Recommended Reading

Events

Wed, Apr 29, 2020

What’s next for US-Iraq relations?

ONLINE EVENT - Nonresident Senior Fellow Dr. C. Anthony Pfaff discusses his new report that analyzes the current challenges in US-Iraq relations and presents policy recommendations.

10:00am ONLINE EVENT

All Content

Thu, Feb 27, 2020

Tensions mount in Syria after strike on Turkish troops

Atlantic Council experts respond to the airstrikes against Turkish soldiers in Idlib, as Russia and the Assad regime continue their collision course with Turkey in Syria.

New Atlanticist by David A. Wemer

Conflict Syria

Mon, Feb 24, 2020

Wechsler and Fontenrose in The Washington Post: How US allies in the Gulf can help prevent an Iranian October surprise

As the 2020 US presidential election ramps up, the Atlantic Council's Kirsten Fontenrose and William Wechsler write in The Washington Post on the threat of an October surprise from Iran.

In the News

Elections Iran

Mon, Feb 3, 2020

US targets al-Qaeda leader: What it means for Yemen and the US counterterrorism mission

"When the United States is able to identify a terrorist abroad who threatens Americans, in the vast majority of cases the solution is relatively simple," William Wechsler says. "Simply reach out through law enforcement or intelligence channels and ask the local government to arrest them. Unfortunately, there remain a few places in the world in which the host governments have no practical ability to do so—indeed, in some of these places legitimate government authorities face a high risk of being killed if they tried. Yemen is one of these places."

New Atlanticist by Masoud Mostajabi

Conflict Terrorism

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

Mr. 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 Mr. 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 Mr. 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.

Mr. 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.

Mr. 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.

Mr. 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.