The Atlantic Council was founded with the stated mission to encourage the continuation of cooperation between North America and Europe
that began after World War II
. In its early years, its work consisted largely of publishing policy papers and polling Europeans and Americans about their attitudes towards transatlantic and international cooperation. In these early years, its primary focus was on economic issues—mainly encouraging free trade between the two continents, and to a lesser extent to the rest of the world—but it also did some work on political and environmental issues.
Although the Atlantic Council did publish policy papers and monographs
, Melvin Small
of Wayne State University
wrote that, especially in its early years, the Council's real strength lay in its connections to influential policymakers. The Council early on found a niche as "center for informal get-togethers" of leaders from both sides of the Atlantic, with members working to develop "networks of continuing communication".
The Atlantic Council also works outside Europe and the U.S. It was among the first organizations advocating an increased Japanese presence in the international community. Its Asian programs have expanded since 2001 as a consequence of the war in Afghanistan
leading to the opening of its South Asia Center and Program on Asia. Climate change
, and coordinating with India and China on these issues, were also a factor in this development.
In September 2014, The Atlantic Council hired Call of Duty: Black Ops
series director Dave Anthony as a nonresident senior fellow.
Connections and funding
The Atlantic Council has, since its inception, stated it is a nonpartisan
institution, with members "from the moderate internationalist wings of both parties" in the United States.
Despite its connections, the Council is by charter independent of the U.S. government and NATO, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
In September 2014, Eric Lipton reported in The New York Times
that since 2008, the US organization had received donations from more than twenty-five foreign governments. He wrote that the Atlantic Council was one of a number of think tanks
that received substantial overseas funds and conducted activities that "typically align with the foreign governments’ agendas".
The Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East was established with a donation from Bahaa Hariri
and its founding head was Michele Dunne. After Mohamed Morsi
was removed as President of Egypt by the military in 2013, Dunne urged the United States to suspend military aid to Egypt and called Morsi’s removal a "military coup
". Bahaa Hariri complained to the Atlantic Council about Dunne's actions and four months later Dunne resigned her position.
The leading donors in 2018 were Facebook and the British government.
The Atlantic Council creates a meeting place for heads of state, military leaders, and international leaders from both sides of the Atlantic. Recently,[when?]
the Council hosted former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen
's first major U.S. speech, in which he discussed issues such as NATO's mission in the War in Afghanistan
, NATO cooperation with Russia
, and the broader transatlantic relationship.
Members of the U.S. Congress have also appeared, including Senator Richard Lugar
and Secretary of State John Kerry
The Council hosts events with sitting heads of state and government, including former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk
and former Latvian President Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga
Since January 2007, the Council has hosted military leaders from both sides of the Atlantic. The council's Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security has, held periodic events known as the Commanders Series, where it invites military leaders from the United States and Europe to speak about conflicts of interest to the Atlantic community.
As part of the Commanders Series, American military leaders such as former General George Casey
and former Admiral Timothy Keating
and European leaders like former French Chief of Defense General Jean-Louis Georgelin
and Dutch Lieutenant General Ton van Loon
have spoken on issues such as the Iraq War
, the war in Afghanistan, and security threats in Asia and Africa.
Its annual events include the Distinguished Leadership Awards in Washington, DC; the Future Leaders Summit;
the Freedom Awards
in Wroclaw, Poland; the Atlantic Council Energy & Economic Summit in Istanbul, Turkey and the Global Citizen Awards
in New York City.
On February 22, 2019, the Atlantic Council released its Declaration of Principles
at the Munich Security Conference
. Frederick Kempe
, President and CEO of the Atlantic Council, said it was "an effort to rally and reinvigorate 'free peoples' around the world".
Programs and centers
The Young Atlanticist Network
-- Launched at the 2008 Bucharest summit
—brings together a community of emerging leaders who share a vision of closer Euro-Atlantic cooperation based on common values. Through online tools and regular events, the Young Atlanticist Network serves as a forum for open dialogue between young Atlanticists so they can exchange their views on a range of international issues. As a meeting place, the Network serves as a stage for global leaders to address the next generation and to share the perspective on current issues.
The Young Atlanticist Network also manages the Future Leaders program. The Council hosted the 2014 Future Leaders Summit on the side-lines of the NATO 2014 Wales summit
. This Future Leaders Summit connected emerging leaders from NATO member countries with one another, the Alliance's current leaders, people from the international security sphere, and a global network of peers.
