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Off-the-Record Dinner with General Philip Breedlove

On June 4th, the Partnership for a Secure America held an off-the-record dinner for alumni of the Congressional Partnership Program with General Philip Breedlove to discuss today’s pressing foreign policy challenges and U.S. relations with Europe. Gen. Breedlove served as the Commander of U.S. European Command and Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO from 2013-2016.

This was a closed event for alumni of the Congressional Partnership Program.


General Philip Breedlove (U.S. Air Force, Ret.)

 

Phil Breedlove is a proven strategic planner, motivational leader and talented communicator. He is a highly decorated retired general of the United States Air Force where he reached the highest levels of military leadership as one of six geographic Combatant Commanders and the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO.

As the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and the Commander of U.S. European Command, he answered directly to NATO’s governing body, the North Atlantic Council, and to the President of the United States and Secretary of Defense. He led the most comprehensive and strategic structural and policy security changes in the alliance’s 70 year history. He led the forces of 28 nations and multiple partners in ensuring the security of an alliance that accounts for more than half the world’s GDP.

As Commander, U.S. Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa, Breedlove was responsible for organizing, training, equipping and maintaining combat-ready forces while ensuring theater air defense forces were ready to meet the challenges of peacetime air sovereignty and wartime defense.

As Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, he presided over the Air Staff and served as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Requirements Oversight Council and Deputy Advisory Working Group during a period of intense challenge, including devising measures to meet the requirements of the the Budget Control Act’s required $480 billion reduction of the Department of Defense budget.

He earned his Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master of Science in Aerospace Technology from Arizona State University. Additionally, he completed a Masters of International Security Affairs from the National War College, a Fellowship in International Security Affairs, Seminar XXI from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and completed Leadership at the Peak at the Center for Creative Leadership Colorado Springs.

Breedlove currently serves on the Georgia Tech Advisory Board, as a Distinguished Professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgia Tech, as a Senior Advisor to Culpeper National Security Solutions, and on the Board of Directors of both the Atlantic Council and the Center for a New American Strategy.

Turning the Tide on US-Turkey Relations

On April 19th, former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, Eric Edelman and former National Security Advisor to Vice President Joe Biden, Jake Sullivan discussed the deteriorating US-Turkey relationship as part of the USIP-PSA congressional briefing series Dr. Graeme Bannerman moderated the discussion. This was a closed, off-the-record event for congressional staff.


Ambassador Eric Edelman

EdelmanAmbassador Eric S. Edelman retired as a career minister from the U.S. Foreign Service on May 1, 2009. He is currently a Roger Hertog Practitioner in Residence at Johns Hopkins SAIS and Counselor at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

Edelman has served in senior positions at the Departments of State and Defense as well as the White House where he led organizations providing analysis, strategy, policy development, security services, trade advocacy, public outreach, citizen services and congressional relations. As the undersecretary of defense for policy (August, 2005-January 2009) he oversaw strategy development as DoD’s senior policy official with global responsibility for bilateral defense relations, war plans, special operations forces, homeland defense, missile defense, nuclear weapons and arms control policies, counter-proliferation, counter-narcotics, counter-terrorism, arms sales, and defense trade controls.

He served as U.S. ambassador to the Republics of Finland and Turkey in the Clinton and Bush Administrations and was principal deputy assistant to the vice president for national security affairs. In other assignment he has been chief of staff to Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, special assistant to Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Robert Kimmitt and special assistant to Secretary of State George Shultz. His other assignments include the State Department Operations Center, Prague, Moscow, and Tel Aviv, where he was a member of the U.S. Middle East delegation to the West Bank/Gaza autonomy talks.

He has been awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, the Presidential Distinguished Service Award, and several Department of State Superior Honor Awards. In January 2011 he was awarded the Legion d’Honneur by the French Government.

He received a bachelor’s degree in history and government from Cornell University and a doctorate in U.S. diplomatic history from Yale University.


Jake Sullivan

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Jake Sullivan is a Martin R. Flug Visiting Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School. He served in the Obama administration as national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden and Director of Policy Planning at the U.S. Department of State, as well as deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

He was the Senior Policy Adviser on Secretary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.  Previously, he served as deputy policy director on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential primary campaign, and a member of the debate preparation team for Barack Obama’s general election campaign.

