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Defense board continues strong ties to Atlantic Council

By Laurie Bennett

October 9, 2011 at 9:27am

Leon Panetta’s appointments to the Defense Policy Board last week show the direct pipeline between the board and the Atlantic Council.

Eight of the board’s 22 members are also council directors.

No other think tank has as much representation on the board, which advises the defense secretary and his deputies. (The Center for Strategic and International Studies is a close second, with seven connections.)

Madeleine Albright
Madeleine Albright

Panetta’s appointees were:

  • Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, a director of the Atlantic Council
  • Former Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick
  • Retired Gen. James Cartwright, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • Former U.S. Rep. Jane Lakes Harman, who now heads the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Retired Adm. Gary Roughead, former chief of naval operations.

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel, a Republican, is the current chairman.

On its web site, the Atlantic Council describes itself as a “non-partisan institution devoted to promoting transatlantic cooperation and international security.”

The council was formed in 1961, as an alliance of groups supporting the North Atlantic Treaty. Its leaders over the years have included prominent government and military figures such as former national security advisers James L. Jones Jr. and Brent Scowcroft.

Its ascendancy over recent decades was celebrated in May with a 50th anniversary bash at which Vice President Joe Biden was keynote speaker and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinksi were emcees.

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