The Program on Transatlantic Relations
promotes dialogue on the major issues that will affect the evolution of the transatlantic relationship. It believes that a healthy transatlantic relationship is an essential prerequisite for a stronger international system. The Council seeks to identify areas of potential cooperation and build the personal networks and mutual understanding that form the basis for an effective partnership.
The Council's Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security
examines U.S. relationships with allies and adversaries in an effort to build consensus around policies that contribute to a more stable, secure and well-governed world.
The Global Business and Economics Program
works to build upon and strengthen the already deep economic integration between Europe and the United States as well as promote Transatlantic leadership in the global economy. Bringing together business leaders, government policymakers, and economic experts, the program explores transatlantic and global issues of importance to the U.S. and European business community.
The South Asia Center
is the Atlantic Council's focal point for work on Afghanistan, Pakistan
, Sri Lanka
, as well as on relations between these countries and China
, Central Asia
, the Arab
world, Europe and the U.S. As part of the Council's Asia program, the Center seeks to foster partnerships with key institutions in the region to establish itself as a forum for dialogue between decision makers in South Asia, the U.S. and NATO. These deliberations cover internal and external security, governance, trade, economic development, education and other issues.
The Energy and Environment
program explores the economic and political aspects of energy security and supply, as well as international environmental issues. It promotes open access and clean air and offers policy recommendations to meet developing countries' needs through increased capital, technology and know-how in the energy and water supply sectors.
The Eurasia Center
fosters dialogue among regional leaders, as well as counterparts from key neighbors and global leaders. Combining an understanding of Eurasia
's history with knowledge of politics, economics, and energy, the Center provides research and advice to governments and businesses. It seeks to promote an agenda of regional cooperation and integration based on shared values and common interest in a free, prosperous and peaceful future.
The Africa Center
was established in September 2009 with a mission to help transform U.S. and European policy approaches to Africa by emphasizing the building of strong geopolitical partnerships with African states and strengthening economic growth and prosperity on the continent.
The Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East
is named for Rafik Hariri
(a billionaire and former prime minister of Lebanon, and father of one of the center's major donors).
It seeks to produce analysis of the forces transforming the region, as well as policy recommendations for the United States and Europe about how to promote closer and more productive relations with the region.
The Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center
promotes a stronger partnership between Latin America, the United States, and Europe based on shared values and common strategic interests, and engages its network of political, business, and NGO
entrepreneurs to develop ideas for policy and business leaders seeking solutions to regional and global challenges.
The Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience
is the Council's was established in April 2017. The Center works to build resilience – the ability to prepare for, absorb, and recover from potential challenges – into our societies and our systems. It develops pragmatic recommendations to put ideas into practice – helping governments, cities, businesses and other leaders to identify and address challenges before they become crises.
The Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab)
The Digital Forensic Research Lab was founded in 2016,
to study disinformation in open source environments and report on democratic processes. The leading donors of the project and the think tank, in general, are currently[when?]
Facebook, after a 2018 sum was donated, and the government of Great Britain.
On December 20, 2019, The New York Times
reported, in "Facebook Discovers Fakes That Show Evolution of Disinformation
", that Facebook
had deleted "hundreds of accounts with ties to the Epoch Media Group, the parent company of the conservative news outlet The Epoch Times
" using fake profile photos that had been generated using artificial intelligence
. The DFRLab director Graham Brookie stated that the coordinated network of fake accounts demonstrated "an eerie, tech-enabled future of disinformation".
Fred Kempe, President
- John F.W. Rogers, Chairman
- David McCormick, Chairman, International Advisory Board
- Frederick Kempe, President and CEO
- Damon Wilson, Executive Vice President
- John Studzinski, Vice Chair
- Fran Burwell, Vice President and Director, Transatlantic Relations Program
- Barry Pavel, Vice President and Director, Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security
- Jason Healey, Director, Cyber Statecraft Initiative
- Shuja Nawaz, Director, South Asia Center
- Peter Schechter, Director, Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center
- J. Peter Pham, Director, Africa Center
- John E. Herbst, Director, Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center
- David Koranyi, Director, Eurasian Energy Futures Initiative, Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center
- Graham Brookie, Director and Managing Editor, Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab)
- Kathy Baughman McLeod, Director, Adrienne Arsht–Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center
- Mathew Burrows, Director, Foresight, Strategy, and Risks Initiative
In July 2019, Russia said the activities of the Atlantic Council pose a threat to the foundations of its constitutional system and the security of the Russian Federation. Russia added the Atlantic Council to its list of "undesirable" organizations, preventing it from operating within Russia.
The Atlantic Council produces publications and issue briefs about global policy issues ranging from NATO's global role to energy security.
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Last edited on 12 May 2021, at 04:16
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