Sullivan also previously served as a senior policy adviser and chief counsel to Senator Amy Klobuchar from his home state of Minnesota, worked as an associate for Faegre & Benson LLP, and taught at the University of St. Thomas Law School. He clerked for Judge Stephen Breyer of the Supreme Court of the United States and Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Sullivan holds undergraduate and law degrees from Yale and a master’s degree from Oxford.

 


Dr. Graeme Bannerman

Dr. Graeme Bannerman is a Scholar at the Middle East Institute. As such, he frequently provides commentary on Middle Eastern issues for numerous American and international media outlets including the BBC, Canadian National television, NBC, CBS, PBS News Hour, Fox News, al-Hurra, al-Jazeera, and others. He is Vice Chairman of the Board of Hands along the Nile and serves on the Board of Partnership for a Secure America (PSA) and the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy.

Prior to joining the Middle East Institute, he founded and served as President of Bannerman & Associates, Inc., an international consulting firm. Bannerman & Associates, Inc. worked with a variety of international clients primarily in the Middle East.

He served on the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 1979 until 1987. His last position was Committee Staff Director. From 1979 through 1984, he was the Committee’s professional staff member responsible for the Middle East and South Asia.

Before working for the Senate, he was employed by the Department of State, as a Middle Eastern Affairs Analyst and on the Policy Planning Staff. He worked on Arab-Israeli affairs during the time of Camp David and the negotiation of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty.

Dr. Bannerman taught at several institutions including Georgetown University, George Washington University, and The American University in Beirut. He holds a doctorate in Modern Middle Eastern History from the University of Wisconsin, a MA in South Asian studies from the University of Wisconsin, a MA in Modern Middle Eastern history from The American University in Beirut, and a BA degree from Northwestern University.

The Worldview Series: Baltic States

Partnership for a Secure America is excited to announce a new partnership with the Embassies of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania for 2017 titled The Worldview Series: Baltic States. This is the third installment of PSA’s program, The Worldview Series which aims to build deeper understanding of the important decisions American policy-makers face regarding U.S. foreign policy. The Embassies and PSA have designed this program to improve congressional insight on the Baltic States to better inform U.S. foreign policy decisions on Capitol Hill.

The series features off-the-record events with leading transatlantic experts from government, think tank, and business arenas. Focusing on a holistic understanding of the Baltic States’ histories, relations with the United States, and security situations, this program aims to build understanding of the important decisions American policy-makers face regarding US-Baltic relations.

The Embassies of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are educational participants in the Mutual Education and Cultural Exchange Act, authorized by the U.S. Department of State.


Why the U.S. Should Care

October 23rd – Ambassador Andris Teikmanis and Mr. Ilja Laurs discussed the diplomatic and business relationships that exist between the Baltic States and the U.S. and European Union. They also discussed the value of this strong relationship to U.S. national interests.

Featuring:

Ambassador Andris Teikmanis – Ambassador of the Republic of Latvia to the United States of America

Mr. Ilja Laurs – Lithuanian Tech Entrepreneur


Security in the Region

October 30th – Mr. Tom Goffus, Mr. Lee Litzenberger  and Ambassador John Heffern discussed the security environment in the Baltic States, Russia’s influence operations in the region, and NATO’s response. They  considered how the U.S., NATO and the Baltic States can work together to ensure security in the region while deterring Russia and other potential foes.

Featuring:

Mr. Tom Goffus – Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Europe and NATO

Mr. Lee Litzenberger – Former Deputy Permanent Representative and Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Mission to NATO

Ambassador John Heffern – Former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs


History and Transformation of the Baltic States

November 6th – Ambassadors Rolandas Krišciūnas and Lauri Lepik along with Mr. Paul Goble discussed the history of the three Baltic States, their transition from Soviet occupation to full members of the European community, and the economic transformation each of the three states experienced.

