine

A top Citibank executive and one of Ukraine’s most popular rock stars were among five luminaries who offered their suggestions on November 9 for cleaning up the endemic corruption that has long strangled the Ukrainian economy and kept foreign investors away. Andy Hunder, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine, moderated the discussion titled “Securing Ukraine’s Future: Winning the Fight Against Corruption,” with Anna Derevyanko, Executive Director of the European Business Association; Svyatoslav “Slava” Vakarchuck, a social activist and lead vocalist with the Ukrainian rock band Okean Elzy; Steven Fisher, CEO of Citibank Ukraine; and Ihor Petrashko, Deputy CEO of UkrLandFarming.

US Trade Representative Michael Froman on The Road Ahead for TPP

The Atlantic Council hosts its first TPP-focused public event in Washington, DC since the successful conclusion of negotiations. US Trade Representative Michael Froman and Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the US Department of State Daniel R. Russel discuss what the Trans-Pacific Partnership means for US economic and strategic leadership and the implications for commercial opportunities in Latin America and in Asia.

Using Big Data and Other Technologies to Fight Human Trafficking

Stella Dawson of Thomson Reuters moderates a discussion on using big data to target human trafficking in a strategically significant way, and what the government can do to prevent malevolent actors from using new technologies for nefarious purposes. Other speakers include Ernie Allen, Former President and CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and International Center for Missing and Exploited Children; Bradley Myles, CEO of Polaris Project; Kilian Moote, Project Director of KnowTheChain, Humanity United; Amy Pope, Deputy Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, White House; and John Solomon, Director of Threat Finance at Thomson Reuters.

What should be our anti-ISIS strategy?

The Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security recently held a high-level war game to explore future courses of action that the US-led coalition could pursue against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, including staying the course, implementing a diplomatic surge, and carrying out a heavy military intervention. Participants explored these options with the aim of informing key domestic and regional stakeholders on the critical components of a successful coalition strategy. The public event presents the findings of the simulation, before initiating a broader discussion of the strategic challenges facing the United States and its partners in the fight against ISIS.

Chuck Hagel and Ine Eriksen Soreide on a Strategy for NATO

The Hon. Chuck Hagel, Distinguished Statesman at the Atlantic Council, and H.E. Ine Eriksen Søreide, Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Norway, discuss the major challenges facing NATO and the political and military way forward as the Alliance approaches its crucially important Warsaw Summit in 2016. The event took place on September 24, 2015, and was moderated by Fred Kempe, President and CEO of the Atlantic Council.

An Invasion by Any Other Name: The Kremlin’s Dirty War in Ukraine

With renewed fighting in Ukraine’s east, few now deny that Moscow is financially and militarily backing the separatist war in east Ukraine and has in fact invaded its neighbor on several occasions in the past year. The new report by The Interpreter, “An Invasion by Any Other Name: The Kremlin’s Dirty War in Ukraine”,​ aims to offer a complete account that proves Russia is behind the unrest in the Donbas region in Ukraine’s east. Listen to the conversation with Michael Weiss, Editor-in-Chief of The Interpreter and Senior Editor at The Daily Beast; and James Miller, Managing Editor of The Interpreter.

MP Penny Mordaunt on US-UK Future Military Defense

Penny Mordaunt is the first woman to assume the post of Minister of State for the Armed Forces at the UK Ministry of Defense. At the Atlantic Council on September 3, 2015, she provided her perspective on the priorities of the UK military for the short and long term, and commented on the UK’s strategic aims as a partner and ally.

Cyber Risk Wednesday: OPM Hack

Can the United States really shame another country for espionage excess? The Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative in the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security featured a discussion on how the United States should react to Chinese cyberattacks on sensitive government systems, such as the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Siobhan Gorman, a Director in the Washington office of the advisory firm Brunswick, moderates the panel featuring Catherine Lotrionte, Director of the Institute for Law, Science and Global Security at Georgetown University; Robert Knake, the Whitney Shepardson Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations; and Jason Healey, a Nonresident Senior Fellow of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council.

US Senators on American Energy Abundance

On Thursday, July 30, 2015 the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center launched its task force report, “Empowering America: How Energy Abundance Can Strengthen US Global Leadership.” Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Warner discussed the report’s recommendations and answered questions from audience members. David L. Goldwyn, Chairman of the Atlantic Council’s Energy Advisory Group, moderated the discussion, and Richard L. Morningstar, Founding Director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center, provided welcome remarks.

Cyber Risk Wednesday: Rethinking Commercial Espionage

The United States is nearly alone in professing that states should not spy for the private sector’s commercial benefit. But could the United States reach better economic and national security outcomes if it joined its adversaries in spying for profit? Melanie Teplinsky of the American University Washington College of Law moderates a panel of cyber security experts: Dmitri Alperovitch, Cofounder and CTO of CrowdStrike and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council; Stewart Baker, a Partner at Steptoe & Johnson, LLP; and Harvey Rishikof, Chair of the Advisory Committee for the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Law and National Security. The event took place on July 29, 2015.

What’s religion got to do with it?

On June 9, 2015, the Atlantic Council hosted What’s Religion Got to Do with It?, a Middle East Strategy Task Force (MEST) event featuring Co-Chairs Madeleine K. Albright and Stephen J. Hadley, together with a panel of experts on Islam, politics, and Islamist extremist groups’ use of social media as a recruitment tool. The participants examined the extent to which religion is a driver behind the rise of violent extremism and sectarianism in regional politics.

MEST Launch: A Conversation on Arab Public Opinion

The Middle East Strategy Task Force (MEST) is a bipartisan effort that seeks to examine, through dialogue with partners in the Middle East and the international community, how the United States and other key actors can better collaborate to rebuild a regional order based on well-governed, legitimate states. MEST Co-Chairs Madeline Albright and Stephen Hadley discuss public opinion in the Middle East with a distinguished panel on June 4, 2015. The event was the public launch of MEST. To view the data presentations, please watch the webcast at http://bit.ly/1OLCSgJ.

 

What’s next after the Iran deal?

After twenty months of negotiations, a deal has been reached over Iran’s nuclear program. While the details of the deal have finally been made public, many questions remain. Atlantic Council Senior Fellows Matthew Kroenig and Barbara Slavin have a discussion on what comes next after the agreement, moderated by Director of the Rafik Hariri Center and former US Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone. The call took place on July 15, one day after the agreement took place.

The New Containment: Changing America’s Approach to Middle East Security

In the following program, Atlantic Council Senior Fellow Bilal Saab launches his report, “The New Containment: Changing America’s Approach to Middle East Security.” Following his presentation, CNN Correspondent Barbara Starr moderates a discussion with Bilal Saab, Dr. Barry Posen, Director of Security Studies at MIT, and Dr. Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations about US interests, regional cooperation, state sustainability, and relations with Iran.

America’s Role in the World: Senator Lindsey Graham

What role would the United States’ play in the international community if Senator Lindsey Graham was president? Senator Graham speaks about his foreign policy strategy with CNN’s Jake Tapper as part of the Brent Scowcroft Center’s “America’s Role in the World” series.

General James Cartwright on Missile Defense

What new threats does the United States face with missile defense? General James Cartwright, former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Barry Pavel, Vice President and Director of the Brent Scowcroft Center at the Atlantic Council, address this question and discuss the role of regional cooperation and potential future technologies in missile defense.