Tue, Jan 28, 2020
"The sad irony is that the peace process desperately needs new ideas, even if the ideas revealed today and the means by which they were developed and announced were not ideal," William Wechsler says. "And given the longstanding positions taken by the current Israeli and Palestinian leaders, the only credible source for those new ideas is the United States."
Tue, Oct 8, 2019
The idea of a ‘Russian resurgence' in the Middle East set against a perceived American withdrawal has captured the attention of policymakers and scholars alike, warranting further examination.
Wed, Jan 8, 2020
After the January 8 Iranian missile attacks on Iraq, a successful tactical de-escalation requires both that the Iranian leadership intends for its military actions not to be escalatory and that the Trump administration perceives those actions as they were intended. In the absence of direct communications between the United States and Iran, however, the potential for misunderstanding and thus the risk of miscalculation remains high.
New Atlanticist by William F. Wechsler,
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.