Featuring:

Ambassador Rolandas Krišciūnas – Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania to the United States of America

Ambassador H.E. Lauri Lepik – Ambassador of the Republic of Estonia to the United States of America

Mr. Paul Goble – Former Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of State

 


Delegation to Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania

November 18th-26th – Participants traveled to the Baltic States for a week-long delegation trip to gain an on-the-ground perspective at issues facing US-Baltic States relations. The delegation visited Tallinn, Estonia; Riga, Latvia; and Vilnius, Lithuania. The delegation met with government and defense officials, business representatives, U.S. forces stationed in Latvia, and others.

PSA Launches Series with Baltic States

Partnership for a Secure America is excited to announce a new partnership with the Embassies of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania for 2017 titled The Worldview Series: Baltic States. This is the third installment of PSA’s program, The Worldview Series which aims to build deeper understanding of the important decisions American policy-makers face regarding U.S. foreign policy. The Embassies and PSA have designed this program to improve congressional insight on the Baltic States to better inform U.S. foreign policy decisions on Capitol Hill.

The series features off-the-record events with leading transatlantic experts from government, think tank, and business arenas. Focusing on a holistic understanding of the Baltic States’ histories, relations with the United States, and security situation, this program aims to build understanding of the important decisions American policy-makers face regarding US-Baltic relations.

The Embassies of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are educational participants in the Mutual Education and Cultural Exchange Act, authorized by the U.S. Department of State.

Madeleine Albright at Bipartisan National Security Forum

Washington, DC – Partnership for a Secure America (PSA) Advisory Board member and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright discussed the role of the United States in the world today with Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) at the Capitol Hill National Security Forum. Albright discussed bipartisanship, the role of the United States in the world, China, and Russia and NATO.

Albright on Bipartisanship

Madeleine Albright began by emphasizing the importance of bipartisanship in resolving national security threats. She explained that bipartisanship is essential for success, calling it the “hallmark of American foreign policy.” On this point, she acknowledged the important role of congressional staffers in advancing bipartisan solutions. Most of all, Albright recommended staffers form relationships and travel on delegation trips with other staffers in order to advance bipartisan solutions. She pointed towards her own friendship with Senator Jesse Helms, which allowed her to produce agreements on foreign policy. Albright finished her remarks by stating that bipartisan solutions would “make the Senate great again.”

America’s Role in the World

Albright promoted the need for a rule-based world order as it prevents the world from devolving into chaos. She explained the consistent involvement of the United States in creating these rules, but she warned that not following through with our self-created rules can weaken our position and image in the international community. When questioned on the topic of advancing human rights in the world, Albright responded, “Why should we worry about people in far away places?…Because our way of life depends on what happens in these other countries,” expressing the necessity of human rights in global peace and security.

China

Secretary Albright emphasized the dangers of not following internationally-accepted rules by pointing towards China, whose actions in the South China Sea are eroding the rule-based world order. China’s island-building, which was deemed illegal, has created more instability in the region. She highlighted that the instability caused by China’s actions supports the need for a rule-based order throughout the world.

Russia and NATO

On the topic of Russia, Albright reaffirmed the importance of NATO as leverage against Russia. With the rising threat that Russia poses to liberal alliances and institutions, Albright underscored that NATO is necessary for defending against armed attacks, but also for advancing the common goals of liberal democracies. She pointed towards Ukraine and Georgia,  which have gained confidence in promoting the goals and values of liberal democracies simply by being affiliated with NATO, despite lacking membership.

Paula Dobriansky at Bipartisan National Security Forum

Washington, DC – Partnership for a Secure America (PSA) Advisory Board member Paula Dobriansky, former Under Secretary of State, spoke at the Capitol Hill National Security Forum on June 23rd alongside Kristen Silberberg, Charles Kupchan, and Julianne Smith. They came together to discuss ‘Restoring Transatlantic Alliances.’  The group examined the liberal world order, the EU, and the recent decision of President Trump to pull out of the Paris Agreement.  The panelists often came to agreement, but also expressed many differences in opinions, especially on the Paris Agreement.

