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Thu, Aug 13, 2020

A rare strategic victory—for everyone except Iran

It’s been so long since the Middle East last experienced undeniably good news, that observers can be forgiven if they have difficulty recognizing it when it happens. But the “Abraham Accords” is indeed one of those moments.

New Atlanticist by William F. Wechsler

Israel Politics & Diplomacy

Thu, Aug 13, 2020

Will US-brokered agreement between UAE and Israel be a regional gamechanger?

A US-brokered deal has seen Israel and the United Arab Emirates normalize relations for the first time in history. Atlantic Council experts discuss what the agreement means and what is next for the wider region:

New Atlanticist by Atlantic Council

Conflict Israel

Wed, Jul 15, 2020

United G20 must pave the way for robust post-COVID-19 recovery

The world is facing unprecedented health and economic crises that require a global solution. Governments have locked down their economies to contain the mounting death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic. With this response well underway, now is the time to move into a recovery effort.

Issue Brief by Phil Thornton

China Coronavirus

William F. Wechsler is Director of the Rafik Hariri Center and Middle East Programs at the Atlantic Council.

Wechsler’s most recent government position was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Combatting Terrorism. He advised multiple Secretaries and helped coordinate interagency policies on a wide range of direct and indirect actions. His portfolio included the Department’s policies, plans, authorities and resources related to special operations and irregular warfare, with an emphasis on counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, information operations and other sensitive operations. He also helped provide civilian oversight for the service-like responsibilities of the United States Special Operations Command.

Previously Wechsler served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counternarcotics and Global Threats, where he directed a budget of $1.6 billion and oversaw military and civilian programs around the globe. His key areas of focus included integrating law enforcement operations into our military campaigns in Afghanistan and institutionalizing military counter threat finance structures and doctrine.

During the Clinton Administration Wechsler served as Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury, where he helped establish the legal regime and policies we use to impose foreign sanctions and combat money laundering. He had previously served as Director for Transnational Threats on the National Security Council staff, and prior to that was a Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Wechsler is currently also President of the Center on Illicit Networks and Transnational Organized Crime and the Treasurer of the American Historical Association. He was previously a Senior Fellow at the Middle East Institute and a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress.

Wechsler has also had a separate career in finance. He has been Vice Chairman of Capitol Peak Asset Management and Managing Director of Greenwich Associates. He is a CFA charter holder and also holds the Series 7 and Series 63 securities licenses.

Wechsler is a graduate of Cornell University and received a master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He has been an adjunct lecturer at SIPA and is currently an executive committee member of the SIPA alumni association. He has contributed chapters to two edited volumes and has been published in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Foreign Affairs, and the National Interest, among others.