Liberal World Order

From the start, the panelists were in consensus that it was not the end of the “post-World War Two world order.” However, they also agreed that this order was indeed being challenged. Dobriansky, specifically, spoke on Russia’s recent aggression, explaining how Putin is challenging liberal values, alliances, institutions, and ideals. On this point, Kupchan argued that external threats have always been present and that the greater threat are new internal weaknesses. The panelists agreed that the system was under a great amount of strain and that the United States should promote dialogue between other states in order to work together on fixing the mounting issues.

The European Union

The panelists all expressed concern over the future of American influence within the European Union, especially due to the instability it is currently facing as a result of Brexit, mass immigration, and terrorism. Brexit was the greatest concern among the panelists, as the United Kingdom had consistently been the biggest champion of American interests. Smith suggested that, following Brexit, the United States should establish trade agreements between the European Union and the United Kingdom. On this point, Silverman expressed the need for trilateral talks until Brexit is officially carried out. Dobriansky acknowledged that the European Union needs reform, pointing to the inflexibility of its regulations as a point of contention between member states.

Dobriansky Disagrees on Paris Climate Agreement

Regarding the Paris Climate Agreement. the panelists were split over the implications of the U.S. withdrawal. Smith expressed concern that the withdrawal of the U.S. from such a popular agreement could cast doubt on our relationship with the European Union. On this point, Kupchan voice his concern over the effect our withdrawal will have on Europe’s willingness to advance the American agenda in the future, since climate change is an area of great concern for the European Union. Dobriansky, however, pointed to the Kyoto Protocol of 1992, which the United States did not accept, explaining that our relationship with Europe was not harmed, especially in matters of security. Despite some disagreement, the panelists agreed that the implications of our withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement remain to be seen.

Calamity in Greece & the Eurozone

February 18th: PSA hosted a small off-the-record round table dinner with Amb. Thomas Miller (ret.), PSA Board member and former U.S. Ambassador to Greece, to discuss implications of Greece’s recent election and economic challenges in southern Europe. This was a closed event for CPP alumni.

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In February 2015, the anti-austerity Syriza party dominated elections in Greece. The new Prime Minister, Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras, has vowed to renegotiate the terms of Greece’s loans and reverse six years of harsh austerity measures – measures that gave rise to more assertive, leftist political views which ushered in Syriza. Struggling with high unemployment, slow growth, and dissatisfied masses, Greece wants to renegotiate the terms of its massive bailout packages. Although most of the Greek debt is held by European countries, it is clear that the stand-off between Greece and the Eurozone poses great risk to the global economy. Additionally, Greece’s recent attempt to block EU sanctions against Russia confronts U.S. national security interests and points toward a confrontational road ahead for Greece.

THOMAS J. MILLER
Thomas Miller is currently the president and CEO of IESC. Prior to joining IESC, Tom was president and CEO of the United Nations Association of the U.S. (2009) and from 2005-08, served as CEO of Plan International, a large NGO that works in 66 countries to improve the lives of children in developing countries. A 29-year career diplomat, Tom’s experience in the Foreign Service spanned many continents. From 2001-04, he served as U.S. ambassador to Greece, where he focused on the security concerns of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and domestic counter-terrorism. From 1999-2001, as U.S. ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, he worked on helping the country recover after a devastating war. From 1997-99, he was special coordinator for the Cyprus negotiations (rank of ambassador). He was also posted to Thailand, Greece two other times, and the State Department in Washington, where he focused on North Africa, the Middle East, and counter-terrorism issues. In 2011, Tom was appointed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to be the chair of the board of the International Commission on Missing Persons, an internationally acclaimed organization that identifies missing persons in many countries by using DNA-matching and other techniques.

Tom serves on the boards of D.A.R.E., Partnership for a Secure America, and Lampsa. He was also recently selected to serve on AARP’s National Policy Council. He is the recipient of many honors and awards as well as honorary degrees. A native of the Chicago area, Ambassador Miller has five degrees from the University of Michigan: a PhD in political science (1975), master’s degrees in both political science (1973) and Asian studies (1972), and a bachelor’s degree in political science (1969). In addition, in 2003 he received an honorary doctorate when he was the university’s commencement speaker.

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